Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
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Outrageous Fortune

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep …

Periodically, I get so busy working, and trying to stay on top of what I need to do to fend for my family, that I forget that Obama and the American Left have declared war on me. I have to be reminded from time to time by a mortar round to my front door in the form of, say, his new budget and tax policy. These are like delayed explosives. They don’t explode right away; they quietly tick away until “taking effect” in say 2013 or 2015. Obamacare is one such ticking time bomb. After the smoke cleared at the end of 2009 it was pretty much business as usual, I swallowed my despair and went back to work. The course of the pending storm is evident but the problem, for most of us in the beleaguered middle class, is that today’s bills have to be paid, and we have to worry about this year’s home budget and what is going on with our jobs.

I am self-employed as a real estate agent. I got into real estate after my company closed down due to consolidation in 2003. My company was a middleman, and our customers went “farm direct”, which cut us out of the picture. This was back in the days before bailouts. I didn’t know I was a victim back then. I didn’t know that I should whine and cry about my lot. Instead I did what nearly all Americans do when faced with a setback. I picked myself up, dusted myself off and figured it out. My income dropped 80% the first year, and I had just about scrambled back to where I was 3 years later, when the housing market collapsed. Again, my income dropped about 80%. Now, 4 years later it’s almost recovered, but not quite.

Regardless, I consider myself very fortunate. I am crowding my 50’s and don’t have a big enough time horizon remaining for another 80% haircut. For most of my working life, I have saved between 5 and 10% of what I’ve earned. Needless to say, that helped a good deal when my career took a pounding. It’s not a fortune, but it’s the product of a lifetime of habit.

That’s why I am so angry with Obama and his minions. (I did mention I was angry didn’t I?) Instead of encouraging young people to save their money and take responsibility for themselves. Instead of encouraging them to be independent of the institutions that will inevitably fail them (government, corporations, banks), he tells them that they “deserve” free health care, a free education, a job, and housing. (To be “fair”, he didn’t say free on the housing, just that they “deserve” it.) He also says that the “rich” should pay their “fair share”. This is my favorite piece of fantasy. Their “fair share.” Really? My wife and I both work, and we paid about $27,000 in federal taxes last year. We are in the 3%. We haven’t made the 1% yet. But it doesn’t matter, those of us in the 3%, pay about 97% of the taxes. Mr. Obama doesn’t think that’s enough. I have words for him, but they aren’t printable here.

I am working my rear end off to recover from a housing crisis created by a government which forced banks to make loans for folk that could not pay them back. These were members of his entitlement class. It is the same people who now vote for him while paying “nothing” in taxes. I estimate that his new budget will cost my family about $50,000 in additional taxes, just from capital gains taxes. You see, we are borrowing to buy rental homes as investments to make up for what we lost in our 401k’s and to try and provide a retirement for ourselves. It will take years for us to pay off these investments, and when we do, we will face DOUBLE the tax bill on the profits instead of what we pay now. In the meantime, we take all the risk, vacancies, repairs, liabilities and work required to maintain these properties, and we pay interest on the loans. In short, we take all the risk, and at the end of the day, we may not even see a dime of profit, because the only way we benefit is if the value increases. And for all those years of work and risk, we get to pay 30% if we are successful. It is now quite possible that it is not worth that risk.  Given the way things are going, those investments may even decline more in value. They have already lost 50% of their value from the peak of the market. We took a calculated risk when we borrowed to buy them, assuming that the market had hit bottom. What if it did not? What if we were wrong? Will Mr. Obama pay us 30% on the loss? I didn’t think so.  You pays your money to the government and you takes all the risk.

That’s the reality that the freeloaders from the Occupy movement refuse to acknowledge. They are nothing but envious dupes. Here is the rest of the story. Once there are no more incentives to take risks and work hard, those of us in the 3% will no longer be able to foot the bill for their lazy pathetic lives. No more free education, free healthcare, and free retirement, food stamps, and rent subsidies; nothing, because there won’t be anything to give. These same have-nots will hit the streets like the mobs in Greece and burn down their own neighborhoods, reducing themselves further to barbarians without self respect and dignity.

That’s the future and the hope and change promised by Mr. Obama, the stalwart defender of the middle class. He lies. He wants to destroy the middle class, because he can’t control them. The so-called 99%, he can control. He buys them off everyday with promises of the money he will take from us and give to them.

He labels people like us the “rich”. Not to confuse the issues with the facts, but if the government were to take every dime from the 1%, it would still not be enough to pay for all the money this government owes.  Not even close. That is the biggest lie of all! He has to get into our pockets, because that is where the money is.

Have you ever noticed that there is no middle class in Venezuela, Cuba or the other third world “utopian” Marxist governments? Did you ever stop to think why?



1 Michael E. Newton { 02.21.12 at 4:56 pm }

Erich: You are in the 3% today, but a few years ago, when your income hit a low, you were in the bottom 50%, or maybe lower. The point is, there is no 3% or 1%. People move up the income and wealth ladder and people move down each and every year. Today’s pauper is tomorrow’s aristocracy and visa versa. This class warfare hurts the largest class in America: Americans.


M.C Reply:

I agree completely, however, especially in recent years, we have seen a decline in class mobility which gives an impression of a “rooted aristocracy” of sorts which is very much the basis of the OWS movement.

Now, I consider myself left of centre but I appreciate this website’s takes and the like, we’re not all out to get the rich, I happen to be incredibly fortunate and have come from a line of inventors and scientists, I just believe that we can accomplish a lot together and that sometimes that means pitching in more, top and bottom, to help out. I wouldn’t say that all of those to the right of me are unintelligent or liars, but, as in most things, the truth always seems to lie closer to the middle than we suspect.


Michael E. Newton Reply:

What has caused this decrease in class mobility. Could it be that government is larger than it had been any time before in our history?


M.C Reply:

It’s true, the government is a behemoth that neither party is willing to tame. I think that this does induce many kinds of inefficiencies into the market, particularly on consumer welfare and taxation to pay interest on debt for programs that we refuse to finance. I think the decrease in class mobility has more to do with the increasingly financial nature of our economy and that our education system is failing to prepare people for better jobs so that countries with lower wages like china and mexico attract jobs, which may mean that a far better system of minimum wages would be the negative income tax, its certainly worth a shot. In perfectly competitive markets, our income would be exactly equal to the amount that they have contributed to society, but with financial institutions it’s always much trickier because coordination between investment and savings is so fickle. But the OWS movement doesn’t know this, they are just angry and feel betrayed by the giants of the financial institutions. This is why I think economics should be a required course, although they indeed were playing with money and risk, that is their job! Even now they are seeking profit which will help society. If anything, the risk and trouble built up in this market, maybe more appropriately an oligarchy, because the market is centralized and lightly regulated.

With regards to taxation, I do think that tax rates should increase for the rich while we enter recovery and then taxes for the rest of society should increase to when we have good times, but progressive tax rates have forced people into lower brackets creating that unfair and high figure that we have to pay simply for our good fortune and talents.

As for the many entitlements in society, deserving housing, I must agree with you on, more than anything it should be shelter that people deserve. While we recognize the benefits of low cost housing and stable communities, and thus subsidize it, we shouldn’t be handing out houses like we do education! But education is different, I think, because it benefits us all. There may need to be a shift for those with lower income and talent to go to public colleges and then private colleges for graduate school.

But, you know, I could be wrong, I prefer to defer to experts on these matters but I do like to have some opinions. But I think the growth of government contributes in a manner but also doesn’t explain the full story. Its a piece to the puzzle!

Michael E. Newton Reply:

M.C.: You give two reasons for the decline in class mobility: “the increasingly financial nature of our economy and that our education system is failing to prepare people for better jobs.”

The financial system is monopolized by the Federal Reserve System. Meanwhile, the people spend increasing amounts of time and money tending to their monetary assets as means to protect themselves from government-induced inflation and to avoid government taxes.

Obviously, our education system is run by the government. Even private school must meet federal, state, and local regulations.

So I stand by my prior statement: “What has caused this decrease in class mobility. Could it be that government is larger than it had been any time before in our history?”

2 Erich Sielaff { 03.04.12 at 2:12 pm }

I really do think this issue transcends the baked in definitions of “left” vs “right”…….I think these designations actually are destructive. They act as obstacles to truth, as we start arguing against or for the stereotype. It is invidious. The fact is when I debate or argue with the left, we usually argue over methodology or means. We are not that far apart on the ends. Neither side wants unborn children to die. Neither side want classes or races to be discriminated against. No one wants the poor to suffer, or the powerful to abuse their situtation at the expense of others. No one wants unbridled power to rest in the hands of a selected few. These are all more or less common moral values to most of us, left or right. The genius and truth of the founding of our country is that some very perspicacious men realized that the best of hope of man was our imputed rights and equality. Not of prescribed outcome, but of opportunity. This was the most consistent with what the Creator ordained for us. This was a departure from feudalism, from the tyranny of the monarchic system. This revolutionary (and yet not so revolutionary) thought process that the self evident truths that all men were created by God as “equal” and therefore have certain rights, is the basis upon which we were founded. The further we get from that essential foundation (and God), the more trouble we find ourselves in. Government was always recognized by the Founders as a restrictive, tyrannical and dangerous force, to be stymied, minimized, and controlled. The institutions that were in place at the time that we find reprehensible, were only shaken off BECAUSE of the impact of the influence of freedom and God’s word in practice. Slavery existed for all of recorded history, UNTIL a little over a century and a half ago. The concept of economic mobility and the birth of the middle class were consequences of Freedom. There are only two sides to this issue: Those who believe as our founders did, that mankind is most uniformly elevated and best served when men are left free to their own pursuit of happiness, and those on the other side, who believe that Government is the solution to inequity. Its not Left or Right. Fascism and Marxism meet at the top of the circle. There is no evidence to support the notion that we are best served by Statism. All the evidence of history points in the opposite direction, that the Founders were right. They changed the world. The genius of our Creator is that not only has America prospered by following His natural plan, but billions across the planet of benefited. We can’t separate God from the system. His natural laws are what made all of this possible. When we substitute a government of men for His natural law, we drift into systemic abuses, institutional captivity, elitism, statism, and tyranny. And to envy and rage. If our hearts are right, our minds will follow. This has been proven by history. No other system in the history of the world has done what ours has done, and now we are systematically taking it apart and we will surely destroy ourselves in the process. We have forgotten how we got here. And we harden our hearts to our own peril.


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