Government for the People or Over the People?

How can you tell whether a government is for the people or over the people? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  1. The laws are discriminatory. In most countries around the world, the income tax laws discriminate against rich people in favor of poor people. Once the precedent has been set, it becomes easy for politicians to promise additional government transfers of money from the rich minority to the poor voting majority. When minorities have more or fewer rights than everyone else, the government is not acting in the best interests of “the people,” only some of the people. In short, it has taken sides against some of its citizens.

    The United States was founded on the notion of “equal opportunity” for all, not equal wealth for all. Not everyone can become a chief. Not everyone can become rich. If everyone has equal money, everyone will be equally poor. If everyone has equal opportunity, then everyone is free to develop their talents to their fullest and follow their own priorities. Money may not be among them. There will always be poor and rich, no matter what kind of government is in place. “Rich” and “poor” are relative concepts.
  2. When taxpayers do not pay their taxes, the reduced revenue to the state is stated in terms of losses to the state. X number of dollars of tax revenue were "lost" due to taxpayers holding their money in foreign bank accounts, for example. It’s as if the government has a right to its taxpayers’ money and those taxpayers who withhold their money are violating the rights of the state.
  3. An exit tax is imposed when you want to leave the country permanently or if you take “too much” out of the country at one time. You do not have the right to remove your wealth from the country without permission because the government believes that it’s not really yours to begin with.
  4. You can be investigated for acting “suspiciously” or not in the best interests of the state (as interpreted by some bureaucrat or clerk).
  5. Records are kept of who has how much money. While most countries don’t have wealth taxes, most do have drug laws that make the possession of illegally-obtained wealth a crime, and subject to civil forfeiture. The corollary of this is that everyone must be able to prove that his/her wealth was legally obtained. If one cannot prove that s/he obtained his/her wealth legally, it may be forfeit to the state—the owner of last resort.
  6. Certain kinds of wealth or assets may be confiscated by the government. Gold was confiscated in the United States in 1933 and was illegal for Americans to own until 1974. Who’s to say this won’t happen again in times of government need? Drugs are also seized by many governments around the world. This often creates a higher demand for the drugs that are deemed to be “illegal” and makes it easier for governments to invade peoples’ privacy in the name of the war on drugs. Alcohol possession was illegal in the United States from 1920 to 1933. What’s next, incandescent light bulbs?
  7. Government policies are often determined by the acts of foreign governments, not by the acts of its own citizens. If a country possesses weapons of mass destruction, or is in the process of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, this may be sufficient grounds to send troops in to invade the country. Iran next?
  8. The wealth of a nation and its credit rating is determined by the amount of confiscatable wealth its citizens hold. All citizens’ assets are subject to taxes levied for the common good.
  9. A draft (conscription) may be imposed. Forget your property, they may want your body to throw at their enemies.
  10. The government requires you by law to answer lots of personal questions so it can generate statistical information about its subjects and better assess the government’s "true" fiscal strength.

Recognize any of these signs? Then you and your assets may be called upon to do your duty for the state. Don't ask what your country can do for you (it may be bankrupt), ask what you can do for your country--evict spendthrift politicians who want more control over the people?

Robert Jackson Smith

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