By Dr. Jimmy T. (Gunny) LaBaume
I will never forget what joyous days those were when I first saw each of my grandchildren. You, of course, were no exception. But there is a particular reason that I picked you to receive this letter. Something else happened that particular day that I won’t forget—something that put me to thinking.
\Somewhere during the course of the (mostly grandparent generated) hullabaloo, your mother (my baby girl) mentioned getting you a social security number while you were still in the hospital. My initial response was, “What did you do that for?” She replied that she “thought she had to.” Since then, I have thought a great deal about your life and the lives of my other grand children and what might lie ahead for all of you and your generation.
Even before you were born, your mother was tended by a government-licensed physician. You were born in a government-licensed hospital where you were tended by government-licensed nurses. And they saw to it that you received a government number—a number that will follow and haunt you for the rest of your life.
Also for the rest of your life, everything you put into your body, be it food or drug, will have been inspected and approved by the government (unless, of course, you grow a tomato in your back yard). During your early years, you will be attended by a government-licensed day care center because your mother can’t stay home with you because she needs to work to help with the oppressive tax burden your family has to bear.
You’ll get your first haircut—from a government-licensed barber.
When you get old enough to start school, you will go to a government-funded school and will be taught by government-licensed teachers who will attempt to indoctrinate you in the dual state religions of atheism and environmentalism. They will teach you to accept the anti-American, international socialist agenda and how to be a “citizen of the world.” But, before they will “allow” you to attend, you will have to have a series of government mandated inoculations.
Remember the pocket knife that your grandmother and I gave you? Well, you won’t be able to take it to school and show it to your friends like I did with the one my grandfather gave me when I was your age. Furthermore, I will predict that, someday in the not so distant future, the government will demand that you “register” the 22-caliber rifle that passed from your great grandfather, through me, to you. Even now, if you were an adult, in order to buy that same rifle you would have to answer a bunch of intrusive questions on a government form and solicit the government’s approval.
I know how much you already like to go fishing and hunting. Do you realize that, when you are only a few years older, you will have to buy a permit from the government to do that—even if it is on your own land?
When you get old enough to get your first paying job, the government will begin what will be a life-long confiscation of a large portion of the fruits of your labor in the form of the federal income tax.
Also, within the truest meaning of “socialism” (which is the ultimate goal of communism), they will force your employer to expropriate “social security” taxes from your earnings. This is a pay-as-you-go Ponzi scheme that is certain to collapse long before you are old enough to receive their purposefully misnamed “benefits.”
But, in spite of it all, you will manage to save enough money to buy your first car—on which you will pay a 6% sales tax on the purchase price. You will have to have a government issued license to operate it. You will have to buy government license plates for it every year. It will have to have government mandated “safety” and “emissions” inspection stickers on the window. It will have to have a seat belt in it and you will have to buy government mandated insurance for it. Forty to sixty cents of every dollar’s worth of gasoline you put in it will be tax. And, on top of all that, you will not be allowed to have an “open container” in it. You won’t own a car. You will own a jailhouse.
Then, when you are 18, you will be forced to register for the draft. You will be told that you should because it is a part of the “social contract.” This is the idea that, just because you were born amongst us (our society), just because you speak our language, you somehow owe us some sort of debt. This is a debt that you will never be able to pay. Even if you give them your very life, you will never get a receipt marked “paid in full.” You will not be told that they have no intention of ever putting the “social contract” into writing. That’s because they know that, if they did, nobody would ever sign it. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was supposed to have ended slavery, but it didn’t. It nationalized it. The state now has the monopoly on trafficking in slaves.
Then one day, you will discover the girl of your dreams and decide that you want to marry her. Well, guess what? You will have to obtain the government’s permission to do that too.
Then you will buy a house, or maybe even a farm—probably through a government-licensed broker with the legal papers being prepared by a government licensed attorney. They will tell you that you “own” the property, but that’s a lie. If you refuse to pay “rent” to the government (ad valorem taxes), they will take it from you at the point of a gun and evict you like any other common tenant. You will be able to use your property in any way you choose—as long as it meets with the government’s approval. You will not be able to build a fence or make an improvement to your property without a government issued permit.
You will also want to begin saving some of your money for a rainy day and investing for your family’s future. You will have very few choices except to do that through a government chartered bank and/or regulated financial institution. Then, should you decide to withdraw some of your savings in an amount larger than designated by the government, you banker will be required to file a report of that activity with the Internal Revenue Service. Should you decide to take the money out of the country, you can, but you will need to file a declaration with the federal government. Failing to file that piece of paper is a crime that is more severely punishable than armed robbery.
Somewhere within this stage of your life you will have children and this perpetual cycle of slavery will begin for another generation.
I hope it never happens, but someday you might discover that what you thought was the girl of your dreams is really one of “those” (with a capital “B”) and you decide to get rid of her. Well again, you will have to beg the government’s permission.
I’ve mentioned taxes, but only a few. Over your lifetime you will pay some 200 different taxes. You will also pay taxes that are “hidden” in the price of the products you buy—paid by the manufacturer and marketers and passed on to you. Add it all up and, over your lifetime, you will have been robbed of some 50% (that’s a full half) of the fruits of your labor—all in the name of the “greater good.” I spoke of slavery. What is the difference between a country where half of the people are slaves and a country where all of the people are half-slave? There is none.
At least these taxes are out in the open and easily identifiable. But, there is a corrupt and deceitful organization that will confiscate even more of your earnings over your lifetime. It goes by the misleading name of the Federal Reserve System. This is misleading because, it is not a branch of the federal government like most people think and the name implies. It is owned by its “member banks” (which belong to wealthy bankers), there is no “reserve” and it is not a “system.” This “system” levies a hidden tax—the most insidious of them all—inflation.
Once you approach the end of your productive life, if you have been hard working (or smart or crooked) enough to have overcome all these obstacles and managed to accumulate a little something, they will take up to 55% of that when you die. They call it “estate tax” but that is only because it sounds better, and therefore is more acceptable to the masses, than “death tax.”
In fact, they won’t even leave you alone in death. You will not be able to say “I want to be buried under that old oak tree over yonder.” Unless you have a special government permit, you will have to be buried in a government-licensed cemetery after your remains are prepared by a government-licensed mortician. I’ll beat that, you say. I’ll be cremated. Well, guess what? Yep, your family will have to have a government license to scatter the ashes.
My good man, every thing you do, every facet of your life, will be controlled by faceless, non-elected bureaucrats and petty tyrants who are accountable to no one. These are people who produce nothing of economic value but live as blood sucking leeches off of those that do—vultures feasting on the rotting carcass of a once great Federal Republic.
Of course, none of this is new. It all began in 1865 with Lincoln’s War of Yankee Aggression, which overthrew the Constitution of 1789. This terrible and unnecessary war brought about the death of the rights of secession and nullification and ended any hope that the citizens would remain sovereign over their own government. It established, by force of arms, that the federal government would be the final judge of the limits of its own powers. Naturally, it has subsequently decided that there are, in fact, no limits to those powers.
Then, the final nails were driven into the coffin of our once great Republic in 1913 with the adoption of the income tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve System and the Seventeenth Amendment. The income tax essentially established that all of the income we earn is the property of the state. The state then decides how much we get to keep for ourselves by setting tax rates. The Federal Reserve System, with its fiat currency, allows for government inflation—the back door tax for which politicians do not have to answer directly. The Seventeenth Amendment established the popular election of senators. Before then, senators were appointed by state legislatures. As a result they were obliged to vote for legislation that was in the best interest of the citizens of their states. They have not been under that obligation since 1913. Now they only have to answer to whoever gives them the biggest campaign contributions.
Subsequent confiscations of our property and usurpations of our God given, (supposedly) Constitutionally guaranteed, rights—Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” and the King George Dynasty’s “New World Order,” for example—have only shoved us deeper into the cesspool of international socialism.
So, it’s nothing new. But, together, you and I can fix it. We can start by never, ever letting the idea of liberty die.
Yours for freedom in our lifetimes.
- Combating Modern Slavery 150 Years After the Emancipation Proclamation (larahentz.wordpress.com)
- If They Come For Your Guns, Do You Have A Responsibility To Fight? (libertycrier.com)
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.