Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, June 11, 2010

The First Loan Shark

“Most things freeborn will submit to anything for a salary.” Jane Eyre.

I used to play the Mega Millions lottery on a regular basis. Not really being a gambler, I never put down very much money, just enough to keep the dream alive.

Imagine never having to go to work again. Not having to put up with the dogfight mentality of editorial meetings. Not having to take my life in my hands every day driving down Route 287. Not having to worry – will I have a job tomorrow? Will my boss decide I’m no longer a useful idiot?

It was worth the $5 a week I put down, though I never won more than that in a single prize in this blasted ponzi scheme. That wasn’t the point anyway. It was just the hope of it all. It was like a tension reliever.

Finally, I fell out of the habit and found better things to do with my money. But in working class communities, the luckless blue collar workers still take their chances, putting down considerably more money than I wasted, to someday have that opportunity to tell their boss what they can do with their job.

The working classes took a real gamble with President Obama. Beguiled by their unions and the class envy pumping media, they believed that the “rich” would have their come-uppance and that America would be transformed into a worker’s paradise.

For them, the economic crisis has been their pay-off, watching Wall Street fat cats like Bernie Madoff frog-marched off to jail and oil company executives cringing before the television cameras. Never mind that so many other jobs have gone down the tubes. Uncle Obama will take care of them. He promised. Soon, it’s going to be free lunches for everyone. Free government jobs. Free health care. Free everything. That is as far as their notion of freedom extends.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions Jackpot are 1 in 175,711,536. What are the odds that Uncle Obama is going to be that much different from Scrooge McDuck in the end?

To put these odds in perspective, in the US in 2008 there were 1.03 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. A person living one mile from a retailer selling Mega Millions tickets is 3.6 times as likely to die in an accident traveling to and from that store (2 miles) than winning the Mega Millions jackpot on a $1 play.

These people sneer at the “evil rich” as they’re forking over money they can’t spare to become the “evil rich” themselves. Of course, they claim that if they win big, they’ll benevolently share their winnings (that is, the remaining 50 percent, after Uncle Sam claims his share) with the large mass of poor and underprivileged.

Studies show that within a few years, most big jackpot winners lose all their money. They spend too lavishly. They’re sued by fortune seekers or ex-wives. They spend it on more gambling.

Uncle Obama makes that same claim of benevolence. If we’ll just go along with the Liberal ponzi scheme, he’ll redistribute all that wealth to the poor and unfortunate. He knows best how to spend it. Trust him.

But let’s think about this for a minute, particularly those great, unwashed masses. Suppose we have a N.J. Megamillions player, from here in northern New Jersey. He wins big and promises to bestow the money upon the poor.

Being a football fan, he proposes to give out the money at Giants Stadium. He’s standing there with the cash (and a considerable security force) and the people line up for their hand-out. Mr. Giants is just feeling so good about himself.

The people are polite and gracious. Then, a guy, with a tribe of scrawny kids in tow, approaches him. He’s wearing another team’s shirt – the Philadelphia Eagles, or some other Giants rival. Mr. Giants gives him the eyebrow. But he’s feeling benevolent and lets it go. He counts out the cash. At that moment, Mr. Eagles says something very unflattering about the Giants.

“Excuse me? Come again?” says Mr. Giants. He repeats the offense and throws in a few more. Mr. Giants is getting annoyed. He’s got the cash counted out. He just wants to give it to him and get rid of him. Besides, he feels sorry for the children. It’s not right to punish the kids on account of the parent.

Now the oldest boy pokes his head around. He’s wearing an Eagles shirt, too. He throws in an even more offensive, profane pronouncement of the Giants. What’s Mr. Giants to do? He’s promised to give away the money. He never said anything about fealty to the Giants, although being in the parking lot of Giants Stadium, it’s implied and rather obvious: if you want the money, you’d better tell Mr. Giants what he wants to hear.

That’s the problem with the U.S. Government giving away taxpayers money. How do we know Mr. Eagles can’t feed his own kids? Why is it our legal duty to do so, so that if we refuse, we’ll be sent to jail for our skepticism? It might make Mr. Giants feel good to give him the money, but there are invisible strings tied at both ends (after Mr. Eagles leaves, the following beggars redouble their efforts at humility).

Under a legal precedent, a binding obligation to be charitable, either Mr. Giants must risk a barrage of expletives against his beloved football team or Mr. Eagles must stifle his sentiments. A free market system and a partnership with charitable organizations free of legislative dictates and bureaucratic stringencies obviates the necessity of such servitude.

Free speech will not last long under the auspices of Uncle Sam, the paymaster. Those of us who have not been lucky enough to win the lottery and must go to work each day already know this to be true. Democracy stops at the door of our workplaces. On our employer’s dime and property, we have no right to free speech at all. We cannot discuss politics or religion. We cannot criticize the company (not that any of us would want to, unless we don’t care about our jobs!).

But the restriction of free speech pretty much ends at the end of the work day. The only requirement that follows us home is not to publicly criticize the company or the boss. A minor issue most of us pass off. For most of us, the last thing we want to do when we get home after a day’s work is think about the company or the boss anyway.

Now, though, Obama and the Liberals are proposing to replace not only our companies and bosses, but our doctors, our bankers, our insurance agents (government workers already serve as our children’s teachers), even our car salesmen.

Government workers are all-pervasive. They’re taking over every aspect of our lives. They intend to be our Bosses 24/7. What is that the working class doesn’t get about this? Are they still in Giants Stadium parking lot, slavering over the fistful of dollars Mr. Giants is doling out? He’ll take care of them? He’ll watch out for them? He’ll be their friend, as long as they demonstrate 100 percent loyalty?

Anyone who criticizes them will be escorted out of line by the goons, the same goons who shook down the hard-working people for the money he’s handing out. They may demonize the rich, but at least they provided the opportunity for respectable, productive jobs. Even if you don’t personally like the fact that the boss is rich, his factory is still producing a product and jobs. If you don’t like him, you can always go work for someone else.

If the First Loan Shark takes over and turns the United States into America, Inc., you won’t have that choice. There won’t be anyplace to go. We’re taking a huge gamble with our futures betting on Obama and the Liberals. Already, he’s collecting.

There’s still a chance to recoup our losses: this November, bet on Freedom instead. With freedom – even with the meanest, nastiest, cheapest, most exacting boss - you stand a better chance than with government in complete control of absolutely everything.

You can bet on it and take it to the bank.

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