The private sector is where all wealth in the U.S. is generated. All of it. The money that the public sector takes for its unending public 'needs' must come from the private sector through taxes. That's just how it works. Lately, our public sector spending has risen to the top of the kitchen table topics in America, as it has burgeoned to levels beyond anyone's wildest imagination. This spending has got to stop, and to remain a viable world power, this crazy spending has got to be rolled back. And rolled back by a whole lot.
Of course, this involves pain; pain suffered by those who depend on public money. This public money (call it entitlements, welfare, pensions, Medicare, Social Security, unemployment benefits, ad infinitem...) was promised to the recipients. And all of these promises were made by politicians at all levels to their short term political gain, but to our long term damage as a nation.
So, where do we cut?
In other words, whose ox shall we gore first?
In my last post, I was accused of being insulting and inflammatory because one of those 'in the wagon' wanted an exemption for being in the wagon. He was entitled to be taking money out of the private sector because he was a veteran. He took part in defending and securing our nation as an active duty military guy a decade, or perhaps two decades or more ago. But my only argument is that regardless of what any American did in the past, when we cash a government check today, and provide nothing for it today, this individual is a net negative on GDP. Or, in other 'inflammatory and insulting' words, this individual is 'in the wagon.'
'But Fredd, but Fredd, these military veterans deserve their pensions, they made it possible for you to type away on your blog with the freedom they provided decades ago.' OK, okay, fine. Military veteran pensions are off the table.
Then I had a retired policeman get all hot and bothered when I wrote that he, too, was 'in the wagon,' while the rest of us pulled the wagon he was in. He protested, saying 'I chased thugs, criminals and ne-er-do-wells during my prime, I still have the injuries incurred from that career, I protected your life and property, I deserve to sit in this wagon, Fredd, you are a jerk for calling me a parasite.' (I paraphrase here). OK, okay, fine. Retired policemen are off the table, and they can remain in the wagon that I am pulling.
But where does this thinking stop? We in the private sector are now pulling a wagon that is just too damn heavy, and we will, like John Galt in Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged,' just eventually disappear, leaving the wagon to sit there motionless. Then where will all of those entitled, righteous wagon sitters be? The gravy train is ending, everyone can see this is true, but nobody wants the finger pointed at them, because they have a righteous claim on private sector money in the here and now, many of them for services provided decades prior.
Where does it end? The retired fireman will layment that he, too, can lay sideways in that wagon because he, years ago, prevented whole neighborhoods from burning to the ground, back in his younger days. He is now entitled to a big hefty retirement check for the remainder of his ever extended life. Ok, okay, firemen are exempt from pulling the wagon.
But the librarian pipes up, hey, without my past services, the public would be ignorant and illiterate, I deserve an exemption. Ok, fine. Librarians are exempt. But what about retired city hall administrators? Without them, nobody would have gotten their tax levies in the mail, nobody would have known when they should show up for jury duty, society would have collapsed. OK, fine. These guys are exempt, too.
Doesn't anyone out there get dumb ol' Fredd's point? When we pay people not to work, we slowly go broke. We are now broke. The public (and some private) pension systems (that defer wages onto future generations that should have been paid when the services were consumed) that were the rage 100 years ago clearly and demonstrably don't work for the benefit of society now. They patently and obviously do not work. Eventually the chickens come home to roost, and the checks start to bounce. Nobody will be exempt when that day comes. And that day is indeed coming. Hell, that day is almost here.
And once that day comes, there will be blood in the streets. The people riding in the wagon will jump out and grab pitch forks, demanding that the checks start flowing again (just look at the riots in Greece and those U.K. students, to list just a few examples). And the private sector folks who stopped pulling the wagon will grab their pitch forks, telling the wagon riders to take a hike.
These retired pensioners, while they ostensibly agree with my conservative take on things for the most part, have taken their first step towards grabbing pitch forks, demanding that I shut up and just write the damn check. In the chaos that follows the ultimate collapse of our economy owing to irresponsible, wild public spending, these guys will be on the opposite side of the battle lines, and we both will be armed with pitch forks.
Inflammatory and insulting remarks aside, which side will you be on, and who will you be waving your pitch fork at when Armageddon arrives?
Next post: 'The Fix.'