I had a thought yesterday that you might find interesting. Really it's a question: What are the limits of theft?
-A Bank Robber can steal all the money in a branch, or hit multiple branches, of course.
-A street thug can mug a person and get all that's in his wallet.
-A white collar thief like Madoff can push the limits of conventional theft beyond our imagination.
-Corporations can steal intellectual property, for instance, and thus future residual income that might be impossible to calculate today.
-Nations can steal resources from each other, again pushing the quantitative bounds of what we might think possible to steal.
In each case, I think it can be said that no matter how large the sum of what's stolen is, the thief can only steal what is there to be stolen. But then there's this example, which seems to stretch that limit into some other territory:
Institutions like the Federal Reserve can steal (just to think of one method they have at their disposal) by means of manipulating the rate of money-printing, thus effecting the value of the dollar (manipulating inflation) in relation to their vast gold reserves.
That's some serious thieving-power! But now we get to Politicians. It seems to me that they are in the unique position of being able to transcend even those such "outer-limits" of theft-potential! First, they do have some influence on what the Federal Reserve Banks do. So right there that's an incredible amount of theiving-potential. But add to that the ability to waste our money (waste is the key, b/c taxing itself, without wasteful spending, is a legitimate exchange of payment for government services), and they're in an entirely different ball-game altogether. So far, Politicians' ability to steal seems to far out-pace that of any other entity I can think of. But in these examples, I think we can still say they've not stolen what is not there, right?
But how could anyone possibly steal what is not there to be stolen? Why is that even a question to ask? Well, when it comes to Politicians, they have yet an additional level of thieving-power, the magnitude of which dwarfs the combined efforts of all the thieves in human history. Our Politicians have the power to spend money and resources that have not even been created yet. They have a unique power that enables them to steal from people who have not even been conceived, let alone born. They have the power to tax work that has not yet been done. If this power only were exercised within the annual tax cycle, and if we could actually pay it back with tax increases in the next year, we might be able to go along with the idea that yes, sometimes nations must and/or should go into debt.
But the sheer enormity of our current debt means that its repayment must necessarily span into the very far future, and it must be repaid by human beings who are generations away from their own birth! And how can a baby pay back a debt? He can't. Not until he is old enough to work can he begin to contribute to repaying the debt that our current, future, and past politicians have/will have heaped on them. Heaped On THEM, the unborn, not just us. They've heaped massive and unsustainable debt upon phantoms! Figments of our hopeful imaginations. We don't even know their names, yet. Who will they be? If I was born with, say, $500,000 dollars of debt to my name, I would surely not have paid it off by now, and thus wouldn't have been able to save anything for my future. This transcendent form of theft extends beyond existing human beings into the realm of the not-yet-conceived. But their power goes even further.
Future U.S. citizens will be born with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to their names, in the form of repayment burdens their government gave them before they were alive. Every year, workers today recognize "tax freedom day", marking the first day of the year when they are not working to pay off their annual tax burden. Future U.S. citizens' "tax freedom day" may well never come at all. I'll use some purely hypothetical, but not entirely unrealistic numbers here. Born with, imagine, $500,000 of debt, they will see interest increase that number until they are old enough to work. 18-22 years of interest will increase that original $500,000 number. Well, imagine paying off $500,000 of student loans, even at low interest! Oh, but by then, even the cheaper colleges might cost into the $100-200k range, so that only adds to the 500,000 (plus the 22 years of interest). 22 year olds with a college degree and $700,000 dollars of debt will likely work their entire lives to pay that off. And what about buying a car? House? Are there Corporations that haven't been founded yet that will be able to take the bulk of this burden? Is that what they're counting on? If so, it's a purely Fascistic vision they have.
Essentially, this final form of theft is theft of freedom itself. The freedom of the not-yet-born taxpayers is currently being severely curtailed, clipped short by our power-mad politicians. Having sucked dry the resources of all existing US citizens, our politicians, like sculptors of some dark future, now chisel away the freedom of people who can never vote against them.
Politicians can steal what is not even there to be stolen.
For Politicians, there are no Limits of Theft.
UPDATE: Edited to remove the guy's name. I hope nobody harasses him or his employer. He was good-natured and his sign was innocuous a...
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