Quote Of The Day
This one is a bit topical for me. My wife and I just had our taxes prepared by her business accountant. As mentioned last year, she and her sister started a business, and due to the myriad obstacles and pitfalls inherent in our legal system, incorporated the business as an S Corp. Being a first-year business, startup costs far outweighed revenue, so with losses there was, of course, no income to tax. However, they just received a bill for $800 in estimated tax payment, due Apr 15, to remain an S Corp for the next year. Read the below, and while it’s not quite the politics of pull, is it any doubt that this is nothing more than a permission to do business from those who do no business?
From Atlas Shrugged, a portion of the Francisco D’Antonia money speech:
Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.
My personal issues aside, a look at the news shows this writ large. The loot required to remain operating may differ depending on whether your name is JP Morgan or Lehman Brothers. Whether you have laws rewritten to be allowed to keep large bonuses may depend on how much you’ve contributed to Chris Dodd, while executives in a customer-facing industry are harangued for use of private jets, demanded to work for $1 salary, and finally fired by the President. And we watch the executive/appointee revolving door between Goldman Sachs and Washington DC.
This isn’t capitalism and this isn’t freedom: this is corporatism. And we watch as the snake oil salesmen offer us more of the same, with a healthy dose of welfare statism thrown in for good measure. It’s a road we’ve been headed down for decades, and we’re finally nearing that destination: serfdom.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in America, rather than the country who now shares only its name.