Government Chaos

Garry Reed's picture

"Libertarians are always bashing government. If it wasn't for government we'd have nothing but chaos."

Fair enough. Maybe it's time for us libertarian types to take another look at this government vs. chaos thing.

Let's say that you possess some actively engaged brain cells and they tell you about the need to plan ahead for that Day of Retirement lurking somewhere in your distant future. A major component of that plan is to buy a house and have it paid off by the time you're ready to extract your nose from the grindstone. The idea is that you can afford to live on a reduced income sans monthly house payments. But what if you end up sans house as well? While your savings are being munched by the Pac-Man of inflation (one of Uncle's favorite hidden taxes) your property taxes are feeding the Hungry Hippo. Your city, county, fire, hospital, school, parks and recreation, metro planning, special crime fighting, rapid transit, stadium, water, sewer, recycling and garbage collection tax assessment boards all need money so they can hire more civil servants to figure out more ways to tax your property until your tax bill becomes as bloated as this sentence.

Once you retire you'll discover that your property taxes are higher than that first house payment you made thirty years ago. If you're lucky you'll be able to sell the house for enough to cover the taxes and still be able to move into the back of your grandson's '82 Ford Econoline.

That's economic chaos courtesy of your various friendly homegrown governments.

Of course, the wrecking ball of eminent domain could get you first. Eminent domain is a governmental legal term that means "We can take any house anywhere any time and give you whatever price we say is fair." This ain't your Grandfather's eminent domain, which was used only for public works like highways and airports and various rights-of-way. Today it's a tool of the infamous public/private partnership ploy. BigBox Inc. wants to build a Superstore? Condemn your property! MammothMall wants to expand? Bulldoze your whole neighborhood! You're gonna hafta move. Period. But how do you box up a lifetime of memories? How do you pack the doorframe with your children's penciled-in growth marks? Politicians take "campaign contributions" from corporations to condemn your property so they can get reelected so they can get more "campaign contributions" to condemn more property.

That's government property rights chaos for you.

Or would you prefer asset forfeiture? If the narcs get an anonymous tip that might even conceivably associate you in any way with officially disapproved chemical compounds you're a gonner. Based solely on suspicion -- not charged, not arrested, not convicted --everything you own can be seized. Your house, your cars, your furnishings, your bass boat, your Pac-Man-nibbled retirement account, your boxer shorts with the little red hearts and cupids. They need to seize your property and auction it off so they can afford to hire more cops to seize more assets.

Welcome to the government's Right-to-a-Fair-Trial chaos.

And I haven't even gotten to the government's War on Private Health Care, or their War Against Educational Freedom, or their War against Handguns, or their War against Everything in the Bill Of Rights Except Quartering British Troops in Your Home, which may not even interest you since you don't have a home anymore.

But let's say you're lucky. You've somehow managed to keep your house. And you're cozied up snug and warm in your bed. It's after midnight. You don't know there's a dozen very large men gathered on your front lawn, trampling your petunias. They're festooned in paramilitary Kevlar from jackboot to tinted helmet visor and they're stoned on adrenaline and testosterone. They bash in your door with a custom door basher. They scream letters from a Post Alpha-Bits cereal box like "FBI!" and "DEA!" and "BATF!" and challenge you to the children's tag game of "Freeze!" They point muzzles of seriously lethal weaponry in your face. They drag you out of bed, dressed only in your boxer shorts with the little red hearts and cupids, and cuff your wrists behind your back. Then they spend the next three hours ransacking your house from soap dish to breadbox. Eventually, someone with keys and bad breath removes your handcuffs with a muttered, "Oops, wrong house."

It's at this precise moment that I want you to turn to your partner in home ownership and say, "Libertarians are always bashing government. If it wasn't for government we'd have nothing but chaos."



Garry is a prolific writer and many more of his works may be found at:

  • Loose Cannon Libertarian - A twice-monthly e-column of political and social issues with a hardcore libertarian attitude

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