WHEN THE MASTER IS THE SLAVE

With the ruling class calling so many of the shots, it’s easy to forget that the dynamic is more complex. The government is both slave and master. Because its lifeblood is votes, it needs voters. There are a lot more poor and middle class voters than rich ones, so the quickest way to maintain power is to open the wallet and “spread the wealth” (read: taxes). This constitutes the progressive or socialist face of the government, the redistribution President Obama refers to to give everyone “a fair shot.” But the money has to come from somewhere, so the politicos also cater to wealthy segments of the private sector through grants and tax breaks. This is the crony capitalism face of the government. The left is associated with the former, the right with the latter. Both faces are dysmorphic caricatures of the true face of the government our forefathers envisioned.

The original intent was for individual responsibility and charity at the level of the community and church. Government’s job was straightforward—to protect its citizens from enemies foreign and domestic. By abdicating the latter responsibility and picking winners and losers in the private sector on the one hand and encouraging dependency on welfare on the other, we are losing our identity.

No one, right or left, argues with a safety net for those who need a helping hand or are disabled. We disagree on how low that bar should be set and how long that helping hand should lift those of sound body and mind. No one, right or left, feels Wall Street or corporate America should be given an unfair transfusion of taxpayer money or be excused from paying their “fair share.” We disagree on what that fair share is and what constitutes a business incentive to make us competitive in the world economy.

Both sides pander and both overspend. The choice this election, as I see it, is between a candidate that openly condones it and one that purports to condemn it. Half the country disagrees with me. If the half that shares my view prevails, I think we can begin to climb that long, arduous hill to recovery.

Unless bad behavior, on either side of the political aisle, intervenes.

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