Lets roll the WABAC Machine’s dials to July 13, 2012, when then-President Obama made his infamous You didn’t build that speech. Or, gaffe, if you prefer, because the turn of phrase outraged many and cranked the rescuing/apologia spin machine into damage-control overdrive. Obamas’s apparent (or ex-post-facto-spun) intent was to point out that no man in society is an island, and that everything is the product of cooperation and interaction. The outcome was, instead, to imply a permanent state of obligation on the part of wealth creators, despite their having paid a medley of taxes before, during, and after the acts of “building” that they didn’t do. A state of obligation that the actual non-builders – lets be honest and call them what they are: “takers” – will leverage in perpetuity to feed their bottomless appetite for other people’s money.

Why today’s romp through recent history? Because, the siege being laid upon us by these takers is expanding well beyond mere money. Your speech, your religion, your guns, your right to choose your friends, your lifetime’s wealth, and even your children are all coveted.

What do these takers offer in return for all these infringements and incursions into what’s none of their business? Only a continuation of your obligations to remain unhappy, to allow future takings, and to remain timid and cowering under their scornful eye.

A bit hyperbolic? Sure. Wrong? Hardly.

Political correctness demands you say certain things, demands you not say certain other things, and demands you think a particular way. The nation’s most prevalent religion is denounced and derided, while some minority religions (including one with basic tenets that fundamentally conflict with PC mandates) are singled out for protection and celebration. Guns are a Bad Thing, and must be removed from society. Who you associate with, and who you elect not to associate with, can be held against you, especially when economic interaction is involved. Estate taxes, which should correctly be labeled grave robbing, make the takers drool with greed, and they grotesquely assert that your children did nothing to deserve the fruit of your life’s labor. How you educate your children and what you want to teach them is also their business, and their desires trump yours.

These takers have no shame. They justify their greed and covetousness by, perversely, accusing others of greed and selfishness, as if it’s a worse sin to want to keep your own liberties and the fruit of your own labor than to want to take away others’. The great political writer Thomas Sowell concurs:

I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.

That, as noted, extends to your fundamental individual rights.

One may wonder what happened to that segment of the political realm. Decades ago, liberals stood up for individuals’ rights in many ways, and indeed some of the strongest voices for protection against government over-reach were born out of that end of the political spectrum. The ACLU, NOW, and the NAACP are three of many organizations born out of liberal principles, domestically, and groups like Amnesty International, globally. But, that wonder is easily answered – the meaning of “liberal” has evolved away from the classical liberalism that gave us, among other things, the American Constitution, and toward a repressive, zero-sum, communistic/socialistic direction. Those once suspicious of state power have given way to successors who embrace it as the means to their desired end. That end is about taking from those they don’t like or that don’t agree with them.

I also offer up a quote from Walter E. Williams:

But let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn.

Again, extend that to our individual rights: To speak as we will, to think as we will, to believe as we will, to own what we will, to associate with whom we will, and to build and pass on a legacy to whom we will.

Those who embrace this basic respect for individual liberty are not the takers. They’re not the problem in today’s society, no matter how much the takers try to vilify them.

The world is filled with two types of people: those who separate people into two types, and those who do not. Today, I am one of the former. I’m separating people into takers and not-takers.

Which one are you?

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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