Bewildering Stories

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by Jerry Wright

Reading L. Neil Smith's The American Zone has put me in a philosophical mood. If you want to read the review, go ahead. I'll be here when you get back.

First off, I must state I'm NOT a (big or little letter) Libertarian, but I do believe that "That government which governs best is that government which governs least." There are definitely things that governments do better than individuals, although Smith and Schulman would give me an argument on that. But the problem is, and alway has been, that government feels better the more control they have over your life.

Take for example the forced redistribution of wealth. Generally this is achieved by taxation in one form or another, where the money (or wealth if you will) of productive people is taken away from them, and distributed to those who have little or no money. "We're helping the poor!" "We're helping the children!" Only they aren't. Not really. Primarily, they are helping themselves. It is just amazing at how much of this money DOESN'T make it to those who supposedly need it. Most of it is absorbed in the bureaucracy created to distribute it. And then, the rules and hoops those who need the money have to jump through, and the demeaning, dehumanizing treatment of those on "welfare" is depressing.

Jesus said, "The poor you will have with you always." We keep hearing about the multitudes of starving children in America. How could this happen? Well, assuming that the statistics are accurate (which they probably aren't (remember "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics")) enough money is being pulled into the welfare system to easily feed everyone.

But it won't happen as long as a government bureaucracy controls where, how, and to whom the money goes.

I was watching the TV show "Andromeda" tonight, and the "bad guy" Citizen Eight made a comment that went approximately, "The first rule of power is do what ever it takes to stay in power!" (I know, I know, that ain't accurate, but is the gist).

And here in the US, and around the world, people forget the words of Eric Frank Russell in the classic "And Then There Were None..." Freedom -- I won't!

Think about it.


Copyright © 2003 Jerry Wright and Bewildering Stories