"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
 -- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
- The Forgotten Man -

Who is the "Forgotten Man"?  He is the man whose muscle and mind make the whole economy work, and carries the burden of the government.

What?  That's crazy talk.  The "government" is the creator, the source of all wealth.  Everything that is owes it's existence to the "government".  Hmmm... Then why do governments depend on private contractors, independent businesses, and farmers to do the things government need done?  Ultimately, the government can't do a thing without some private, non-government worker breaking a sweat.  What government didn't depend on private farmers to feed the legions of government workers?

Let me put it another way.  In the 10,000 years of human civilization, along with writing and mathematics, wouldn't you think that a system could have been devised where the "government" could provide the people with food?  Yet, no great civilization did.  They all depended on private, independent farmers.  Except for settling disputes among it's citizens and defending the nation against attacks by other hostile countries, governments are horribly inept at managing the allocation of resources that have multiple uses.  They try, but eventually, they all fail.

Why do governments fail at allocating resources?  Human nature.  It's that simple.  Those who attain a degree of control over their fellow men feel that they deserve special privileges and are entitled to greater compensation.  Indeed, those who direct the activities of others always do get paid better than those they direct, especially if they are good at it.  It is a valuable skill. But those that do it well expect to be paid well.  If they are not, they go do something else.  Human nature.  People seek to get the most from the least amount of work.  Human nature.  People expect to be paid.  Human nature.  The best interests of others tend to be far less interesting than our own.
Human nature. Resources are allocated as favors for political paybacks instead of with an eye to return on investment.

There is a devilishly elegant deception being perpetrated on the people all over the modern world.  It goes something like this:  Make those who have benefited the most pay the most to fund the "government".  With a wink and a nod, those who have benefited the most, a.k.a. the "rich", go along with this lie.  Why is it a lie, and why are those who are seemingly the most likely to be the target of this lie so willing to go along with it?  The reason is, it is a lie, and they know it!  To understand the deception you must think about why there are "rich" people.  You know, we've always had them around, and there is no reason to believe that they will suddenly disappear.  So, they must fill some sort of roll in the economy.  In general, they are skilled at directing the activities of others (that is, unless they inherited their wealth, and the bulk of taxation is on income, not on possession).  If a person who does whatever it is that a "rich" person does to produce their income stream finds that they can no longer maintain their accustomed standard of living, they will adjust their activities until they can.  Or-- and this the point so many people miss-- they will go do something else.  This would leave a hole in the economy for whatever the disenchanted rich person used to do, which would either go unserviced or, it would be filled by someone else who would also demand a certain standard of living... or else.  So, if society decides that they will fund the "government" on the the backs of the "rich", the rich will pressure the economy to compensate so that their lifestyle is maintained.  See?  Tax companies and they raise their prices, cut their payrolls, or go out of business.  Rich people do the same.  So who carries the burden?  The people who build the bridges, design the buildings, stock the shelves, drive the trucks.  The government doesn't need your dollars, folks.  They print the darn things, for heaven's sake.  They can print as many of them as they want.  What they need is your labor!  They need you to do things, real physical things. You are the Forgotten Man: The Man who pays for it all. What rich people do is ephemeral, not at all easy to nail down, nor even define.  Tax it?  Naw, you just can't do it without making your own life hell.  What you need to do is reduce the total resource consumption of the government.


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Updated: January 30, 2012
Inception: January 30, 2012