Skip to comments.James Madison's argument against wealth redistribution
Posted on 10/03/2015 6:35:49 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
Its not uncommon for a progressive to rattle off the phrase "The Founders could not have foreseen" - and fill in the blank. The Founders couldn't have forseen x, they couldn't have foreseen y, and so it goes. Well, Mr. Progressive they did foresee you and your tyrannical schemes. This is illustrated by James Madison himself, at the Convention on June 26th, 1787:
We cannot however be regarded even at this time, as one homogeneous mass, in which every thing that affects a part will affect in the same manner the whole. In framing a system which we wish to last for ages, we shd. not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce. An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labour under all the hardships of life, & secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in in this Country, but symtoms, of a leveling spirit, as we have understood, have sufficiently appeared in a certain quarters to give notice of the future danger. How is this danger to be guarded agst. on republican principles? How is the danger in all cases of interested coalitions to oppress the minority to be guarded agst.? Among other means by the establishment of a body in the Govt. sufficiently respectable for its wisdom & virtue, to aid on such emergences, the preponderance of justice by throwing its weight into that scale. Such being the objects of the second branch in the proposed Govt.
When Madison talks about the "leveling spirit", he's talking about socialism. Back in the days of the Founding Fathers, those who would use government to reach into your back pocket had not yet decided to call themselves 'socialists'. They called themselves "levellers". As in, levelling the playing field, levelling people's incomes, levelling the amount of materialistic wants in everybody's house. Socialism.
Madison also specifically asks how to protect against this danger since it is so much a threat to any system that they wanted to "last for the ages". That's very forward thinking. Our Founders did not want government reaching into Peter's pocket for the lone/express purpose of giving to Paul. Paul did not earn that, so he should not get it. As Benjamin Franklin pointed out, that sort of activity is tyrannical. Taking that which is not yours is tyrannical.
He was right to worry about this sort of tyranny. Where we are at now, people no longer "secretly sigh" for government to equally distribute people's earnings. They openly proclaim that government should take, and take plenty.
Progressives should not be allowed to get away with casting this as something new. Wealth redistribution - tyranny - is older than liberty. These are not the "new ideas" that they proclaim to be the heralds of.
But the Founders did foresee...
Yes they did. They foresaw just about all of it.
Collectivism is in the DNA of all Beta males and females because they fear and resent their own freedom.
In the time of the Founders and Framers socialists were known as Levellers. Our forefathers knew them then to be evil, feeding on the foolish.
Yes they did. They foresaw just about all of it.But the Founders did foresee - TBP
SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.You show me a leveler and Ill show you someone who systematically uses society as a euphemism for government. But the difference between society and government is freedom.
Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil - Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
This is the best discussion I have read today. Thank you all for your informed contributions.
This material should be circulated as widely as possible to the voters of today by whatever means available, as proof of the wisdom and foresight of the Framers that "leveling" (redistribution of earnings) was a danger to freedom--not a blessing. Madison's words were prophetic and on target:
" An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labour under all the hardships of life, & secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in in this Country, but symtoms, of a leveling spirit, as we have understood, have sufficiently appeared in a certain quarters to give notice of the future danger." - James Madison,
i’m in the software field. as such, 80-100 hr weeks are not uncommon during crank cycles. it’s during the 100 hr weeks that our system really makes me scream.
because the numbers become so plainly obvious.
working 100 hrs in a week means i’m working 55 of those hours just for taxes (40% fed, 15% social security + match). this is more then half the week spent for the sole purpose to send it to the govt. 55 hours of work in one week.
then the kicker. 65% of that, or 36 hrs, is given directly to entitlement spending. it’s the chunk given directly to other people to pay for their cell phones, cars, stereos, food, housing, etc.
that’s right. i spend more time working for others, directly, paying for their ‘stuff’ then they would if they worked a full ‘0bama’ work week (29 hours).
i cannot tell you how much this pisses me off.
Orwell described in Animal farm the eventual outcome and gratitude from the elite pigs for those that work hard as the economic system lurched into a redistribution economy.-- Boxer was the hardest most dedicated worker on the farm, it was said that he worked more than all the other animals combined. But when his strength was used up, he is witnessed being put into the back of a truck with the words "glue factory" on the side.
All the animals took up the cry of 'Get out, Boxer, get out!'...his face disappeared from the window and there was the sound of a tremendous drumming of hoofs inside the van. He was trying to kick his way out. The time had bee when a few kicks from Boxer's hoofs would have smashed the van to matchwood. But alas! His strength had left him and in a few moments the sound of drumming hoofs grew fainter and died away...Boxer was never seen again." -- Animal Farm
Once you grasp this--and to grasp it one must take the time to read such comments as you have published here;--you realize how ridiculous are the posturings & pretenses of modern politicians, journalist & educators. It is impossible to even satirize the inadequacy of the latter.
We are in the same boat. I am an electrician in the oilfield. Working 180 hours in two weeks isn’t abnormal. When I get paid, and I look at the gross amount vs the net amount, I get angry, a deep anger is burning me up.
I am punished for earning more. I am punished for being successful. I am past tired of it.
I’m already a partial contractor, after Christmas I’ll go full contractor and pay less taxes. A guy shouldn’t have to do that though to avoid being raped by taxes.
The system we have is not even remotely sustainable. At some point in the very near future, it’s going to fail, and fail spectacularly.
The middle class shrinks, while the chasm between the makers and takers grows.
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