"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Rebellion of the Rest of Us

It's coming.   Middle-class middle Americans are asked to pay extortionate tax rates to subsidize the lifestyles of upper middle-class people who work for the federal government in Washington or, in my case, in the state government in Madison, Wisconsin.   But we're also asked to pay extortionate hidden "taxes" when we purchase everything from a sandwich at McDonald's to a printer cartridge at Walgreens.   (Recently I was at Walgreens and noted to the nice black lady at the cash register that, if people didn't shoplift, she wouldn't have to stop what she's doing to unlock the cabinet to get me a cartridge, and the cartridge itself would cost a lot less.   She not only agreed with me... she regaled me with stories of how much the store gets ripped off for.)  

The minimum wage is one-such hidden "tax."   I wonder if anyone would notice the problem with this photograph of a "raise the minimum wage" protest:

Yeah, me too... I noticed the young man at the protest next to the sign saying "we can't survive on $8.25/hr." looking intently at what appears to be an iPhone.

And there you have the root of the coming rebellion of the rest of us.   We are more than willing to help the poor.   We give money to charity, we work in soup kitchens and church-based lunch programs, etc.   We are even willing to pay a relatively high rate of taxes to help the poor.   But right now there are too many people struggling to get by working 40+ hours a week who are getting taxed like crazy to pay for wealth-transfer programs where the beneficiaries all seem to have... houses, cars, flat-screen TVs, and, yes, cell phones.   When enough people have experienced watching a lady buy groceries with food stamps while wearing a lot of jewelry, and then watch her take the same groceries out to her late-model luxury car, someone is going to start saying, enough is enough.  


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