The Starving Raise

This past week, the Congress of the United States passed a new $1.3 trillion 2,232 page omnibus spending package which almost no one even tried to read before being called to vote on it. Buried in the package is a $12.6 million pay raise for the officers and employees of the Congress in addition to massive new spending for several federal government departments or beneficiaries, which inevitably will lead to pay raises for members of the bureaucratic class of the DC Metro Area. This massive amount of spending will, of course, be drawn from the tax revenue being pumped from the everyday hard-working American. While previous omnibus spending packages have been funded the same way, what makes this one an even bigger travesty of justice is the fact that this spending bill ignores the reality which is unfolding all over America.  Americans are, quite bluntly, financially broke. They have already lost the ability to easily afford simple pleasures such as short road trips and eating out at restaurants. Now, to the horror of many, they are now losing their ability to even afford basic necessities of life such as housing and food. As they lose their ability to afford these things, their wallets are sucked ever drier by the taxmen of the federal government to go to pay for, among other things, the Congress pay raise and the increased funding of the DC Bureaucratic Class.

The Great Financial Follow-up Crisis to the 2008-2010 recession is slowly unfolding before us.  As it unfolds, hard-working Americans across the country are finding themselves being pinched more and more tightly in the financial vise.  Recognizable retail chains such as Sports Authority, RadioShack, Gander Mountain, Payless ShoeSource and now Toys ‘R’ Us have already gone bankrupt. Plus there is a growing list of more retailers who will be following in their wake soon, leaving even fewer jobs in the market for those who wish to work for a living.

In major cities like New York, soaring rent prices have turned once bustling business districts into ghost towns.  Also in New York as well as other major population areas such as San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, we are seeing emerge a new class of individuals: The Working Homeless.  These are individuals who have jobs and work hard but do not make enough to afford a place to live in addition to food and other basic necessities of life.  The cases of the working homeless used to be rare, but in the current economic climate their numbers have been steadily growing as they now threaten to become a new standard of living for those who are not blessed with more extraordinary talents and/or business/political connections.

What we are seeing is a slow motion unfolding of the same kind of financial disaster which has left the economy of Greece in ruins and unleashed violence and starvation in Venezuela. As the regulatory/welfare/warfare state teeters towards collapse under its own crushing weight of debt and over-extension, more and more people will be left unable to pay their debts let alone for essentials such as food and medicine. The resulting deaths of so many individuals from this inability to provide for themselves will be one of the greatest man-made catastrophes in the history of the world.

There is a solution to this slowly unfolding catastrophe. One that can be made simple if the sacrifices required are accepted. The solution is: government must shrink. Government never produces. It always takes. In order to have money to fund itself, its employees and its projects, it must take money from the hard-working individuals who only seek to provide for themselves. The bigger the government is, the more money is required to operate it and the poorer the people under its rule become because the government must take the money from them in order to fund it.

Government takes from individuals in the form of several different kinds of taxes. By levying property taxes, government forces landlords to raise rent rates in order to make ends meet, thus pushing less fortunate renters into scenarios where they cannot afford to pay rent and so must go homeless. By levying sales taxes, government causes weekly bills for necessary items to be larger than they would have been originally, thus depriving the individual of even more of his/her hard-earned wages. By levying income taxes, government cuts off a significant portion of the money that individuals sweat out hours to make just to support themselves and avoid being a burden to society.

There are many other taxes which afflict the everyday American. However, if government programs for welfare and warfare were to be cut back and, in many cases, eliminated, then there would be no need for government to take money from individuals. There would come an end to a system where corrupt and politically powerful individuals use the money collected to line their own pockets while the hardworking everyday American battles starvation and homelessness. America would see an economic recovery which would help make her the envy of the world once again in terms of living conditions for the everyday individual.

Sadly, however, there is no sign that the powerful political and bureaucratic class will bring about these needed changes to a system which lines their own pockets. It is increasingly likely that it will take a massive financial catastrophe to bring down this class and its system which means everyone, ordinary individual or political elitist, will suffer in the end until the time comes for the rebuilding. In the meantime the ordinary hardworking individual must suffer through the rapid decay of the system, with their money which could be spent on housing, clothing and food being sucked away by the government to be put into the pockets of those who can vote themselves their own pay raises. In a twist of irony, when the history of this period is at last written, the 2018 pay raise for the American federal government may likely go down in time as “The Starving Raise”.

© 2018 Grant Dahl & On This Terrestrial Ball. All rights reserved. This material may not be re-published, re-broadcast, re-written or re-distributed without permission from the author of this piece.