Sowell: Government Greed

Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of “greed” almost never level that charge against the government, no matter what it does. Indeed, the question of whether the government is greedy almost never comes up, so most of us probably never think about it.

The government doesn’t have to prove that you are dead. The fact that your bank account had nothing added to it or taken from it for a few years is enough. Apparently politicians cannot imagine how someone would have money and not spend it, unless they were dead.

Escheat laws are just one of the ways governments seize money. Income-tax rates have been as high as 90 percent in the top brackets. Even after you have paid the taxes on your income and saved or invested part of what is left, the government comes back to take more of that same money, after you die, with estate taxes.

Perhaps one of the most unconscionable acts of greed by government is confiscating people’s homes, in order to turn this property over to other people, who are expected to build things that will pay more taxes.

The Constitution allows the government to take private property for its own use, provided “just compensation” is paid. That way the government can build reservoirs, bridges, or highways, for example, even if that requires displacing some people. But judges over the years have expanded this power to include taking private property just to turn it over to some other private individual or business. (Source: NRO)

Awesome analysis by Thomas Sowell.  It is interesting how this all-out “greed” was allowed to grow unchecked.  The question is are things about to change starting in November.

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Labor Day Has Become Government Day

This Labor Day marks a milestone in the history of the U.S. union movement. It is the first Labor Day on which a majority of union members in United States work for the government. In January the Department of Labor reported that union membership in government has overtaken that in the private sector. Three times as many union members work in the Post Office as in the entire domestic auto industry. The face of the union movement is not a worker on the assembly line but a clerk at the DMV.

This is a dramatic shift for the union movement. The early trade unionists did not believe that unions had a place in government. They believed the purpose of unions was to redistribute business profits from owners to workers … and the government makes no profits.  Not until the 1960s did unionizing government employees become widespread. Now government employees make up 52 percent of all union members.

So what? Why should Americans care if unions are now dominated by workers who get their paychecks from governments, instead of workers who get their paychecks from private firms? There’s one simple reason: private firms face competition; governments don’t.

Collective bargaining, the anti-trust exemption at the heart the labor movement’s power, was created to help workers seize their “fair share” of business profits. But if a union ends up extracting a contract from a private firm that eats up too much of the profits, then that firm will be unable to reinvest those resources and will lose out to competitors. But when a union extracts a generous contract from a government, there is no check on that spending. Instead of being forced out by more efficient competitors, the government just raises taxes.

The shift from private to public sector has fundamentally changed organized labor’s priorities. Unions used to support policies that would help their private sector employers grow. But now that they are largely dependent on the government, the only growth that unions are interested in is the growth of government. So unions push for tax increases across the country. (Source: The Foundry)

And we wonder why government is bloated and accomplishes nothing.

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