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Walter Williams
Walter E. Williams
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Honesty and Trust

Comment

Dishonesty, lying and cheating are not treated with the right amount of opprobrium in today's society. To gain an appreciation for the significance of honesty and trust, consider what our day-to-day lives would be like if we couldn't trust anyone. When we purchase a bottle of 100 pills from our pharmacist, how many of us bother to count the pills? We pull in to a gasoline station and pay $35 for 10 gallons of gasoline. How do we know for sure whether we in fact received 10 gallons instead of 9 3/4? You pay $7 for a 1-pound package of filet mignon. Do you ever independently verify that you in fact received 1 pound? In each of those cases, and thousands more, we simply trust the seller.

There are thousands of cases in which the seller trusts the buyer. Having worked 40 hours, I trust that George Mason University, my employer, will pay me. People place an order with their stockbroker to purchase 100 shares of AT&T stock, and the stockbroker trusts that he'll be paid. Companies purchase 5 tons of aluminum with payment due 30 days later.

Examples of honesty and trust abound, but imagine the cost and inconvenience if we couldn't trust anyone. We would have to lug around measuring instruments to make sure that it was in fact 10 gallons of gas and 1 pound of steak that we purchased. Imagine the hassle of having to count out the number of pills in a bottle. If we couldn't trust, we'd have to bear the costly burden of writing contracts instead of relying on a buyer's or a seller's word. We'd have to bear the monitoring costs to ensure compliance in the simplest of transactions. It's safe to say that whatever undermines honesty and trust raises the costs of transactions, reduces the value of exchange and makes us poorer.

Honesty and trust come into play in ways that few of us even contemplate. In my neighborhood, workers for FedEx, UPS and other delivery companies routinely leave packages that contain valuable merchandise on the doorstep if no one answers the door.

The local supermarket leaves plants, fertilizer and other home and garden items outdoors overnight unattended. What's more, the supermarket displays loads of merchandise at entryways and exits. In neighborhoods where there's less honesty, deliverymen's leaving merchandise on doorsteps and stores leaving merchandise outdoors unattended or at entryways and exits would be equivalent to economic suicide.

Dishonesty is costly. Delivery companies cannot leave packages when the customer is not home. The company must bear the costs of making return trips, or the customer has to bear the costs of going to pick up the package. If a supermarket places merchandise outside, it must bear the costs of hiring an attendant — plus retrieve the merchandise at the close of business; that's if it can risk having merchandise outdoors in the first place.

Honesty affects stores such as supermarkets in another way. A supermarket manager's goal is to maximize the rate of merchandise turnover per square foot of leased space. When theft is relatively low, the manager can use all of the space he leases, including outdoor and entryway space, thereby raising his profit potential. That opportunity is denied to supermarkets in localities where there's less honesty. That in turn means a higher cost of doing business, which translates into higher prices, less profit and fewer customer amenities.

Crime, distrust and dishonesty impose huge losses that go beyond those suffered directly. Much of the cost of crime and dishonesty is borne by people who can least afford it — poor people. It's poor people who have fewer choices and pay higher prices or must bear the transportation costs of going to suburban malls to shop. It's poor people in high-crime neighborhoods who are refused pizza delivery and taxi pickups. The fact that honesty and trust are so vital should make us rethink just how much tolerance we should have for criminals and dishonest people.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

11 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... Your article presumes that it is worse to be dishonestly robbed than honestly robbed... The Constitution of the United States of America robbed this people of the fruits of their revolution, and of any chance for a level playing field... What is the result of being legally robbed, robbed with the force of law behind it except the total loss of respect for law???
Certainly it may be argued that if capital were not fed and protected, that we might never have grown strong enough for a practical national defense, and besides, there was plenty enough for everyone, and in addition, if one did not like being exploited, one could easily join the exploiters...
Those days are gone, and our class system has become a caste system that restricts upward mobility to the fortunate and talented few...Look at the price we paid for the protection of property from the power of the people...Slavery said: me too, for chattel slaves are property also, and as a prelude to war, the Tanney court laid its reputation on the line to say that human property was no different than any other chattel; that is: Portable, and if it could be owned here, it could be owned there...How many thousands of people had to lose their lives for an equitable redefinition of property in the Civil War, only to have property right made stronger in its wake???
We have as much chance today of becoming owners of production as the slaves of days past had of becoming masters of their plantations...And when people resort to theft either to improve their situation, or out of necessity, they are honestly dealing with the situation they have found, and not one of their making...
Would you have the poor admit that they were too proud to beg, and too lazy to steal???
When employers take advantage of the desparation of the people to drive their wages down, and to over work them, and even in some instances, to make them punch out, and continue working off the clock; is this not theft???... Is it more honest to steal with a point of interest than with the point of a gun??? I am not justifying theft, or dishonesty of any sort, but all organizations, all forms of relationship, all societies and economies rot from the top down... The poor seeing that poverty is dishonor, and wealth is honor- often choose to be wealthy even at great risk... No true honor society would ever look with unfocused eyes at the wealthy, and all would most certainly ask where some one got their loot...Here and now, honor is presumed of the wealthy because where money is dear, honor is cheap... Does it matter that the rich devalue and demean all the honor they buy???
If the rich were as poor as you or me there would be no place for them without a guard, and seeing for what human toll their wealth was made; no one would call them brothers...This is no defense of the rich, or of any dishonorable sort of person; but only a reminder that when the poor justify their dishonor they look to the wealthy for examples...
Hear with what dishonorable terms that person is described who works for the advantage of his group... When is a union man other than a union thug to the employing class... Gdamned is the liberal who dares to ask for simple human rights for people... What monstrous identity is laid upon that one who asks for the politcal equality we were denied with the protection of economic inequality... You must be a communist if you would stop dead corporations for speaking as people to government and pleading their needs as though living beings...You must be a fascist if you would stop business from charting the course of government from national poverty to national slavery....
I am not arguing for the liberation of an apple from some fruit peddler's cart...I am arguing for taking back the whole country, and in this I must contend with all those who have grown demoralized in their imitation of the rich...
It takes a moral people to form a democracy, and a republic that gives the advantage to wealth as ours does makes certain that morality will fall by the boards... We cannot trust each other, and we cannot be trusted, and this is the result of the society capital has made, but that trust, that honor is essential to all relationships, and that having been destroyed in the rush to possess wealth; where shall we find it???... Like the salt that has lost its savor we find we have traded our meaning for a pitiful existence, and must take it back in one great beautiful, and if necessary- violent act of self liberation, or we will be what the rich presume us to be: Their slaves...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:04 AM
Next time you get gas, note the stamp from the folks at weights and measures. Dishonesty on the part of the gas station owner has a price. Same with the pill counter and at the meat department. Getting caught being dishonest should be predictably more costly than the incremental gains from giving out 99 pills instead than 100. A couple of corporate examples come to mind. As I recall, Ford calculated that it was cheaper to pay off the survivors than to fix the Pinto's little gas tank problem. A jury made sure that the calculation would go differently next time. The makers of tobacco products conspired to hid the terrible dangers associated with the use of their products from their customers for years. This was at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Juries and government eventually put a price on that dishonesty. Juries are a powerful inducement to staying honest. Please remember that the next time you start to pen a column on how we need tort "reform".
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Another area of dishonesty is when the powerful use their finical power over politicians to have laws written in their favor. When you pay taxes on your 40 hours, you do so based on the income tax rate. The hedge fund manager's income is based on the much lower capital gains rate. The cost of dishonesty on the part of the 1% is taxes shifted to the middle class and to future generations. It is also the feeling that government is biased and ineffective as well as the thought "why should I do my part? "They" aren't."
Comment: #2
Posted by: Mark
Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:20 AM
Sweeney, lecturing ANYBODY, is the epitome of hubris. He should stick to the folks at the Funny Farm where he lives.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Sharpshooter
Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:04 PM
Re: Sharpshooter;... Lecturing is not my strength... Hectoring is more my speed...
If that shot is aimed at me, only let me point out that Hubris was the sin of sins to the Ancient Greeks, and like the people say God Willing, or the Muslims give all credit to Allah, The God, so man's vanity is always a slap in the face of God... And their attitude toward sin and crime was certainly different, sort of like the Ancient Christian Germans who believed they, and all of humanity would all be judged as one, and saved together or be damned together...Ancient people take for granted that group authority, responsibility, and obligation were the visible signs of morality, and trust me on this, because I grew up in Indian Country, by the straits, and I have known natives all my life, and worked often with the Iroquois... And there are account of people executed, enemies, captured by the Ojibway, the roasters, who took great pleasure from tearing those enemies up, and burning them, and cutting those people to pieces while still alive to enjoy it... This was mere miles from my home... And none of them gave an inch, but invited the Ojibway to do their worst with them, and saying such as: Don't worry brother, for I have eaten of all nations, knowing they too were headed for the pot, and live to see themselves half barbecued and served before being cut loose to be finished off by the children...
It was a warning to all of the horrors of war, and a reminder that they would get as good as they gave from their enemies when they were captured; and the reason people endured that pain without complaint, but with only greater invitation to vengeance was that to show themselves weak before their enemies was an open invitation to the Ojibway to go and murder their wives, their brothers, and their children...
That is morality...That is being an example of the character of your people as Ethics means, and to have to be a witness to the way our society demoralizes every body from top to bottom so that trust, and honor, and strength are history is disgusting...
We were corrupted with an easy life on the backs of peoples around the world, and not only are their markets closing to us, but our own former employers are exploiting them to drain every last bit of wealth out of us for buying cheap foreign garbage... We have to face the fact that to serve our rich we will now have to live as the third world has, with the monkey of capitalism on our backs; and this Mr. Williams who is supposed to be an economist wants to lecture about right and wrong, and the terrible results of theft... If he is talking about the Blacks; then how did they get here but by an act of theft, as they did not steal themselves away... Was their enslavement with great violence and death not theft??? And the Natives used to own this place, and they did not steal it, but had it stolen... And the English never knew poverty until the commons were stolen right from under them, all legal like because the rich made the property law as they desired it, and threw generations into grinding poverty that just happened to serve the industrial revolution... And the Irish had their land stolen from under them as well; and Italy was so often stolen that no one can imagine who is its rightful heir...The Franks took France from the Gauls, and the Norse took much of it from them; so if you get my drift; this master morality expressed by Mr. Williams is only so much garbage aimed at the poor to blame them for their own poverty as being the result of their own immorality... Who then is moral???

Morality is community; and when your law works to end group responsibility, and group obligation, and community control, and treats all people as so many individuals then you find you will never have enough law to keep people moral...If you look at Moots, and Dooms, and Things; the tribal courts in day of old, you see families and communities working together to achieve justice, and if there was blood shed, to arrange blood money to avoid future vengeance... Each community knew, that just as in ancient Greece, that all would be held equally responsible for the crimes of any person, but that it would be the young, the old, and the slow who would be forced to pay the penalty... It was not just standing together before God in guilt, but standing before others together, and that relationship with community has been attacked by law, and for the most part broken, and it would be one thing if it were in the interest of making a larger national community, but you see, it is not...
People of the country would throw the people of the city into hell if they could, they would let them starve, and they would let them suffer illness even if the result of it would waste this whole land in epedemic... The whole object of law has been to break down community protection of rights, but it has done nothing to end community responsibility... Not every black is a criminal, but all black people must bear that stigma, which would be fair, if they actually had control, and could police and punish their own, but they have no community in any sense of the word, and so, no way to instil morality...The community has to be able to police, and also to defend, and capitalism demands victims without rights... No one would not die bravely for their own, knowing their courage was proof of the courage of their community...People will do what they want as an expression of their legal individuality, and then scoot.. They are only doing illegally what the rich do legally, what they see the rich do, that is immoral and would be illegal in a sane society...
It is a problem with the poor, that they do not imitate the hard working middle class so willing to nurse their grudges, and chew on their bitterness... The poor ape the rich, and charcature them... This is what the rich do: They are unfaitful in all their relationships, and they steal, and that is what the poor do... You will not see the poor moral until the rich are made to behave as if moral, and that may mean removing from them the bone of contention, their wealth, and returning it to the commonwealth...
I would prefer that all people enjoy the wealth they have earned without making wealth hereditary, as this only makes poverty hereditary...And no one raised in poverty in such a wealthy, uncaring, unloving, dishonorable society can be considered moral, which is to say, honorable...By the same rule, no one raised in wealth and securing wealth while so many suffer birth and development in poverty can be called moral either, for they are raising an army of monsters for their own pleasure...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #4
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:46 PM
Re: James A, Sweeney;... By way of correction to the above: Hubris was a sin, and an offense against the gods, and a challenge, but Parecide was the worst of all possible crimes, playing a part in the two most significant Greek tragedies, and the making of our two most notable Anti-heroes, Oedipus, and Orestes... It is significant because ones parents are ones tie to ones community, and to sunder that tie puts a person outside of his communty forever, and ever an outlaw...For example, when Oedipus killed his father, he became a tyrant rather than a king, that is, illegitimate as a ruler, an outlaw...And it was for this killing, and the incest with his mother that a plague was visted upon his city; and it was in his Hubris in swearing to punish the guilty party that his crime was found out... In his defense, he did what he did not knowing what he did- he some what escaped guilt, but not suffering... We all say as much, and can, since we all tend to act without knowing...In contrast; Orestes did what he did knowing what he did, and then tried to evade the consequences... If Oedipus is more manly as an anti-hero, Orestes is more real, and though his crime seemed horrific to the people of Greece it was out of a misunderstanding of his reality...
No one in his city could touch his mother, Clytemnestra, who murdered his father, Agamemnon, because that would have caused a blood feud; but the family was clearly dishonored, and in one play, Electra, her daughter who was married off to a commoner though the child of a queen and king, challenged Orestes to kill his mother, or she would... This was true of Native American society as well... If it was found that one was guilty of murder, and no blood money was accepted, no one but some member of his or her own family would crack their skull, and this was essential to avoid vengeance...It is notable that under Athenian Homicide Law, only a member of ones family could bring a charge of murder, and if ones slave were killed no one could be charged because it was considered that no slave was related to any citizen...
Among the Anglo/Saxons, a person could not even shed blood in self defense without invoking feud, and had to buy off the family of the slain man to avoid vengeance...As the Arabs would say after a murder: Our blood has been shed!!! If you would not avenge your own, you had no honor, and rivals knew you were easy pickings...
To learn about the way these natives could endure and inflict suffering is amazing... The Iroquois could drag out the torture of a strong man for days, and be happy to revive the victim with a little tobacco or water for which they were thanked, and then; on with the show...We could not then grasp the significance of this endurance of suffering without complaint, tears, or appeals for pity... When in The Last of the Mohicans, the American hero killed the English officer about to be burned, it was because he knew he could not endure, and that he would dishonor all whites with his yelping... The reason that Jesus Christ so easily took over the Native Gods in the Americas was not for fear of hell or expecatation of heaven...Jesus represented to primitives the virtue of virtues, which is sacrifice of life for community...
Since we have no communities, and no morality as our tie to community the horrors of any suffering are as magnified to the individual as they are meaningless to his society... It is not that our poor are worse off than other poor in other places, but because their suffering like all our suffering is a lonely affair, and their society does not care, and there is no call for vengeance... Our wealth may be greater, but because so few have it, the experience is for most of us, meaningless...The wealth of the wealthy is perhaps little enjoyed by the rich, but the pangs of envy suffered by all who say: If I only had money, -is something no society should have to endure on a wide scale...It is silly to talk about everyone having enough when some people can never have enough no matter how much they have... And that old saying that if you put a begger in the saddle he will ride the horse to death is about right... Mr. Williams is just such a begger, one step ahead of poverty... If wealth does not make anyone better, and poverty does make people worse; what is the point of enduring one extreme to suffer the other extreme...
Society must act for its own preservation to limit these extremes which injure the whole people...
Thanks...Sweeney
And apart from the spelling errors, I meant to say that no one would Now die bravely for their own... Many of us have faced death for our families, but not in the sense that Natives would suffer for their communities out of the necessity of showing themselves brave and honorable, which is essentially, ethical...
While honor is an archaic quasi concept to most of us, it presents us with a real challenge in the world...We are making wars against honor societies, especially in Afghanistan... Anyone can make war, but not everyone can make peace...They would have no society and no religion without honor, and their perception of us as dishonorable and lacking in every social virtue makes peace with honor impossible... We may corrupt a few of them, but we will never buy their trust or affection, and when we leave it will be with them nipping at our heels...If we had followed Sun Tzu, and the Art of War we would have left the place alone simply on the basis of not understanding them any better than we understand ourselves...
Thanks again...
Comment: #5
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:12 AM
Re: Mark;... Ya!!! What you said...
Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #6
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:14 AM
J. A. Sweeney: your comments are so terse. Could you expound a bit?
Comment: #7
Posted by: Richard Stands
Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:55 PM
Re: Richard Stands; Surely you jest... And a good one, I may add... It is hard to gloss about twenty books in fifty lines, but I usually try...
Thanks...Sweeney
ps... A lot of information came from Law and Revolution, Indians of the Western Great Lakes, Ancient Society by Morgan, and a variety of books on the Greeks... I just bought about a hundred pounds of the Journal of Hellenic Studies for ten cents a pound... As you can imagine, it is not all useful or of interest to me, but literally, the next stop for those books was the shredder, and that would be a terrible tragedy for a guy with no formal education to speak well of...Books are my education...
Comment: #8
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:34 PM
James - Dr. Williams' friend Thomas Sowell (another brilliant economist) has written some material addressing some of the fallacies upon which you built your world view (zero sum fallacy, for starters). I suggest reading and understanding some basics about economics, job markets, and consumer markets before spouting off at the mouth with ill-informed populist rhetoric.
To address your erroneous implication that employers act like slave drivers in setting unfair wages..... do you believe that there is no competition in the job market? If not, why then do you believe that employers can arbitrarily set the employees pay and hours? Do you believe employees are too stupid to find another job that pays better for their skill set? This goes back to my recommendation of reading about economics, as you clearly don't understand where prices come from in competitive markets. The truth is that in a competitive market, the price of something is set by its value to the purchaser, i.e. an uneducated worker doesn't produce the same value that an educated one does in many cases, and thus they get paid accordingly.
Using government as a thug to steal from the rich (who in most cases made their money by selling a product or service that their fellow citizen valued) is no better than walking down the street and hiring a personal thug to extract money from your fellow man. As Dr. Williams once alluded to, the common thief is actually far more honorable than a government installing redistributive policies because the thief doesn't attempt to sell you a lie about how they are actually helping you as they hold the gun to your head.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Nathan H
Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:36 PM
Re: Nathan H;... Certainly there is competition that works only as an excuse to run people ragged....And are we to believe that based upon the principal that competition is bad that the people cannot do what every primitive peoples could do in the management of their economies... What do you think Economy means??? My dictionary says: House Management, and you can see the word even used today as a brand of yogurt, Ecois, sort of like saying cottage cheese... In any event, our baseless belief that enterprise should be free means we are put into competition with slaves in order to sell to products to slaves, and let me remind you, that this situation of competition with slaves is what drove the Roman Citizens from the land, and resulted in the tyranny of Caesar, Civil War, and eventual decline and dismemberment...
Competition with slaves which drove so many poor whites from the South is what led to the rise of the republican party, and the election of Lincoln who single handedly divided the democrats in getting Douglas to commit to the rule of democracy, and the ability of states to prevent slavery... The saying was: Free Soil for Free Men, and in the Lincoln Douglas Debates, Lincoln made the statement that the south was no place for a poor farmer to remove to, but to remove from... And I will also remind you that slaves were increasingly used industrially in the South, and this increase reached its peak during the civil war where slavery did great service in the cause against freedom... Still, it was the unwillingness of the South to support their confederacy with taxes that doomed it sooner rather than later...
You can see today where union labor working side by side with non union labor raises the price of non union labor and raises their working conditions, and unquestionably, non union labor lowers the wages and worsen the working condition of union workers... There is no increase in the quality of product from competition, since quality work demands attention to detail, and proper time, and the profit motive allows for none of that... It is terribly hard to be a craftsman when you are running away from your shirt tail.... The job gets done, but what sort of job??? People live in those building, or at least spend a great part of their time... Do they deserve to have it come down around their ears only because some one cut corners on a dead run to profitability???...
You have to consider that there is not always a vast profit in a quality job... Having personally witnessed a job torn down in the space of my working career that was dangerous, was demanding physically, that I did great work on, and laid my life on the line to do, only because it no longer fit with GM's business plan, I must say that I never wasted my time for them, but they wasted a lot of my life because it was within their power to do so...

My question to you is how low would wages go if they were allowed to free fall in an atmosphere of outlaw captialism, and what do you think would happen to profits... You see two employers: A, and B... A reduces wages, and sells more product...B follows suit, and the race to the bottom is on... Then A buys a robot that can replace half his work force, and B follows suit... What do you think happens to profits??? For a short time A has the advantage, loses it, regains it, and loses it again; but long term, your society and your workers are injured... If one should drive the other out of business do you think wages will rebound??? People go out of business every day, and wages do not rebound... Less wages mean less market, and so business must ever be active in pursuit of foreign markets to exploit, but then Capital is more easily exported than product, and product easier made with slave labor to exploit our market...
It is not a matter of choice for the employers, and todays victor in the market can easily become tomorrows victim... He will say he is only responding to market forces, and since those forces are not governed but left in a state of anarchy, he has to do what he can, so that what is done by one for profit must be done by all...

Do I believe workers are stupid??? No... But we have all bought into the system that is failing because what it does for profit: Laying off workers burdens society, but does not add to the domestic market, and the export of capital in order to import cheaply requires the defense of our military, but does not support the military, or the government or the people; amd does drain wealth out of this society... Working people with decent wages make for a sound market, and not one built solely on credit...It is counter intuitive, but it was very like Henry Ford, to pay a wage sound enough to buy a car, and offer a job secure enough to make unionism less attractive...
Is there evidence that employers can set hours and wages???... Consider how long it was before working people could achieve a forty hour work week, and do you seriously believe anyone works it??? Counting transportation time, and counting hours beyond forty that people must work that cheap overtime makes cost effective we are all working longer, for essentially less than a fair wage...And, it is extremely easy to over work people, burn them out, and can them for others sitting on the bench... Is this just??? And since poverty is the result as much as the cause, is it smart???
New York State once tried to limit bakers to working no more than 60 hours a week... This was thrown out by the Supreme Court as being against the right of contract... This effort to limit hours lasted for many years with the court forever tossing it out on the basis of economic principals they had bought into such as Laissez faire... Later generations on the Court looked in vain for some evidence of a right of contract in the U.S. Constitution, and decided that government did have the right to legislate on the basis of health and safety; but what if they had not??? Do you think we would ever had the bloom of power as a nation without fair wages and working conditions???
We find that as the beating down of the working people is nearing completion, that we are being beat as a world power... It takes money to be an empire, literally, lots of money, and not having wages that can be taxed, and having capital and industry departed to lands where slavery is accepted practice, there is no one left to pay for our government to be the world's cop...These unpatriotic worker hating industries that leave thinking America will always be there to call on for help have it all wrong... The people and the industries that do not leave are taxed out of business, and the workers are taxed into poverty...
Will you say they have not had their way with us???
Will you consider that when workers learn new skill sets that it comes with a price, just like transportation, and just like infrastructure which as a price is laid on the people who need it least...And the more poverty grows in a community the more crime and infrastructure costs are laid on the employers so that they soon scoot, as is their right, to the south land where the cotton is tall and your moma's good looking, or to where life is cheap and so is labor...
People are burdened with the cost of education even when they see little of the benefit... Where wages are low, what is anyone going to do??? Will they show their diploma, and say: I deserve more??? Brains are cheap... Education is cheap; for the employer... As an investment employees must make, education does not pay dividends, but many simply cannot get by without it... And the debt which cannot be erased by bankruptcy lays upon the backs of workers like a lash... They have done the work, they must bear the cost, but it is the employers with their pick of educated people who profit...
Sir; Samual Johnson said: Money is not made, but earned, or minted...This is by way of pointing out to you what an uneducated fool you are...I am not going to tell you what government should do, but Aristotle said they are created for good since that is the object of all human activity... And I will not tell you what our government should do; but it has itself stated its goals in the preamble, and tranquilty, justice, general welfare, perfect union are missing along with the rest... What it does not say is that government should exist to protect business from the just demands and needs of working people... It does not say that government exists to privatize the commonwealth; but this it has always done... The constitution does give the government the right to tax, and since we hold the ultimate title to the land, your conclusion that taxes are theft is clearly wrong... If the commonwealth is ours and we are burdened with the cost of its defense, then clearly we can tax the commonwealth, or take it back, if it refuses taxation...
No less than under feudalism, no one can be said to own the land outright... Each Feudal Class had rights in the land, what the Chinese refered to as top rights, and bottom right... When you see the term fee simple on a title as is still often used, you are seeing a feudal term, and another one is defy, and a man might justly refuse the pay his fee to a master that slept with his wife, and legally defy him, that is, have his fife without a fee...
In fact, people can only have their wealth by their support of the society that protects their rights, and the notion people hold of wealth free and clear is false...If the society owned by all the people who made their title good by taking it and holding it decide it is for the best to put some of that commonwealth in private hands it must still in private hands support the population and their government, or else it must be returned to the commonwealth... There is no other alternative... And instead of thinking of wealth free of obligation, think of wealth, property as only so many rights with limits in the commonwealth that must be paid for with taxes... If the taxes are extreme, it is only because so many have been robbed of their rights and property and thrown on the burden of society... The same thing happened to the Roman Citizens driven from the land... They were entitled to the corn dole because when it came down to it, they held the title to the Roman Commonwealth... In like fashion, we own our commonwealth, and if it does not support us, we will take it and make it support us...
It is the job of government to manage the economy if it, and we, will not become its victims...What prevents the government from governing the economy is the perception that good will arrive out of the worst of human vices; from Greed...I would ask you, considering how little and how seldom government actually governs business: Where is the good... Business, commerce, free enterprise, capitalism; no matter how you style it has brought government and people to the point of ruin. and you do not need an economy book to tell you that...Do you???

The economy is supposed to work, and it does not work for workers; but we must certainly take the blame while your rich people only take the money... Sound fair???
The economy is supposed to support the government, but the government is forever supporting the economy and laying the price on the working people... Make sense???
Thanks...Sweeney
GtG. excuse the spelling and dropped endings
Comment: #10
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:44 PM
Re: all.
What Sweeney said...in spades.
Comment: #11
Posted by: morgan
Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:59 PM
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