Thank you to Phil Heron and The Delaware County Daily Times for running my Road from Serfdom column, actually an improved version, from a few days ago.
The version that appeared in print:
Feudal serfs gave the fruits of their labor and all of their freedom to a small group who lived very well.
Some want 21st Century America to be like that.
Tax money is providing public employees multi-million tax-funded salaries. Really. Former UConn coach Jim Calhoun was making $5 million before retired and information on the web shows at least three unnamed others int that state making at least $3 million on the backs of its citizens as of 2010. In Pennsylvania, there were about 5,000 state workers making six-figure salaries in 2011 according the Pottstown Mercury. Note, that does not include benefits and that would not include employees of school districts such as principals and administrators and the administrator’s various assistants.
In feudalism, the serfs were told they got protection for their contributions to the lifestyles of the then rich and famous. Similar promises are being made today.
Give up your guns and we will keep you safe, the new feudalists claim. Sure, as in Mexico where a gun battle on Sunday in Reynosa just across the border from McAllen, Texas reportedly left dozens of gangsters — a few innocent bystanders — dead. Mexico has very strict gun control, of course.
Give up your doctor and we will keep you healthy, they claim. Just as in Great Britain where that nation’s press has been reporting that its National Health Service is responsible for 40,000 preventable deaths a year.
Expect to be soon told that you can trust the doctor that you are assigned because there is no such thing as a bad doctor. It’s what they’ve been telling us about teachers after all to keep us from worrying our little heads about crazy ideas like school choice and cyber-charter schools.
We have to stop listening to these people.
We don’t need those who travel in luxury SUVs, and chartered jets, as Leonardo DiCaprio did to catch different New Year’s Day fireworks shows in Australia and Los Angeles, and live in 20-room mansions with $30,000 utility bills as per Al Gore to “protect” us from global warming.
We don’t need defenders of quotas and affirmative action to defend us from racism. Government is the cause of racism. It’s a way of dividing and conquering. Rosa Parks was not protesting the policy of a private bus company but a city law. Out of one side of its mouth, feudalists tells some they need them to give them things to rectify “injustice” while out of the other it tells some they need it to build more prisons and put more people in them so they can keep their streets safe.
Feudalists want those who would otherwise be united against them at each others’ throats.
So what is the road away from serfdom?
— Start with demanding massive cuts in legislative salaries. Why should the chairman of Pennsylvania’s House Appropriations Committee make $90,000 not including benefits? In fact, let’s max all governmental compensation packages — including those at state universities — to $99,000. Yes, that would include benefits.
Replace most pensions with 401K type plans and for those where pensions make sense, such as police, limit them to the starting salary of the job description. Why should the taxpayer be on the hook for a pension that is two or three times that of Social Security? It should be noted that the starting salary for just about all state job descriptions is significantly higher than what those on Social Security get, and it is kind of nice to able to retire at 45.
If an institution wants to pay its people more than $99,000 — that’s you Penn State — don’t give them any tax subsidy.
— Fight all gun control aimed at sane people who are not actively under a criminal sentence.
— Recognize that the power to choose (and fire) one’s health care provider is paramount in health care and fight to end Obamacare.
— Recognize that the power to choose (and fire) one’s child’s teacher is paramount in education. Demand that the money that now goes to public schools be given directly to parents in the form of vouchers.
— End automatic payroll deductions for union dues for all workers, government and private. Give the power of the purse to the union rank and file to reign in the lifestyles of labor leaders.
— Let employers hire who they want to hire. So what if some are sexist/racist/homophobic. Most aren’t. It will soon be evident to those now unaware that it is bad business to reject people for stupid, arbitrary reasons. It will also become evident that being a “protected category” was not beneficial for getting a job or being promoted as those now “protected” start finding themselves with better prospects. Ask this: why would anybody want to hire someone who they have to jump through hoops to get rid of?
And remember these are just starting points.