Depend less on government
More often than not, Liberals more aptly named "Progressives" want to control your life. The accusation is harsh but honest. Their method is brilliant and so spineless those seeking liberty-based initiatives can never mimic it. Progressives have created an environment where all of their actions are viewed as philanthropic initiatives to save mankind and the world. If I told you that poverty could end, prosperity could boom, the world could be saved and everyone will be treated as equals with no one bearing the burdens of this cost, I would probably have your vote as well. However, if I went into the methods of achieving these goals, your position would probably change.
As the 19th century philosopher Frederic Bastiat wrote in The Law, "It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic." Bastiat elaborates that the only way for government to perform such noble and charitable work is to tax the people, leading the government to prosper only at the expense of others. In short, Progressives — or as Bastiat calls them, Socialists — must concoct a sense of false philanthropy and conduct legal plunder.
As opposed to those who believe in free markets, individual responsibility and self-regulation, Progressives have ravaged the average American of both their social and economic liberties with of course the mantra of saving the world. Not only do Progressives fight for humanity but they use conservative and liberty-based rhetoric to champion their flawed sense of reality.
For instance, Progressives deride the idea of supply-side economics and across-the-board tax cuts, claiming the system only allows for the middle and lower class to procure wealth after the prosperous elite's funds trickle down. Meanwhile, these neo-authoritarians laud a system of trickle-down government subtly coercing the general public to rely on government with the hope of spreading wealth to the ultimate level of equal pay regardless of profession, education or self-determination.
I should note that Progressives do not hold allegiance to a specific party. Former President George W. Bush spent more money than any president before him, and President Barack Obama has done the same. Even former President Ronald Reagan spent exponentially large sums of money on defense, although his thorough tax cuts created additional revenue for the federal government. Today, most American progressives reside in the Democratic Party or further left on the political compass. Yet Republicans of the Bush Era should be held accountable as well. Their overwhelming spending and oversight has created a despotic government from the type of car we drive to the type of soft drink we drink. Big Brother is everywhere, and for the time being he isn't going anywhere.
Here's how it works: Governments at local, state or federal level pass a law that requires oversight of some sort. This can range from car speed to carbon emissions. In order to carry out this oversight, the government needs regulators or bureaucrats; after all once the government says something is bad it becomes illegal. These bureaucrats are assigned to a specific department that monitors the activity and it does not come free of cost. At the state and federal level appropriation bills are passed to compensate these workers. This compensation is then levied onto the taxpayer and is paid for by the general public.
However, in an effort to be "fair" some people don't need to pay as much in taxes, which exponentially affects the affluent and both small and large businesses. Progressives will tell you that those being taxed make too much money, and therefore equally contribute to the tax pool. When faced with meeting new fees private citizens and businesses will distribute the costs to the consumer or cut back spending on the open market. When these businesses and "wealthy" citizens stop spending, private-sector jobs are killed and the government doesn't meet tax roll predictions. Creating large debts and greater deficit spending.
When a supermarket company is taxed, the corporation will not be paying those additional taxes with company capital, rather they will raise the cost of goods they provide and cut the wages of workers in order to meet government's new demands. When products become more expensive, less people can afford them or can rationalize purchasing them, which leads to less of a need and ultimately less jobs.
This is when government traditionally tries to work for "the people." They do so by setting up regulations forbidding corporations from pay reductions and hiring capabilities, which sooner or later lead to large debts that a private company cannot sustain. When the private sector is no longer able to perform a duty due to a gap in both the cost and benefit of the service the government swoops in and makes it public. The goal is to have each job dependant on the government, which in return makes someone more loyal, less critical and more obedient.
According to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, since Obama passed his stimulus bill there have been 2.5 million private jobs lost and 416,000 public jobs created. According to USA Today, the average federal worker receives double the amount of the average private worker. Remarkably, Progressives retort that it is "right-wing" capitalists creating class warfare —well, what do the numbers tell you?
Modern-day Progressives like Obama tell the electorate that public-job growth is just as good if not better than private. But rarely do they tell you the severe cost. More likely than not, the current administration knows these policies are not sustainable. More likely than not, they don't care — they just want to control your life.
Aaron Marcus is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science and history. His column, "Marcus My Words," runs on alternate Tuesdays.