There’s hardly a person who doesn’t know the heroic tale of Robin Hood and his band of Merrie Men who bravely fought for the people.
The familiar synopsis states that he “stole from the rich to give to the poor,” but that’s not entirely accurate. In truth, what he did was rebel against a corrupt government that was taxing its people into poverty.
It’s been at least 500 years since that legend was first told, and since then the plight of the people is still very much the same. What would be Robin and Little John’s assessment of American politics as the powerful, elite and outrageously rich politicians sit in office year after year, decade after decade making decisions for the “common folk” while pushing for more and more taxes?
Enter just about any career politician’s name — doesn’t matter which party — into a web search, add “net worth” and you might be shocked to find that most make it into the top 1% with tens of millions of dollars at their disposal.
Of course, many will attribute their wealth to their spouse’s successes in real estate, business ventures, various investments, etc. while sweeping under the rug that the policies they created while in office have likely helped give those careers an upper hand.
What we’re seeing today is something far more complex than anything Robin of Loxley could have ever dreamed. Yes, there is the straight forward irony that while politicians pander to the voter by creating robust, expensive and cumbersome social programs to help the poor they still continue taxing them.
Unfortunately, the most vexing actions performed by them require much more digging.
They have become adept at politicizing bad policy into being something they tell us as morally correct. Their rhetoric tells us that people are poor not because of taxes — after all, those help the poor — but because their employers and landlords are greedy.
When the small businesses complain that it’s hard to make a profit or even keep their doors open they tell us it’s because large corporations take the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth. We then turn on each other until they swoop in claiming to save the day by enacting steeper taxes and harsher regulations that only the large corporations themselves can weather.
The politician then collects their campaign contribution from the corporations they helped and the cycle of cronyism and corruption continues.
Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham would be so proud.
Libertarians are naturally suspicious of the actions of the government — especially when it claims it wants to help — so it is validating, to say the least, seeing people take to the streets over the past few weeks.
Whether it was to protest overreaching government shutdowns or to demand policy reform, there is a libertarian awakening happening. One that questions the powers that be and begins to put them through their paces.
Unfortunately that only takes us so far as the political elites have become so adept at what they do. For instance, while they are currently working on new legislation to curtail racism and inequalities they are not willing to admit that things such as minimum wage were born of racism as a means to price minorities out of work.
Decades later that piece of history has been all but forgotten, yet still does its intended job as each time minimum wage increases so does unemployment for minorities.
Looking at things from a local level we can take into account Lemoore’s recent interest in a 1% sales tax increase. At a time when the people are struggling financially, the bureaucrats are looking to solve their own financial woes at the expense of the people.
What’s even more egregious is the push for increased tax measures are almost always done in the name of public safety, which is mere lip service at best.
Today we must summon our inner Robin Hood. We must continue questioning the motives of the powers that be and remain vigilant of hidden issues and possible unintended consequences.
Your voice is your bow and your vote is your arrow; aim accordingly.