“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” – Habakkuk 3:17-19
I caught an amusing video clip yesterday in which Peter Schiff unleashed the following missive: “I don’t care what the majority voted to do, they don’t have a right to steal my money just because they vote for it.”
Now, fundamentally I agree with Schiff. The majority shouldn’t be able to vote themselves my paycheck (or your paycheck, or anybody’s paycheck). It’s the age-old conundrum of Democracy versus Republic. If we are to live by “majority rule” then the will of the majority is absolute and nothing is beyond their grasp. If we are to have defense of individual liberties above majority rule, then we must cleanly and clearly define those liberties and defend them ruthlessly … the majority always wants more. (In the political scene we see this play out every election cycle, with the winners declaring “elections have consequences and we must follow the will of the majority” and the losers declaring “individual rights trump majority rule.”)
Of course, the majority isn’t the only group that derives for itself access to your paycheck. (And the majority, at least has the decency to take your paycheck by public vote.) There are plenty of special interests that pillage your life’s work for their own purposes. Perhaps it’s insurance companies who wrote the Obamacare legislation … requiring everybody to buy insurance. Perhaps it’s bankrupt cities and states who are now starting to demand quid pro quo from the president (“we voted for you, now you need to bail us out”). And of course, there is always the banking class – who passes themselves a portion of your paycheck without ever taking a vote or passing a new law – they just print it up and take it out of your pocket while you’re not looking, or maybe even while you are looking.
As John Boehner and Barack Obama (and, I suppose, Harry Reid) negotiate how best to raise your taxes, spend your money, and mortgage your children’s future for goodies now, Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee are kicking off their monthly meeting today. One suspects they’ll announce even bigger money-printing exercises sometime tomorrow. Why stop now?
To that end, and for all of our oppressor classes, be they the majority, special interests, or the banking class, I thought perhaps I’d share some scripture references – just a reminder of what the Lord said to the nation of Israel when it was dealing with similar practices:
“Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.’ So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red. Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.“But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.” – Jeremiah 22:13-17
Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”— skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat. The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.“Will not the land tremble for this, and all who live in it mourn? The whole land will rise like the Nile; it will be stirred up and then sink like the river of Egypt.” – Amos 8:4-8