Monday, July 2, 2012

Dealing with the Devil

Free stuff is hard to refuse.

In the old days, there were lots of stories about how some character or another would be desperate to pay a debt, or gain an ability, or save a loved one from dying, and would thus "make a deal" with the Devil. They would trade their very soul to get whatever it was they wanted, usually by signing some contract (since the Devil is a practicing attorney I guess...not too far fetched). In a lot of these stories, the Devil would eventually come back to collect on the bargain, and the protagonist would somehow find a way out of it. I think at least one of these stories involved some meddling kids and a talking dog.

But they were just stories, told by the hearth or fire at night as a way to pass the time before the invention of video games. In real life, the devil generally gets his due. And by devil, I of course mean government.

I could point out how one political party that starts with a D plays that devilish role more than another political party that starts with an R. But truthfully, they're all guilty of it. See, politicians learned a long time ago that if they promise people stuff, they get votes. They promise free healthcare, housing, jobs, food, cars, and unicorns...whatever it takes to get those votes. Most of the time, they don't really deliver on those promises, because either they never had the ability to do so in the first place, or they forgot the promise 10 seconds after they made it.

But when they do keep one of those promises, you can bet that it's time to pay the devil his due. Elected officials don't really have a magical stash of free stuff, you see, and it has to come from somewhere...someone has to pay for it. And that someone is the in the ones that actually pay taxes.

You might think "oh, that's like Robin Hood, robbing the rich and giving to the poor". Let me remind you, Robin Hood was a thief, and so is the Devil. Politicians don't "give" anything to people, they simply swipe it from one group, and then shower it on another to get votes. And they've been doing it for so long that we now have whole generations of people who believe that they are entitled to all of this free stuff, robbed from others who work hard, and given to them because they simply breath, or more specifically, because they can vote.

This is the basis of the entire Obama campaign. I'd suspect that Romney would run an entitlement scheme too if his most likely voters weren't fed up with getting constantly robbed to satisfy the freeloaders in this country. But Obama ran on it in 2008, and he is already running on it again. He mumbles constantly about ensuring this group gets that and that group gets this, and how the bill ought to be paid by the rich and evil corporations. He actively demonizes wealthy people so as to make the whole rotten thing more palatable to those mooching off of his devilish system.

The sad thing is it works. More and more people are willing to make that deal with the Devil, because they believe they'll personally get something out of it. Those who do get something out of it aren't the ones really paying for anything, so they often don't feel the burden it causes on the taxpayers and the economy. What they also don't feel are the shackles that they have agreed to wear, preventing them from ever crawling out of the dark hole of poverty they've accepted as their home.

This Devil may not own their souls, but he does own their vote.

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