Trying To Gauge the Anger Of The People
My earlier piece in American Thinker was criticized on a number of different levels. For suggesting that in By The People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, Charles Murray may have written the wrong book. For using the analogy of running away with the Indians in order to describe people fleeing into the Underground Economy. But also for advocating an impossible course of action. An argument perhaps best put by Palintologist in the comment section:
… The examples cited by Mr. Miniter (who will soon be hounded by our feral government now that they've been so clearly identified) are outliers in a country that unfortunately has drastically few entrepreneurs/sole proprietorships that can operate the way they do.
Before he trashed Charles Murray, I wish he would've offered up his own plan, one for the masses and not the few.
Of course from my point of view I was criticizing Charles Murray (not trashing -- indeed wouldn’t ever consider trying to trash the man who gave us The Bell Curve and "Belmont and Fishtown") for the very thing Palintologist dings me for: offering an unworkable solution.
Yet why do I believe there are really more “…entrepreneurs/sole proprietorships that can operate the way they do” than meets the eye? Well, for a number of reasons. First of all that the idea appeals to me. I admit that. Then because I was part of a survey that found of the eighteen people in residence in a row on a county road only one had their full income reported on a W-2. But also because Dr. Thomas Sowell among others has commented up on the fact that the “poor” somehow spend one and half time their reported income.
And examples keep smacking me in the face… and have for quite a while.
Going from memory some years ago the New York Times did a piece about neighborhood-based Car Services in New York City. Remember them? Predating Uber, they would pop up in storefronts with number passed around by flyers and people would use them in place of taxis. In fact, they seemed to outnumber licensed cabs by a wide margin in certain sections of the city. One woman was quoted as liking them “because I know these guys” and others commenting that the drivers all spoke English. But the best quote came from an official with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Bureau bewailing the inability of the city to shut them down, “if this keeps up” he said, “pretty soon we won’t be regulating anything.”
And so I come to the conclusion if people keeping out of the government’s control profile sooner or later you have to reach a point, on the other side of some tipping point located who knows where, where nobody will be “…regulating anything.”
Especially since many more people are going to get angry at the government. Many, many more.
My wife and I are driving across country and up at dawn we go to coffee shop outside Lincoln, Nebraska. The place has just opened and is nearly empty. We sit at the counter, order and begin talking to the young waitress. Blond hair, blue eyes, muscular she looks like a heartland poster. It comes out that her and her Mom are saving to open their own coffee shop and each of them are working two jobs. She goes to work in a refrigerated warehouse at 11:00 PM each night and unloads quarters of beef until 5:00 AM when she dashes home and showers in time to show up at the coffee shop at 6:00 AM where she’ll work until 3:00 PM.
This was a few years ago and I hope her and her Mom have that coffee shop of theirs, but regardless the image of that young woman busting her butt to get where she wants to go is frozen in my mind. To me she’s the portrait of America. She is America. My America.
Now hold her image in your mind’s eye and race across country to New York where the Federal Reserve Bank at the behest of its masters in Washington and with the stroke of a key on a computer keyboard creates billions and billions of those same American dollars out of thin air to fund programs to buy votes and solicit campaign donations from the already wealthy bankers who will pocket a hefty percentage of this phony money. Look at it from a moral point of view, isn’t it a disgustingly filthy way in which that government, those politicians, that Reserve bank and those bankers diminish that young woman’s labor? She hoists one hundred forty or sixty pounds of beef on her back hour after hour when the rest of us are asleep so as to earn what? Fifteen dollars an hour? Twenty? Wages she’s probably very happy to get but yet she hasn’t a clue, not the tiniest suspicion yet, that the games those people in Washington and New York play by inflating the currency reduce the value of every dollar she sweats for. That they are in a very real sense legally stealing her dream of a coffee shop for some amount of time, maybe forcing her to tote beef carcasses for an extra year or two.
And that they wouldn’t care if their shenanigans meant she spent an extra ten years in that refrigerated warehouse.
So what happens when she does understand that? And then leaps to the reasonable conclusion that a government which would do that to her must be corrupt in every dimension, in everything it does?
Then begins to ignore it. As so many other people are beginning to do?
That’s all I was trying to say.
Insofar as my “running away to the Indians” analogy goes, it triggered snarky comments about Dancing with Wolves and the extra snarky observation that I must have just read a book about Indians. In point of fact, I’ve read hundreds and live in a colonial-era hamlet under trees that were fully grown when Delaware walked by what is now my front yard in order to trade. So I have a certain affinity -- I admit that too. And while I might be a romantic, there seems to be a parallel. Between the image of those men and women who walked away from towns like mine for the more free and much more adventurous life among those people and the free thinking souls who decide to turn their back on the suffocating never-never land of Washington D.C. today.
And that’s all I was trying to suggest.
Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most, Random House, BDD. He lives and writes in the colonial era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York, blogs at richardfminiterblog.com and can also be reached at email@example.com