Government Equals Piracy Equals Loot and Plunder

If you want to understand the folks in politics and activism, you can’t do better than listen to Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

It is, it is a glorious thing, to be a pirate king.

And now there’s a book out about how Sir Francis Drake, who played bowls and stopped the Spanish Armada in 1588, was really a pirate. La Wik says he died with a fortune of $137 million in 2019 dollars. Now, in 2014 when I visited Portobelo, Panama, the port from which all that Spanish gold and silver embarked for Europe and where Drake is buried, the monuments in the city seem to think that all Brits are pirates.

And if you read your Aubrey/Maturin naval novels by Patrick O’Brian, they made their bones with the prize money from capturing French ships in the Napoleonic Wars. Even Jane Austen’s worthy Captain Wentworth in Persuasion really only got persuasive in the pursuit of Anne Elliott after he had made a fortune in prize money in the Napoleonic Wars.

What really is the difference between a privateer like Sir Francis Drake, that made his fortune by capturing and looting, and a modern politician, that gets reelected by promising loot and plunder to his pirate crew -- er, deserving supporters?

Nothing. Especially when you learn that employers are having a dickens of a problem finding workers right now, because COVID unemployment benefits discourage the unemployed from seeking gainful employment.

In other words, it is a pretty cool thing to be an ordinary pirate, getting your teeny share of the loot, even if the pirate king gets all the glory and first dibs on the loot. And so, in response to a disappointing unemployment report,

President Biden on Friday insisted that disappointing jobs growth isn’t the result of a federal unemployment insurance supplement -- even though business owners say they can’t get enough workers to come back.

It is, it is a glorious thing, to be a pirate king.

As far as I know, this jobs problem is at least six months old, and I dare say that the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium is a contributing factor. Did you know that having to pay back rent is racist? You will soon.

And yet our Democratic friends went ahead with subsidizing unemployment in their post-Trump loot-and-plunder extravaganza. Of course they did, because the whole point of politics is that you gotta pay your supporters with loot and plunder.

In my view, all government, everywhere, is a loot and plunder operation, and always has been. Back in the day, governments celebrated this, as when victorious Roman generals paraded their soldiers and their loot and their slaves through downtown Rome in a Triumph. The innovation of Marx and the socialists was to gussie up a moral justification for their looting. Then Horace Mann justified his free gubmint “common schools” by asserting that they would reduce crime by 90 percent. Social Security was sold as an insurance program.

Even ObamaCare had a penumbra and an emanation of the arc of history about it. Our First Black President at least made a pretense that nobody would pay, for “if you like your health plan, you’ll be able to keep your health plan.” And, of course, Obamacare would cut premiums by $2,500 per year. But really, he was just rewarding his supporters, and they knew it.

In the post-Trump era, the gloves are off, and you Commoners are gonna pay reparations, you racists.

One thing Marx insisted was that, according to Hegel, history repeats itself. But, said Chuck, “he forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

It seems to me that we are repeating the Sixties history.

Tragedy: Sixties kidz protest and rioting blacks burn down Detroit. So Americans elect President Richard Nixon to represent “the silent majority.” Then the Dems kick Nixon out of the presidency and elect a fool for president. Inflation goes crazy and then Americans elect a B-movie actor as president.

Farce: Antifa kidz protest and rioting BLM blacks burn down Minneapolis. Americans elect TV reality star President Trump to Make America Great Again. Then the Dems kick Trump out -- but you are not allowed to say so -- and elect a fool for president. Inflation starts to go crazy and… To Be Continued.

Okay. Your turn. What do you think this chart of 120 years of U.S. government spending shows?

You may think that the chart shows that government loot and plunder has gone about as far as it can go. You may think that the chart shows that after a steady increase in government spending, year over year from the 1930s to the 1970s, government spending stopped increasing, starting in 1980, except for crises like the Great Recession and the Great COVID. You may well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

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