A Friday-in-freedom grab-bag: Slave labor, Millennials expatriating, and rich cabinet picks

A Friday-in-freedom grab-bag: Slave labor, Millennials expatriating, and rich cabinet picks

Apropos these topics, here’s what Claudia Rosett said about Donald Trump’s speech in Ohio this week:

But when Trump stood up in front of that Cincinnati crowd, looked into the cameras of national television, and proclaimed “America will start winning again bigly,” what came over me — not for the first time since Nov. 8th — was a sweeping sense of relief.

Yes, there are yuge problems looming, at home and abroad. …

But here’s something that really is huge. With last month’s election, as underscored by the crowd celebrating Trump in Cincinnati, this country now has a fighting chance to escape the Life of Julia.

I mention this because of the similar sense of relief and liberation I think it gives a lot of people, just to be able to talk about life and issues and things and not have it all be because of Team Obama’s next move toward authoritarian collectivism.

Consider: did you ever in your life want to talk about men having “equal access” to the women’s restroom?  Can you believe we were condemned to talk about that for so many months, egged on by the president and the U.S. Department of Justice?

That’s what progressives are always doing: putting things on the public agenda that nobody thinks are even sane, much less reasonable, and making it impossible to avoid talking about them.  It’s like spending your life trapped by a crazy aunt holding you at gunpoint and demanding yes or no answers to psychotic questions.

Now people are out there kind of stretching their muscles, looking around, and thinking, Hey, real life is back!

I noticed it today when I saw Sarah Palin’s comments about the Carrier deal in Indiana.  No one wants jobs to flee Indiana, or any other of these United States, and we can all be glad about the folks who will remain employed.  But Palin was spot-on in her criticism of overly-involved executive government.  It does exactly what she says it does: it encourages businesses to line up for favors, hand-outs, and political patron-tending.

What freedom, to be able to talk about that again, and have a sense that the talking can matter.

We don’t know yet what Trump will think or do about such important philosophical points.  (We’d know those things about Ted Cruz.  We also know that Obama would have all but offered Carrier airlift support from the U.S. Air Force, to move everything out of the country.  The whole atmosphere would be different, if Obama were still the only actor on the stage.  The MSM would maintain a wall of silence about Carrier, and there’d be no getting the word out about it.)

It’s like finally coming up for air after nearly eight years, to have it matter to discuss the points at all.  We’ll find out what Trump is going to do.  At this point, I’ve learned not to put money on him doing the wrong thing.

Slave labor

So, slave labor.  Palin said something that really matters to this topic:

Reaganites learned it is POLICY change that changes economic trajectory. Reagan’s successes were built on establishing a fiscal framework that invigorated our entire economy, revitalized growth and investment while decreasing spending, tax rates, over-reaching regulations, unemployment, and favoritism via individual subsidies. We need Reaganites in the new Administration.

However well meaning, burdensome federal government imposition is never the solution. Never. Not in our homes, not in our schools, not in churches, not in businesses.

Palin nails the list of policy items that affect our economic trajectory.  The “regulation” item on the list is the one that has been gradually making Americans into the world’s most expensive slave labor.

It’s not just regulation of employment and the workplace, although those things are part of it.  It’s regulation of all kinds, including “environmental” regulation and the mandates to contribute to a welfare state (Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare).  It’s so-called “equal opportunity” regulation, which has spawned an incredibly expensive industry of extortion-litigation.  And these are just some of the better known aspects of overregulation.

Here’s the deal.  You can’t offer or get legal employment in America unless you’re participating in this juggernaut.  And today, in monetary terms, the juggernaut is absolutely yuuge.  It’s not just yuuge: it represents a lot of people’s livelihoods.  They sustain themselves by collecting rent off of the productive value of your labor.

These are people in government, law offices, unions, and activist groups.  They’ve made you slaves to their brokerage of your services.  You can’t work except on their say-so.  They don’t want you to break out of the existing paradigm of legal employment, because if you do, they can’t collect rent off of your labor.

I’m going to copy here something I sent today to some friends (without editing), and leave it as food for thought:

What anti-traders can never see is that free Americans aren’t competing with commie slave labor.  Enslaved Americans are competing with commie slave labor.

When your wages have to support both a union hierarchy, with all its political enterprises and overpaid bosses, AND the rent-suckers of the regulatory and welfare state at the state AND federal level — you aren’t a free man.  You’re a slave.

These folks who make their living by collecting rent from the value of your productive work are never going to let you be free.  I.e., free to work as you see fit, not subject to their rules and their rent-collecting activities.

Even if you’re not in a union, it’s illegal for you to work in any officially acknowledged way without having that rent collected off of you.  The government rent-collection scheme is ingenious, and pervasive.

Your employer may make most of the actual payments, but he can only make them because he’s employing YOU to work and produce.  It’s not his fault he has to comply with all the rules and regulations.  It’s the government’s fault.

But you and he have to comply to participate.  The whole apparatus makes you a slave.

The pretense that you’re not a slave is very costly.  It’s that pretense that prices you so far above the commie slave.  If your government and/or union bosses didn’t have to maintain the pretense that you’re a free man, we wouldn’t have to keep losing all those jobs overseas.

The alternative, of course, would be to get rid of the rent-collecting apparatus that makes sure you can’t work — not legally — unless you’re enslaved by it.

Millennials heading overseas

It seems no accident that on the same day, we get this new theme that Millennials are moving abroad to work, because it’s cheaper to live abroad, and easier to launch a start-up via the Internet.

Mind you, it’s not cheaper everywhere.  It’s universally more expensive to try to do it in Europe, for example.  Or at least as expensive as in the U.S.  It’s not cheaper in Canada or Australia either, or Japan or South Korea.

Basically, the whole G20 is dicey, in that regard.  And the top spots are definitely biased toward warmer climates.

Now, everybody’s got an opinion here.  And, yes, it’s been a common pattern for a good 80-some years now, for young people to have the adventure of living and working overseas if they can.  It’s not necessarily a big deal.

It doesn’t have to mean Millennials are post-nationalist gits – although with some of them, it does.  With those Millennials, it means they’re pre-nationalists who haven’t been caught abroad in an invasion, coup, or civil war yet, and haven’t learned to appreciate the incredible blessing of having that American passport to get back to safety with.

But it’s also true that this pattern does mean something.  One thing it means, if you’ll listen, is that regulation in the U.S. has made the price of entry too high for start-up entrepreneurship.

As with the slave labor problem, the answer is not to attack the people who are fleeing the government-mandated rent-collecting scheme. It’s to shut the scheme down.  The scheme isn’t creating any positive value.  It’s just sucking dollars off from every hour of productive work you turn in, and shipping them to the rent-extortion industry instead of into your pocket.

Another thing it means is that we’ve let the American public square become a cesspool of bad attitudes and blame-mongering.  Who would want to pin his hopes on the America depicted on our TV screens and in our popular stories?  For the last 25 years, you’ve had to carry a better image of America around in your head, because you’re sure not going to see it presented to you in popular culture.  People born in the mid-1980s and after often have no positive, heart-gripping image of America in their heads.

I don’t know what that’s like.  But a lot of Millennials do.  It’s going to be a very good thing, for the existing mainstream media-state to wither away.

Rich cabinet picks

This one’s a bonus freebie.  No extra charge.  In the last couple of days, I’ve seen this theme being floated: that Trump has named only rich people to his cabinet, and it’s “the richest cabinet in history.”

Presumably, the folks pushing the theme came up with it before James Mattis was named as Trump’s choice for secretary of defense.

But what the critics don’t mention is that this cabinet amassed its wealth through being economically productive.  Instead of coming into government poor and becoming rich by jacking the taxpayers around, these cabinet members come in rich from working in the business world.

We shouldn’t romanticize how committed they are to the free market and competition.  Our government hasn’t allowed those things to flourish for nearly a century.  The entrepreneurial spirit has had to struggle in America for a long time now, and literally nothing has been done in the economy that wasn’t heavily regulated, since at least 1970.

But until Obamacare, nobody could be forced to buy anything from these people.  That means they’ve made their money under a market discipline that government professionals never know, and a lot of middle-class people never understand.

I’ll take that.  It’s a lot better than getting another parade of professional activists and “overhead” executives – non-line executives who wouldn’t know profit from loss if their lives depended on it.

Free in America

As a sign off, Claudia Rosett again:

I think we are seeing America shaking off the shadow of Julia, and seeking to recover its strength, and its wits.

To recover fully is a tall order. There is by now a vast and many-layered web of entitlements and regulations that will be hard to unspin, and tempting for those now in power to preserve. There are enormous debts coming due, and there is an urgent need to restore America’s lost muscle and credibility abroad.

How far Trump might lead, or in precisely what direction, where he will falter and in what he will succeed — all these things are still unclear. Personally, I prefer the cadence of “liberty and justice for all” to such locutions as “winning again bigly.” But if Trump manages to shrink the Obama state and drain the Washington swamp, especially if he does it bigly, that would be a huge leap in the direction of liberty and justice. At least he is pointing, broadly, in the right direction. Americans have, at least for now, changed the trajectory that was dooming us to the Life of Julia. That alone is a deliverance.

Don’t lose heart, Ms. Rosett.  “Tall orders” is America’s middle name.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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