Individual Liberty or Fascism?

During Mussolini’s rise to power a form of fascism developed that combined the powers of corporate networks with the powers of government.  In this unique blending of powers in cooperative force the government and powerful corporations could control prices and job growth.  This system developed a motto advancing their positions in the 1932 Doctrine of Fascism:

“Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato” (everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state).

Italian Fascism involved a corporatist political system in which the economy was collectively managed by employers, workers and state officials by formal mechanisms at the national level.  This non-elected form of state officializing of every interest into the state was professed to reduce the marginalization of singular interests.  In other words it worked against the principles of individual liberty.  Everything became about the collective.

Ours was a government established to make certain that the majority  or even a minority in power could not circumvent the individual liberties that belong to each of us.  It is this reason that both of Federal and our Commonwealth Constitution include their own declarations of the individual rights of the people.

As I look at our government today we see more and more of the surrendering of the powers of government away from a representative form of government and more to the centralized powers through appointed Administrative offices.

We look at the discussions of consolidation of school districts, local governments and state representation.  At the core of all of this is  the consequence of putting more power in the hands of fewer people while increasing the need to grow the Administrative powers of an unelected but appointed Administrative State.

Regardless of the fact that neither our Commonwealth or our Federal Constitution allows for the existence of this fourth branch of government, it exists.  It not only exists but is often more powerful than those we actually elect to office.

At the Federal level the powers of Administrative body from entities like the IRS and the FCC were seen in the last few year in their refusal to testify in hearings established by the elected governing bodies who allowed these Administrative authorities to be created and to gain in their powers.

What we are finding is that our legislative bodies, where all law-making (regulatory authority) is supposed to reside, have created a monster that they can not oversee sufficiently nor can they really seem to control.

Here in Pennsylvania we have a Tax Equalization Division that levies a common level ratio that adjusts all of our property taxes which is supposed to make our property taxes more fair.  A report to study the factors of determining the common level ratio was released in 2014 which was critical of the process demonstrating flaws in establishing the Common Level Ratio.  So what has been done to resolve this issue?   Nothing!

Similar reports released showing fraud within welfare through the Department of Health and Human Services have yielded little in response to correcting the problems.  How much control do these legislative bodies have over these Departments, Agencies and Commissions they create?

That, however, doesn’t stop them from creating new administrative bodies while crafting creative ways to provide special tax exemptions to business entities.

In 2013 it took less than 90 seconds for the House Of Representatives to decide to create a new state commission and authorize $15 million in tax credits devoted to improving Pennsylvania’s brand and tourism.   The tax credit allows businesses to deduct up to 100 percent of their donation to the PA Tourism Commission against their personal income tax, corporate net income tax or capital stock and franchise tax.  Three years later…I’ll let you be the judge of the effectiveness of this new commission!

Let’s just ignore the fact that a “contribution” that is 100% deductible isn’t really helping the revenue stream necessary to maintain this new agency.   It’s a tax write-off not available to the rest of us who are the ones really picking up the tab.

Last year the governor decided that the state government needed their own meteorologist.  Jeff Jumper, 31, stepped into the newly created position at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency as this state’s first meteorologist. He will be paid a $62,000 salary and receive a benefits package worth $44,500.  Apparently services like simply turning to the 24 hour weather channels to prepare for upcoming weather events are too much to ask.

When Government and corporations get in bed with each other the consumer will be always the loser.  Rather than relying on a system of free market principles to guide business and industry they begin to rely on these government subsidies and not on the consumer.  Once they no longer need to be reliant on the consumer to stay in business passing tax burdens on to the consumer through hidden taxation reflected only in inflated costs for goods and services not in an actual tax the consumer can see, part of the protection from government abuse through taxation disappears.   The consumer can then more easily be exploited.

In Pennsylvania and in the Nation as a whole this corporate alliance with Government is generating a lot of anger.   It’s also generating a reaction among our young people to be more open to socialist ideology based solely on their anger at what they perceive to be corporate greed.  Some of that anger is justifiable but its misdirected by turning to the government to seek the solution without asking the government to expose the connections between corporate welfare and government.  Social welfare is not the solution to ending corporate welfare.   That is only going to grow corporate power.

A socialized Public welfare systems requires powerful connections to money to keep that system alive.  This involves heavy corporate taxes that  are resolved by special privileges unavailable to the working families to relieve that tax burden on the corporate entities.  Both the taxation and the special relief to those entities come at the expense of taxes or through higher prices on the goods and services for the rest of us.

Selective relief is just the governments way of keeping enough people sedated long enough to prevent the wholesale revolt against this sort of tyranny like PA saw with Cleansweep.  When that relief is being advocated for and even bargained for by outside unelected lobbying efforts we are losing our representative form of government.  It may even be to give what some of us want but it should never come at the expense of denying the rights of others.

From 1960 through the 1980’s we went from 2000 school districts largely under the control of local municipal governments to the current 500 school districts.  Now we hear that we need to consolidate school districts even more and we hear using the same argument…that it will save us money.  Since 1990 the cost of maintaining these school districts has increased by 143% (adjusted for inflation) so how has that worked out for all of us?  Did it save us money?

We currently employ 80,000 state workers to conduct the business that involves maintaining these massive departments, agencies and commissions.  As I sat in on a meeting related to a proposal to eliminate the school property tax I was shocked to hear the lobbyists, business and social program lobbyists alike, arguing together for more government controls, more selective government targeted relief (welfare) programs all of which will advocate for the growing of the administrative agencies and their powers over us.

I walked away reminded of Thomas Jefferson who wrote in our Declaration Of Independence “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

Then as now powerful controlling elements in the business community used their political connections for personal gain at the expense of the common people.  No society will endure this forever.Our society has endured it for too long already.  Because we have it is harder to undo what has been done but it can happen and it doesn’t require a violent revolution to resolve it.

We need legislators who understand that the prime objective for them is to pass laws, not to take care of us, but rather to protect the rights and property of the people.   It’s not that difficult of a concept.  We need voters who aren’t going to make their vote based on a promise of exerting an authoritarian power over the people to give them what they think the people want.   If that requires trampling on the rights of others to accomplish it’s tyranny.  If your side wins, that might make you feel better for a little while but your side won’t be in power forever.    The powers you granted by surrendering to government to get what you wanted at the expense of the freedom and liberties of others will now be used against you.

There is an interesting parallel in the current Presidential elections when our so-called  freedom of speech and to assemble is used to silence the same freedoms of others.   This lacks the mutual respect of the other persons rights and that’s when the expression of our so-called right stops being about liberty and it becomes tyranny.  There is no right to tyranny and freedom of speech can never be used to defend it.

True freedom and Liberty requires an equal respect of the rights…the liberties and freedoms…of others and frankly, what I saw at the meeting I attended on Monday Morning was anything but that.  What I saw was a fight for personal gain at the expense of others while advocating for more government regulations, new agencies and more powers in the hands of a people not elected to govern us.

Rather than defending Liberty I saw an assault on Liberty with little regards to the far-reaching consequences of such an action.  The people will not contain their anger forever!

We are supposed to be a nation by the people, for the people and of the people….with mutual respect to our individual liberties.  We are not supposed to be succeeding all powers to the state to live everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s