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Saturday, March 05, 2016

Acquired Rights & Legal Plunder; Likely Bedfellows

'He/she has earned that right'! This is the kind of society we live in today; rights are most often earned, or acquired, but is this right? The other side of the coin says that the opposite is true as well, we can lose our rights through certain actions or through inaction! Are rights earned though, or are they inherent? This could open a whole nasty can of worms & engender a lot of heated controversy. It could even almost be on par with Politics & Religion.........................Oh, wait!

'There are two things in this life that are certain; Death & Taxes!' However you phrase this old adage, there seems to be a lot of truth to it; you WILL die someday ( 'who wants to live forever?' ) & EVERYONE has to pay their taxes! Really? Taxes ( whatever form they take ) seem to be inevitable, almost as inevitable as our physical demise, but where does it say that we MUST pay a tax on anything, much less on our hard-earned paycheck? A statement like this, I realize, could stir up a lot of controversy, but sometimes things need to be disturbed!

A tax is defined in numerous ways, but maybe the most true & simple definition is 'a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on worker's income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services and transactions'; however one defines it, therefore, it is a forced contribution ( that's a paradox, if I ever heard one )! Some may object to calling this 'legal plunder', especially to referring to it as 'plunder' at all, since 'we owe these taxes'. My response would be, 'since when?' Many people that one might butt heads with on this issue would say something like, 'well, how would our federal government operate ( build roads, schools, etc. or protect us ) if not for our tax monies?' 'We OWE it to them!' My response & the obvious answer is, 'well, how did people do it before the federal government became big?' If a certain community needed a road, they built it; they didn't rely on the federal government for these matters. If a school became a necessity in the community, the people of that community built the building & started ( formed ) a charter.

Taxes, especially in this day & age, have seemingly become a necessary evil! In order for the up-keep of our roads ( highway system, especially ) & for the education of the greater part of the young people of this nation to continue, it would seem that everyone MUST pay this fee. However, the question might be proffered here, 'if everybody stopped playing the victim to this 'legal plunder' & started taking care of their own matters ( like they should ), then where do you think would be the NEED for a 'Nanny State'? Even further & maybe more importantly, if the Church ( not the institution, necessarily ) was doing Her job, then there would be no need for the 'Nanny State' ( by 'Nanny State', I simply mean the federal or state government that thinks 'they' must take care of everyone )!

While it is hard to deny the need, in this day & age, for certain things that the Federal & State Governments have ( legally or illegally ) taken under their 'wing', nothing that they have undertaken would have become 'necessary' but for the lack of responsibility of the American people! Looking at our Highway System, for example, one could argue that without the necessary influence forced upon us, this never would have been accomplished. That may be true, but would that necessarily be a bad thing? Sure, our highways make it much easier to get from point 'A' to point 'B', but easier is not always better, as we all can attest to. Look at all the deaths that have unnecessarily happened because of our Highway System; with responsibility comes freedom, without responsibility, freedom takes flight! Because many people lack the responsibility to understand that traveling at certain speeds in a highly populated area ( either by wildlife or people ) can be dangerous to their health, we have seat-belt 'laws', speed limits, etc. Because certain drivers lack the responsibility to stay off the road ( behind the wheel ) when unduly impaired, we have drunk-driving 'laws', etc.

Can rights actually be taken away? It would seem so! Every day, usually because of a lack of responsibility ( stupidity ), someone's 'right' to transport themselves on America's highways & byways is taken away. Lately, we have noted an increasing amounts of our rights being trampled on by those in authority; the news stories from a certain county in Nevada & certain areas in Oregon ( to name a few ) bear witness to the fact that certain officials DO indeed believe they have the authority to take away those rights that come directly from our Creator!

In some sense, one could argue, certain 'rights' ARE acquired! If someone wants to do certain things, he or she should prove that they possess both the ability & responsibility to undertake such things. Unfortunately, many who 'prove' their ability & responsibility, although they may possess the ability, lack the responsibility to correctly govern their actions. This is where the State & Federal Governments come in; because they have witnessed the 'need' for external government, they immediately  swoop in on the situation & threaten the removal of those rights if certain action is not corrected. Many Americans seem to be clueless as to why their rights are being trampled on & their freedoms are going the way of the Dodo bird; this is why: we, as a people, have given our responsibility over to those who don't deserve it & so we have what we now see!

Rights are acquired, but not from any external agency except the One that gives life! People have the right to life, liberty & property, but with those God-given rights come the responsibility to maintain them; when we give up our responsibilities, we also give up, for all intents & purposes, the rights & freedoms we have previously enjoyed. The State, then, has every legal 'right', since they bear our responsibility, to the 'legal plunder' that we love to complain about!

Charles Haddon Shank

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