Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh for the good old days of sharecropping

If you are an average American you are now worse off than a sharecropper in the old south. Sharecroppers worked all year on land owned by someone else and then paid for the privilege by giving up half of their crop.

Well guess what, an average American now works all year and gives up more than half of his income to his overseers in the Federal, State and Local government.

Today, July 16th, is Cost of Government day according to the group Americans for Tax Reform ( ). The group says "Cost of Government Day (COGD) is the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on the federal, state and local levels."

You may say that the guvmint sometimes does nice things for you with some of the money it takes from you, but of course the old landowners in the south also did nice things for their sharecroppers.

The good-hearted landowners, for instance, used to let the sharecroppers and their families eat free all year from the little plots they were allowed to keep for kitchen gardens. And they used to let them live free in the picturesque little cabins that were behind the big house on their property. They also used to let the sharecroppers drink all the water they wanted for free from the streams on the property, and the sharecroppers could even dig a well and drink free from that if they were enterprising enough.

Even the very bad-hearted landowners sometimes did things for their sharecroppers, giving them a taste of the quirt now and then, for instance, if they seemed to be having a problem with motivation.

If you've never received a letter from the IRS you probably see the government as more or less friendly and good-hearted. If you have received such a letter you know a bit about what the quirt felt like, metaphorically speaking of course.

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