Capitalism Consigns Poor to Cattle Cars

The state is constantly forcing poor people to take the short end of the stick.

Wow, look at that. It’s a loophole in the TSA tyranny. Planes under 30 seats can bypass federal checkpoints and get from A to B in record time using small airports. All for less than the price of a first class ticket! From Cincinnati to New York for $649. To Chicago for $495. How smart of these entrepreneurs. How excellent these nice people can travel with the appearance of freedom and dignity. Private enterprise at it’s finest, right? Not exactly.

Loopholes for Rich People

This is typical state capitalist fare. Rich people get exceptions to the usual drudgery. Poor people get stuck in the cattle cars. In this case, poor people have to buy their tickets from large, state-chartered corporations with restrictive limitations. They have to arrive an hour or more before their flight and endure the federal TSA checkpoint. Then they have to pack into an airplane like cargo. Rich people, on the other hand, are able to enjoy options like this. Drive right up to the tarmac. No waiting, no lines, no TSA.

Not an Isolated Case

Think it’s just an isolated case? Don’t buy my premise? Consider the case of billionaire Warren Buffett. His tax rate is lower than his secretary’s. He paid 17.7% on $46 million. She paid 30% on 60,000. No one should be subjected to taxes extortion and this is one reason why: the poor bear the brunt of the burden.

Rich ride in Cars, Poor on Mass Transit

Poor people spend a greater percentage of their income on the necessities of life than rich people do. So that higher tax rate eats right though their discretionary funds. Poor people have to use government-maintained mass transit. By that I mean those buses and trains that may not run on time, be secure and tend to be quite stressful and time-consuming. Rich people on the other hand can travel in cars, limos, helicopters and airplanes.

Poor Relegated to Worst Schooling, Rich have Choices

Consider schools. After necessities and taxes, poor people are left with fewer schooling options for their kids than rich people. Many send their kids to the notoriously inadequate government schools day care. After all, how many mothers risk a felony record to get their kid out of a public school? Rich people have considerably more options, such as charter schools, private schools, parochial schools, academies, homeschooling and unschooling.

Inequalities Lead to Rebellion

Rebellions have started over the issue of government-caused inequality. The revolutionary-era US government placed a tax on whiskey. You could pay by the gallon or a flat fee. Large eastern whisky producers secured a lower per-gallon rate by paying the flat fee. But out west, small-time farmers couldn’t afford the flat fee and were out-competed by the large eastern operations’ lower per-gallon cost. Plus they consumed a lot of whiskey. They also used it as money and a way to store the value of their excess grain. The whiskey tax was like an income tax for them. To add insult to injury, the frontier farmers didn’t get enough protection in return. That led to the Whiskey Rebellion.

More recently a vegetable cart vendor was robbed blind by state agents in Tunisia for not having a license. Licenses are cheap to the rich. For the poor – especially in third world countries – it can take years to save for a government permission slip. This unjust attack on a poor man led to the Tunisian Revolution of 2011.

Small Better than Big

That said, it is nice to see a small company meet with success in such a highly-controlled sector. If this was available all over the country, it would be an incremental improvement. Small companies are more responsive and accountable. They are less prone to mindless, and dangerous, cost-cutting. Small companies that serve the public generally don’t have much guaranteed to them. They have to keep up the high-quality service, or they fail. That is in the consumer’s interest.

I Blame the Government

And I don’t blame the airline. I blame the government for creating this situation with their corporate charters, industry-captured regulations and one-size-fits-all security theater. Are the people to blame? I don’t think so. Sure we could clog the courts with lawsuits. We could boycott airlines. We could jam TSA checkpoints in mass civil disobedience. Oops, we did that last one. And the TSA subtly stood down. A lot of people have also boycotted the airlines. It’s just made them more profitable. Oh and there are plenty of TSA lawsuits too. Those will drag on for years.

Remove Inequality by Removing Government

What’s the solution? Remove government. Its taxes rob the poor of their discretionary income. Its tyranny funnels them into degrading one-size-fits-all services. Its corporations, favorable laws, loopholes and corporate welfare give rich people an unfair advantage. It is the source of most inequality. Without it, we can hold the rich accountable for their ill-gotten gains and give the poor the fighting chance they deserve.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

5 replies on “Capitalism Consigns Poor to Cattle Cars”

Very well put… but I contend that it is not capitalism alone that is to blame, but predatory capitalism. If you follow the link to our website, you will see that Larry K. Mason has discovered a means by which we can be freed from the bondage of taxes, insurance, banks and a whole host of other predatory aspects of our economy while still providing for the poor and turning money and even greed into forces for good instead of evil. The system he has devised is unique, but is best termed “net benefitism” if a moniker is needed at all. It is a cooperative form of capitalism in which one can grow extremely wealthy simply by providing consistent net benefit to others – yet live without earning (such as while attending college) and not starve or end up homeless. When you reach the site, I recommend starting with the chapters of “Invisible Hand” and then reading the explanatory articles as a follow-up.

One tiny argument: If he came by his money morally, then Warren Buffett created a lot more wealth than his secretary, and paid surrendered a lot more to the thieves than his secretary. An argument can be made that he used more government services, but that gem falls just as flat as when it is used to justify taxation in the first place.

But of course I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion!

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