Using welfare to buy votes to maintain perpetual power

The Daily Mail has the data to prove what we all knew:  a political party that shifts the tax burden to less than 50% of the population, while leaving more than half the population dependent on government largesse, wins in perpetuity (or until the country implodes, whichever comes first).

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  • Charles Martel

    Back in the 1930s Hillaire Belloc wrote that one of the reasons why Islam was so spectacularly successful in defeating and converting large swaths of Christendom was because it abrogated the common man’s crushing interest payments and tax obligations in one swoop. Not only was the Qu’ran much simpler and easier to understand than the Bible, it also had clear admonitions against high taxes and usury. In the 7th century the Byzantine Empire in the east and the rump post-Roman kingdoms of the west imposed huge taxes on their populations—to pay off  debts from war and other costly activities, maintain the aristocracy and keep the military properly bought off.

    The situation then is not totally analogous to what we have now. For one thing, our military remains loyal even though it is not well fed. However, Pelosi and Reid are representative of the parasitical aristocrats that are now feeding off of America, and the permanent debt that Obama intends to saddle us with will certainly create Hayek’s oft warned-against condition of serfdom where we will lack the power or means to shrug off our financial chains.

    So it would be ironic if Islam were to ride to the rescue 30 or 40 years from now as our slack-jawed, dreamy-eyed children grunt in dismay at how costly and burdensome “free” this and “free” that turned out to be. Who wouldn’t welcome instant tax relief, beyond criticism because it comes from a politically correct religion?

  • suek

    >>one of the reasons why Islam was so spectacularly successful in defeating and converting large swaths of Christendom was because it abrogated the common man’s crushing interest payments and tax obligations in one swoop.>>
    Baloney.  It succeeded because it demanded conversion or death.  Those who continued to live in islamic countries who were _not_ muslims had to pay the jizya – a tax for non-muslims only.  And which could be collected at will.  Level of the jizya was set by whoever ruled the country, and had no basis in anything other than the appetite  of the ruler.
    I suspect Mr. Belloc didn’t know as much about islam as he should have…

  • Charles Martel

    A couple of points:

    I said “one of the reasons,” and did not assert that it was the primary or only reason. Conversion to islam was a no-brainer when a.) Islamic theology was much simpler to grasp and b.) the financial obligations of a Muslim were zilch when it came to what he owed his previous rulers or creditors. Yes, he still owed Zakat, but that was a responsibility similar to tithing—hardly viewed as onerous at 2.5 percent of one’s annual wealth.

    “Convert or die” leaves out the much more practiced third option, dhimmitude, which is where Jizya comes in. Traditionally, but not always, Jizya was levied on males. Clerics and women were not obligated to pay it.

    While, as is always the case with Islam, rulers could impose any level of the tax they wanted, reality usually intruded: Jizya was a form of reliable income provided an Islamic ruler did not stick his arm too far and too often up the golden dhimmi goose’s cloaca.

    Since Islam cannot create or inspire a culture of creativity or enterprise, its more intelligent despots maintained the dhimmi communities the same way the Soviets maintained Finland: as a link to intelligence, wealth and well-made goods.

  • David Foster

    Important to note that those who most benefit directly from Obama/Pelosi/Reid are NOT the poor. There are lots of very affluent people whose taxes will go up in an Obama world, but for whom the financial benefit of his worldview is so extreme that higher taxes are an investment that pays a good ROI.

    Lobbyists, tort lawyers, university presidents, K-12 school administrators, executives of politically-connected “nonprofit” institutions, investors and owners of politically-connected corporations…there are a lot of people who are planning to make a lot of money from the “sacrifices” that Obama wants to impose on the productive classes.

  • Ymarsakar

    I’ve seen this before in the Republic of Haven, a star nation that did just the same thing in Weber’s world.
    The good thing about reading such manifestations of alternate reality is that I know how worse it can truly go.

  • Ymarsakar

    <B>Baloney.  It succeeded because it demanded conversion or death.</b>

    It is not one thing or another.

    Byzantine held Egypt, the grain capital of their empire. Until Christian Patriarchs and what not started persecuting the Monophysites of Egypt. When Islam came on the scene, the Monophysites had no loyalty for an empire not willing to consider their security or beliefs. That’s why the Patriarch of Alexandria surrendered to Islam. He had neither the political, military, or religious authority to resist anymore.

    Thus Byzantine lost Egypt, and eventually lost Constantinople as well.

    Remember this, all of what we know as the battleground of Syria, Israel, Palestine, and Egypt was ruled by the Romans. They considered themselves Romans, not Arabs and certainly not Muslims.
    In the case of the Sassanid Empire, Persia, they were conquered by the sword of Islam and their religion, Zoroastrianism completely obliterated. Let that be a warning to those that challenge Islam and the Will of Allah. As Ford Hood reminds us once again.
    <B>there are a lot of people who are planning to make a lot of money from the “sacrifices” that Obama wants to impose on the productive classes.</b>

    It can be no other way. While much lip service is paid to the ‘poor’, they are the poor precisely because they lack wealth, influence, and POWER. Thus to get power in any nation requires the allegiance of the rich blokes or the intellectual/cultural elites.

    It was so in Iran, it was so in Russia, it was so in Cuba. Guns and bullets for revolutionary armies aren’t bought with the sweat of the poor, in the end.

  • Ymarsakar

    Concerning Roman history, one might be interested to look towards the Western Roman Empire back in 200 BC.
    The Marius Reforms, particularly, should be of interest.

    The thing is, back in their day, Marius knew Rome needed more soldiers because they were occupying Spain. But Rome didn’t have enough citizens eligible. Why? Because the Senate had bought up a huge shat load of land, creating Latifundias, which were worked by their slaves. So not much land was available to others. The Senate also refused to pay for the upkeep of the army or for their equipment or their retirement, so this professional army started looking towards their generals for loyalty and security.
    Thus history progressed as it did. The volunteer Roman army created much what we see in America today. A professional military, along with a sure path to citizenship, combined with the “Romanization” (“Americanization”) of its members or local occupied areas.
    Rome had barbarian dangers, but they were often allies rather than enemies. Some betrayed Roman trust to create their own European empire, like the Vandals, but that was as it was. Certainly Rome never had a security situation on par with the Carthaginian Empire or some other equal power, as we do here today.
    Whatever America’s fate, we won’t slide slowly down into obscurity as Rome did. It’ll finish off with a big bang, that would be my prediction.