Death Is Easy

Russell Madden

Freedom As If It Mattered

As If
It Mattered
Russell Madden

Guardian Project

The Guardian
Russell Madden


Russell Madden





Russell Madden



Last summer, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, faced its worst flood in recorded history. The Cedar River rose twenty feet above flood stage, inundating much of the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Thousands of low and middle-income residents, small business owners, and others found everything they owned destroyed. The vast majority of these victims of the eco-fascists’ beloved “Nature” did not hold (government-subsidized) flood insurance. For most of these folks, such an omission was not irrational. After all, living in a “thousand-year” flood area suggested that paying for such insurance would be a needless expense they could ill afford. Even some who considered purchasing the insurance were discouraged from doing so because of the distance of their homes from the river.

But even low-probability events happen.

Most of those devastated by the muddy waters suffered through no fault of their own. They were not foolish or lacking in prudence or stupid. They were merely unlucky. Worse, with little in the way of reserve funds, these home and business owners often could not afford to fix up their property and/or continue to pay mortgages while simultaneously paying rent and/or being without a job.

Rightly so, many people here donated time and money to aid these folks. Some volunteers helped clear away debris. Some aided in reconstruction. Some simply wrote a check in the hopes of making a positive difference.

But as can be readily seen in disaster-prone regions such as the Gulf Coast (hurricanes), California (earthquakes), and the Midwest (tornadoes), charity is never enough for the professional do-gooders and those who expect the State to come to their rescue.

Next week, the cities in this county are voting on whether to add yet another penny to the sales tax. Last year, a “temporary” penny increase in that tax became both permanent and statewide. While this new tax is slated to expire in five years, that promise is worth almost as much as the used toilet paper I flush away every morning.

The local politicians are, of course, gung-ho for more money to rub between their fingers. The print and television media are likewise smilingly aboard the bandwagon. Even most of the citizens think it is their “duty” to vote in this “little” tax increase that will generate tens of millions of dollars for the State to fritter away.

While I realize protests against the altruist/statist/collectivist mindset of the vast majority of Americans is like spitting into the teeth of one of those Category 5 hurricanes, I decided to send a “letter to the editor” of the local paper. Here it is:

Few people would condone a private citizen walking into a neighbor’s home, placing a gun to that person’s head, and demanding money. Even if the person claimed he needed the money for himself or for someone else in need, any decent individual would still condemn such robbery. The (“good”) ends do not justify the (bad) means.

Somehow, though, voting for such an outcome makes it okay.

Voluntarily helping one’s neighbors can be a great thing. But “forced charity” is a contradiction in terms. Hiding behind an anonymous vote and relying on the government and its armed agents to impose one's wishes on unwilling others is neither honorable nor moral. Legalized theft is no less theft simply because one group of people is more politically powerful than another. Might does not make right.

Supporters of tax increases can pretend to themselves and to the rest of us that “we” agreed; that “we” are “helping our neighbors”; that “we” will all benefit from such coercive action. But disguising the truth about an immoral action to make it more palatable to ourselves and to others will not change its destructive nature. Only voluntary actions have moral value.

Vote “no” on any tax increase.

(from Don't Get Me Started!, 2-24-09)