Of Lords and Cattle
Are government pensions constitutional?
Natural-Law copyright by Anthony Hargis
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One of the best-kept secrets of American governments is their enormous profitability. Most people think that governments collect just barely enough money to meet their expenditures every year – that their “bank balances” are constantly flirting with zero.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Every American city, county and state government produces an annual report. And these reports disclose a most remarkable story. The state of California, for example, reports an equity (a surplus of money over its obligations) of 340 billion dollars as of 1998 June 30. For the same year, the state required 93 billion dollars for its operating budget. From these raw numbers, we see that the state government could operate for three and a half years without collecting a penny of taxes.
With such a huge surplus of money, why is the state still collecting taxes? And more, who are the owners of this equity? If we assume, for the moment, that this equity belongs to the people of California, we see that the state government is hoarding over ten thousand (10,500) dollars for every man, woman and child in California.[i] But there is more. Besides living in California, these men, women and children also live in a county and city of California. To determine the total share of ownership in California governments for each inhabitant, we have to examine the reports of the city and county where each lives.
For our example, we will consider someone living in Fountain Valley, California. For the year ended 1998 June 30, the City of Fountain Valley reported an equity of nearly $2,200 per inhabitant of the City.[ii] Orange County reported an equity of about $1,400 per inhabitant.[iii] Thus, every man, woman and child that lives in Fountain Valley ‘owns’ shares in the three levels of California governments equal to about $14,100.
And, we are only beginning. All these governments freely admit that they under, or do not, report certain assets. Just by examining the footnotes to their financial statements, we can easily increase the equity of each by 50% to 100%. Beyond this, a full and truthful examination of a city’s (county’s or state’s) books should uncover corruption and hidden assets that would increase the equity 100% to 300%.[iv]
If we assume the real, truthful equity is only twice the reported equity, it means the governments of California are hiding more than $28,000 for every man, woman, and child living in California. For a family of four, that’s one hundred and twelve thousand (112,000) dollars. Those who are working two and three jobs to support their family would probably want to know this.
So, let us examine their plans to dispose of the loot they have collected. They regard these surpluses mainly as sources for their retirement checks. In California, there are at least three government retirement systems,
- the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS),
- the University of California Retirement System (UCRS) and
- the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), which covers all public employees not covered by the first two systems – such as city, county and state bureaucrats, judges, police officers, legislative employees, voluntary fire fighters etc.
These three retirement systems cover some 1,848,000 retired and active employees of California governments and subdivisions or agencies controlled thereby.[v] The ‘Net Assets’ accumulated by these pension systems total some $299 billion. This amounts to about $160,000 for each California government employee. However, it does not account for the length of service for each employee. If this adjustment were made, the share of ‘Net Assets’ for an employee of 20 years would be something like $320,000 and, for an employee of five years, $80,000.
Now, we have a question, ‘How is this money invested?’ CalPERS manages some $140 billion of investments for 1.1 million retired and active employees. According to their ‘Investment Report,’ this money is invested in stocks, bonds, partnerships, mortgages, real estate and other things.[vi]
All that I wish to establish here is that the money collected by these retirement systems is invested in real economic goods, which have value of and by themselves.
Now, let us contrast the retirement systems for state employees with the retirement system for the private sector. The Social Security Administration is almost universally represented as an agency that provides all Americans with a safe and secure support for their retirement. State government employees, are not required to participate in Social Security, altho many state retirees participate in both systems. Thus, Social Security is practically the retirement system for all non-government employees, they can only participate in one retirement system.
What happens to the money collected by Social Security taxes? Part is immediately paid out to retirees or their dependants and the rest is “invested” entirely in U. S. Treasury securities.[vii]
Money “invested” in government debt is not, in fact, invested. A true investment involves an exchange of money between (a) someone who is willing to forego the enjoyment of it till a future date and (b) someone who has an immediate productive use for the money. The latter must have a productive use for the money if he is to return it, plus interest, when promised. When one purchases stock or bonds issued by a company, they represent ownership of certain property possessed by the company. A bond with a face value of $1,000 and issued by a company is a legal claim against the company’s property to the extent of $1,000. In other words, stocks or bonds issued by private companies are nothing more than documents that establish someone’s ownership of a certain amount of property held by the company.
If the note (or share) holder wishes to liquidate his note (i. e., turn his note to cash), he has two options. He may sell his note to another investor, or he, theoretically, could take possession of company property and sell it. In either case, the note (or share) is secured by real, existing property: no one has to labor in the future to make the note good.
The situation is different with respect to money ‘invested’ in government securities. When governments borrow money, it is not invested in productive enterprises. The money is taken from those who have earned or inherited it and given to those who cannot, or will not, earn a living in a voluntary market. The money is “taken” in the sense that deception is required in order to persuade people to part with their money.
If the holder of the Treasury note wishes to liquidate his note, there is no property that could be sold to raise the necessary cash. Instead, he must sell his note to another ‘investor’ or, if none are willing, taxes have to be imposed. It never seems to occur to these investors that taxes are not collected from those who can not, or will not, earn a living. If the money is to be repaid the following year, taxes will have to be imposed on those same investors in order to repay their money. Thus, when governments borrow money, it is nothing less than a delayed tax on those who lent the money. When the government borrows money to roll over maturing debt, it does not solve the problem: it only inserts a period of time between (a) the ‘benefits’ derived from government spending and (b) the imposition of taxes to pay for them. Government debt, in other words, allows the ‘benefits’ provided by government to be felt by the economy before the necessary, and inevitable, penalties of taxation. In the meantime, those who receive the money as hand-outs insinuate themselves into positions of power, perpetuate the process and befoul everything they touch.
Where there might be $2,000 of property for every $1,000 of notes issued by a private company, there is not more than forty dollars for every $1,000 of notes issued by the federal government.[viii] The remainder (more than $960) is secured by “the full faith and credit” of the federal government. The collection of that $960 depends on the government’s ability to impose taxes on the next ten, or twenty, generations of Americans.[ix] They are scheduled to pay for the ‘benefits’ that have been provided by government over the last eighty or ninety years.
And so, while state government employees have used the mechanisms of state government to buildup a retirement fund invested in real wealth, they have used those same mechanisms to compel every one else to submit to a system that requires the cannibalization of their children, to the next ten generations, in order to support their retirement. Everyone – except state government employees – is required to obtain a Social Security card to merely exist. Unless we agree to support a system that cannibalizes our children, we cannot be employed, we cannot own property and we have no access to courts.[x] These are a few of the legal disabilities we must endure if we refuse to cannibalize our children.
Coercing someone into obtaining a Social Security card constitutes nothing less than a complete deprivation of rights. By law, the only people required to obtain a Social Security card are “citizens of the United States” and aliens.[xi] Now, the status “citizen of the United States” was created by Congress with the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1866, which was constitutionalized by the Fourteenth Amendment – if we presume, for the sake of argument, that the Amendment was ratified. Both the CRA and the Amendment pertained only to the freed black slaves, and granted to them only the “privileges and immunities” of Article iv, section 2 of the federal Constitution. It is important to understand that American law distinguishes between “white citizens” and “citizens of the United States.” And, the distinction is fundamental: the rights of the former are guaranteed by the entire federal constitution and Bill of Rights while the latter have no rights under the Constitution – only the “privileges and immunities” of Article iv, section 2.[xii]
Thus, the coercion of the American people into Social Security is nothing less than their political, or de jure extermination and is a prelude to their physical, or de facto, genocide.[xiii] The de jure extermination consists of a complete loss of rights while the de facto extermination consists of the imposition of confiscatory taxes on the next ten generations of Americans to support current retirees and to pay government debt.
And so, we have state and federal employees conspiring with one another 1) to amass great amounts of plunder to support their retirement, 2) to deprive private citizens of all their rights and 3) to legally compel those private citizens into a condition where they will have to voluntarily starve to death or cannibalize their children to support their retirement.
And our fine public servants do not stop here. In their quest to enjoy the plunder as long as possible, they make arrangements for applicants for drivers’ licenses to donate their organs upon death. And, of course, the Great Robbers will have first choice. I suppose, this practice is slightly less barbaric than inviting a healthy young man to a party of strangers where he awakens in a bath tub filled with ice water – and he missing two kidneys.
Not only do the bureaucrats wish to cast the peasant into a living hell, they will not even let him die in peace.
The Purpose of Surpluses
We observe that the cities, counties and states are maintaining huge surpluses. This raises several questions. ‘What is the purpose for which they are accumulating these surpluses?’ ‘Do the city (county and state) employees plan to divide the surpluses among themselves?’ ‘ Do they plan to share the surpluses with foreign bandits?’ ‘Do special interest groups each plan to plunder $20 million, or so, from the surpluses?’ I think we can answer ‘yes’ to all these questions.
One possibility we can easily rule out is that the bureaucrats intend to share the surpluses with the people from whom it was stolen. We can remove all doubt about this possibility by asking for the return of our share. Be careful when you ask: you don’t want to get knocked over as they burn shoe leather while exiting the room. I mean, if you steal something with the purpose of sharing it with the victim, what’s the point? We should classify such a possibility as – not lunacy, but – satanism. Or, maybe a mixture of the two.
So far we’ve only examined surpluses accumulated by the state and how the state (city and county) employees intend to divide the booty collected by the state government. When we examine the surpluses accumulated by counties and cities, it gets much worse. However, if we are delighted to learn how richly and securely the state employees have provided for their retirement (and pleased at what they are doing to us), it gets much better. It all depends on one’s perspective.
As of 1998 June, the City of Fountain Valley reported an equity of $118 million. The City admits to this amount. However, it is a law of nature that where there is something to eat, there will be someone to eat it. When we apply this law to human behavior, it reads something like ‘where a large amount of wealth is accumulated, there will be many people attempting to steal it.’ If this wealth is accumulated by a private individual, he has to install elaborate security systems to protect his wealth from strangers, his work force and even relatives. If a man’s property – that he knows about – is subject to theft, what shall we say about his property that he has no knowledge of? He will take no measures to protect it and there will be numerous people working diligently to steal it.
Consequently, a realistic examination of the City’s financial condition would disclose world-class corruption and unreported assets. I would estimate that such an examination would show equity to be 50% to 200% greater than reported. This would mean that Fountain Valley’s equity is realistically somewhere between $180 and $360 million – or, $3,300 to $6,600 for each inhabitant of Fountain Valley.
The City’s report was rather obscure as to who owns this equity. The City’s attorneys and accountants blend obscurity with lunacy when they describe who owns the City’s equity. The City’s financial report indicates that dump trucks, golf courses, office furniture and other inanimate things are the owners of the City’s equity. This would be a good place to take a break and reflect on the previous statement. In our world things are owned by people: things are incapable of owning things.[xiv] It is a maxim of law, in all ages, that a slave is contemplated as a thing, as a talking tool; and, therefore, incapable of owning anything.
I would say that there are three possibilities as to the ownership of this equity. If we regard the people of Fountain Valley (55,000) as the owners, every man, woman and child owns a share of Fountain Valley equity worth a minimum of $2,000 (but, based on a truthful report, perhaps three or four times this amount). These calculations are academic because the people of Fountain Valley (or any other city, county or state) haven’t a clue regarding the City’s surplus, and no one in City government seems to be interested in explaining to the people how much excess taxes have been extorted from them.
If the bureaucrats freely and openly acknowledged the surpluses, at least two doors would open. One would lead to a discussion regarding the question of how to dispose of the surpluses. And, this discussion would rather complicate any attempt to raise taxes.
A second alternative is that the City’s equity is being accumulated as plunder for the benefit of the City’s 250 employees. This would make their share of the reported equity equal to $480,000 (but a truthful three ($1,440,000) to four ($1,920,000) times this amount) for each City employee. This would be in addition to their share of pension money, which is managed by CalPERS, and which would add another $80,000 to $320,000 to their share.
Just think, one day you can just barely articulate an intelligent sentence, and are convinced the world owes you a living – an attitude carefully nurtured in the public schools – and worth hardly the clothes on your back. The next day you become a city employee, possess the power to drive people to ruin with impunity and become entitled to some $560,000 or $2,240,000 of loot. And, you are still just barely able to articulate an intelligent sentence. But, now you don’t need that ability; for, you now have authority to use a gun when your babble fails to persuade a peasant that he must labor for his bread and turn it over to you. Altho most government employees would be delighted at becoming entitled to this booty just by becoming employed by the city, I think it is hardly likely. It is difficult to imagine that the city fathers and special interest groups, who have lied and murdered so many times while accumulating their plunder, would intend to share it with ordinary grunt bureaucrats.
A third alternative is that there are five, ten or twenty main looters who plan to carry-off the City’s equity. If there are ten of them – you should be sitting down to read this, each one plans to steal something like twelve million dollars ($12,000,000) of the City’s equity, or twenty-four million dollars ($24,000,000) based on a more truthful report.
Is this possible? If they are planning to do this, one thing we would expect from them would be to maintain maximum silence regarding these surpluses – and to employ accomplices that would have no loyalty to, or a loathing of, Americans.
Now, it is a long established custom that American governments have to open their books to any citizen for practically any reason. All American cities, counties and states publish annual reports, which are available to anyone for the price of a phone call. Some cities and counties, however, are limitless, and shameless, in their rapacity. After extorting excess taxes from private citizens, a city will then require a $25 payment for a report that details the extortion and that contains several pictures, in four-color process, of happy bureaucrats responsible for it.
Despite the availability of these reports, hardly anyone knows about them and even fewer people would be able to understand one without several weeks or months of study. And the bureaucrats are telling no one about them.
If the insiders are planning to loot the cities’ and counties’ surpluses, it would have to be done in “plain sight,” in such a manner that no one would suspect a thing. And, if anyone did suspect piracy, no evidence would be available to prove any thing.
As it turns out, these city (and county) insiders do not intend to disappoint us. About the year 1980, there was a nationwide campaign to encourage American cities to establish sister-city relationships with foreign cities. The sister city for Huntington Beach, California, for example, is Anjo, Japan. Once such a relation is established, the city insiders establish personal relationships with foreign mobsters. They then setup business ventures in the foreign city that are owned jointly by the city insiders and foreign mobsters. It will also be necessary to install foreign mobsters in political power in the foreign-city (province or national) government. This political power is necessary in order to protect the looters’ business ventures from competition and investigation.
Now that the foreign mobsters are installed in power and the business ventures are established, the American city-insiders will “invest” huge sums of money with the foreign-city government and business ventures. Something like 20% to 50% of the money will be kicked back to the American city-insiders. The remainder will be used to build highways to the palaces in the jungles (or sea shore) owned by the mobsters. These highways will be built by construction companies owned by the mobsters and city insiders. About 50% of the money paid to the construction companies passes thru to the pockets of the mobsters and city insiders. They use this money to pay for their palaces, Olympic swimming pools, racetracks, tennis courts, private airfields, marinas, airplanes, yachts etc. The remainder of the money is used to buy the needed materials and to pay the peasants who work the shovels – and are content with their fodder and straw mats.
There is a strange thing about investing money. Most people expect to have their money returned, plus interest or dividends. And so, in order to maintain a good appearance, our city insiders will send a couple of letters to the foreign mobsters requesting them to pay back the money they borrowed. The mobsters will then impose taxes on their peasants, who will find it utterly impossible to pay such taxes. The economy of the foreign city (or country) will collapse and the loans or investments will go into default.
There is something we forgot to mention earlier: all the foreign investments made by the city insiders are guaranteed by the federal government. Therefore, when the foreign mobsters default on their obligations, the city insiders will recover their investments from the federal taxpayers – and then invest the money again with the foreign mobsters. There is no rest for the ignorant.
We might ask, ‘How do the American bandits recruit ‘trust-worthy’ foreign bandits?’ The American bandits need foreign bandits who will have a maximum loyalty to the American bandits and an absolute hatred of ordinary American people. American banks and governments manufacture this condition by financing foreign bandits. With this well-publicized support, the foreign bandits proceed to torment the native people to the point of extermination. Examples of this may be found in Russia, East Europe, China, India, East Timor, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Brazil, to name a few. Where the foreign bandits do not meet the level of barbarism desired by American banks and governments, the American military is sent to bomb the country into a stone-age condition. And, here we have the examples of Germany, Japan, Vietnam, Iran, Kosovo. The people who survive this barbarity react in a completely natural way. They are informed on a daily basis that those who oppress them are supported by American money, American technology, American engineers and American-trained storm troopers. These people develop a limitless hatred of Americans. They are thus provoked into acts of terrorism against Americans and American property. From these acts of terrorism, it is a short step to gaining their participation in any scheme to steal the surpluses accumulated by American cities, counties, states and the Social Security Administration.
If, at any time, any one attempts to uncover this piracy, he will find the effort practically impossible. All the evidence of the crime will be located in the foreign city, well beyond the reach of American courts.
There are powerful reasons why you should be interested in these surpluses. Altogether the California state pension funds own stocks and bonds issued by no less than 3000 companies and partnerships world wide. To this we must add investments in several hundred real estate projects and several dozen foreign and domestic governments. The retirement checks received by former state workers depend on the profitability of these investments. This creates a dangerous situation for at least four reasons.
One. In any lawsuit between a privately owned party and a state-owned party, it will be bad news for he who is not owned by the state (county or city). A judge knows that his pension payments will be impaired if he rules against a company that feeds his pension. (Judges’ pensions are provided by CalPERS.)
Two. It is simply not safe to compete with state-owned companies. If you successfully do so, the state bureaucrats have a reason (to protect their pension checks) and a means (the law) to drive you out of business. And, too many of them have the conscience to do so.
Three. If you wish to provide services or products to the state and you bid against state-owned companies, guess who will get the bid?
Four. If a state-owned company falters, it will have no difficulty persuading legislators to enact a law that requires everyone to purchase the product or service provided by the company. Some examples are poisonous chemicals disguised as medicine (or sugar), insurance in excessive amounts, smog-control devices, to name a few. Some of these companies are so public spirited that they will arrange (thru their legislators) that you go to jail, or pay a heavy fine, if you don’t buy their product.
What is happening here is that taxpayers are compelled to cover frivolous expenses of thousands of private enterprises while owners of those enterprises (i. e., state employees) keep their profits. In other words, taxpayers are compelled to guarantee profits for favored bandits. And taxpayers receive nothing but disadvantages for their trouble.
The situation is a duplication of European feudalism of the Middle Ages. At that time, society was divided into two classes, nobility and peasant. One class had all power and wealth, and could hardly tolerate the knowledge that members of the other class had so much as a crumb to eat, or straw to lie on. If there was any law and order, it only occurred among the nobility. Peasants had no rights, no protections of any kind. Their only protection came from submission and hiding in caves; and, these were effective only so long as lords remained in drunken stupors. The law protected farm animals more than peasants. This is not to say that Europe of the Middle Ages was the only place and time of such conditions. At all times and places, there has been a small minority of men who exercised the prerogatives of Lords, or Great Robbers; as John Locke called them. This small minority has always regarded the rest of humanity as less than cattle. All we have done in America is to provide these Lords and Cattle with respectable disguises.
Support of private enterprises with governmental power is precisely what many state and federal supreme courts declared to be unconstitutional. Accordingly, one of the many things we should aim at is to compel cities, counties and universities and states to sell their assets – that compete with private enterprise in any way – to private investors. The proceeds of these sales, of course, would be returned to qualified inhabitants of respective cities.
When the proceeds of a particular asset does not cover the historical costs of the associated asset, we should consider an attempt to recover the difference from bureaucrats who influenced or mandated the decision to incur frivolous expenses.
Validity of Pension Contracts
Derived from Unconstitutional Taxes
Earlier, I explained that compelling Americans to obtain Social Security cards represents nothing less than their de jure extinction. Now, where there is a de jure extinction, it is a pointless exercise unless there are plans for a de facto extinction. With this essay, I’ve demonstrated that the plans for a de facto extinction are well advanced. These extinction plans are embodied in the two different retirement systems established for public employees and for private citizens. While the retirement system for public employees is based on real, productive property, the one for private citizens is based on the government’s ability to impose taxes on the next ten generations of Americans.
We should recognize that all Americans have been deluged with propaganda about Social Security and have been coerced into it. And let us assume that most Americans do not want to cannibalize their children. Is there something that can be done to avert such a fate? I believe there is. It consists of trading places. The surpluses accumulated by the cities, counties and states should be distributed to the people and, if the bureaucrats want a retirement system, let them cannibalize their children, and only their children.
The legal basis for ‘trading places’ is the principle that a contract for unlawful purposes is invalid. A contract to rob a bank, or to commit murder is not valid and will not be enforced by American courts – or, that’s how it should be. Let us look at pensions from this perspective.
American governments were organized for the benefit of all, not just a few. At least that’s what our history books tell us. This means that it is unlawful, or unconstitutional, to employ the mechanisms of governmental power to compel one class of people to make donations to another. To establish this principle as a part of American law, we may consult Thomas Paine. His pamphlet, Common Sense, was published in the spring of 1776 and is generally regarded as a major factor in persuading the colonies to independence. It is estimated that upwards of 500,000 copies were published for a population of near three million Americans. That would be equivalent to selling 40,000,000 copies today.
Paine used Common Sense to explain that monarchy is an ineffectual form of government at best and, invariably comprised of the worst of men. He frequently referred to “placemen and pensioners” as mere appendages of monarchy and, thus, just as useless, base and tyrannical. He continued his attack on monarchy and pensioners with The Rights of Man, published in 1792. This book was widely distributed in England and caused such alarm to the privileged class that they organized over three hundred and twenty meetings, within a period of three months after the publication of The Rights of Man, in order to denounce it. Paine responded, “Is it any wonder, that placemen and pensioners, and the whole train of court expectants, should become the promoters of Addresses, Proclamations, and Prosecutions” against the Rights of Man?[xv] They even threatened to take away licenses of taverns and public houses where people met to discuss the book. The situation that we have today is a faithful image of Paine’s words, “It is corruption which consists of the excellence which the numerous herd of placemen and pensioners so loudly extol, and which, at the same time, occasions that enormous load of taxes under which the rest of the nation groans.” When the English pensioners saw that their “Proclamations” were not accomplishing their goal, they prepared a prosecution against Paine for writing his book. Paine escaped England just hours before he was to be arrested, thus saving himself from the fate suffered by Algernon Sydney, who was beheaded in 1683 for writing Discourses Concerning Government, which refuted the “divine right of kings” even more broadly and more convincingly than did Paine.[xvi]
Another Founder that we may turn to is Timothy Ford. [Brackets added.]
The idle and the indigent acquire no title, under the social compact to supply their own remissness out of the acquisitions of the industrious; yet this is ever the tendency of human nature [to bend the social institutions to this end]: against this the social institutions ought chiefly to be directed. If an individual attempt it, he is instantly punished by the sentence of the laws, and an invader both of natural and social right. No aggregation of numbers can sanction the act; and that social compact or constitution must be exceedingly imperfect, which does not protect the industrious as well against public rapacity as against private robbery.[xvii]
More than a hundred years later, during the debates in Congress regarding the proposed income tax amendment, William A. Cullop of Indiana assembled opinions from six state courts, the U. S. Supreme Court and Joseph Story to demonstrate that American courts consistently followed Ford’s advice. Here is a sample of his compilation.
[[Now the individual or corporation manufacturing will in the outset promise to be, and in the result will be, either a judicious and gainful undertaking or an injudicious and losing one. If the manufacturing be gainful, there seems to be no public purpose to be accomplished by assessing a tax on reluctant citizens and coercing its collection to swell the gains of a successful enterprise. If the business be a losing one, it is not readily perceived what public or governmental purpose is attained by taxing those who would have received no share of the profits to pay for the loss of an unprosperous manufacturer, whether arising from folly, incapacity, or other cause. The taxpayer should not be compelled to pay for the loss when he is denied a share of the profit. Such a law may be for the benefit of the donee, but it can not be for that of the people. Grant this power to the legislature and let it be exercised, and all security for property is at an end. The motive to acquire is destroyed. The enjoyment of possession is taken away. The power to protect is gone.
[[And what claim has manufacturing to such preference over other branches of industry, commerce, trade, agriculture, and mechanic arts? These are honorable and beneficial pursuits, and the constitution of this State will be searched in vain to find any powers given to the legislature to authorize towns and cities to discriminate against these employments and in favor of manufacturing in the matter of taxation….
[[There is nothing of a public nature any more entitling the manufacturer to public aid than the sailor, the mechanic, the lumberman, or the farmer. Our Government is based on equality of rights. All honest employments are honorable. The state can not rightfully discriminate among occupations, for discrimination in favor of one branch of industry is discrimination adverse to all other branches. The state is equally to protect all, giving no undue advantages or special and exclusive preferences to any.
[[No public exigency can require private spoliation for the private benefit of favored individuals. If the citizen is protected in his property by the Constitution against the public, much more is he against private rapacity….
[[Doubtless the specious but deceptive claim of their advocates will be that they tend to promote the common welfare. But to know for a certainty that that claim can not be allowed we have only to look at the definition of the word ”common” when used in such connection. “Common:” Belonging to the public; having no separate owner; general; serving for the use of all; universal; belonging to all. (Webster’s Dictionary.)
[[It is to promote the common welfare as thus defined that you have authority to legislate and to raise money by taxation; and you can confer on towns no delegated authority exceeding this. In fine, it is a principle that lies at the foundation of all legitimate exercise of the power of taxation that the revenue shall be raised for public purposes alone and not for private profit and advantage. This alone makes the distinction between lawful taxation and public plunder.[xviii]
[[A tax is a sum of money assessed under the authority of the State on the person or property of an individual for the use of the State. Taxation, by the very meaning of the term, implies the raising of money for public uses and excludes the raising of it for private objects and purposes.[xix]
These state-court remarks are consistent with remarks of the Supreme Court.
[[To lay with one hand the power of the Government on the property of the citizen, and with the other bestow it upon favored individuals to aid private enterprises and build up private fortunes is none the less robbery, because it is done under forms of law and is called “taxation.” This is not legislation. “It is a decree under legislative forms.” Nor is it taxation. A “tax,” says Webster’s Dictionary, “is a rate or sum of money assessed on the property of a citizen by government for the use of the nation or state.” Taxes are burdens or charges imposed by the legislature upon persons to raise money for public purposes.
[[We have established we think beyond cavil, that there can be no lawful tax which is not laid for a public purpose.[xx]
The retirement systems established for the benefit of state employees provide for their private enrichment, and these systems were derived from taxes imposed on everyone. However, “it is a principle that lies at the foundation of all legitimate exercise of the power of taxation that the revenue shall be raised for public purposes alone and not for private profit and advantage. This alone makes the distinction between lawful taxation and public plunder. A tax is a sum of money assessed under the authority of the State on the person or property of an individual for the use of the State. Taxation, by the very meaning of the term, implies the raising of money for public uses and excludes the raising of it for private objects and purposes.”
And, “To lay with one hand the power of the Government on the property of the citizen, and with the other bestow it upon favored individuals to aid private enterprises and build up private fortunes is none the less robbery, because it is done under forms of law and is called “taxation.””
It was observed that taxpayers, who are not entitled to share in the profits of an enterprise, cannot lawfully be taxed to cover the losses of that enterprise. State pension plans are arranged so that equal contributions are made to the plan by the employee and employer; in some cases, the employer contributes most or all of the money. And, here the employer is the state, county, city, school district etc.; that is, the employer is ultimately the taxpayer. Pension funds are invested in stocks, bonds, real estate etc. If these investments appreciate sufficiently during the year, the employer (i. e., the taxpayers) is not charged for contributions that year. If, however, investments suffer losses for the year, taxpayers are compelled to cover those losses. In other words, bureaucrats keep all their profits but shift the losses onto taxpayers.
When we look at some of the details of state pension funds, we wonder if there is a limit to rapacity.
When we consider that the state workers’ paychecks come from the taxpayer, we see that the taxpayer is compelled to provide all the financing of the solid retirement system for the bureaucrats and compelled to contribute to his own cannibalistic retirement system (the SSA). Taxpayers, in other words, are compelled to contribute to two retirement systems, from which he will recover little or nothing. From this perspective, we see that governments, no matter how they are dressed, operate to support the useless members of society in riot and splendor.
Based on Unconstitutional Contracts
There is more. In addition to enriching state employees, pensions serve the purpose of bribes; pensions are little more than continuing bribes.[xxi] Their purpose is to purchase the loyalty and cooperation of those thousands of foot soldiers (teachers, editors, paper shufflers, judges, inspectors etc.) needed to oppress and plunder the people. If a pensioner does not cooperate in reducing the people to slavery, he loses his pension. “If a pensioner went not well, slash! – he was put out of his pension….”[xxii]
Governmental pensions undermine or destroy one of the guards against abuse of power. When the Founders set-up American governments, a major issue was to limit the time spent in any office by any one man. John Adams wrote that without annual elections, “every man in power becomes a ravenous beast of prey.”[xxiii] The purpose was to create a situation where every office holder would conduct himself with the knowledge that he would soon have to return to private status and earn his living under the laws and policies that he helped set in place. It was thought that such a situation would lead to the enactment of just laws and only those that were necessary. This safeguard is completely set-aside by the institution of pensions. With pensions, government employees never have to return to the private sector and they never have to earn their living under the laws they enacted or imposed. Without the prospect of needing to earn their living in the private sector, government employees have no incentive to moderate their extortionate demands for taxes: they have every incentive (the 50,000-dollar pension every year) to continue the extortion.
John Trenchard gave a fairly good account of government pensions, “No man, or small number of men, can support themselves in power upon their own proper strength, without taking in the assistance of a great many others. And they can never have that assistance, unless they take in their interests too, and unless the latter can find their own account in giving it. For men will laugh at bare arguments brought to prove that they must labor, be robbed of that labor, and [then] want, that others may be idle, riot and plunder them. Those governments therefore, which are founded upon oppression, always find it necessary to engage interests enough in their tyranny to overcome all opposition from those who are tyrannized over, by giving separate and unequal privileges to the instruments and accomplices of their oppression, by letting them share the advantages of it, by putting arms in their hands, and by taking away all the means of self-defense from those who have more right to use them.”[xxiv]
At the time of the founding of this country, it was widely recognized that a man drawing a pension was the instrument of a tyrant: he was an enemy to the rights of man. While the Americans were attentive to this problem, they, apparently, made no provision against it in their constitutions. But, the French, who modeled their Revolution after the Americans, were more grievously molested by pensioners, and provided against the practice in their Constitution, “to preserve the national representation from being corrupt, no member of the National Assembly shall be an officer of the government, a placeman or a pensioner.”[xxv]
Thus, if a government is founded on oppression, pensions will be a necessity; if government protects the rights of all, there can be no pensions.
Since pensions remove the need to earn a living in the private sector, every retired and active government employee has a perpetual interest in higher taxes and greater violations of rights; for, these bring a continuing stream of larger pension checks. Some governments manage to make benefits given to employees dependent on higher taxes. The City of Garden Grove, for example, promises to its employees an annual base-pay raise provided “revenues” (i. e., tax collections) “do not decline” from year to year.[xxvi] For city employees, this pay raise also affects their pension payments, which are calculated from their final base pay. Thus, an increase of have pay automatically increases retirement payments.
It is a law of nature that a man will act in what he perceives to be his own best interest. We should also recognize that there are men who will do evil even tho they know it to be so; and, that there are too many such men in this world. When a social organization is created that allows its users to injure others with impunity, it is only natural that it will be captured by the worst of men. And, when they understand that the more oppressively they use it the more plunder they collect, we should be surprised if it does not evolve into a tyrannical instrument.
This is precisely what governmental pensions accomplish. They place every interest and every advantage on the side of more oppression. As laws become more oppressive and as the burden of taxation becomes more heavy, the more bureaucrats are able to live in splendor and riot. The retirement systems maintained by California are represented as contractual obligations relative to all state employees. These contracts among state employees constitute nothing less than an agreement – a conspiracy – to oppress the people of California to the advantage of those employees. When the parties to a contract do not complain about the consequences of their contract, we are permitted to conclude that the consequences correspond with the intent of the contract. And, a contract to deprive all non parties of their rights and property can have no standing among civilized men.
We will address one more reason as to why pensions are unlawful, and destructive of liberty. We observe that state workers are very enthusiastic about coercing everyone into participating in the SSA scheme. This translates into coercing everyone into a scheme that requires the cannibalization of future generations of Americans for its success.
I believe, now I may be wrong in this, but, I believe that we have a right to not eat our children. I also believe – again, this is only a hunch – that no American constitution delegates authority to government to compel Americans to eat their children. At least I haven’t yet found this authority. I’ve just found the practice.
Now, if we have the right to refuse to eat our children, and if governments have no authority to compel us to do so, we have a problem. Every person who exercises governmental authority in this country is required to take an oath to support both the state and federal constitutions. This obligates him to support every provision of those constitutions – not just the ones he likes. It also obligates him to protect all rights of every citizen – without reservation.
Thus, when any bureaucrat coerces – whether by deceit, undue influence or by any other means – a private citizen to cannibalize his children, the bureaucrat exercises a power for which there is no authority and violates a right that some people recognize.
Once we determine surpluses and pensions to be unlawful, an impediment is removed from our effort to recover property stolen from us.
There are considerations regarding the French Revolution that deserve comment. It was comprised of two opposing phases. The first phase was strongly influenced by the principles of the American Revolution. These principles were largely brought into the country by the French troops that had been sent by Louis xvi to America to assist the Americans.
When the French Revolution occurred, the possibility of its spread into other countries alarmed every monarch in Europe. Consequently, a second phase, or counter-revolution, was organized to sabotage France’s experiment with liberty. It fueled by English money and guided by “revolutionaries” that would later be identified as socialists or communists. Foot soldiers of this counter revolution were comprised of cut throats and thieves recruited from all over Europe
That the counter revolutionaries intended to sabotage the original revolution is fairly well concluded by two central facts. A bordello was established for the purpose of making it the headquarters for the counter revolution; whore-monger, sodomites and dandies purchased their way into control of the revolution. In other words, people who are trying to establish the rights of man will not associate with sleaze.
Then, a most horrible oppression was carried out by instituting a court modeled on catholic-inquisitorial principles. It was placed at the disposal of the rabble, who used it to settle personal grudges; murder creditors; remove competitors – whether in business, reputation; to get rid of unwanted husbands or wives; to murder the ancient – that an inheritance may descend more quickly. In the midst of this common slaughter, the English and socialists took care to prosecute, murder an take the property of true supporters of liberty. And soon, what began as a noble experiment in liberty was corrupted into a festival of slaughter and perversion.
As far as the English were concerned, it was pay-back time against the French for aiding the Americans. Without this aid, we would still be English colonies, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson would have been beheaded, drawn and quartered, and conditions here would be little better than in South Africa or India. To say the least, the English were irritated with Louis, and resolved on a murderous revenge. Louis and his wife lost their heads; and a million other French were shot, clubbed or sabered to death, guillotined or otherwise silenced.[xxvii]
This dual nature of the French Revolution explains why the first part embraced the ideas of Thomas Paine while the latter part jailed him.
If we agree that the surpluses belong to the people, it remains to be determined how is the best way to recover them. All I can do is to make suggestions, which will be modified as each case requires.
One option to recover these surpluses would be a “political” solution, where the people of each city, county or state would establish a board to examine the financial condition of each entity, to identify and recover looted assets, to distribute the property and any other related activity. This board should be comprised of private citizens who would be accountable at all times and in every respect regarding their official duties.
Another option would be individual action. This has historically been the means by which major changes have been effected. All it takes is one lawsuit to void a law or to reverse a practice of one hundred years. If one chooses this option, a major advantage is that one does not have to wait for the crowd’s approval before acting. There are two major elements to consider with regard to a lawsuit: law (logic plus ethics) and procedure. I know a little of the former and less of the latter. Hence, if one wishes to recover his share of the surpluses, one should locate a lawyer or paralegal convenient to oneself, and then I could give assistance where possible.
Altho the arguments and procedures presented in this essay have limited experience and qualified successes, I am making them available at this time for the benefit of those who may want to carry them farther than I would be able to do.
In the meantime, I’m offering to further this strategy by (a) acting as a referral service (connecting lawyers and paralegals with customers, and rating their performance); (b) serving as an information clearing-house (a thousand heads are more resourceful than one) and (c) providing suggestions and directions regarding cases.
If you wish to recover your share of the surpluses, the first step is to acquaint yourself with the information in this essay, the essays Who Owns City Hall? and Plantation America.
The second step is to approach several of your neighbors and acquaintances to ask them if they would like to renounce their share in the surpluses. You should accomplish at least two things with this step. You will (a) probably assemble several people who will want to join in your effort – thus, enabling you to hire one lawyer instead of five or ten. And, by collecting several ‘waivers of interests,’ (b) you will multiply your claims. Each waiver should be worth a minimum of $25,000. When collecting these waivers, do not ask your neighbor to renounce his children’s rights – let those children make their own decisions when they come of age.
You may want to spend several months on this second step. If you find a fair percentage of neighbors (one in three, one in four), you may want to meet regularly to discuss and coordinate your actions. Eventually, one or several of you will be ready to take the next step.
The third step consists of making demands on the agencies. Sample form letters are included for this purpose. Perhaps you should precede these demands with meetings with the bureaucrats in question to locate as much hidden property as possible. They are more likely to cooperate with your requests for information before your demands than after.
After they refuse your request, or after the lapse of thirty days, you’re ready for the fourth step, a lawsuit. Points of Law are included in order to address several of the arguments that government attorneys will use in opposition to our lawsuit.
We must be realistic about our project. We should not expect any judge to be happy to see your lawsuit. Every judge participates in the retirement systems that we will be trying to set aside. Hence, our object will be to bring this controversy before a jury, or a private arbitrator.
One thing we must keep in mind is that nothing will happen if we do nothing – if we depend on the looters to voluntarily return the property they’ve taken – and to hang or drown themselves for it. Men have been waiting twenty thousand years for this to happen; and, in all my research, I have seen no example of it. Thus, if only two or three people initiate a lawsuit, we will accomplish nothing. If we are to be successful, there must be large numbers of people demanding the recovery of their share of the surpluses. I think the amount involved (about $100,000 for each family of four, plus the recovery of Social Security takings) should give many people the incentive to undertake the project.
Further, altho we should expect great difficulty in court, we will experience dozens or scores of opportunities and benefits derived from the mere effort. When we approach neighbors to seek their ‘waivers of interest,’ we will open many new eyes and gain half as many allies. When we make demands on the bureaucrats, we will cause great anxiety on their part. They live in constant fear that the people will learn of the magnitude of the robbery committed by the bureaucrats. When that day happens, there will not be a safe spot on this planet for those bureaucrats. We will be presenting the best evidence possible (government publications) of that robbery. And we will be presenting this evidence in a fashion that will grab the attention of most (or all) hard-working Americans – something like $25,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
I like to think that every man or woman struggling to raise a family would like to know that – and would like to have that cash.
While the theft of the surpluses seems to have been easy, returning it to its rightful owners will be a most difficult task. In order to distribute the surpluses to people, we must determine a share that would account for length of time as an inhabitant of the city (county and state) in question. We must also subtract from the eligible population all those who work for government. Accordingly, my purpose here is to offer a suggestion as to how to distribute the surpluses. This is intended only as a starting point, for, I could not possibly anticipate all the possible contingencies.
Although we cannot possibly derive a formula that will perform an exact justice, we must observe that any distribution is better than none at all.
The first thing that we must account for is the length of time that each man, woman and child was an inhabitant of a particular city (county or state). I believe the closest thing to this purpose will be demographic tables that detail the population by age groups. For our example, let us suppose the following.
5% of the population is 60 years or older,
25% is between the ages of 40 and 59,
40% is between the ages of 20 and 39 and
30% is 19 years or younger.
When we actually distribute the surpluses, we will have to be more precise. We will have to determine what percentage of the population is between birth and one year old; the percentage between one and two years old etc. For our example we are using very loose approximations in order to illustrate the principles involved.
Our next step is to determine the number of people in each age group. Using California as an example, we derive the following numbers.
1.55 million (5% of 31 million) are 60 and over,
7.75 million (25% of 31 million are between 40 and 59,
12.4 million are between 20 and 39 and
9.3 million are 19 or younger.
Our next step is to subtract from these numbers those employed by government. For the sake of our example we will assume that no one 19 or younger are so employed. We will also assume that those so employed are distributed among the age groups according to the percentages given above. The state government freely admits that some 1.85 million people are employed by various state agencies. To this we will add a number for federal employees to bring the total to 2.5 million. Then we will distribute this number among the three upper age groups. Thus,
0.18 million (2.5 X (5%/70%)) active or retired government workers are over 60,
0.89 million (7.75 X (25%/70%)) are between the ages of 40 and 59 and
1.43 million are between the ages of 20 and 39.
Now we subtract these numbers from the general population, which gives us,
1.37 million (1.55 minus 0.18) people over the age of 60 are eligible to recover their share of the surpluses,
6.86 million (7.75 minus 0.89) between the ages of 40 and 59 are eligible,
10.97 million between the ages of 20 and 39 are eligible and 9.3 million who are 19 and younger are eligible.
We now need to determine the value of a “share per inhabitant-year.” We arrive at this figure by assuming the average age of those over 60 to be 70. We arrive at the total shares for this age group by multiplying 1.37 million people by 70 years, which gives us 95.9 million inhabitant-years. (In a real case, we would not presume an average age for this, or any other, group. We would, for example, multiply 70,000 people (aged 60) by 60 years; 69,000 people (aged 61) by 61 years and so on.)
For the age group 40-59, we assume the average age is 50; hence, 6.86 million people times 50 years equals 343 million inhabitant-years.
For the age group 20-39, we assume the average age is 30; hence, 10.97 million people times 30 years equals 329.1 million inhabitant-years.
For the age group 19 and younger, we assume the average age is 10; hence, 9.3 million people times 10 years equals 93 million inhabitant-years.
The “inhabitant-years” for all age groups then equals 861 million inhabitant-years.
We next calculate the “share per inhabitant-year” by dividing the surplus, 341 billion dollars in the case of California, by 861 million inhabitant-years, giving us 396 dollars per inhabitant-year. Thus, someone who has lived in California for seventy years would be entitled to $27,720 of the state’s $341 billion. That is, total value of this inhabitant’s share equals seventy “inhabitant-years” times 396 dollars per inhabitant-year, or $27,720.
This takes care of the state’s surplus; the same calculations would have to be done for each county and city in the state regarding their surpluses.
We must also keep in mind that we are here dealing with admitted surpluses. A truthful examination will reveal unreported assets and corruption that will add at least 50% to each share.
There will certainly be people who will not get the message or, for some reason, will not claim their share. To allow for this, I would suggest that a major portion of the surplus be distributed as soon as possible and the remainder be reserved for two, or five, years in order to give the procrastinators and stragglers an opportunity to make their claims.
[i] Appendix A, California balance sheet.
[ii] Appendix B, Fountain Valley balance sheet.
[iii] Appendix C, Orange County balance sheet.
[iv] The deceptive manner by which cities, counties and states report their finances is treated in some detail in Who Owns City Hall?
[v] Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), CalPERS (1,113,466 employees, 1998 June) p. 17; CAFR, CalSTRS (577,024 employees, 1997 June) p. 19; CAFR, UCRS (145,707 employees, 1998 June) p. 44.
[vi] Appendix D, page from CalPERS, investment report, domestic stocks. Appendix E, page from UCRS investment report.
[vii] Statistical Abstract of the United States 1997, 117th Edition, tables 517 and 586.
[viii] Pathological Investing.
[ix] The Evolution of Taxation with Representation.
[x] Oh, sure, we have access to courts; but, if we prevail, we must give an SS number in order to obtain a writ of execution.
[xi] 45 CFR 5b.1 (e).
[xii] The topic of this paragraph is treated at length, and with citations, in Plantation America, no whites allowed.
[xiii] See The Mystery and the Fraud and Fires that Cry for discussions as to who is responsible for this planned genocide – and why.
[xiv] Who Owns City Hall? deals with this topic.
[xv] Thomas Paine, A Letter on the Late Proclamations (Albany 1792), 11.
[xvi] Id, 13, 14 and 17.
[xvii] Timothy Ford, 1794; Am. Pol., 905.
[xviii] 44 Congressional Record, Appendix, 71, quoting 58 Me 590.
[xix] Id, 72, quoting Allen v. Inhabitants of Jay, 60 Me 124.
[xx] Id, quoting Loan Association v. Topeka, 20 Wall. 565.
[xxi] Cato’s Letters, # 84.
[xxii] Grey, A. (editor), Debates of the House of Commons from the Year 1667 to the Year 1694, vol. vii, 331; quoted in Stephenson and Marcham, Sources of English Constitutional History, 575.
[xxiii] John Adams, Thoughts on Government, April 1776, Papers, 4: 90, quoted in 1 The Founders’ Constitution, Kurland and Lerner, eds. 109.
[xxiv] Cato’s Letter’s, #97
[xxv] Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, (Heritage Press, New York, 1961) 46.
[xxvi] Memorandum of Understanding, Garden Grove Chapter, Orange County Employees Association and City of Garden Grove, II,1, b, (1).
[xxvii] Nesta Webster, The French Revolution.