Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

ABC’s of Deceptive Politics

con game, politics, redistribution, Clinton

In breaking news, a major politician has promised to give important benefits to the poor and the middle class.

She did not specify where those benefits would come from. But we know where they do come from: taxpayers. What this politician has done is promise to take from some to give others. Actually, it’s even more complicated — after taking from some folks, then there’s the skimming off the top (or: taking a big chunk); and after that, there’s the hoopla about the money she is “giving” back.

This is how politicians work. Vague talk and big promises, backed up by the ability to tax and the sanction to threaten your life if you don’t comply.

Characteristically, they avoid talk of the costs of their actions. They focus on the “benefits.”

Many, many years ago, a great American sociologist explained the process:

A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. The radical vice of all these schemes, from a sociological point of view, is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his position, character, and interests, as well as the ultimate effects on society through C’s interests, are entirely overlooked. I call C the Forgotten Man.

That was written in 1883. In 1932, a major politician took the term, “The Forgotten Man,” and applied it not to C but to D.

And since then, politicians have tended to ignore C entirely, except to make them feel guilty for not doing more for D (and, by implication, A and B).

You can see why I prefer direct action on discrete issues by responsible citizens. In which the C’s are consulted.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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con game, politics, redistribution, Clinton


Original Photo Credit: David Goehring on Flickr (Creative Commons)


By: CS Admin


  1. John F. Brennan says:

    The “logic” of this is that C count not have had anything without the “aid” of the society and therefore the society can COMPEL C to give back. 
    The reality is that A and B, for their benefit and power, are stealing part of C’s productivity and “giving” it, commonly in a most destructive manner to D because of D’s lesser or non productivity. 
    The perverse incentives hinder and eventually destroy the society which, on the first and false premise, is the source of all productivity. 

  2. Pat says:

    A&B win when they can make C&D one and the same person. As Ed Rendell did recently on C-SPAN. A caller said government wasn’t fulfilling its obligations. Rendell asked him in a snarky voice: do you get Social Security? Do you get Medicare? Do you get Part D prescription drug coverage?
    Totally forgotten is that government is not doing this out of beneficence. The money for all of these programs was taken from my paycheck without my consent. In addition, I paid income tax on every penny with no guarantee that I would see so much as a dime in benefits.

  3. Paul Jacob says:

    Well said, John.

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