“You darkeners of counsel, who would make the property, lives and religion of millions depend on the evasive interpretations of musty parchments; who would send us to antiquated charters of uncertain and contradictory meaning, to prove that the present generation are not bound to be victims to cruel and unforgiving despotism, tell us whether our pious and generous ancestors bequeathed to us the miserable privilege of having the rewards of our honesty, industry, the fruits of those fields which they purchased and bled for, wrested from us at the will of men over whom we have no check.
“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, and supplicate the friendship, and plow, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom – go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
“Courage, then, my countrymen, our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty. Dismissing, therefore, the justice of our cause, as incontestable, the only question is, What is best for us to pursue in our present circumstances?”
“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; Together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.”
Samuel Adams so wrote and spoke August 1st, 1776 in the state house in Philadelphia rousing his countrymen to support the split from Great Britain. We should be so lucky as to have this eloquence at our command now! Notice listed among his “natural rights” life, liberty and property. We have too often over the last few years forgotten the right of property…And to our detriment.
These days, your “right to property” is first subject to “progressive” federal income taxes, then state income taxes, then sales taxes, and then all kinds of real estate taxes, business taxes, fuel taxes… Your right to property in terms of your income and possessions is steadily shrinking! And for God’s sake don’t die! The tax man will hound your inheritors! In Adams’ time it was the imposition of taxes by the far off government of Britain. These days it is the far off government of Washington D.C. and your state capital.
And into this shrinking remainder of income of, “property”, that we are allowed to claim as ours, comes this new idea of “fair share“. With over 45% of the American citizens paying absolutely nothing in federal income taxes, you would think the government would look to take some of their “property”… But no! The geniuses WE have selected as our leaders are looking for greater rights to the property of the actual producers. More “redistribution of wealth” from the productive to the unproductive… Thru the government of course!
In a time when we need success in order to create new jobs and futures for the American worker, we seek to punish the job creators with attacks on their property. I guess government objects to businesses’ ability to survive despite their best attempts! Of course the government doesn’t REALLY care about the “poor” except at the voting booth. Most of these politicians know full well the corrupt government institutions who will collect and distribute this money will not do it wisely! But it will employ and reward their biggest supporters!
So the lesson from Adams is that without a right to our property we really have no rights at all. Dave Ramsey says our most powerful wealth building tool is our income and the ways we invest it over time. In Tennessee we say a broke man has no rights! So we all recognize that if you have no property… You have no REAL control over your life, your future and your dignity. And it doesn’t matter whether it is Great Britain a continent away, or D.C. a few states away, that is taking your property. You are slave to the state, dependent on their favor to survive, since so much is taken from you – you cannot survive by yourself. For this concept of “fair share” men like Adams fought and died?
A final thought from Adams:
“Britain is now, I will suppose, the seat of liberty and virtue, and its legislature consists of a body of able and independent men who govern with wisdom and justice. The time may come when all will be reversed; when its excellent constitution of government will be subverted; when, pressed by debts and taxes, it will be greedy to draw to itself an increase of revenue from every distant province in order to ease its own burdens; when the influence of the crown, strengthened by luxury and a universal profligacy of manners, will have tainted every heart, broken down every fence of liberty and rendered us a nation of tame and contented vassals; when a general election will be nothing but a general auction of boroughs, and when the Parliament, the grand council of the nation, and once the faithful guardian of the State, and a terror to evil ministers, will be degenerated into a body if sycophants, dependent and venal, always ready to confirm any measures, and little more than a public court for registering royal edicts.”