A Matter of Princely Pull


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By L. Neil Smith, October 14th 2014. (lneil@netzero.com)
Attributed to The Libertarian Enterprise

Years ago, I wrote an article called "Live As You Vote" in which I suggested, for example, that only those who want higher taxes should pay them, and only those who want sugary drinks forbidden should be denied them. Those who oppose smoking, but don't have the cojones to quit and want to substitute the law for character will be forbidden to buy tobacco products. Obviously, only gun control advocates should be disarmed, which would result in confiscation of a surprising number of guns.

The other side of the self-defense issue is nothing if not hypocritical.

Michael Bloomberg, the former dictatorial mayor of New York City, is a billionaire who uses his money as a weapon to limit people's life-choices. Frankly, I think the guy needs some serious couch-time. He has lately singled out the state of Colorado for New York-style gun laws, and has spent millions to accomplish that. The laws were passed, but to his utter chagrin and smoldering fury, the people of Colorado don't want to be disarmed, and have recalled or otherwise rendered inert his three key agents in the legislature who pressed the gun laws. Sixty of our sixty-two county sheriffs have refused to enforce them.

Poor little billionaire. As soon as the Democrats are kicked out of their dominant position (provided Colorado Republicans don't manage, as usual, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory), Bloomie's legislative monument to Benito Mussolini will vanish into nothingness.

Lately, I have been entertaining an extremely unlibertarian idea: if Bloomberg uses his money as a weapon, why not take it away from him like he wants to take our guns? Both actions are illegal, immoral, and insane. But they are completely morally equivalent. If it's wrong to steal Bloomie's dough, then it's wrong to steal people's gats. And if it's wrong to steal people's rods, it's wrong to steal Bloomie's mazuma.

I have thought. deeply and wickedly, about the potential benefits of this otherwise unthinkable idea. If Colorado levied a confiscatory tax, say 99%, on money spent in Colorado politics by former New York mayors (or even better, by anybody from outside the state), we might be able to discontinue our state income tax. Wyoming could stop sneering at us, then, and our lives, liberty, and property would be secure.

You don't have to tell me this is all bad thinking. I've been a libertarian for more than half a century. Think of the idea as libertarian porn, yearning for forbidden fruit. We do have to jettison Bloomberg somehow, however, and if the idea, say, of extraditing every damned cent he owns gets discussed widely enough, maybe he'll take a hint.

The fact is, individuals, like Bloomberg, who are obsessed with minutely controlling the live of others, are exhibiting symptoms of an extremely serious mental illness, and ought to seek immediate treatment. Let us paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, then: in the state of Colorado, at least, he who would sacrifice money for power shall have neither.

BILL OF RIGHTS PENALTY CLAUSE "Any official, appointed or elected, at any level of government, who attempts, through legislative act or other means, to nullify, evade, or avoid the provisions of the first ten amendments to this Constitution, or of the Thirteenth Amendment, shall be summarily removed from office, and, upon conviction, deprived of all pay and benefits including pension, and sentenced to imprisonment for life."

Author and lecturer L. Neil Smith is Senior Editorial Consultant for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. A fifty-year veteran of the libertarian movement, he is the Author of 33 books including The Probability Broach, Ceres, Sweeter Than Wine, And Down With Power: libertarian Policy In A Time Of Crisis. He is also the Publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise, now in its 17th year online.

Visit the Neil Smith archive on JPFO.

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