Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

05 June 2008

The Right to Offer Employment Without Enslavement

As an adult with full possession of his senses, I have the right to choose to devote hours of my life to productive work. No one has the right to deny me that choice or to prevent me from doing productive work. Others have this same right. Furthermore, we have the right to work with one another to carry out tasks which we have agreed to perform together. No one has the right to deny us this cooperation. For them to do so is a significant violation of each of our individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of our happiness.

Now suppose that of the several people working cooperatively to accomplish the tasks they have chosen to work on have come to terms in this cooperation which take into account that one or more have invested many more previous hours of work and provided capital in order to make it possible for others of the group of cooperating individuals to have the job that they have chosen to take. Commonly the individual or group of individuals who invested prior hours of work and capital to make other jobs possible are the owners of a business. One would think that their efforts to create other jobs which did not require years of work with low income so that every possible penny could be re-invested in the business and who mortgaged their home and used a substantial part of their prior life savings to start a business and guide it through the first 5 to 10 years when most businesses fail, would be considered something of a good guy.

But no. Such a person is regarded with great suspicion by government. Governments at all levels are inclined to believe that this employer must be watched with an eagle eye and closely regulated. Regulation means that he will commonly be told that he must do this and he must do that or the full force of government wielded violence will fall upon his head. So, he must keep books which may require the investment of many, many more hours each year than the needs of his business actually require. He must collect payroll taxes from his employees and keep records on them and submit forms on the process to the governments. Each quarter of the year he may be required to submit state unemployment insurance fund payments with filled out forms to the state government, even in those quarters where virtually every worker has exceeded the $8500 limit on which the tax is collected. The time to fill out the form may be 30 or 40 minutes and the payment may be less than $10. The state government is not bothered by this in the least. After all, they did not have to pay the employer for his time. Indeed, the employer is never regarded as an actual individual having a finite number of hours in his life. This employer apparently has no right to believe that he has a right to these hours of his life at all. The state, local, and federal governments are all very sure that they can require an employer to turn over many tens of hours of his life every year to them.

Slavery has always been present throughout all of recorded history. Slavery is not just the case of putting chains on a man and then telling him that he must do this and that or you will whip him. In fact, the slave will do better work if the chains are not present. The slave master may find it more effective to tell the slave to do this and that and keep me happy or I will kill your wife and children. Or, in the modern age, he (or a large gang of slave masters) may instead say, you have invested years in earning a house and saving money or in building a business. How wonderful, because this means that we can force you to do our bidding with the threat that we will take your house away from you, we will take your savings, or we will take the capital of your business away. This has great advantages, because this gang of slave masters now does not have to look so brutal as they would standing there with the blood of your wife or children dripping from their hands. Now they have merely to take money and property, which is so much cleaner. But does not taking this money and property mean that they are taking the hours of the employers life used to make the money and acquire the property? Is this not a clear violation of his right to life and certainly of his right to pursue his happiness? Is this slightly higher level of abstraction really too much for most Americans and others to comprehend? Apparently it is. Or do they understand, but they really do not believe that a man has the right to life and the pursuit of happiness?

Once upon a time, Americans thought that the individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was something every man had a right to fight for whenever anyone used force to deprive him of these rights. Americans fought King George III and the English Parliament in the name of this right, but apparently any American today who is an employer is especially deprived of these individual rights. Yes, everyone is substantially deprived of them and everyone is substantially enslaved by requirements imposed with the threat of force upon many of the hours of his life. But, no one is so heavily enslaved as the damned employers.

So, what is the most recent imposition upon my time? The 2007 Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons, which Title 13, United States Code, requires businesses and other organizations that receive this questionnaire to answer the questions and return the report to the U. S. Census Bureau. The form requires information on the business and on the four principal owners of the business.

So what information is so critical that the government feels justified in taking 30 minutes of my time? Is the business owned by another company, employee owned, is it a cooperative, owned by an estate or trust, an American Indian tribal entity, a non-profit, publically held, did any individual own 10% or more of it, is it jointly owned by a husband and wife, did two or more members of the same family own the majority of the business, how many owners are there, and give the % ownership by the top four owners.

Owner: How was ownership acquired? When was ownership acquired? What functions does owner perform? How many hours does owner work a week? [60 or more is regarded as an adequate upper limit! Government workers have no idea.] Was business the primary source of income? Prior to this business, was owner ever self-employed? [Yes, I cut lawns as a kid.] What was the highest education level? Is owner male or female? What age is owner? Was owner born in US? Is Owner Hispanic, if so what type? Is owner White, Black, American Indian, Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, other Asian, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan, other Pacific Islander, or some other race? [Other, human.] Is he a veteran? Is he a disabled veteran?

Business: What year was the business established? What sources of capital were used to start the business? [No government grants, loans, or insured loans, that's for sure. I did not meet the racial and gender requirements.] What was the total amount of capital used to start the business? Did business operate from home? Operate as a franchise? Did franchiser own more than 50%? What sources were used to finance expansion and capital equipment in 2007? How much of sales was from export in 2007? Did business establish operations outside US in 2007? Did business outsource functions outside US? What languages was business conducted in? What types of workers were used? What benefits were supplied? Do you have a website? Have e-commerce sales? Make on-line purchases? What are business hours? Is business currently operating?

Congress does not even read the bills they pass. What are the chances that they will study this data to learn anything about business from it? Actually, the fixation on such issues as the race of the owners suggests that they have no interest in understanding business. They simply want to have justifications for continuing to discriminate against those businesses owned by white males. They also want information on the extent of outsourcing overseas so they can monkey with businesses on that prime issue for demagogues, read most politicians.

I really am tired of being a slave to governments. Is there something wrong with me because I feel that way? Don't be shy you lovers of government expansion. Justify my slavery. Tell me why I should embrace it as a rational man. Ease my pain by giving me understanding. If you cannot do so, then share my pain enough that you will start taking action to reduce my enslavement. Don't continue being a slave master yourself. Surely you do not believe in slavery? Surely you find yourself appalled at what you have wrought? Free the slaves!


Anonymous said...

Bravo! Marvellous post. I am sorry to hear about those difficulties which you must deal with as an employer, though.

Yes, I ran here from Robert Bidinotto's blog. :)

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

miss breeziness,

Thanks for your kind comment. It is nice to pick up a visitor from The Bidinotto Blog. Robert is a valiant warrior for the fight of our lifetime for the rights of the individual against the onslaught of voracious state power.

I hope you will visit often enough that we may become better acquainted.


Anonymous said...

Fight? Oh man, I hate fighting. All of it. Even verbal or philosophical fights. :D
Yes, I know it's necessary sometimes.

I agree, Robert is an absolute professional, and a really nice guy on top of that. I know, we've exchanged a few Emails.

I came here, not to fight, but because you're a really nice person too. After your kind welcome, I've decided that I should indeed visit more often.

If you've been reading some of my posts over at Robert's blog, you'll know I'm a bit of a refugee from the liberal world. I mean that I used to have liberal ideas, but the guilt was too much for me. So, I became a libertarian instead. Traitor. :D

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

miss breeziness,

In this context the use of the word fight is really only meant to convey the importance of what is at stake when we fail to think the issues through thoroughly to understand the impact of trying to do "nice" things through compulsory government edicts. I am actually trying to find ways to minimize the actual use of force and its threatened use so that we can all pursue our individual goals for achieving our happiness. It pains me greatly that when the liberals pursue a "good" goal, they tend to do so in many cases by doing bad to some in order to help others. I think we can achieve a world in which we are free to help others, without using force to deprive those who produce the most of a great part of what they have produced. As I have noted in earlier posts, the proclivity to charity and I think good will to others is greater among those who believe that it is important to minimize government.

Because socialism and the combination of socialism and extreme environmentalism are such threats to the rights of the individual, I tend to spend considerable time railing against liberals. Nonetheless, I recognize that many of them are carried along in a tide whose fundamental principles they have not yet well examined. Some do come to understand the mistakes, just as some conservatives come to understand theirs. The conservatives are often wrong-headed on issues such as homosexuality and other aspects of sexuality, outlawing prostitution and marijuana use, imposing aspects of Christianity upon others, and some aspects of legal opposition to abortions.

Anonymous said...

I do see your points about "fighting". However, I was just joking, really. When I feel benevolent, I can get a little silly. :) And your welcome made me feel that way.

You make a good point about conservatives, too. I tend to get more "fired up" on "liberal" issues, but I agree that "conservative" issues can be just as bad, such as the anti-homosexuality agenda and the drug war. A friend of mine have often said that both liberals and conservatives are two sides of the same coin - they both want to use the government to remake society to their own ideals. I couldn't agree more.

I became a libertarian pretty much because I believed that everyone should be allowed to pursue happiness in their own way, even if that way is considered repulsive to some others, as long as they also respect everyone else's right to do the same. That, and the fact that having guilty liberal feelings prevented me from pursuing mine.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Miss Breeziness,

I understand how wonderful it is to be able to enjoy benevolent feelings toward a fellow human being. It is such a pleasure to be in the company of someone who respects others as individuals who can and should think and who are capable of developing and pursuing their own goals to realize their happiness. It gives me a lightness of spirit to encounter someone like you. Thanks for visiting with me. I am looking forward to getting to know you better, but I already think you are adorable.

Anonymous said...

*blushes* Thank you. :)

From what I can tell by your comments in reply to mine so far, I really like you too.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Miss Breeziness,

I am smiling broadly and shamelessly happy to make your acquaintance. It is great not to have those reservations along the lines of: "This is someone really nice and fun in person, but they want to use government to browbeat me and those I love at every turn. And what else might they want to do that is less than rational?" When you enjoy good people, you do not want it to have to be with such guarded reservations. You really do want to enjoy the society of people who are not bent on using one another.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I know how that feels...