The Dollar Rebellion

This morning, I happened to overhear something I found to be highly hilarious, to say nothing of guffaw-inducing. Ok, so I’m here in Tucson and I walk all over the place. To date, I have only been approached twice in about a year by panhandlers asking for money. And I see the homeless all the time. Talk to some of them at length. But petition gatherers? I think I’ve been approached by a little over a hundred within the past six months. Feh, it’s like running a gauntlet of government officials at a budget free-for-all of McPork Barrel proportions. And your humble scribe has discovered why that is.
This morning, one approached me to ask if I’d like to sign a petition to limit “dark money” campaign contributions from the corporations. I, of course, pointed out that I burned my voter registration card quite some time ago and lit the barbeque with it. It finally did something for me—those fire-roasted green chiles were delicious. But I then overheard the other petition gatherer with him answering a question from a signer. These petition gatherers are paid! These guys were supposedly getting $18 an hour! My gosh, that’s probably more than sheriff’s deputies here get, I think! At the least, these human gnat-imitators are garnering $2.50 per signature. “Well, they can’t do it for free!”, defenders say. Oh, can they not? What happened to the tough guys telling me this was a democratic process?
Look here, Thomas Jefferson, WHO is paying these guys to gather these signatures? And why is it worth so much money to pass these laws? Gee, Tom, you don’t suppose maybe the political parties themselves might be behind this, do you? And, gosh, you don’t suppose they’d have at least three front groups doling out the money so it looks like the money comes from “Jimmy Crack Corn Public Relations” and not directly from the Democratic Party or the Republicans, do you? Because that’s how corporate marketing works. You, Boffo Frisbees Inc. issue a press release through Dingbat Marketing who then hands it to the press agency through Scam-O-Matic Public Relations. The paper trail is difficult to follow.

Therefore, Mr. Jefferson, how is it you can be against “dark money” in political campaigns when you are PAYING to gather signatures to create yet another law allegedly against it? Unless, of course, you seek to pass a law that benefits your party because you’ve written into it a loophole that’ll immunize you from the law while it nails everyone else? See, it’s really quite simple. If you really believe in a cause, you’ll go gather these signatures as a volunteer effort. But there are ads in the paper to enlist these people, promising great pay. Come on, man, how can you claim this as some kind of democratic process? This is the best government money can buy.
How can anyone fail to see the obvious here? And people go and die for this system?! People imagine they owe some kind of “debt” to a system such as this? Some kind of “duty” or the shivers up the spine when they hear “The Blood-Spattered Banner”? Oops, Star-Spangled Banner. Well, they can spangle their own stars for all I care because I don’t want their gold star on my report card. I’ve had enough star-spangling, thank you very much. Every tax time, the star-spangling gets more expensive. Duty? Huh, I feel more of a duty to the spider residing in a corner of the porch because it provides a useful service. To my mind, if they’re paying these jokers at least $2.50 per signature, they owe me $1.00 of it for my part in that transaction.
Now, hear me out here. Obviously, we cannot prevent them from passing more laws. So I’m thinking, gee, there’s a problem with this entire transaction of the petition gathering itself. I, the signer, am the supplier the same as if I was growing apples people wanted. But I am not being paid for the product I am providing, that being my signature and personal information. If the petition gatherer is getting $2.50 for this on his end, then he owes me $1.00 for supplying the product which he then garners a $1.50 profit after paying his supplier. The Very simple market economics here.
I think I have stumbled upon a way to reform the government here. From here on, I will ask these jokers for $1.00 cash every time they ask for my signature. Of course, they’ll invoke the false idol of “democracy” to refuse paying for my product. But then I will ask what they get paid and why it is acceptable for them to be paid for the simple task of harvesting the signature when I am the grower of it. I have to feed and water and shelter the body that produces the signature. Signatures don’t just grow on trees, but if you want to harvest mine, look, man, it’s going to cost you $1.00. That’s cheaper than the per-pound price of Granny Smith apples right now, so I think it’s a good deal and a fair price.
Nah, I don’t think I could go through with it. There are just some things a person cannot morally do for any amount of money. Participating in politics and government is one of them. But as an experiment, it would be interesting to see the reactions of them when they’re told the signature will cost $1.00 because then the hypocrisy will be revealed. The hypocrisy is this: The government makes money off of us through our labor and this is how they exist. Their bread-and-butter is jumping over our corral fence and milking our cows and swiping the loaf of bread cooling on the windowsill.
Knowing all of this, how can the government be said to be any form of moral force in the world? Again, the political parties pay people to gather signatures to pass more laws that favor the political parties. They do this to create a false majority of the people because they’ll claim all these people want these laws. No, they were hassled into signing these petitions by political panhandlers. “Excuse me, could you spare a signature?” This is not a “democratic process”, this is panhandling. Cities want to pass laws banning panhandlers. But these political panhandlers run amok hassling people relentlessly without so much as a nod to the public nuisance they are. Democracy, huh, yeah, sure it is.
Thus, I think the Dollar Rebellion might just be a free market solution to this problem with petition gathering. “Excuse me, can I get your signature on—” “It’s a dollar.” “What?” My signature. It costs one dollar. That’s my price, based on my overhead.” “But this is a democratic process!” “Is that a fact? Well, you get paid, so why am I not to be paid? Remember, this is a democracy, you say. So, if it’s good for you, it’s good for me, too.” Watch how quick the scam is defeated and he goes off to find the people giving away their names for free. Well, buddy, I am not free in this country and so neither will my signature be free until I am in fact. Put that on your clipboard and file it into you know where.

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