Thursday, December 9, 2010

Celebrating The New Underground Economy

The last three years have been an economic tragedy. Depending on who you believe, we have structurally lost 10-30 million jobs in the U.S.- permanently. Those jobs were lost to cheap labor markets all over the world. That sucking sound that Ross Perot, business and political prophet, warned us about a little over two decades ago.

That leaves us with 30 million people not paying their mortgages, not buying health insurance, not paying federal and state taxes, not paying property taxes. Federal, state, and local governments have been slow to catch on. In fact, they want to maintain their status quo employment levels. Some still want to give themselves "raises." It is as though absolutely nothing concerns government. They are completely self absorbed. They don't give a shit about you- as long as they have theirs. This self absorbed attitude is mind numbing and to deny it's existence- would simply be grossly inaccurate. So government just continues pillaging tax payers.

Governments are raising mill levy rates to recapture lost tax revenue on lower appraisals of existing property. They are passing health care bills trying to recapture healthy and unemployed people no longer capable or willing of subsidizing pooled health care costs. They are raising public pension contribution rates for underfunded plans. They are doubling unemployment insurance costs to businesses, large and small. Government mandated worker's compensation insurance costs are rising. So whether government is directly stealing your money or indirectly stealing your money through insurance programs or other benefits that they have mandated- makes little difference. Government cannot stop nor is it willing to rein in it's gluttony. In the most bankrupt corners of our country, government is finally starting to nibble away at itself. Far too little, far too late.

Welcome to the new US underground economy. A far more efficient economy that evades taxes and government socialism. The economy that says, "We have to find a way to live." If that means food, clothing, health care, and shelter for our families, that's what matters. The underground economy that tells government we are eliminating your claim on our work product. You are like fat and bloated unwelcome guests, guests that have long out stayed your welcome here. It's time to move along.

On the ground here in the real world, people are just trying to survive. They have lost jobs, slashed debt, and yet they still can't avoid the self absorbed gluttony and the shameless excesses of those that think they master us. Government giveaway programs that never stop. The useless and wasteful wars that we no longer pay attention to.

The underground economy is about people helping people. It's about roofers doing cash jobs for people. It's negotiating a cash purchase for a tooth repair or a crown, perhaps a couple hundred bucks cash because we can no longer afford dental insurance. Of course we know that the dentist will not report the income. Some of us leave our borders and obtain health care at a reasonable price, perhaps an elective surgery. It's about swapping labor. It's about running a mom and pop business and dodging workman's comp laws. It's trading a pile of firewood for a paint job on your house. It's about charity and service work for the millions of homeless and hungry that you habitually ignore. The government caters to the rich and elite types, the homeless block their restaurant egress.

I know at least twenty people dodging taxes and working for cash. I know people who dodge taxes habitually. These are not criminals. These are people just trying to survive. These folks are faced with real world choices and decisions. In a world of individuals forced to cut all of the fat from their budgets, government just becomes another layer of fat. The people who cut government out of their lives, some even expatriating, are not criminals. They simply cannot continue to give half of their wealth away, year after year, and survive. They cannot save for retirement. That does not make them criminals. It makes them guilty of trying to live and a have a productive life and a government telling them what they can have and what they cannot have. Coercing them and prosecuting them if they do not pay. That's how the mafia works. That is not freedom, that is extortion.

I'm not talking about the corporate elite and the wealthy who "legally" dodge taxes. They have no excuse and they make most of us sick. I'm talking about real life, average Americans trying to string together enough money to to pay their bills. People who pay minimal costs and are left with virtually nothing left over as opposed to some clown like Wesley Snipes who refuses to pay 2 million in taxes and still has 10 or 20 million left over. Enjoy your three year vacation Wes.

Our government has gone berserk when GE can make 637 billion dollars and pay 5 billion, (less than 3.5%) in taxes and threatens to lock the rest of us up because we can't pay our full 35%. That shit is fair and legal??

People would pay a fair price in taxes. A fair price left our country long ago.

I celebrate the new underground economy. People helping people again. Re-introducing themselves to each other. People no longer stealing wealth via some some anonymous third party insurer just because they can. People charging a fair price for a fair service, while looking their customers in the eyes- a little less gouging and and a little less greed. A little more compassion and a little more kindness. People finally recognizing who the bully is. A lot of things to like. Maybe we need a whole new economy and perhaps one day, we will thank our thugocracy for delivering one.


rawmuse said...

Barter is back, big time. Unfortunately, if you need to pay your taxes, the only legal means of doing so is by Federal Reserve Notes. You can't give them corn, or used cars or lumber. The roots of this type of rebellion go way back, and was among the first responsibilities of our 1st President, see "Whiskey Rebellion".

Brian said...

Thanks RM. I just looked up the Whiskey rebellion...old men need a refresher now and then.