A bit of history
When I started working in Silicon Valley in the early 1970s, there were still orchards in Sunnyvale and other parts between Stanford and San Jose. On the east side of The Bay, most of the land between Oakland and San Jose, especially Union City and Fremont on the southern end, was practically nothing but farm land. Over the next few years all the orchards and farms disappeared completely, as farm after farm, ranch after ranch, orchard after orchard was destroyed, paved over, and replaced with those infernal warehouse office buildings that made the land hundreds of times more valuable, and, in terms of money, more productive.
At first the story being told was that farmers simply sold out, grabbing for the loot being dangled in their face by the new industries desperate to expand.
Then another story emerged.
It wasn’t so much a tale of the march of progress, getting with the times, going with the flow. It was a land grab; and all legal, if you want to call it that.
City and county councils, one after another, listened to the developers promising much higher tax revenues than the farmers could ever afford to pay. They convinced councilmen to re-zone the land, one parcel at at time, from agricultural to commercial. Instantly the monthly property tax bill to the farmer was many times higher than his yearly total gross income. Faced with bankruptcy, they sold out, one after another, after being skillfully manipulated one against the other into selling out cheap. These people were instantly deprived of the only profession they ever knew, of the only job they knew how to do, of the very life style they had lived for many generations.
If that did not work, if some farmers stubbornly tried to hang on, experts from the state universities told them and the public that their land and water were polluted by the effluents from the semiconductor manufacturing plants interspersed between the farms, and therefore their produce was poisoned and unfit for human consumption. That made the land even cheaper for the developers.
And then, adding insult to injury, when the IRS and the state revenuers got done with them, they didn’t even have enough left to buy a modest house in the same area where their families had lived for generations, let alone pass the property onto their children.
It was a land grab, pure and simple. It was a textbook illustration of the cynical definition of democracy as two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for lunch; and these wolves did not mind eating all the sheep. It’s democracy, right? Justice is whatever the majority wants. All the urbanized voters, crowded onto their postage-stamp size lots, looking to shift the tax base from their own residential properties to the commercial and industrial users of all that land, had easily out-voted the few farmers who worked a lot of land. So what if they were paving over the best farm land in the world, where all you had to do was scratch the dirt, throw in some seed, splash on some water and voila, three harvests a year. Land that used to produce fruits and vegetables now produced mountains of cash for the taxman. THAT is productivity, THAT is good use of land. As to food, well, grapes can be shipped in from Chile, apples from New Zealand, … so what?
This was also the time when the state senatorial districts were being redrawn on the basis of population, rather than representing counties in the state legislature, just like US senators represent states in Congress. Instantly all the political power shifted to the (Democratic) coastal cities and suburban counties. The (Republican) rural counties have lost all of their clout, and their unique interests and points of view were lost in the cry for more state programs for the inner city poor and such.
Well, here comes the fiscal cliff. Here come Warren Buffett and George Soros, two of the finest examples of capitalism — but definitely not free enterprise — joining forces to promote higher estate taxes, and lying through their teeth that higher estate taxes will actually solve our current budgetary problems and other sociological woes. These two great champions of the little guy in the market employ armies of tax lawyers to make sure THEY will never be hit with a single penny of this tax — and it’s not because they give so much to charity, as some stories claim. But here they are, joined by other fat cats, proposing lower exclusions and higher rates for the inheritance taxes. Surprise, surprise; the victims, again and still, will be the little guys; the family farms, the family businesses, the self-employed, who make something of themselves by their own efforts and simply want to pass on the fruits of their lifelong labors to their kids. Dream on, sucker. Here comes the IRS and their champions the Democrat fat cats to make sure they get their pound flesh and your kids inherit not anything like you had intended. Depending on how the numbers are juggled, the victims of these machinations with the estate tax will number from a few thousands up to a million or more; and again especially hard hit will be the land-rich but cash-poor family farms. That’s “social justice” — for everyone except the independent, family farmer; for everyone except the independent family-run small business.
Another bit of history
These two classes in society, family farms and family businesses, have always been singled out for special attention and special persecution up to and including murder, especially by the bolsheviks in Russia and the communists in the USSR’s satellite states.
- Stalin literally beat, killed and starved his farmers into submission to his collectivized agro-business operations; he killed ten million people by starvation in the Ukraine alone.
- Che Gueara took special delight in personally shooting over 4500 of such “subversives” and “enemies of the revolution.”
- FDR was not quite that murderous in subduing Appalachian farmers to the benefits of government help, but the intention was the same.
Before a collectivist, statist, marxist ideology can take hold as the guide for every government policy, the proponents must destroy the source of the greatest resistance to it:
- the independent farmer,
- the independent businessman,
- the independent tradesman and artisan;
- the independent thinker of any sort who just wants to be left alone, to work as he sees fit, and to reap whatever reward great or small his labors bring him.
You can’t rule a people like that, you can’t turn a people into sheep (sheeple) as long as such independent spirits remain among them as examples of success, examples of what is possible if government just leaves them alone. These people must be destroyed to convince the rest of them that all benefit, all reward, all innovation, EVERYTHING comes from the government and only the government; you can’t make a move, you don’t know enough to so much as to blow your nose unless government tells you. You are dependent on government for everything, and you need the government’s approval for everything.
Under communism, government tells you where you live, how big an apartment you get, whether you can live or visit in the capital city, where you work, how much you earn, where you shop, what you buy, what you eat, how much you eat, where you can and cannot travel, even to visit relatives.
Today our students question the wisdom of even going to college — what’s the use, if they are not guaranteed a job after graduation? They scoff at starting pay, they expect immediately to be the boss and reap all sorts of rewards that previous generations had to work for along time to achieve.
How long before this generation demands that GOVERNMENT give them a job, a house, a car, etc.? How long before they choose COMMUNISM, believing THAT will give them the material benefits they “deserve”?
Well, they just might drag us back down into that rat hole and then Americans, too, will learn at our own peril just what communists think we “deserve.” You don’t have to look very far — but you DO have to look — to see what communists think you deserve. Bolshevik Russia, communist Eastern Europe, China, Southeast Asia, Cuba, etc. have all shown the world what communists think you deserve — you deserve to live no better than the poorest loser you have ever seen in your worst nightmares of getting lost in the worst parts of town. If the current commissar of social justice survived on one meal a day — an onion and a slice of stale bread — in his past as a “freedom fighter” in the streets, then you’ll do fine with ration coupons for a loaf of sticky bread, a quart of watered-down milk, a few ounces of smelly meat, a couple of pounds of half-rotten potatoes… maybe an apple… for a family of four… for a week. If his entire extended family had holed up together in some two-room tenement flat in the ghetto, then surely you in your three-bedroom suburban “villa” with formal dining room and family room can easily accommodate six families… in addition to yours; the bathroom can double as a kitchen.
You don’t think this is coming to America? Have you ever thought about how illegal “immigrants” live, how they get by on under-the-table wages? Here? Now?
What makes you think, when THEY take over, this will NOT be YOUR fate? Have you not seen on television that grossly overweight Detroit city councilwoman DEMANDING that someone bring home the bacon? Where do you think the downward slide starts? It started in Detroit MI, Philadelphia PA, Chicago IL, Gary IN, Newark NJ, Trenton NJ, Oakland CA, …
Aren’t you just peachy-keen deliriously happy that your children and grandchildren voted for OBAMA?