Sometimes you come across something so unbelievable stupid, you want to facepalm, smack the fool out of people, and bless their hearts all at the same time. For example:
Um. <blinking eyes rapidly> pic.twitter.com/TfLukF48ZO
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) January 28, 2015
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While the continued attacks on stay-at-home moms is irritating, this is much bigger than the idea that somehow families that choose to have a parent stay at home are somehow cheating the government out of its due. (Although I do have some rage about that.) While the concept that every bit of our labor should be subject to taxation was widely mocked (Brush your own teeth? Two cents to Uncle Sam!), this is not a new idea for leftists. Sadly, the concept that the government owns us is becoming ingrained in our culture, although most people are seemingly unaware of the shift.
Remember when the Democrats opened their 2012 national convention with a little video saying “Government is the only thing we all belong to.” And conservatives were all, “Citizens, not subjects, you commie statists!” And Dems sorta backed down and said, “We just meant participate in not, ya know, owned by.” Except their actions don’t line up with that statement.
Before homeschooling became more common, one of the most frequent things homeschoolers heard was, “Do they let you do that?” They, being the government. Yes, sweetie. The government “lets” me choose my child’s method of education. I find the question irritating, but that’s just cause I’m a ‘winger. For most people, it’s a legitimate question, and only when reassured that homeschooling is indeed legal in all 50 states do they relax. It’s okay, we’re allowed. “But who checks to make sure you’re doing it right?” Come a little closer, precious, your shins are too far away.
Acceptance of government regulation is de facto in our culture. Just check out the Institute for Justice for a few of the things that are regulated: hair braiding, tour guides, yard sale signs, etc. etc. etc. “But we have to have all those regulations! Who will make sure we’re doing we’re doing things right?!?!”
Madame The Nation goes even further. Not only ought the government make sure that we’re doing it right, but every bit of us belong to the state. You can see this where she compares the tax that stay at home parents don’t render to Caesar with the benefits that welfare recipients collect:
“The conservative rush to defend stay-at-home mothers also usually only applies to a certain class of mothers. While the tax code has some benefits for families in which one parent stays home, the welfare system has huge penalties for any poor mother who might make the same choice. Welfare reform in the 1990s instituted stringent requirements that those who get assistance also work. The policy change was aimed at “welfare queens” who supposedly had more and more children to increase their benefits without wanting to work for money. Now, if a poor mother wants some cash assistance, she can’t make the choice to stay home.”
Not earning a wage that can be taxed by the government is the same as getting tax-payer dollars through government programs, because all our labor belongs to the government which will decide who gets what. Or, as another statist once said, “From each according to abilities to each according to his needs.”
A passage from That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis gets to the heart of what’s happening here: “Man has got to take charge of Man. That means, remember, that some men have got to take charge of the rest–which is another reason for cashing in on it as soon as one can. You and I want to be the people who do the taking charge, not the ones who are taken charge of.” (Yes, I tend to quote that bit a lot. It’s relevant.)
This is about more than various taxes and regulations. This about who decides what we are allowed to do, what choices are available to us, and how we arrange our families. Will we take charge of ourselves or continue to let politicians, bureaucrats, and the people that influence them take charge of us? Who owns us? Do we really own ourselves? Are we truly free?
Don’t answer that.