From Morris and Linda Tannehill, The Market For Liberty
“Suppose a black man who couldn’t get a decent job decided to support his family by making sandwiches and selling them to men on local construction projects. First, he would have to apply, in proper legal language and procedure, for licenses and permissions from all the branches and departments of government which required them…Then he would have to be regularly inspected and certified under pure food and drug laws. If he managed to comply with all this without going broke or giving up in despair, he would still be faced with the problem of keeping extensive records to enable the city, state, and Federal tax collectors to take part of his earnings and to be sure he paid his ‘fair share’…Suppose he desired to hire his brother-in-law, who knew a little bookkeeping, to keep his records. Then he would have to comply with all the laws which harass other employers, including income tax and social security deductions from his employee’s earnings, sales tax, minimum wage laws, and working condition standards.”
No wonder the poor get poorer. What a skewed version of reality many of us carry in our heads and hearts. What misdirected anger and fear. The burdens imposed by the government are ALWAYS hardest on those who are worst off. The advocate for the poor SHOULD be anarcho-capitalist and against the state. The only way out of poverty is through production and trade. Any accumulation of power that seeks to prevent, force or otherwise do violence to those who would voluntarily engage in trade is a criminal entity.
The hypocrisy here is legion. Those who are tasked with preventing crime are themselves criminal. I do not know, practically, how to respond. What I do know is how I respond to coercion, how if affects my productivity, what I think about third parties telling me they know better than I do what I should trade, when, for what, where, with whom, and how much they should get for allowing me.
In the quote above we think, in particular about the protection of the powerful and the almost necessary impositions of barriers to entry that the government imposes. And don’t be sneaky. Say the government identified its favored identity group for special treatment. THE PROBLEM REASSERTS ITSELF. Not only does such a policy harm those who lack that special characteristic but who are in reality more powerless. Even setting that aside, within the favored group those who will benefit the most are the powerful. This has been seen ACROSS THE WORLD.
The most recent evidence I looked through was Thomas Sowell’s examination of worldwide affirmative action programs. Such programs ALWAYS favor, within the favored group, those who are most favored.
So, what is to be done. Advocate for freedom. Advocate for the one oppressed by poverty to have the freedom to look around, find demand (hunger at a construction site) and serve it with supply through his labor. Stop with the rhetorical slight of hand that you are a part of the solution when you side with the powerful. The most powerful are ALWAYS those who have the power to force choice, prevent free choice, take by force, determine the value of anything by force, prevent associations, trade, production and labor. This is the government.