Quotes/Thoughts from "Leave Us Alone"

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.

--Samuel Adams

First, I suspect that I will eventually suffer some kind of persecution for speaking out on this matter. I think it will come from my own government. The "Looters" don't like it when you stand up to them.

My own comments appear in green.

"That is the problem with government these days. They want to do things all the time; they are always busy thinking of what things they can do next. This is not what people want. People want to be left along to look after their cattle." --Obed Ramotwse

Now some quotes from an excellent book:

The center-right movement... is a coalition of groups and individuals that have one thing in common. They do not want the government to give them something. Or take something from others. On the key issue that motivates their vote, they want one simple thing from the gonvernment: They just want to be left alone. p3

I, Shawn Gately, want my money to be left alone. I don't want to pay into Social Security. I want to manage my own retirement. I can handle it. Social Security is a mega-rip-off. As it stands now, I have to take care of myself, plus carry a government worker on my back, PLUS flush my Social Security payments down the toilet. On top of that, I am forced through threat of fine and imprisonment to be the government's little tax-collecting collaborator and see the same thing happen to all the people that work for my company. I'm super-ultra-pissed about it.

Jobs are, of course, not created by the government. The government can take the money out of the real economy (defunding a job in the private sector) and drag the money into the government coffers and spend it to "create" a new job. This is the economic equivalent of taking a pail of water out of one side of the lake, walking around the lake (spilling some water) then holding a press conference surrounded by cameras to be filmed pouring what is left into he bucket into the lake. "Vote for Fred, he is filling up the lake with water." Government cannot create. It can only take and relocate. It cannot give you anything, including jobs, which it didn't take by force in the first place. -p7

Did you know that if you have a job that pays you $10 an hour, that your employer has to pay another $1 per hour (that otherwise would go to you) for "employer paid" taxes/rig-marole? "But Shawn, the employer pays that otherwise he would pocket that money". Really? Just think that through a bit. Why doesn't every job pay minimum wage? In fact, hardly any jobs pay that. They pay higher based on the demand of the free market. I can guarantee you, get rid of the hideous taxation and that money will flow right into the pockets of skilled workers.

When a hundred workers are laid off by General Motors to pay the taxes for some new environmental fad or government spending program, who makes the connection? The politicians would claim the money was free, came from nowhere, had no cost... - p9

The Leave Us Alone Coalition is not antigovernment. It simply wants properly limited government. -p17

Inflation was caused by the federal government printing too much money. -p25

Gas prices aren't going up. There are more dollars in circulation after the mass printing of paper money in 2007. When there is an "emergency supplemental appropriations bill" they just fire up the presses, print the money and make ALL YOUR MONEY worth less. The printing of money is a huge problem. But why don't you hear about it? Because BOTH parties want to keep doing it. It's only a fight about who is going to run the presses.

I found out that my Congressman, Chris Cannon, voted for these things almost without exception. He stood by while they fired up the money presses and made all my money worth less. He did not protect my interests. And I'll bet that your congressman is pulling shenanigans up there, too.

I keep seeing things on TV where gas station owners are "gouging". Are you kidding me? If anyone deserves a profit, it's the station owner! The congress has robbed you! Every last one of you!

Gas prices aren't up 20%. There are 20% more dollars in circulation. Or at the very least, that's a big part of it.

He [Bill Clinton] ran promising change. America did want to change the government that under George H. W. Bush was raising taxes to spend more money and exploding the regulatory state. But Clinton did not want to change the government. He wanted to use the state to change America. -p27

Everyone is free to believe and argue for what they believe-- on their own time and their own dime... If you want everyone to be like you, approve of you, or believe as you do-- advocate for free love, believing Baptist or Cubs fan-- you are free to go be a missionary for your views, spending your own money. The line is drawn at using the state and its power to force others to subsidize your views or demand that they agree with you. -p33

The relationship between rich trial lawyers and the Democrat party is symbiotic. Billionaire trial lawyers have been created and protected by those politicians. They have been given "letters of marque" and operate as privateers despoiling the real economy, killing the jobs, and looting the retirement nest eggs of millions of Americans. They are ... give[n] laws that make it easy to sue, and pliant judges, who shower them with other people's money. -p45?

The future envisioned by the American left can be glimpsed in Europe today. Near-guaranteed job security and unemployment payments almost as high as the after-tax pay for work. This is in return for a lower standard of living: only 74 percent of America's per-capita GDP. More security and less innovation. Everyone will be more equal. Poorer all, but but more equally poor. Little chance to create tremendous wealth, but also little chance that your neighbor will make you feel bad by creating the next Microsoft while you were in the pub. -p115

The left has a good head start in trying to make a functioning majority of Americans see themselves as dependent on the government. The construction of this Venus flytrap for once-independent men and women, this enticing lazychair covered with superglue, this Faustian bargain where one trades one's independence for security and barters with the state for one's vote rather than competing in the market with one's work and talents, has taken a great deal of time and effort. -p117

When I was a teacher (yes, I confess shamefully that I was a government worker) I was "given" health insurance. I paid part of it. It was $850 a month, but the district "paid" half of it. Thank goodness! Because there's no way that I could have paid that by myself. I was so grateful that the almighty State gave me something I couldn't hope to get for myself. When I quit to start BTP I found out that a comparable private plan only cost $350 a month. I could have ditched the government plan and still had thousands in my pocket at the end of four years.

Oh, they "took care of me" all right. Just like a farmer takes care of its cattle. I'm a wild Mustang now, baby. Live free or die.

And now a quote from good ole Samuel Adams:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

If the business community increased its political activism to the point where it simply invested in politics rationally-- as it invests in normal business activity [eg to stop shoplifting]-- it would dwarf all other political spending and sweep all political opponents before it. -175

Shoplifting might take 1% of your revue. The government will loot you for over 20%. It's my opinion that government should be able to perform ALL PROPER functions with less than 5%. I think that's actually very high.

Our worthy ancestors dumped tea in the harbor and started a war for what percentage? Any guesses? I challenge you to find it on-line. The information is suspiciously missing. It's about ONE PERCENT!

In the Book of Mormon, enslavement ("bondage") is defined as 50%. Oppression is marked at 20%.

The power to tax is, quite simply, the Power. The goal of Americans who love liberty is not to wield that power but to reduce it. To control it. To bind it down with the chains of the Constitution and popular will. To destroy much of that power lest it fall back into the same old hands. The goal is not to try and use the ring of power for good, but to hurl it into the first of the pits of Mordor...

The British tax burden on Americans was about 1 percent of income. This was completely unacceptable, and Americans fought from April 19, 1775, in Lexington and Concord until victory at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, to put an end to this. Since then there has been some backsliding. -p228

Congress never holds a vote on whether or not to spend too much money... The Bush administration has perfected the strategy of pretending to send up a budget and then showing up later with "emergency" spending requests to pay for such "unexpected" costs as pay and equipment for the hundred thousand American troops in Iraq that have been there for years, but somehow... forgot this when they wrote their budget. -p295

Likewise, the damage done to the economy is not done by the deficit, but by the total size of government spending. -p299

In an America where every young person looks to the stock market and the business community to create his personal retirement wealth the part and movement run by and for trial lawyers, labor unions and government workers is a dead man walking... Every trial lawyer is a potential parasite damaging your personal retirement accounts... Union bosses siphon off $500 per worker... Government workers living off high property taxes, sales taxes and corporate income taxes are looting your personal savings account every day.. The first thing every American will want left alone is his retirement wealth. -311

Imagine a future where every check written by your school and every contract signed... is public information available at all hours on the Web... The understandable fears that sweetheart contracts would be let at the expense of the public good are best protected by the disinfectant of public scrutiny. -p331

This book was very thorough and covered all bases. I read a lot of political type books. Most of them reek of one-sided-ness. This one was pretty even handed, explains things clearly with good thought-experiments and at the end actually lays out a reasonable plan for tax reform.

It has to happen a step at a time.

I am sick about the presidential race. Both candidates are huge
statists. Do you want to have an enormous State Power that oversteps its bounds by maintaining an enormous Welfare State or an enormous Warfare State?

What sort of chains would you like? Iron or steel?

I don't pretend to understand it all. But I'm working on it.

I despise McCain. He's going to expand the state and go WAY outside constitutional bounds with a huge American Empire abroad and undeclared Wars. Then again, I'm loving where he's going with the reduction of taxes, Social Security, and health care. Ugh.

For me the question is, which one will do less damage?

In my dream universe I get to vote for Ron Paul again. I've got my Ron Paul sign outside. People ask me when I'll take it down. I say NEVER! There's a Ron Paul lawn sign in my soul.

PS- for the record, I do NOT recommend tax evasion. As a Mormon I believe in up-holding the law. I will let the chains chafe me.


Naelok said...

"For me the question is, which one will do less damage?"

Well, in my opinion as a fellow Ron Paul fan, the answer to that is obvious...

From McCain you've got some paltry tax cuts that your government can't actually afford (like Ron Paul always says, you can't just cut taxes but you also have to cut spending. What spending is McCain going to cut?), coupled with a continued occupation of Iraq and a possible military confrontation with Iran.

With Obama you have taxes rolled back to what they were in the late 90s along with a step towards the socialist state... but you'll also get a withdrawal from Iraq and an end to all the sabre rattling against Iran. There'd still be an American Empire, but it'd be a much less destructive one.

Honestly, I think Obama does a lot less damage than McCain would. American bankruptcy is obviously a big problem (not just for you guys, but the entire world), but if it can't be avoided then obviously you want it to happen without as many American armies in hostile foreign countries. Wars are expensive and have the capacity to get REALLY expensive when you least expect them to.

Though really, I think Utah is a pretty Red state. What I'd do if I were you is keep an eye on the polls leading up to the election... if it's like McCain 80%, Obama 20%, then write in Ron Paul for the sake of your conscience. If it's close though, I'd certainly vote Obama.

Just my two cents. I do enjoy your political thoughts though Shawn!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more.

I'm reminded of a quote from Frank Zappa. "The most important thing to do in your life, is to not interfere with somebody else's life."

Anonymous said...

"In the Book of Mormon, enslavement ("bondage") is defined as 50%. Oppression is marked at 20%."

Curious - what % of every dollar that comes into your studio goes directly to the artists?

If it's less than 50%, aren't you 'enslaving' them, according to your own beliefs?

Blue Table Painting said...

This is a response to gambinoblogdog: Did you really think that through before posting it? Are you serious? Did you read the post?

The answer to your question is "No", it's entirely different. You really don't see a difference between taxation and your employer making a profit?

The primary thesis of the book was that there is a "Takings Coalition" that essentially swoops down on a man's harvest and takes where it did not sow. If someone wants 100% of the harvest they should buy 100% of the land, take 100% of the risk, make 100% of the investment, and do 100% of the work. I sow where I reap. For example: I sowed $30,000 (conservatively) of my own money for advertising and other business expenses. An Artist who works for me sows ZERO dollars, and is therefore not entitled to the profit from the business. I've had many Artists leave BTP and exactly none of them came back and volunteered to pay for business expenses.

Second point: TAXATION is not voluntary. That's what makes it bondage. Having a job IS voluntary. You walk in knowing what you'll get paid and decide if it is fair. It's a free market. Think you're worth more than what I pay? Take your services back to the free market and get more money for them!

So, I think you're way off base.

Anonymous said...

"For example: I sowed $30,000 (conservatively) of my own money for advertising and other business expenses. An Artist who works for me sows ZERO dollars, and is therefore not entitled to the profit from the business."

So, your saying your Artist's don't pay for their own supplies ('they don't sow'), they didn't pay moving expenses(assuming they moved to work for you), they take 0% of the risks, and YOU do 100% of the work(or rather, whatever % in excess of what the Artists recieve)?. I've talked to a few of your ex-members, and that's not the information I got at all - so, at best, they or you are seriously misrepresnting the truth. I guess the truth will surface sooner or later, though.

Secondly, taxation IS most certainly voluntary - you should check your information a bit more before you make erroneous statements.

My original contention still stands, quite close to the base, I think.

Blue Table Painting said...

To gamingblogdog: Ah, I figured as much. I have several artists who have left Blue Table but didn't leave it alone. I welcome them to go about their business but I ask to be left alone in turn. I have invited some, if they have some sort of rancor or think I have wronged them, to by all means meet with me to get things straight. So far no takers.

But I do get anonymous comments.

Who are you? I welcome you to come visit me. It sounds to me like you have one side of the story.

But please don't come around here anonymously with oblique attacks or "gotcha" type comments. If you have a problem with me, please let's do sit down and talk it out.

I state openly that if anyone feels wronged in any way by me, let us speak face to face and make amends.

Just one clarification on my last comment: Artists do "sow" some of their money. I would just say that it is not on the same scale that I have (and that's OK, the owner of a business should risk it all). Heck, if you show up for a job interview you've risked something.

What I am suggesting is that what I pay is comensurate with the overall input of the artist, all things considered. Every artist who has ever worked here has known openly up-front what their slice of the pie would be. If they think it's not fair, then they can walk away from the deal!

All of my artists have made agreements with me; to do a certain amount of work for a certain amount of pay. The work they do is not an investment like an Investor invests money, or a Partner puts in hours. If I have shorted anyone, or if I've promised anything that I have not delivered, then by all means come forward and let's balance the scales. I extend my hand in peace.

This issue is so amazingly complicated and I'm not sure I want to discuss it on an open forum with an anonymous person.

One thing we do agree on: the truth will come out sooner or later. I'm not worried about that, though. I have moved on with my life and my business.

Anonymous said...

I find the obsession for reduced taxes by the far right really interesting. Taxes don't just provide basic services such as fire/police protection, infrastructure and defense but the government uses that money to promote economic growth.

Large government projects provides jobs, providing wealth and giving more disposable income to everyone. We were all better off under Clinton's Economy than Bush's (I or II) and McCain really is yet another term.

My vote, lets not increase taxes beyond rolling back the cuts for the top 2%. Instead, lets reduce military spending by 10% by withdrawing from Iraq, and canceling worthless investments like the missile defense system. We use that revenue to supplement our education system with renewed focus on Science and Math and retake our lead role in the intellectual world.

In the taxation debate: Calling taxation bondage is flawed. Because we all volunteer to live in civil society. We are free to leave the country, but seek the protections and freedoms that our society provides. Taxes pay for this, and we opt-in by living in the United States.

Eric Danley said...

I find the obsession for reduced taxes by the far right really interesting. Taxes don't just provide basic services such as fire/police protection, infrastructure and defense but the government uses that money to promote economic growth.

Large government projects provides jobs, providing wealth and giving more disposable income to everyone. We were all better off under Clinton's Economy than Bush's (I or II) and McCain really is yet another term.

My vote, lets not increase taxes beyond rolling back the cuts for the top 2%. Instead, lets reduce military spending by 10% by withdrawing from Iraq, and canceling worthless investments like the missile defense system. We use that revenue to supplement our education system with renewed focus on Science and Math and retake our lead role in the intellectual world.

In the taxation debate: Calling taxation bondage is flawed. Because we all volunteer to live in civil society. We are free to leave the country, but seek the protections and freedoms that our society provides. Taxes pay for this, and we opt-in by living in the United States.

Blue Table Painting said...

Thank you, Eric, I think what you say deserves a good read and I respect where you're coming from.

Here are some random thoughts: Then why not put taxes at 95% and really make everyone wealthy with GIGANTIC government projects? The bucket analogy section of the book asserts that for every job that is "created" by government is actually sucked out of the private sector. That money doesn't appear out of nowhere, it is *taken* under threat of fine or imprisonment from someone who actually created something from scratch. That's my obsession with lower taxes.

This is absolutely true at Blue Table Painting. If just one tax, say Social Security, were unstrapped from our backs, there would be enough money to hire on another full-time person, maybe two, or even better, put that money into the pockets of BTP's workers so they could **take care of themselves**. To my mind, there is an invisible government worker standing in the corner who I have to pay, and as far as I can tell all they're good for is to crap out paperwork and threats.

Now, I'm with you on Fire and Police. But where does that money come from? Is it City-level? Is it from property taxes?

On the other hand, what about the argument of 0% taxes? I think that some taxation is good and necessary, but I think it's gotten way, way out of hand.

The real argument is how much taxation is right, and what should the money be used for? The government doesn't provide your car, why not? What's the difference between a car and a retirement program? What about food, or furniture, or a home? Just based on my own limited information I think that 5% ought to be plenty.

If taxes were voluntary they'd be called donations. That's my real issue with it-- that it is by force. I suppose my view is tinted by living in a Mormon community where there is a communally supported food storehouse and the common man can get immediate relief from emergency problems. But all of this is supported with *voluntary* donations and volunteer work. It's my view that almost any problem can be solved by a small community, maybe a few hundred strong.

A church doesn't need to do this. it could be any organization.

What really is the proper role of government? To you, what is the guiding principle here?

Eric Danley said...

I'm enjoying this conversation greatly, politics is a bit of a hobby for me and you have a point of view that is both well thought out and different than most people I talk to.

First, in regards to having the government be totally responsible for the economy with 95% taxes. This has been done of course, in soviet Russia ;-) Government is good at seeding the economy, giving it a jump start per se. They also are good at doing the no or slim profit jobs that the private sector would let waste. Take infrastructure like roads, and bridges and electricity for instance. Sure Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and other big cities would be fine, their dense population makes infrastructure easy and profitable but what about Tennessee, South Dakota, Utah? These places would never get roads, internet, cell phone coverage, etc. without government subsidies and mandates. How about the postal service? Sure we have Fed Ex and UPS but they opt not to provide that basic mail service because they couldn't find a profit. We need the government for these things just as much as we need them for basic police protection, and national defense. That being said we come back to your original point: Why not make taxes 95% and let the government make us rich? Its simple, there is one thing that the government is totally incompetent at: Innovation.

We need the government to pay for the loss leaders above, but we also need programs like the Small Business Administration to promote the real cause of economic growth: Small Private Enterprise such as Blue Table Painting create jobs. Jobs create wealth, wealth creates investment which in turn creates more jobs.

However, the Free Market left unchecked leads to exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few. Again, the government is needed to keep private enterprise in check. Without the EPA we get industry raping our environment to line their pockets. Strip top mining, dumping mercury into drinking water, the left over lead from countless superfund sites across the nation are all examples of this. We need the Occupational Safety & Health Administration so private enterprise pays employees a decent wage and provides a safe work environment. Not everyone runs their business as equitably as you try to do with BTP.

That brings us to your point about the Social Security tax, that if you didn't have to pay this one tax you could hire two additional painters giving jobs to more people and growing your business. Thats a completely valid statement and a sentiment shared by many small business owners. However, it ignores the central purpose of Social Security. If one of your artists was injured and unable to work you would be unable to pay them. Without social security they would have to rely on the kindness of strangers, and eventually that kindness would run out. Social Security strives to provide citizens of the United States that have worked and earned a living with a minimum safety net, not enough income for them buy a fast new car, or have a government funded vacation, but enough so that you and your family can survive. The government provides these services and more and its our tax dollars that make this possible.

My last statement on taxation is that the problem is not with the amount of the tax, it doesn't matter if the government takes 5% or 50%, what matters is the quality of life they provide for their citizens with those taxes. It is here that the government has let us down. Comparing the income tax, the highest bracket in the United States is 35% compared to Denmark which tops out at 68%. Denmark beats the United States in a number of independent qualifier including Infant Mortality, Literacy, and Life Expectancy. They provide a college education free of charge to whomever wants it, and they have universal health coverage. Here in the United States we spend $5 Million dollars a minute in Iraq, and 12% of the country lives below the poverty line. We need to fix our tax system, the Bush Tax cuts have not provided the trickle down benefits that were promised, and they won't. The tax burden should be shifted away from the middle and working class, and instead to those that can most afford it.

But although the economy is important, its not the only issue to consider when picking a candidate to support for president. Its been rough for fiscal conservatives like yourself, there has not been a fiscal conservative candidate as long as I can remember (Yeah, I'm young but our past 5 presidents certainly weren't). I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that since you are from California, and now reside in Utah that you were a fan of Reagan. He achieved a great many things, not the least of which was defeating the Soviet Union but he did it by expanding the federal government exponentially and spending the USSR into the ground. Bush I, II, and III (McCain) will not reduce the federal government, nor will they make it more efficient. That leaves you with Obama.

I'll be honest, I am a huge Obama fan. My wife had the pleasure to hear him speak when she was in college and he was in his first years as Senator. She was amazed at what he had to say, and how he said it. I've never had the opportunity, but I hope to catch him on a campaign stop. I have however watched him on TV and more importantly I have researched his positions. I am confident that Obama will repair the economy of this country, and he'll do it while lowering taxes on the middle and working class. But more importantly he'll get us out of Iraq, refocusing our military on finding Osama Bin Ladin, and focusing his presidency on helping the people here like you and me, the proud citizens of the United States of America. He'll work hard to protect our environment, create a sensible energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, rebuild our education system, bring ethics back to Washington and restore our Civil Liberties as guarented by the Constitution.

I didn't mean for this post to be a plug for Obama (only 2 out of 9 paragraphs were about him) but I encourage you to really take a good look. Listen to what he has to say, and check out what he stands for. Its hard not to get excited.

Eric Danley

Blue Table Painting said...

Well, I'm just thrilled beyond belief to have such insightful and well-crafted comments on my humble blog. Thanks to all that have commented here.


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