Time and again, I hear the same refrain. My concerns, warnings, and accusations regarding the advent of socialist thinking and policy in America is baseless, or ill-founded, or a Fox News talking point regurgitation, or paranoia, or petulance.

Simultaneously, I bear witness to the socialization of housing, in the form of an eviction moratorium in place over a year, and extended in an overt flouting of the Supreme Court’s authority.

That this taking of private property by the government without compensation violates the Constitution seems to matter not in the slightest.

That the federal version of this ban (some states have their own) was perpetrated not by Congress but by a bureaucracy (the CDC) seems to matter not in the slightest.

That, despite the trillions of dollars being printed for pandemic relief, landlords aren’t being offered a cent of (Constitutionally mandated) compensation for this taking seems to matter not in the slightest.

Your average social media troll will offer standard obnoxious retorts along the lines of “the landlords are rich, they can afford it” or “housing is a human right.” None of them has a whit of care for the little old lady who owns a three unit walkup, living in one and relying on the rents from the others to survive, nor that the mortgages, property taxes, utilities and maintenance that landlords must pay haven’t been suspended or abated.

In other words, the very concept of real estate ownership has been undermined by a passel of politicians who have (farcically, it seems) sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution that protects it.

That same government is seriously contemplating forgiving the debt assumed by millions of college students… not by telling the universities that collected all that money they’re going to have to take a haircut and give some back to the lenders, but by taking money from the rest of us, including those who paid off their own loans, who worked to earn and save enough to avoid those loans, who opted to go into the trades rather than assume those loans, or whose families depleted their life savings to send their kids into adulthood debt-free.

And, since they can’t take enough from the taxpayers to cover all this, they’ll simply take it the other way – by inflation. Inflation hurts everyone, but it hurts the prudent, the thrifty, the savers, the most. Save your money for the future, like a good responsible citizen? They’re going to drain what you saved of its value.

Then they’re going to tax it anyway. They’re looking to change the tax code regarding 401(k) and other retirement plans (don’t count on those changes working in your favor), they’re planning to raise income tax rates and change the brackets, and take much more of your life’s work upon your death.

Where are those taxes to go? While I’ve argued that fee-for-service taxation is justifiable, on the premise that you should pay for what you use, the bulk of government spending is redistributive in nature. There is no legal or moral justification for simply taking money from John in order to give it to Joe, yet that is the reality of our nation’s fisc today.

Meanwhile, if you are unfortunate enough to be a retailer in certain cities, the goods you buy in order to sell can be taken with impunity by anyone who walks in, provided he doesn’t get too ambitious and take too much that particular visit. A fundamental role of government, the protection of property rights, has simply been abandoned.

This all stacks upon decades of ever-growing restrictions and mandates on private property, on what you can, cannot, and must do should you desire to sell (or give away) that which you either created or purchased via your own labor.

Individual rights and property rights are necessarily intertwined in a free society. You are not free if you do not own and control the fruit of your labor. Our fellow citizens of a progressive or leftist inclination deny this reality, in both word and deed. They’ll make up all sorts of high-morality arguments and excuses for what’s essentially armed robbery, but you should not be lulled into their mindset. History has shown the death and destruction that accompanies this “take from some to give to others, with an unfettered ruling class living it up at everyone else’s expense” style of governance. There is no way that collectivism can be made to work. Never has, never will.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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