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Published September 18th,
in The Post Newspaper


In the last column we talked about "equality." where everyone has the same opportunity to succeed or fail, verses "equity," where elitists decide our opportunities -- giving some a free ride by not working while others work to pay for that free ride.

History speaks loudly about how people are wired and how they respond to "equality" vs. "equity." With "equality" there is the freedom of choice, the opportunity to make choices, and to reap the fruits of those choices. With the passage of the 13th Amendment, human ownership, thankfully ended. But as good as that amendment is, it doesn't preclude government from tyrannical actions, either lawfully or constitutionally. Through its taxing authority, government -- and those in power -- can seize control of its citizens through high tax rates. How does this work?

An article in Forbes Magazine -- entitled "Christina Romer Knows Tax Hikes Will Kill the Recovery," -- discussed a recently released a study by Miss Romer, Obama's first head of the Council of Economic Advisors. It confirmed that raising taxes is a disaster waiting to happen. Romer's analysis apparently didn't please her bosses for shortly after, she was let go. During the discussions at the time, they said tax rates above 30% began the slippery slope toward unproductivity. In layman's terms: when a third of your time is spent working to pay the government its taxes, the incentive to continue working drastically fades. This is especially true when these taxes are used to give free healthcare, free welfare, and free unemployment benefits to those who are able to work but choose not to.

We fought the revolutionary war over taxation without representation. My (Bill's) great grandmother paid her taxes and then sued the City of San Francisco for the same reason – women paid taxes without representation, the right to vote. Back in the late 1700's it was called governmental tyranny and acted the same during the forty years it took to get the 19th Amendment adopted.

So, what's government's purpose? When does it step from its rightful role across the line to tyranny? The highly successful surgeon, Doctor Ben Carson, defined the appropriate governmental role, saying it should be "…facilitating the power of private enterprises." Carson, as a member of Trump's cabinet was encouraging investment into blighted areas. Government can encourage and facilitate but should never demand or require bad behavior. A rule-of-thumb; if individuals can effectively manage a need, leave the task to individuals. Michael Leavitt, former Utah Governor and cabinet member under George W. Bush said during the discussion of Obamacare that 80% of chronic costs could be eliminated through personal change. If that's the case, we'd suggest it's not the government's role to step in and save people from poor choices. Again, all should have an equal opportunity to succeed or fail. It's not for the government to use our tax dollars to save – some would say enable -- people who make poor choices.

The difference between "equality" and "equity" is simple; it's the difference between the freedom to choose for ourselves and socialism – some would say tyranny -- where the elites who are in power make choices for the rest of us. Which do you want? Choose, but choose wisely!



Authors and Columnists
Photo of Bill Sargent and Mark Mansius
September 18, 2021

Bill Sargent and Mark Mansius ran for Congress against each oher in 2012 and became close friends. They are writing a series of columns on freedom verses socialism, equality verses equity.
Bill lives in Galveston, Mark lives in Utah

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