The Tollkeepers On The Road To Serfdom, by D. W. MacKenzie
In this article by D.W. MacKenzie titled,The Tollkeepers On The Road To Serfdom, at mises.org, he explains that when bureaucracies grow, “democracies could not be relied upon to hold it in check”. He calls the IRS the toll keepers on the road to serfdom, and we are the tollpayers on this same road.This is an outstanding article and a must read. Here are some excerpts from it.
“Elected Federal officials can be voted out of office. But the entrenched army of empowered, unelected Federal bureaucrats remains to wield its power, and the Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats are some of the worst.”
“Politicians see the IRS and its tax code as a means of fixing perceived political problems…. Yet, regardless of the legislative agenda, it is largely unelected bureaucrats who decide where tax money goes.”
“The potential for bureaucratic abuse is pervasive. The worst rise to the top of bureaucracies in part because the people who want power most are, as Hayek put it, single-minded idealists. Single-minded idealists are intolerant, by definition, believing that their plans for society are objectively superior to any competing plans. Those who have a comparative advantage at acquiring and wielding power are the most ruthless and insensitive people in society.”
“Hayek pointed out that people complete the path from citizenship to servitude only after a psychological (or sociological) change occurs. Today’s change is from a free people believing in the primacy of individuals to make their own choices to dependence and acceptance of government as the entitled class.”
“Once people accept bureaucrats as authorities, as persons who should direct the actions of others, and reject dissenting views as illegitimate or illegal, they have taken up the mantle of serf.”
“Obama most likely did not directly order Lois Lerner or Holly Paz to “punish enemies” in the Tea Party movement, but Tea Party members were singled out. Since Tea Party groups oppose the current Federal tax/spending system, the single-minded idealists at the IRS thought these targeting actions to be justifiable.”
I have said that the President is just the face of the problem. The expansion of Government power is the problem. The bureaucracy has an inertia of its own, no matter who is elected. Bureaucrats are self-interested individuals like the rest of us, which is why they will try to use their power to undermine any person, or group of people, who talk like they want to cut the size of Government. Politicians and bureaucrats both want power, the difference is politicians can at least get voted out if they abuse their power. A bureaucrat is immune from losing his position, and may even get a promotion for abusing his power.
Related article, America’s Road To Serfdom? by Richard Ebeling, at mises.org.
Related article, Terminus On The Road To Serfdom, by D.W. MacKenzie, at mises.org.