“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Conceptual Failure

We'll start with the class reading, this article about Jack Daniel's distillery in Tennessee.

And now, I get to rant at Mr. Rogers, whose understanding of our system and the way reality works is apparently lacking. Which I also find surprising given the general attitude of self-reliance and freedom typical of that region...

Mr. Rogers sir, you are entitled to exactly two things from the local distillery: Jack Shit. They are not socially obligated to put more money into supporting the community just because the fact that your town's name is on the label anymore than a movie studio is obligated to support Los Angeles because Hollywood is tied to film making.

This whole "entitlement" thing is part of why we have so many gorram issues these days in the first place - and it crosses all the boundaries. I'm "entitled" to money, support, treatment, or whatever else because I'm this ethnicity, or belief, or my ancestors were insulted, or I served in the military or I was a civilian or I want an education or whateverfreakingelse.

And, call it what you will, "entitled" translates to one thing these days - I want you to pay for my desires. Label it what you want, say you're balancing out a fair share, say it's owed to you - it still means you want someone else to pay for your things.

I checked. You're entitled to two things on this planet by your respective creator: being born and dying. Everything else is a bonus.

By our Constitution you're entitled to three: Life (the Government's not supposed to just up & kill you), Liberty (they let you do what you want within reason), and the famed Pursuit of Happiness (you have the opportunity to better yourself through your own efforts - not through someone giving it to you). Again, anything after that is on you, your family or your respective chosen communities.

Now, given what agreements and directions have been made through the state & local legislatures, the Jack Daniel's Distillery certainly has obligations under taxes, local fees etc. - which as the article says already are over half the price of the product. Think about that - 60% of what the consumer is paying (and the company is paying out first) goes to taxes on this product. That's the same as saying every bit of work you do from January until the end of July you don't get paid for, instead it's going to the various governments and you'll get your first actual "paycheck" come August every year. And somehow increasing this number is right?

Mr. Rogers, I strongly suggest given your free time in retirement, and your desire to help your community, that you wander on down to your local library (Lynchburg has one, I've driven by it TYVM) and read a few books on economics, supply and demand and all those other things. You might try Mr. Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" as a start...

If, after all this, you still think that increasing the funds payed into the public treasury is the way to go, then by all means pursue the legislative means to do so. The beauty of our system is that the means are there.

But also don't be surprised when the company up & moves. And for reference on the whole "they'll never leave this town" thing, ask your neighbors in Pennsylvania how the steel industry is doing these days...


Unknown said...


Mr. Rogers is a 75 year old toddler. Perhaps the distillery should invest in a billboard depicting a Lynchburg without Jack Daniel's.

Carteach said...

The reasoning there, and I use that term ever so loosely, is the same as behind almost all taxation initiatives.

"You OWE it to society to pay whatever tax we levy.... because we want to spend your money as we see fit".

That's pretty much what it boils down to, once the fluff 'n stuff is boiled away. Not much different than a five year old screaming for candy at the grocery store checkout line.... because he wants it.

Phelps said...

It is worth noting that the first draft was "life, liberty and property", which was changed by the abolitionists to avoid giving more credit to the slavers.