Conspiracy Theorist: 02/03

Exploiting economic ignorance

By Mark Luedtke
I notice a lot of cognitive dissonance on the economy. If you just read Mayor Whaley’s press releases and the typical Dayton Daily News fare, you might think everything was rosy in Dayton. With the DDN cheerleading, Whaley proudly promotes crony project after crony project as evidence Dayton’s economy is improving. It’s not. Just because her rich cronies get richer off the money government steals from us and Whaley gives to them doesn’t make the rest of us better off. It makes us poorer.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. The DDN recently admitted the truth: “The city of Dayton could face an $8.3 million budget shortfall by the end of 2017 because of weak revenue growth and rising costs. Closing the projected gap may require budget cuts and finding new revenue, possibly through raising fees or taxes, according to city officials,” it reported. “However, elected leaders said the city for many years has projected a future deficit. They said there is plenty of time to identify the best ways to keep the city financially solvent.”

So much for the rosy picture pushed on us daily by local rulers and their propagandists. Because high taxes depress our economy, Dayton city government is going bankrupt just as I predicted when I compared Dayton to Detroit in a previous article.

Funny how they’ve known this for years, but nobody reported it until now. While the DDN downplays it, the situation must be desperate for them to report it at all.

I have a solution for our rulers: stop stealing our money and using it to make your cronies rich and pad your own bank accounts. But that will never happen. This story is the opening salvo in a propaganda campaign for raising taxes.

The only way our rulers get away with this malarkey is by feeding us a steady stream of economic fallacies presented as truth through their propagandists all of our lives. I compiled a list of some recent ones I noticed.

The DDN recently ran an article claiming businesses in Fairborn want to pay higher taxes. The DDN uncritically quoted, “‘This is really a market-driven action,’ said Chris Wimsatt, Fairborn’s economic development director. ‘We’re seeing interest, and to make the interest turn into reality – projects and jobs – we’ve got to do some improvements. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.’”

That’s absurd.

Nobody wants to pay higher taxes. I can hear Rodney Dangerfield saying, “Raise my taxes. Please.” What’s really going on here is, because the government has claimed a socialist monopoly on infrastructure like roads, water and sewers, some cronies of Fairborn’s rulers want other people to pay for that infrastructure so they can benefit without paying the full cost. They want the government to tax others in the new tax district to pay for improvements they want. In a free market, the businesses would build their own infrastructure, better and cheaper than government, enabling them to provide better service to customers at a lower price, but this is never reported.

The DDN recently reported another economic fallacy. “Customer service will be among the top priorities for the city of Dayton in 2015,” it wrote. “Officials aim to improve customer satisfaction by engaging citizens through digital services, minimizing wait times for callers, providing training for city staff and hiring a top administrator who shares this mission.”

Dictionary.com defines a customer as “a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron.” Governments don’t have customers. Buying is a voluntary action. Customers have choices. In a free market, you could purchase a security plan from one of many suppliers. If agents of your provider killed peaceful shoppers, you could fire that provider and replace it with another. Unfortunately, you can’t fire government. Nor can you not pay. Government doesn’t collect taxes to provide services. Like all protection rackets, government provides pseudo-services as an excuse to steal our money.

The DDN also reported another fallacy. “RTA will provide free transportation to participants in the MLK Day celebration on Monday, Jan. 19,” It wrote. “The service on the regularly [sic] fixed route and the PMOB service buses will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

But like a free lunch, there’s no such thing as a free bus ride. The drivers don’t work for free. The gas isn’t provided for free. The buses aren’t free. Their maintenance isn’t free. All those things are still being paid for, but they’re being paid for with other people’s money, money that was stolen from them in the form of taxes.

Not satisfied with miseducating us in government schools, government and its propagandists immerse us in so many economic fallacies from cradle to grave, we rarely think critically about the reality behind those fallacies. We’re brainwashed into thinking free bus rides, or Obama’s free community college, are real, government serves customers, and businesses want higher taxes. This is by design. Our rulers exploit the economic ignorance they create in order to steal our money and enrich themselves at our expense.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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