THE WORST PROFESSIONAL SCREWMASTERS
Woe to you lawyers!
For you have taken away the key of knowledge.
Luke 11, verse 52
"A lawyer is a person who profits by creating confusion. Or when that is impossible, he profits by the confusion created by others. In either case, confusion is his stock in trade. The greater the division between form and substance, between legal technicality and the attainment of justice, between gobbledygook and common intelligibility, the more the lawyer profits. The wider the gap a lawyer can create between the person who ostensibly owns property and he who claims its economic worth, the more money winds up in his pocket.
The lawyer's lucrative monopoly gives him an incentive to create obstacles to the smooth functioning of the life of ordinary people. Through their dominance of politics, the bureaucracy, and their monopoly over litigation, lawyers have insinuated themselves into every human relationship." [Emphasis added]
James Dale Davidson
A DISEASE CALLED "LAWYERITIS"
"Jokes aren't funny; they're sick. A joke is no less sick when it is aimed at lawyers, as in the Short Takes section of the July 8 Republic.
Throughout history there have been groups of people who have been expendable. During the first half of the 19th century it was African-American slaves. During the second half of that century it was Native Americans. And in Nazi Germany it was Jews. "Jokes" like those that appeared in The Republic were told about Jews in Nazi Germany prior to the Holocaust and helped establish the moral climate that led to the death of 6 million human beings.
It is morally inappropriate and unacceptable for The Republic to suggest that any group of people should be killed. I call upon The Republic to withdraw its lawyer jokes and to apologize for them."
"Name Withheld," Attorney at Law
(What does a lawyer use for a contraceptive? His sense of humor.) The above letter appeared in The Arizona Republic on July 13, 1992. So, Mr. Lawyer says jokes are not funny; they are sick - all jokes? Maybe Mr. Lawyer is sick. But Mr. Lawyer's letter set me thinking. Why have Jews been slaughtered in so many pogroms and holocausts throughout recorded history? Is it because Jews tend to be more intelligent and better at making money than most of us - so they are regarded as "screwmasters?" Or is it because Jews - as recorded in the Old Testament - engaged in a great deal of slaughtering, that had to be "avenged?"
I have read quite a few "conspiracy" books in my time. Usually, the "evil conspirators" responsible for all the world's problems are "the Jews," or "the Zionists," or "the Illuminati," or "the International Bankers," or "the Bilderbergers," or "the Council for Foreign Relations," or "the Trilateral Commission," or "Yale's Skull and Bones Society." But I have never come across a "conspiracy" book that blames everything on lawyers. Upon reflection, I think the case against lawyers is much stronger than the cases against any other scapegoats. Maybe that is why Shakespeare had a character say in Henry IV, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." So why have there been no "lawyercausts" or "lawyergroms?"
Yale law professor Fred Rodell, author of Woe Unto You, Lawyers! did suggest in 1939 that lawyers be abolished. In The Screwing of the Average Man, David Hapgood quotes Rodell:
"For every age, a group of bright boys, learned in their trade and jealous of their learning, who blend technical competence with plain and fancy hocus-pocus to make themselves masters of their fellow men. For every age a pseudo-intellectual autocracy, guarding the tricks of its trade from the uninitiated, and running, after its own pattern, the civilization of its day. It is the lawyers who run our civilization for us - our governments, our business, our private lives...
It is through the medium of their weird and wordy mental gymnastics that the lawyers lay down the rules under which we live. And it is only because the average man cannot play their game, and so cannot see for himself how intrinsically empty of meaning their play things are, that the lawyers continue to get away with it... And perhaps if the ordinary man could see in black and white how silly and irrelevant and unnecessary it all is, he might be persuaded, in a peaceful way, to take control of his civilization out of the hands of these modern purveyors of streamlined voodoo and chromium-plated theology, the lawyers." [Emphasis added]
America, as I shall show, suffers from a deadly, rapidly spreading infection of lawyers. I call this disease "lawyeritis." Chapter Nine indicated the explosion of federal strangulation. There has been a concomitant explosion of lawyeritis. According to a recent George Will article in The Washington Post, in 1960 America had 260,000 lawyers; in 1970, 355,000; in 1980, 541,000; in 1990, 756,000.
The word "attorney" comes from the old French torner, which essentially means "to turn or to twist." Attorneys tend to operate by creating and spreading confusion - like the tax code. Their stock in trade is confusion. This was already so in biblical times - "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge." (Luke 11, verse 52.) They tend to turn or twist the truth. Through the laws they write, they destroy - as Nietzsche would have said - "the knowledge of good and evil."
LAWYERS: WORKERS OR THIEVES?
Remember Chapter Eight: "The first imperative of human behavior is: Survival or self-preservation. The second imperative is: Obtain the means for survival through the least effort. There are two basic ways to obtain the means for survival: Working and Stealing. Working is called the economic means. Stealing is the political means. The private sector or free market utilizes the economic means; the public sector or government, the political means." Do lawyers obtain the wherewithal for survival through working or stealing?
- "The lawyer has learned how to flatter his master in word and indulge him in deed; but his soul is small and unrighteous... from the first he has practiced deception and retaliation, and has become stunted and warped. And so he has passed out of youth into manhood, having no soundness in him... " - Plato, 321 B.C.
- "They have no lawyers among them for they consider them as a sort of people whose profession it is to disguise matters." - Sir Thomas Moore, 1516.
- "God works wonders now and then; Behold! a lawyer, an honest Man." - Benjamin Franklin, 1733.
- "It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour." - Thomas Jefferson.
- "One useless man is called a disgrace. Two or more are called a law firm." - John Adams, 1776.
- "The mere title of lawyer is sufficient to deprive a man of public confidence... The most innocent and irreproachable life cannot guard a lawyer against the hatred of his fellow citizens." - John Quincy Adams, 1787.
- "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal." - Richard M. Nixon, Attorney.
- "I don't give a shit what happens. I want you to stonewall it, let them plead the Fifth Amendment, cover up, or anything else... " - Richard M. Nixon, Attorney.
- Which of these Watergate thugs were lawyers: Richard Nixon, John Mitchell, Spirow Agnew, G. Gordon Liddy, John Dean, Charles Colson, Robert Mardian, Herbert Kalmbach, John Ehrlichman, Donald Segretti? All of them.
- "The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century." - Dan Quayle, Attorney.
- More than half of the presidents of the U.S. have been lawyers.
- Two-thirds of the world's lawyers are in the U.S.
- "A man who never graduated from school might steal from a freight car. But a man who attends college and graduates as a lawyer might steal the whole railroad." - Theodore Roosevelt.
- How can you tell when times are really hard? Lawyers walk around with their hands in their own pockets.
- "The law is a sort of hocus-pocus science that smiles in your face while it picks your pocket." - H.L. Mencken.
- One-third of the $25 billion awarded each year in liability lawsuits goes to the lawyers.
- "When there's a rift in the lute, the business of the lawyer is to widen the rift and gather the loot." - Arthur Garfield Hays.
- What's the difference between a leech and a lawyer? A leech let's you go after you're dead.
- What's the difference between a callgirl and a lawyer? A callgirl returns calls.
- What's the difference between a vulture and a lawyer? Frequent-flier points.
- What's the difference between a catfish and a lawyer? One is a garbage-eating bottom-dweller and the other is a fish.
- What's the difference between a porcupine and a Porsche with two lawyers in it? A porcupine's pricks are on the outside.
- Why does a lawyer wear a necktie? To stop his foreskin from slipping over his head.
- How do you know when a lawyer lies? His lips move.
- What does a lawyer do after he dies? He lies still.
- "As we watched Judge Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, all of the commentators said the same thing: 'One of these people in the room is lying.' Do you believe that? You've got two lawyers and 14 senators in the room, and only one of them is lying?" - Jay Leno.
- "The problem is not that you can buy a congressman for $10,000 but that you can buy a Washington lawyer for $100,000." - Nicholas Johnson, former FCC Commissioner.
- Why do they bury lawyers twelve feet deep? Because deep down they are good people.
- A lawyer in San Diego changed professions to became a used-car salesman. He was trying to improve his professional image.
- A pickpocket, a prostitute, and a lawyer are in a boat that has run out of gas near an island. The pickpocket gets into the water to swim ashore for help. Immediately several sharks head straight at him. He gets back into the boat in a hurry. The same thing happens to the prostitute. So the lawyer jumps into the water and swims ashore. Afterwards they ask him how come the sharks didn't attack him? "Professional courtesy," he replies.
- Did you know that laboratories are replacing rats with lawyers? There are three reasons: There are more lawyers than rats,rats are cuter, and lab workers don't get so attached to lawyers.
- Why do doctors like operating on lawyers? Because there's no guts, no heart, and their blood runs cold.
- A lawyer got a girl pregnant and offered to marry her. But her parents refused. Why? "Because it's better to have a bastard in the family rather than a lawyer."
- In a cemetery, a guy sees a tombstone that reads, "Here lies a lawyer and a Christian." "Wow," he thinks, "Why did they bury two guys in the same grave?"
- One day, the gate between heaven and hell breaks. St. Peter calls the devil. "What do you want?" growls the devil. "It's your turn to fix the gate, according to our agreement," St. Peter says. The devil replies that he won't fix the gate. St. Peter says, "I'll sue you for breaking our agreement." The devil replies, "Oh yeah? Where will you get a lawyer?"
- How do you know that God is a lawyer? He made chaos and darkness first.
- There was a man who was going to die, and he wanted to take his money with him. So he gave his minister, his doctor, and his lawyer each $1 million to put in his casket when he died. The man died, and the preacher put the million dollars in the casket. The doctor put in $500,000, saying the man would never know. The lawyer said, "I put the whole million in the casket." It was a check for $1 million.
- Two farmers each claimed to own a certain cow. While one pulled on its head and the other pulled on its tail, the lawyer milked it. - Jewish parable.
- How many lawyers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Lawyers don't screw in lightbulbs; they screw their clients.
- Why was the lawyer buried up to his head in sand? Because they ran out of sand.
- Why don't lawyers go to the beach? Because cats keep trying to cover them up.
- What happened when a lawyer stepped into some cowdung? He thought he was melting.
- What's brown and black and looks good on a well-dressed lawyer? Two doberman pinschers.
- What do you get when you cross a goat and a lawyer? Nothing; there are some things even a goat won't do.
- How do you keep a lawyer from drowning? You take your foot off his head.
- Where's the best place to find a lawyer? At the bottom of a river.
- What do you call a hundred lawyers chained together on the bottom of the ocean? A good start.
- What do you call a vintage Rolls-Royce limo with lawyers in every seat but one going over a cliff? A crying shame.
- What's the difference between a dead skunk and a dead lawyer on the road? There are skid marks in front of the skunk.
- What's the difference between a trampoline and a lawyer? You take your boots off to jump on a trampoline.
- How do you get a lawyer out of a tree? Cut the rope.
- How come San Quentin has all the criminals and Washington all the lawyers? San Quentin got first choice.
- What do you do if you find yourself in a room with Hitler, Mussolini, and a lawyer, and you have a gun with only two bullets? Shoot the lawyer twice.
- What do you call an attorney with an IQ of less than fifty? Your honor.
- "If all the lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mahjongg factory, we'd be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by almost half." - H.L. Mencken.
- "During the mid-1980s the dairy industry had its own plan to limit production, the "whole herd buyout." Dairy farmers decided there was too much cheap milk at the supermarket. Hell, even homeless welfare babies were drinking moo juice. So the government bought and slaughtered 1.6 million dairy cows. How come the government never does anything like this this with lawyers?" - P.J. O'Rourke, 1991.
Why do people tell all these jokes about lawyers? Most of them came from The Arizona Republic issues of July 8 and July 18, 1992, and a book, Lawyers and Other Reptiles by Jess M. Brallier. Mr. Sick Lawyer's letter quoted earlier, did not prevent publication of a second article with lawyer jokes - with a picture of a lawyer sitting on a branch next to a vulture. The July 8 article had a picture of a lawyer with a snake-head. Why did they print these jokes? Would they print similar jokes about Jews, blacks, Poles, Japs, Mexicans, or the Irish?
So, do lawyers get the wherewithal for survival through working or stealing? Maybe we can use this criterion to judge: When a lawyer abuses the law to his own benefit, at the expense of his client or victim, he is stealing. The law is a political instrument. It is the foundation of politics. And the Constitution ("Constifusion?") is our basic law. The U.S. Constitution was drawn up mainly by lawyers. Article I, Section 8 states, "Congress shall have the power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof." Our lawmakers, Congress, are mostly lawyers. Our judges are lawyers clothed (or is disguised better?) in black robes.
In Chapter Six I wrote about territorial gangsters, the Constitution as a shield, and the law as a sword. One of the possibilities I suggested is that the Constitution is a hoax and a fraud. This would mean that the law is also a hoax and a fraud. This is how I described territorial gangsters: ""Territorial" gangsters are individuals who who use fraud, violence, and threat of violence to claim "jurisdiction" (so-called) over an area and the people who happen to be there. Territorial gangsters use fraud, violence, and threat of violence to impose their will upon others and to live like parasites or cannibals off the values produced by others. The term "territorial gangsters" could be used to describe both mafiosi, and the people who masquerade as "government.""
Do lawyers fit the definition of territorial gangster? Well, they have their bar associations. In order to practice law you have to be a member of the local bar association. Lawyers in effect say, "When it comes to practicing law, we have exclusive jurisdiction. If you try to muscle in on our territory, we'll take care of you." A case in point was Norman Dacey, who wrote the book How to Avoid Probate. Probate is probably the lawyers' most lucrative swindle. It is so much easier to steal from the dead than from the living. Anyway, when Dacey's book was first published, lawyers succeeded in getting it banned from New York bookstores. The New York State Bar Association also prosecuted Dacey for practicing law without a licence. Dacey ultimately won in the Supreme Court on First Amendment freedom of speech grounds, because he promoted ideas.
Ralph Nader (himself a lawyer) described probate as "the screwing of the average corpse." Probate is a system that is supposed to ensure that a dead person's debts and taxes are paid, that his will is valid, and that his estate will go to the people named in his will. Lawyers have a legal monopoly on performing probate. They typically earn over $1,000 per hour for this "service." Says David Hapgood in The Screwing of the Average Man:
"Most of the money spent on probate goes, by widespread agreement, to support expert make-work. Judge William Haworth of Oklahoma, interviewed on the CBS television program "Sixty Minutes," estimated that 90 percent of probate legal work is unnecessary; he added that what work had to be done could usually be done better as well as more cheaply by a legal secretary."
Another criterion we can apply to determine whether a lawyer is stealing or not, is to establish what value is being produced, if any. In my opinion, when Donald MacPherson successfully defends a non-taxpayer against the IRS, he is creating value - at least, preventing the destruction of value. When a lawyer successfully resolves a dispute between parties in an efficient manner, with minimum cost and maximum satisfaction to the parties, he or she is creating value. There are a few good lawyers. And even the most rapacious lawyer sometimes performs an act of value. But like all of us, lawyers are driven by the first two imperatives of human behavior: 1. Survival or self-preservation; 2. Obtain the means for survival through the least effort. And if dishonesty is the least effort, that is the route most people and most lawyers will choose.
LAWYERS: THE PRIMARY ECONOMIC RAPISTS
Congress is mostly lawyers. Judges are mostly lawyers. Federal Reserve bankers would have no power to counterfeit currency, without lawyers' laws to protect their lucrative racket. The IRS would have no power to plunder, pillage, and rape, were it not for the protection of corrupt lawyer-judges. The federal bureaucracy runs on the laws of congressional lawyers. The military-industrial complex also runs on the laws of congressional lawyers. The Social Security Ponzi-fraud is a creature created by congressional lawyers. The doctors and drug companies, with their AMA and FDA (the medical mafia?), would lose their rapacious monopolies overnight, were it not for congressional lawyer support. Similarly, the insurance industry. Originally, this chapter was going to include sections on the different kinds of economic rapists and how they do it: lawyers, judges, doctors, accountants, insurance peddlers - until I realized that the lawyer is at the bottom of it all. The economic rape of America is made possible by lawyers. We suffer from the deadly disease, lawyeritis. In The Arizona Republic (how could I have written this report without it?) of November 4, 1991, there was an editorial under the heading "Death by litigation":
"... [A] case could be made that excesses of the U.S. legal system pose a significant threat to the economic health of our nation and consequently to the well-being of an untold number of Americans. As Edwin Feulner, president of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, put it recently: "The nation simply cannot afford the legal profession's brand of justice any more."
The numbers speak for themselves. With 5 percent of the world's population, America has 70 percent of its lawyers. That figure, as Mr. Feulner notes, adds up "to one lawyer for every 300 normal people - more than twice the number in Britain and 25 times that in Japan." The number of lawyers in Washington alone exceeds that in all of Japan.
The results of this overpopulation are apparent. "The nation is awash in laws that are barely understandable and frivolous court cases that benefit no one but the lawyers," Mr. Feulner says. The annual cost of litigation is estimated to be as much as $100 billion, with more than a quarter of that going for attorney's fees.
While it could be argued that a few people, besides the lawyers, do in fact benefit from multimillion-dollar awards, the rest of society ends up footing the bill through higher prices and increased taxes imposed by all levels of government being forced to hire regiments of legal experts to handle expensive litigation.
The indirect price of litigation is sizable, too. A recent study found that fear of lawsuits has prompted 47 percent of U.S. manufacturers to withdraw products from the market. Others have been driven out of business altogether.
The counterproductive economic impact of the litigation explosion is especially apparent in the health-care industry. Arizona Rep. Jon Kyl recently told a House subcommittee that the cost of medical malpractice litigation "adds billions of dollars needlessly each year to the cost of physician care." This effectively deprives millions of Americans, particularly those who lack adequate health insurance, of needed treatment.
The cost of malpractice protection for physicians physicians and hospitals, Mr. Kyl said, added nearly $6 billion to the cost of health care in 1989. Indirect costs, such as redundant testing and other defensive medicine practices, added another $15.1 billion to the bill. Altogether litigation accounts for 17 percent of total U.S. spending on health care. "In my home state of Arizona, for example," Mr. Kyl said, "every hour spent with a patient costs the average obstetrician $30 for medical malpractice insurance."
Rep. Kyl has drawn up legislation to provide relief for the litigation-battered health-care industry. The Kyl plan would place a $250,000 cap on the amount of non-economic damages that could be awarded in medical malpractice suits, a proposal similar to one suggested in the litigation reform program developed by Vice President Quayle's Council on Competitiveness.
America's lawyers, including the nearly 300 in Congress, are hardly thrilled by the idea of litigation reform, but the alternative for the nation is death by a thousand lawsuits." [Emphasis added]
HOW THE LAWYERS HAVE BEEN DESTROYING THE MIDDLE CLASS
Karl Marx, the "great" communist theorist, saw the bourgeousie or middle class as the enemy of communism. In order to achieve communism, the bourgeoisie must be stripped of their wealth. The ten planks of the Communist Manifesto were designed to do this. By accident or design, our congressional lawyers have taken America much closer to communism by largely destroying America's middle class. In November 1991 The Arizona Republic published an 8-part series called "The Endangered Middle Class," taken largely from the Philadelphia Enquirer series, which "examines the economic dismantling of America" - economic rape on an unprecedented scale. The first article of the series covers how the American economic rules were changed:
"Because those people in Washington who write the complex tangle of rules by which the economy operates have, during the past 20 years, rigged the game - by design and default - to favor the privileged, the powerful and the influential. They did this at the expense of everyone else.
Seizing on that opportunity, an army of business buccaneers began buying, selling and trading companies the way most Americans buy, sell and trade knicknacks at a yard sale.
The buccaneers borrowed money to destroy, not to build. They constructed financial houses of cards, then vanished before they collapsed.
Caught between the lawmakers in Washington and the dealmakers on Wall Street have been millions of American workers forced to move from jobs that once paid $15 an hour into jobs that pay $7. If, that is, they aren't already the victims of mass layoffs, production halts, shuttered factories and owners who enrich themselves by doing that damage and then walking away.
As a result, the already rich are richer than ever; there has been an explosion in overnight new rich; life for the working class is deteriorating; and those at the bottom are trapped."
During the 1980s the salaries of people earning less than $20,000 a year went up by 1.4%. For the people earning $20,000 - $50,000, the increase was 44%, or 4% per year. For the people earning $200,000 - $1 million, the increase was 697%. And for the people earning over $1 million the increase was 2,184%. According to The Arizona Republic:
"... [T]he growth of the middle class... has been reversed by government action. Taken as a whole, the rules that govern the game have:
- Created a tax system firmly weighted against the middle class.
- Enabled companies to cancel health-care and pension benefits for employees.
- Granted subsidies to businesses that create low-wage jobs that, in turn, erode living standards.
- Undermined longtime stable businesses and communities.
- Rewarded companies that transfer jobs abroad and eliminate jobs in this country.
- Placed home ownership out of reach of a growing number of Americans and made the financing of a college education impossible without incurring a hefty debt.
Look upon it as the dismantling of the middle class... For all of this, you can thank a succession of Congresses and presidents who set the rules for the American economy.
Taken together, the myriad laws and regulations - from antitrust to taxes, from regulatory oversight to bankruptcy, from foreign trade to pensions, from health care to investment practices - form a rule book that governs the way business operates, that determines your place in the overall economy.
Think of it as the "U.S. government rule book." It is a system of rewards and penalties that influences business behavior.
This business behavior, in turn, has a wide ranging impact on your daily life, from the price you pay for a gallon of gasoline or a quart of milk to the closing of a manufacturing plant or the elimination of your job.
In addition to influencing prices of goods and services and the creation and elimination of jobs, the government rule book also determines who, among the principal players in the economy, is most favored, who is simply ignored and who is penalized. These players include management, employees, customers, stockholders and the community where a business is located.
... But those who establish the rules of the game long ago ceased to represent the middle-class players. As a result, the middle-class casualties of the government rule book already can be counted in the millions."
The second article on "The Endangered Middle Class" deals with the bankruptcy business. It describes how profitable this business is for the people I call professional screwmasters. Bankruptcy lawyers and accountants charge their "clients" up to $300 an hour for flying time, and $225 an hour to pack and unpack boxes. During the 1970s and 1980s, Congress, presidents, and the heads of regulatory agents rewrote the rules of the tax and bankruptcy systems, making the bankruptcy business very profitable, paying select professionals - lawyers, accountants, bankers, investment advisers, brokers, and management specialists - up to $500 an hour.
During the 1960s there were on average 15,800 bankruptcies per year nationwide. During the 1970s it was 24,900. During the 1980s, 63,500. According to the most recent Dun & Bradstreet report (August 1992), the bankruptcies during January to June 1992 numbered 50,582. That is an annual rate of more than 100,000. In 1991 there were 87,266 bankruptcies. The bankruptcy business is a phenomenal growth industry!
In the bankruptcy of America West Airlines, a number of firms working on the case racked up bills of at least $3.6 million for services, travel, and other expenses between June 27 and September 30, 1991:
- Law firm Streich Lang: $899,738; June 27 - September 30.
- Law firm Faegre & Bensen: $696,892; June 27 - September 30.
- KPMG Peat Marwick (accounting and consulting): $396,725; July 18 - September 30.
- Price Waterhouse (accounting): $397,214; June 27 - September 30.
- The Blackstone Group (financial advisor): $125,000 per month.
- Law firm Murphy, Weir and Butler: $350,000 for three months.
- Law firm Ryley, Carlock and Applewhite: $149,000.
- Law firm Lord, Bissell and Brook: $105,162; August 28 - September 30.
Many bankruptcies of major companies result from takeover battles, made highly profitable for "corporate raiders" - like Carl Icahn, John Brooks Fuqua, Victor Posner, Graham Ferguson Lacey, Charles E. Hurwitz, Bruce Wasserstein, Joseph Perella, Andrew G. Galef, and Nelson Peltz - by the "government rule book."
The third article on "The Endangered Middle Class" describes the "net operating loss deduction" - a method whereby a corporation can create a "net operating loss" and use the NOL to reduce or eliminate tax. In the 1950s, corporate tax eliminated through the NOL, was a small fraction of corporate tax actually paid. In the 1980s corporations paid an annual average of $67 billion in taxes, while they escaped an annual average of $92 billion in taxes by using NOL. The result is that the tax burden has shifted greatly from corporations to individuals. The Arizona Republic calls it, "NOL, the magic wand that makes taxes disappear."
The fourth article on "The Endangered Middle Class" deals with tax breaks for foreigners - foreign investors and corporations. Congress, through its "government rule book," steals less from foreigners than from Americans.
The fifth article on "The Endangered Middle Class" deals with how the "government rule book" has resulted in corporations greatly reducing their health-care benefits. There is also an article on airline "deregulation" and how "it didn't work." Of course, airlines were not deregulated. The regulations were changed; the rule book was rewritten, it wasn't thrown away.
The sixth article on "The Endangered Middle Class" describes the saga of Simplicity Pattern Co., once the world's largest pattern maker. In 1979 Simplicity had $100 million in the form of cash and investments. During the following decade Simplicity was repeatedly "economically raped" by corporate raiders, and taken to the edge of bankruptcy. According to The Arizona Republic:
"In that decade, the moneymen:
- Bought and sold the company four times and made tens of millions of dollars running up the price of Simplicity stock in threatened and actual takeovers.
- Drained $100 million that Simplicity had in its bank account and investment portfolio.
- Raided the company's pension funds... taking out $10.7 million.
- Issued bonds and borrowed from banks, sending the company's debt soaring from near zero to $100 million.
- Sold off properties to raise badly needed cash after they had depleted the $100 million cushion.
- Created so much debt that Simplicity no longer could generate enough cash to make the interest payments.
- Defaulted on the interest payments on bonds and bank loans."
In addition, employees were laid off, and wages and benefits were reduced. The seventh article on "The Endangered Middle Class" describes how corporate pension funds have been raided and pension funds reduced. Here are some examples of the extent to which some pension funds were reduced between 1980 and 1987: Butler International - 86%; Exxon - 81%; Gino's Inc. - 76%; Dan River Inc. - 75%; Household Merchandise - 74%; American Greetings - 74%; Gulf + Western Corp. - 70%.
While Congressional lawyers changed the rules, so that corporations could raid their pension funds and reduce pension benefits, they have voted themselves and their bureaucrat colleagues huge pension increases. In 1974 they passed the "Employee Retirement Income Security Act" (ERISA), which also created a new federal bureaucracy called the "Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp," ostensibly to guarantee pensions. According to The Arizona Republic:
"... Many companies pulled out of the guaranteed-pension program when the premiums that the federal agency charged them soared...
But while tens of millions of workers have fared poorly under the existing system, corporate managers and takeover artists have profited handsomely from it.
They have done so by raiding pension funds - a practice made possible by the way the federal government wrote the rule book.
During the 1980s, more than 2,000 businesses dipped into their pension funds and removed $21 billion...
The $21 billion does not count the billions that businesses diverted to other uses after substituting inferior pension plans that had been in place for decades."
The ancient marauding nomads of Chapter Eight have their modern, sophisticated counterparts. The "government rule book" has made it very profitable for corporate raiders to loot cash-rich companies. Based on the eighth article on "The Endangered Middle Class" and my interpretation, it works like this:
- In Washington there are 11,000 "lobby organizations." Their function is to bribe Congress to change the rules in order to create special favors for special interests, or to keep the rules the same to maintain special favors. Imagine, 11,000 bribery organizations in Washington!
- These bribery organizations consist mostly of "politically well-connected lawyers."
- From 1980 to 1990, Representative Dan Rostenkowski, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, one of the two principal authors of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, received at least $1.7 million in bribes called "honoraria" or "speaking fees."
- Congress has since ostensibly banned "honorariums." Now special interests pay their bribes to tax-exempt foundations like the Dole Foundation of Senator Robert Dole, or to the Derrymore Foundation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, or to the Garn Institute of Finance of Senator Jake Garn.
- In return for these bribes, Congress makes, changes, or maintains the "government rule book" in order to grant favors to special interests at the expense of everyone else.
Contrast this to the integrity of Thomas Jefferson, who returned a gift to a Baltimore merchant, writing:
"It is a law, sacred to me while in public character, to receive nothing which bears a pecuniary value. This is necessary to the confidence of my country, it is necessary as an example for its benefit, and necessary to the tranquility of my own mind."
In 1968 Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson wrote a monumental 500-page book, The Case Against Congress: A compelling indictment of corruption on Capital Hill:
"Congressmen, no matter how lofty their motives, have been flattered into believing that they are different from the rest of us, as if the process of election has somehow lifted them above other Americans and made them more knowing, more worthy and less subject to reproach than the people who elect them... Wherever Congressmen go, they are treated with adulation. Many ordinary men among them are lulled into believing they receive this treatment because they deserve it, and even those who resist the narcotic of flattery are not entirely immune to the heady atmosphere on Capitol Hill."
Pearson and Anderson's fourth chapter is titled "Crossing the Bar: Lawyers in Congress." They make these points:
- More than 300 of the 535 members of Congress are lawyers (1968).
- Many lawyers run for public office as a form of advertising to build their practices.
- On investigating 50 law firms with partners serving in Congress, it was found that 40 represented banks, 31 represented insurance companies, 11 represented gas and oil companies, and 10 represented real-estate firms.
- Vested interests have systematically engaged the services of lawyer Congressmen.
Pearson and Anderson devoted 125 pages to describing domestic and foreign lobbying. Their book bristles with example after example of corruption. The recent Congressional check-kiting scandal, where it was revealed that most members of Congress wrote numerous checks for funds they didn't have, is a miniature microcosm of corruption compared to what Congress does nationally to the tune of billions. The following editorial appeared in The Arizona Republic of July 29, 1992:
"It is probably more than mere coincidence that Congress, which has proven itself utterly incapable of handling the nation's fiscal affairs, also has badly bungled its own. In any case, it is obvious that Americans hardly are getting a bargain from the 535 public servants they have sent to the U.S. House and Senate.
As Money magazine reports, Washington's lawmakers are paid double what their counterparts in Canada and Great Britain earn, at $129,500 a year, they make more than 98 percent of the hard-working taxpayers they allegedly represent.
In addition, Money calculates that seven key perks that members of Congress allow themselves effectively boost their pay by another $38,702 a year. The "créme de la perk," as Money calls it, is a generous taxpayer-subsidized pension plan that allows lawmakers to draw retirement pay equal to and in some cases exceeding their current salaries. And they can begin drawing pensions as early as age 50.
But congressional salaries alone, Money found in a two-month probe, represent barely the tip of the iceberg. "No matter how extravagant and inefficient you now believe Congress is with your money, the reality is worse," the magazine says.
For example, the cost of operating Congress has increased by a staggering 705 percent over the past two decades - from $343 million in 1973 to $2.8 billion this year. Congressional salaries and benefits, which are purposely not included in Congress's operating budget, add $87.3 million more to the tab.
A good portion of the soaring costs can be attributed to the legions of staffers employed by representatives and senators to work primarily on re-election efforts. The total congressional staff, including the House, Senate and support agencies, stands at 38,500, nine times larger than any other legislative body in the world.
Altogether, Money figures that U.S. taxpayers this year will spend $5.2 million per member to support the free-wheeling lifestyle to which representatives and senators have become accustomed. This will include automatic cost-of-living pay increases, free postage, discount haircuts, subsidized gymnasiums and much more. Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit continues to mount, as does each taxpayer's share of the national debt...
As Winston Churchill might have put it, never before have so many owed so much because of the irresponsibility of so few." [Emphasis added]
If we extend the meaning of the word "lawyer" ("law-yer") to include all the parasites (or cannibals?) involved in lawmaking, law administration, and law enforcement, we may get an insight of the colossal fraud and hoax that is destroying America, who is behind it, and their methodology. Ana Marie Pamintuan wrote this article in The Philippine Star of April 20, 1992 under the headline, "Cory Signs Law Banning Gov't Hiring in Next Five Years":
"President Aquina signed into law last week Republic Act 7430, the National Attrition Law, prohibiting the appointment of personnel to fill vacated posts in all national government offices for the next five years.
The President said the new law, which takes effect next month. is in line with the national policy of giving priority to measures "that will promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness and progressiveness" in the civil service.
Attrition for the next five years would ensure optimum utilization of personnel in all agencies including government owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, according to the new law.
Exemptions from the new law need approval of the Civil Service Commission.
Positions exempted from the new law are those in Congress and the judiciary, division chiefs, teachers, local government personnel, presidential appointees, and those in understaffed offices.
Also exempted are lone positions in an organizational unit, with a particular expertise intrinsic to the functions of the unit; basic positions for the initial operations of new agencies; those vital to the continued and efficient operation of the agencies; and positions which are difficult to fill because of the qualifications required such as those of lawyers and physicians.
Violators of the new law can be jailed from three to six months, fined from P3,000 to P5,000, or both fined and imprisoned. The appointing official must also pay the salary of the new employee during the latter's service.
The Civil Service Commission was tasked to submit an annual report to the President and Congress regarding compliance with the new law.
A personnel effectiveness audit will also be conducted by the commission along with a work study which will contain, among others, the evaluation of the program's effectiveness and the recommendation on whether or not it should be extended beyond five years. The audit and work study will also be submitted to the President and Congress.
Implementing rules and guidelines for the new law will be issued by the commission.
RA 7430 is a consolidation, of Senate Bill 1770 and House Bill 31034, passed last Feb. 7." [Emphasis added]
Let us analyze this "law":
- They call it the "National Attrition Law." Considering all the exemptions, it should be called the "Government Bureaucracy Expansion and Make-Work Law."
- Lawyers and physicians are exempted because their positions are difficult to fill!
- It calls for an "annual report," a "personnel effectiveness audit," a "work study," and "implementing rules and guidelines" - make-work upon make-work.
- The bill itself is a consolidation of two previous bills - pure make-work.
U.S. Congress and their hangers-on consist of 38,500 lawyers (using the term in its widest sense). The 11,000 Washington bribery organizations cannot keep the 38,500 lawyers fully occupied in passing laws to favor special interests. So the lawyers draft "consolidations" of existing laws. These laws are so voluminous that it is unlikely that any member of Congress reads even 10 percent of the laws passed. And the attitude of the lawyers is that the taxpayer is fair game, as illustrated by an interview published in Reason Magazine in March 1991:
"[Virginia] POSTREL: If you like democracy in Zaire, what gives you the right to decide that Joe Jones in Kansas ought to pay for your fomenting of democracy in Zaire, even assuming that you could be successful at it? [Joshua] MURAVCHIK: The right seems to me perfectly clear: We are a nation, we have an agreement that there are such things as common purposes, and we have a system of government which is predicated on the idea that if a majority, through our processes of government, decides that certain purposes are in the common interest, such as giving welfare to poor people, or - [Charles] KRAUTHAMMER: Going to the moon. MURAVCHIK: Or going to the moon, or whatever in foreign policy, and as long as these common purposes don't involve curtailing the rights of our own citizens, but involve only taxing them, making them contribute some money, it is fundamental to our way of government that we have the right to do that." [Emphasis added]
Contrast this attitude to that expressed by the U.S. Supreme court 86 years ago:
"The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen. He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way. His power to contract is unlimited. He owes no such duty [to submit his books and papers for an examination] to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom, beyond the protection of his life and property. His rights are such as existed by the law of the land [Common Law] long antecedent to the organization of the State, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the Constitution. Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself, and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law. He owes nothing to the public so long as he does not trespass upon their rights." Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43 at 47 (1906).
Over the years, our "lawyers" - particularly Supreme Court judges - have steadily, little by little, virtually destroyed the constitutional protection of our individual rights - following a path the Supreme Court itself warned against, 106 years ago:
"And any compulsory discovery by extorting the party's oath, or compelling the production of his private books and papers, to convict him of a crime, or to forfeit his property, is contrary to principles of a free government. It is abhorrent to the instincts of an Englishman; it is abhorrent to the instincts of an American. It may suit the purposes of despotic power; but it cannot abide the pure atmosphere of political liberty and personal freedom.
... [B]ut illegitimate and unconstitutional practices get their first footing in that way, namely by silent approaches and slight deviations from legal modes of procedure. This can only be obviated by adhering to the rule that constitutional provisions for the security of person and property should be liberally construed. A close and literal construction deprives them of half their efficacy, and leads to gradual depreciation of the right, as if it consisted of more in sound than in substance. It is the duty of courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizens, and against any stealthy encroachments thereon." Boyd v. U.S.,116 U.S. 616 (1886).
Go into a law freedomry and you will find tens of thousands of volumes supposedly telling us what we must do and what we must not do. Are the principles of harmonious human behavior so complex that we need millions of pages of laws to tell us what to do and what not? Are we not conscious beings with brains and the ability to reason? Contrast our millions of pages of laws to the Ten Commandments. And these are the basic principles I propose for human civilization:
(1) Individuals own their own lives and bodies, and may do with them anything that doesn't violate the equal rights of others.
(2) Individuals have the right to own property.
(3) No individual or group has the right to initiate fraud, force, or violence against another or his/her property.
(4) Individuals have a right to communicate and to not communicate (freedom of speech and right to privacy).
(5) Individuals have the right to associate and to enter into agreements and contracts. For a contract to be valid it needs to be entered into knowingly, voluntarily, and intentionally.
(6) Individuals have the right to produce and exchange, and own the products of their labor. No individual or group has a right to another's production, or property, or any part thereof.
(7) For a crime to occur there has to be a damaged party (corpus delecti); there are no so-called "victimless crimes."
(8) In criminal trials, the accused has a right to trial by jury.
(9) Juries have the right and the duty to judge both the facts and the law (jury nullification).
(10) In the absence of coercion, order and cooperation develop spontaneously. Leadership by example is more beneficial than leadership by force, violence, compulsion, or fear.
(11) These principles apply, irrespective of age, race, birthplace, gender, or sexual preference.
(12) For a right to be valid its exercise may not impose a positive obligation on another. A valid right does not depend on anyone else doing anything; it only depends on others not taking certain actions. Any supposed "right" that would impose a positive obligation on another or others is null and void.
"The reason that positive thinkers fail is that their philosophical processes start with a false premise. They believe that goodness is something to be achieved and, therefore, that one must devise some means of achieving it.
Negative thinking presupposes that goodness is nothing more than the absence of badness and that life, the world, the energies already flowing around us are essentially good. Without disruption there is harmony; without noise there is quietness; without disagreement there is agreement; without drunkenness there is sobriety; without sickness there is health; without impedance there is flow. Without unhappiness, discord, failure, and frustration we can look forward to happy, fruitful, and productive lives. In that happiness is not a commodity, we do not therefore require the services of a mystic to help us find it... "
So wrote Dr. Laurence J. Peter in Peter's People. Nor do we need a lawyer-government to tell us what to do... Least of all, do we need a lawyer-government to tell us what to do.
Our lawyer-government bases its power on a Constitution written by lawyers for lawyers. I have been talking about the Constitution being a shield and the law a sword. Well, the "killer" who hides behind the shield and wields the sword is the lawyer - the worst professional screwmaster of all - the most insatiable rapist of the American economy.
"Lawyers are plants that will grow in any soil that is cultivated by the hands of others, and when once they have taken root they will extinguish every vegetable that grows around them. The most ignorant, the most bungling member of that profession will, if placed in the most obscure part of the country, promote litigiousness and amass more wealth than the most opulent farmer with all his toil... What a pity that our forefathers, who happily extinguished so many fatal customs and expunged from their government so many errors and abuses both religious and civil, did not prevent the introduction of a set of men so dangerous."
H. St. John Crevecoeur, 1787
"I have always thought, from my earliest youth 'til now, that the greatest scourge an angry Heaven ever inflicted upon an ungrateful and a sinning people was an ignorant, a corrupt, or a dependent judiciary."
Chief Justice John Marshall
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