Sowell: Which one is more greedy? The private sector or the federal govt?

Posted by: ST on October 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Asked and answered by one of the most brilliant players in the game:

Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of “greed” almost never level that charge against the government, no matter what it does. Indeed, the question of whether the government is greedy almost never comes up, so most of us probably never think about it.

The first time I was forced to think about it was some years ago, when a bank notified me that the government was about to seize a bank account of mine unless I took action. Since I didn’t owe the government any money, and was not accused of any crime, I was baffled.

What had happened was that I had received a private grant to help finance international travel in connection with my research into racial and cultural issues in countries around the world. Since the money was not for my personal use, I opened a separate bank account to hold that money until I was ready to go overseas.

Such a trip would obviously take a lot of time, so I had to get my other work and commitments cleared up before I could take off for a few months. That was easier said than done, so the bank account with the travel money just sat there, with nothing being added to it or taken from it.

There are escheat laws, under which the government can seize the assets of someone who has died and whose heirs have not claimed those assets after some period of time. The theory is that there is no reason why banks should get that money. On the other hand, there is no reason why politicians should get it either, but the politicians write the laws.


Escheat laws are just one of the ways governments seize money. Income-tax rates have been as high as 90 percent in the top brackets. Even after you have paid the taxes on your income and saved or invested part of what is left, the government comes back to take more of that same money, after you die, with estate taxes.

Perhaps one of the most unconscionable acts of greed by government is confiscating people’s homes, in order to turn this property over to other people, who are expected to build things that will pay more taxes.

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4 Responses to “Sowell: Which one is more greedy? The private sector or the federal govt?”


  1. i’ve been saying this for years. the greediest people in the world are the american politicans. also they are where the greatest concentration of wealth in the hands of the few in america exists. several thousand politicans take almost half of the money that is earned by almost 180 million working americans. some private citizens live in mansions, have yatchs, have airplanes, homes, cars, ect. the politicans with almost the same amount of money can’t get a small percentage of the population out of poverty. also while i’m on the subject when is liberal america going to complain about the amount of wealth being concentrated in the hands of the legal profession. one-third of one percent of the population but they sure as hell get more than one-third of one percent of the money each year. does anyone out there beside me think that the government is just a big ponzi scheme for the legal profession. i think the number of laws that we have in the free country are in direct proportion to the number of lawyers we have in the government. 100 percent of the judges,70 percent of the congress, and i would bet at least half of the administrative branch. more laws more business for the legal profession. if the people want to take back control of our government we need to get the lawyers out of government.

  2. Jo says:

    It goes beyond greed. It’s an entitlement mentality much like the generational welfare recipients. Congressmen believe it is their mission to take our hard-earned money to redistribute, fund earmarks, pay ever increasing pensions and further bloat the government and that they can decide better than we mere peasants how to spend the money we earn. I’ve always said they are high-falootin’ welfare recipients.

  3. Kate says:

    It’s the old saying the fox is in the hen-house. This is why they do nothing to violators of their own rules….they are above them. Ask Charlie and Maxine….they are not worried about being charged with ethics violations because they know their fellow conspirators in congress will give them their very own “get out of jail” card.

    Reminds me of what Christ said about the Pharisees….being whitewashed tombs of iniquity. They look sparkly and clean on the outside, but on the inside they are decaying bones.

    This election season clean up the graveyard…

  4. Carlos says:

    It’s getting to the point, Kate, that some of them don’t even care about being sparkly clean on the outside. Until this election cycle, anyway. Now that they’ve shown everyone what’s really on the inside by voting in socialism, all of a sudden they’ve had a real “Jesus” moment and are telling everyone they’ve been saved, and just send me back one more time, I’ll prove it by standing up to all those evil, entrenched politicians in D.C.

    Like the Pharisees, they don’t have a clue how evil they really are.