It’s For Your Own Good

The government may be money hungry, corrupt, and inept, but as a whole, the law is essentially there to protect the general public…right?

And, out of the three branches of government, it’s the judicial system that has your interests most in mind, isn’t it? The Supreme Court isn’t nearly as corrupt as Congress or the office of the President.

After all, that’s what checks and balances are all about. If the Executive and Legislative branches are full of crooks, the Judicial keeps things from getting too far out of hand.

But what if your safety and wellbeing weren’t being protected by the Supreme Court, either?

a red tomato, a fruit, not a vegetableThis might seem like a sharp left turn, but you know that tomatoes are fruits. Botanically speaking, fruits are the parts of plants that bear seeds, and vegetables are other plant materials like leaves, roots, and stems. That puts tomatoes firmly in the “fruit” category according to scientific classification.

The Supreme Court, though, doesn’t think scientific classification matters.

As ridiculous as it seems, in 1893, Nix v. Hedden was argued before the Supreme Court to decide whether tomatoes should be considered vegetable or fruit. That might not seem like the sort of thing worth arguing in the highest court in the country, but the reality was that the dispute wasn’t about botany.

It was about tax revenue.

See, in 1893, there were tariffs imposed on vegetables, but not on fruits.

The evidence presented to the court was very simple: the dictionary definition of “fruit,” the dictionary definition of “vegetable,” and the dictionary definition of “tomato.”

Everyone agreed that, beyond any doubt, a tomato is most definitely a fruit.

But the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that it should be taxed as a vegetable anyway.

The logic?

Because you’re more likely to eat it during dinner than during dessert.

Perhaps we should also consider pineapple a vegetable, then, because it goes really well with sweet and sour chicken. Of course, apples should also get lumped into the vegetable category – pretty much every American has had applesauce on their pork chops.

piggy bank representing a money grabAll snark aside, there was no actual legal justification for the Nix v Hedden decision, and definitely no scientific support, either. It was just another way to generate revenue by arbitrarily taxing imports…even though the letter of the law, the facts, and legal precedent all pointed in the opposite direction.

But that decision was more than 100 years ago. All of those justices are dead now! Things might be different.

Let’s take another example, shall we?

Kelo v. City of New London is recent enough that you probably remember the controversy. It was the first time a lot of people gave any serious thought to eminent domain.

According to the law of eminent domain, the government can take your private property from you without your consent. They just have to compensate you for it and it’s supposed to be used for the public good.

In 2000, the government in New London, Connecticut seized privately owned property, and then gave it to another private party so that they could develop the land for a profit.

dollar bills representing tax revenueWithout rehashing all of the details (you can read the legal brief for that) the Supreme Court eventually decided in favor of the city. Their justification was that the development would bring in more tax revenue, which is a public benefit.

It wasn’t discreet. It wasn’t a matter of a roundabout justification. The court declared outright that they were okay with stealing private property for the sole purpose of generating revenue.

But that’s not all.

Not by a longshot.

The people whose homes were seized were then charged thousands of dollars, because during the five year battle, the city contended that they had been squatting on government property and therefore owed back rent.

On top of that, the development was never built. The developer had trouble getting financing and abandoned the project, leaving an empty lot that ended up becoming a receptacle for garbage and debris.

Eventually, the city was forced to pay additional compensation to the residents who had been displaced, but they were never able to return to their homes.

So the government is willing to ignore legal precedent, constitutional law, and even scientific fact if they stands to make a profit…

And you still believe that NFA items are regulated for your safety?

308 rifle with optics and suppressorLet’s consider the law about suppressors, aka silencers. Most Americans believe you can’t own one, but that’s not true.

You CAN legally own suppressors…but you have to pay for a tax stamp.

If they were really as dangerous as politicians would have you believe, why would the prerequisite for owning something like a suppressor be money?

The fact is that a silencer actually makes a firearm much safer, both for the shooter and for any bystanders. Unfortunately, the powers that be are profiting from your fear, so they’re perfectly content to feed misinformation and sow suspicion to the general public.

So you think that laws are there for your general wellbeing?

Maybe it’s time to follow the money.

What do you think?

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