Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Redneck Review
No. 14, 7/27/15
Several past articles in the RNR have pondered the question of grants and government programs transferring public money to entities of all kinds, schools, states, businesses, individuals, and the list goes on! Topics over the weeks have included the federal grants of money in SB1067 to states in their effort to force child support from deadbeat non-payers who have escaped overseas, to farm subsidies and education grants like those provided by the USDA and the NSF.
The NOT YOURS TO GIVE advice of Horatio Bunce to Davey Crockett has been given considerable attention in the last few articles, and a promise to see what THE LAW, a book by Frederik Bastiat, written in the mid-19th century, has been made.
In his clear and easily read book, this noted Frenchman starts with a simple but very convincing argument that a free society is dependent upon the ownership of private property. In a nutshell, if an individual or a family must depend upon someone else to survive, then he or it is not free. Only by having a personal access to their own means of survival can they be truly free. That, argues Bastiat, is the chief reason why the right to own their own private property, or other means of survival, is a necessary ingredient of a free society.
So, assuming the right to ownership of your own property, Bastiat goes on to say, that anyone who then takes by force anything that one person owns and has earned for himself, is guilty of theft, or stealing. He coined the work PLUNDER to describe this activity. Applying this logic to government, Bastiat then goes on to say that government programs which take by force from the owner who has earned it, and then gives to another who has not, is PLUNDER. But because it is done with the blessing of government, it becomes "legal," hence his term for all such programs is LEGAL PLUNDER!
So, what happens in a country which allows LEGAL PLUNDER to become part of the policy of government? Bastiat argues that it is absolutely predictable that in the early stages, a government will take only a little from lots of people, in order to give a larger amount to a single person or entity. So small, the many people PLUNDERED do not even realize what is happening. But as time passes, the money plundered is slowly given to more and more recipients, until the day inevitably arrives when the plundered people begin to object, and begin demanding that they themselves be on the receiving end!
Does this not remind one of Bunce's statement, quoted by an individual's letter to the Chronicle a week or two ago in a comment on USDA payments: "You will easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud, corruption and  favoritism on the one hand and for robbing the people on the other?"
And does this not help understand why any government resorting to LEGAL PLUNDER" in Bastiat's words eventually finds it cannot plunder from enough people to satisfy all who want access to the PLUNDER, so that it must rely on borrowed money in larger and larger amounts? And finally, does it not explain, as Bastiat concludes, that electing your own PLUNDERER to government positions, becomes more and more important? He concludes that economic survival demands the control of the plundering government!!
What do you think? Are there any such struggles going on politically today?
Jake Wren

To the Editor
In response to Jake Wren's column in last weeks Chronicle, I would urge him to contact the USDA with the error and discrepancy he noted on farm subsides he received. I've included the figures below in case he had trouble accessing the EWG web site I listed.  
In Jake Wren's last week's  Red Neck Review #13, 7/20/2015, he stated . . . . "But a couple of quick comments! First the USDA payment is correct, but the total is incorrect, as my tax records over the years prove! Second, the payments came from the sale of land to another person who normally would receive them, but for legitimate reasons came to me instead!"
As a former student of his, I find his math confusing and his payments (from U.S. Department of Ag.)  relating to his land sale more confusing - and in need of further explanation. I'm also confused on how one goes about applying for government farm subsidies? I'm assuming that one has to apply  on a yearly basis? If so,  weren't applications filed and payments received  yearly by a  Patrick J Wren for the years listed below?  Maybe he's a victim of identity theft?  
The payments listed include:  Years  1999 - $4,641,  2000- $1,569,  2001 - $2,499,  2002 - $1,288,  2003 - $1,288,  2004 - $1,288,  2005 - $5,976 ($4625 Conservation Sub + $1,351 Commodity Sub).
2006 - $14,400 ($13,058 Conserv. sub + $1,342 Com. sub), 2007 - $17,144 ($15,856 Conserv. sub + $1,288 Com. Sub.)
 2008 - $17,754 ($16,466 Conserv. sub + $1,288 Com. sub) 
2009 - $17,820 ($16,555 Conserv. + $1,265 Com.). 2010 - $1,265 (Commodity Sub.)
2011 - $1,265,  2012 - $1,288 (last year Environmental Works Group released farm subdues data from the USDA) 
Total Conservation Subsidies $66,560 + total Commodity $22,925 = $89,485
Jake, you might be onto something  "Is that money YOURS TO GIVE . . .  If you are a government official?  . . . . . . . . Might I suggest a little different approach that might work to quell the dispersments of tax payers funds to the general populous. Government officials seem to take on the roles of parents and have a hard time denying requests from their kids. You could start a revolution like Grover Norquist. He got the majority of the Senate and House Republicans to sign a pledge of "NO NEW TAXES OF ANY KIND." Let's break the culture that's  hooked on "Subsidies" right here in Idaho County.  How about The Jake Wren Pledge!  A pledge that people would agree  to "NOT REQUEST OR APPLY FOR  ANY FUNDS FROM THE GOVERNMENT - farm subsidies, grants, etc.
You would have the Government back in the black in no time! 
Jim Reed
Hood River, Oregon 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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