Believe it or not in the ancient Roman empire the vast majority of Roman Citizens that their emperors were there to take care of them. Free bread and circuses came long after the first allegiance to the emperors. Julius Caesar took care of the Roman Citizens by leaving each of them about $100 in his will after his assassination. The question never answered is where Julius Caesar came up with all that money? It probably was not nearly as much money as what was required to pay his private army over the longer term. We know the expenditure by Caesar did not crimp the spending habits of future emperors. The secret of ancient Rome during the empire was that the Emperors taxed their enslaved provinces when they were not running them as vast personal slave plantations. For every free citizen in the Roman provinces there were hundreds if not thousands of slaves. Tribute to Rome though the offices of each emperor was managed though the private army organization that answered to the emperor. Caesar’s vast wealth came from controlling the importation of goods from conquered provinces. Emperor Hadrian probably only wasted vast sums of money on his wall in Britain so as to manage tariffs on trade to be sure the benefits were funneled only though his organization. My theory of the history of the great wall of China is that it too was ultimately lucrative not defensive as a means of funneling trade dollars to the emperors thought the armed forces controlled by the emperor. Money makes a big difference in consolidating power in any political system or empire. The amazing thing is that the ancient Roman emperors could maintain a generally popular feel good status among their own citizens even when they behaved like demigod mobsters, monsters and tyrants. Even more amazing is the United States of America where people have the sovereignty and are franchised to vote on all maters of politics and here 2000 years later a majority of our people are willing to trade away their vote for the illusion of a little comfort offered by politicians who convince them that they are there to take care of us.
How to know if your favorite politician is taking care of you?
1. First they will constantly tell you that they are taking care of you or in the words of no -spin Bill Reilly of Fox News will say “We’re looking out for you.” In the case of Ron Wyden we hear him tell us how he is protecting us from evil doers that include big corporations, like the ones that finance his political campaigns. It is also rich people who don’t care about little people like you and me or it is the evil foreigners like the Chinese who are stealing all our jobs. It is the evil banks, the insurance companies, or just the free wheeling unregulated capitalist system that to blame.
2. It is not only us that needs to be taken care of. Politicians like Wyden have discovered the environment. Its the plenum of care that everything on the planet needs The public cannot seem to get enough of how politicians can save something that is so big and indifferent as nature that it can destroy us all in a second with no warning. This goes back to ancient times when politicians convinced the populace that they had special relationships with the gods as intermediaries and that if you let them make the appropriate sacrifices to the gods it would rain for the rest of us. Amazing that 2000 years later the same old con job is still working.
3. A politician who really cares about us should be getting filthy rich doing his job as a public servant and particularly as a public servant who tells us all that people among us have too much wealth they are not properly sharing. Wyden never made an investment in his life according to reports and only kept his money in safe bank accounts by evil banks that actually pay interest which if you listen to the guy is still a form of idle wealth creating that is unfair to those who have to work. Wyden just happened to use his position to marry well , after his family values divorce. He married one of the co owners of the Strand Book Store in New York City and now does not even actually live in the district he represents but does commute there for town hall meetings. Of course Wyden could be doing better. His good friend John Kerry married into over 181 million dollars of net worth and avoids paying excessive taxes on his boat in his home state by keeping it in a cheaper tax location. The queen of giving , Nancy Pelosi, is not sharing her 21 million dollars of net assets with the people who most need it because she knows who needs it most . She spends 2 plus million dollars of tax money using a Us military transport plane as her private airline because if she did spend her own money on that it would reduce her net worth by about the same sum of money. Remember she is saving her money for you because you need someone with enough wealth to take care of you.
4. You politician wants you to have free health care so they pass a law that requires over 30,000 new IRS agents from an agency famous for coercion and coercive practices to make a system work. So you see the politicians who claim they are in power to take care of you supporting this kind of legislation and then after it passes they then seek a special waiver first for the state and later for special interest groups that need to be excluded at some point it may cost some money going to the Senator to get the waiver just the same way one friend of Wyden got 2.4 million dollars access to federal money after donating $2000 to the Wyden campaign for elections. It is positively amazing how it works that the politicians who tell us most often that they are there to take care of us can get the right things done for us. We all find out that the free health care promised is going to cost us all more and that is why the IRS expansion is so necessary. So much for being free and since the new system will be run by accountants and lawyers instead of doctors and rationing bureaucrats we should all be feeling well that we have well taken care of.
5. Your politician who promises that he is taking care of us needs help getting the message out. There is nothing like friends in the local news media to always make those most caring politicians look like nice guys who always mean well or course when you see where the campaign advertising money goes you can see why there are so many kind endorsements.. It is all being done for your benefit so government can get bigger and bigger in order to better take care of you
6. Pay the mercenaries well. Welfare recipients are vote mercenaries an army of them and they can wait as long as necessary to get something for nothing so they know very well to vote for the politician who is there to protect us. Protect us from what? Not enough regulation. Not enough daily police force. Not enough taxes but always enough charm and the pleasure of knowing they are there for us even if we can’t afford to get the same treatment the special interests get. It does not mater if regulations to project us don’t and it does not mater if high taxes for “government investment” are not viable investments. And it does not mater if billions and trillions of dollars are recklessly wasted it is all because they care about us. And then comes election time again and they rub it in and rub it in in TV commercials about all they have done to care for us and protect us and it hardly maters if all their programs have backfired and failed and cost good money that will never be recovered because our favorite politicians did it because they really cared about us.
There is a lot you can really learn from politicians like Ron Wyden whose all pitch for reelection is always that they really care about us. It seems to work for them every single time. It worked for the Western Roman Emperors for over 400 years and 2000 years later we know that what seemed to be working well for the Romans was poorer than North Korea today. Roman citizens lowered themselves to just a level just above slavery and they over all felt good about how much their emperors cared about them. In the country with the original revolution that scrapped the paternalism of old Europe where we achieved unpredicted general wealth with fewer and fewer caring lords and royals a vast number of our voters long for the good old days and actually buy up the slop dished out to them by the more caring politicians like Wyden. It is sickening since most government services offered are worthless except for the free bee entitlements while they last.. Or course the best entitlements are do nothing life time government jobs and plenty of those are promised. Believe me if you are getting a entitlement security check it is worthless compared to working 9-5 in a civil service job where you can never be fired and where you get to hire new people to do the work that you were originally hired to do and they in turn with seniority can hire new people to do the work that you expected they would be doing and after that no government employee at all is a worker because all work is subcontracted out to private contractors many of whom contribute money to the offices of those who care about us most like Ron Wyden. The whole system of political patronage is completely sustainable don’t you worry you are being cared for you just keep working harder and paying more taxes.
The people who fall for the political con job that convinces them that someone running for election really cares for them are just normal people who are looking for the same kind of experience they had as a child where their parents took care of them. You can’t blame them for being such easy push overs . It seems to work nearly everytime. The question is if it might not just be smarted to vote for politicians who are a bit more honest.