Wednesday, January 27, 2010


We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

I've read plenty of Soviet history but I was never clear on just what a kulak was.  I knew that kulaks were singled out for confiscation of their property but what the heck was a kulak. I asked my retired Russian MVD colonel buddy that question.  "A successful farmer" he replied.  Nahhh, couldn't be.  Could it?  Yes, it could.  Wiki has a good article HERE.

But why demonize, marginalize and murder successful farmers?  As a class, weren't they the ones who were feeding hungry Soviet mouths and creating jobs and building industries?  Didn't matter.  No truth mattered and no one was safe if the gummint decided it wanted your stuff.   Grigori Zinoviev was Lenin's party theoretician.  He said "We are fond of describing any peasant who has enough to eat as a kulak."  It was all for the greater good, don'cha know.  It was them vs. us, a pogrom to cleanse newly identified enemies of the state for the benefit of... the state.

A neo-kulak is simply a kulak in today's society.  If they have good stuff and the gummint wants it, all it needs to do is identify and marginalize and demonize them:  fat cat bankers, corporations and especially people who earn or have more than you do.  Having done all that, the gummint must be sure to tell you that the kulaks are Someone Who Isn't You.  After all, if they really are someone like you then you might feel a little creepy about taking all their stuff and killing them.  There, there, don't you worry your little head.

Today Oregonians officially recognized two neo-kulak classes: people earning more than $125K and all corporations.  Neo-kulaks, of course, must pay some penalty for their successes, something more than you and I pay for our successes.  Why should they reap the rewards of hard work or good luck or just being from a good family?  The government has to create some means of transferring their stuff to us.  For individual neo-kulaks the penalty is a higher income tax bracket.  For corporate neo-kulaks, new and higher taxes.  Not income taxes, mind you, but taxes on their very existence and taxes on gross receipts regardless of profits or income.

Disclaimer:  My wife and I run a charity incorporated in Oregon.  We take neither pay nor expense reimbursement and, of course, our charity makes no profit.  Regardless, we are caught in the neo-kulak hysteria.  Our state minimum tax is going from $10 to $150.  Why?  Because someone thought we have too much money and it needed to be spread around.   No other reason than that.  We get nothing in return and the money comes directly out of the mouths of the disadvantaged children we're helping.

Our charity, CCRFund, is a victim of kulakization (a real word).  We're so small that we're on the very low end of the new corporate taxes.  We'll make it somehow, I suppose.  150 bucks isn't the end of the world for us, but it is maybe 150 lunches that won't be delivered to poor kids, or some blankets or books or... you get the idea.  Our "rich" donors (would that they were rich, those kind souls who donate for children whom they'll never see) are going to have to cut back somewhere to pay the cost of their kulakization.  Will it come out of charity donations?  Some will, most likely.

When I wrote to the Portland Oregonian about this one commenter responded "It's only $140 a month.  Get over it."  That's sort of what Zinoviev said.  If you set the bar low enough, the gummint can take everything from everyone... for the good of the state.

Today CCRFund lost and lots of people are happy about that, people who think that neo-kulaks can be fleeced forever for the good of those doing the fleecing.  But that isn't true.  You know it in your hearts that there must be a law of diminishing returns, a point beyond which there is nothing left to take.  When that day comes the gummint will have to ID some new kulaks.  It won't be us or people making more than $125K.  There won't be any of those left.

Look around.  Maybe you won't have to pay more under Oregon's Measures 66 and 67.  Of course, that would require you to believe that no one ever passes costs along or structures income to minimize tax or fires employees to decrease overhead to offset new costs.  Or you might believe that the market economy has no relevance, that gummint can fix anything in any way it wants, including taking your stuff and giving it to others.

Look around again and ask yourself, will I be the next kulak?  You already know the answer and you already know your turn is coming.  Zinoviev told you.

"We are fond of describing any peasant who has enough to eat as a kulak."

* * * * *

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemoller

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