When my business partner and I started Godfather Politics we had the mafia in mind. The mafia is not much different from the way our government works.
When my oldest son was about four, we were at the check-out line at a Blockbuster video store when he noticed a video-tape display promoting The Godfather trilogy. “Dad, are these about God?,” he asked. A reasonable question from a four-year-old given the title and his always curious nature.
Knowing that he would not care to hear a long retelling of the plot, I summed up the storyline by telling him that The Godfather saga was about an alternate form of government. The leaders are like politicians who start out caring for people but later exploit them. That was enough for him. All he could say was “Oh.”
The man standing behind us in line overheard our conversation and made the following comment. “I never thought of it that way, but you’re right. Don Corleone is a lot like today’s politicians. He’s the man in charge. He grants political favors. He makes and enforces laws. He even collects taxes. The Mafia is run like a government.”
The government as a mafia regime was confirmed to me when I visited the ‘Mob Museum’ in Las Vegas. It tells the story of how crime bosses came to power in the United States. By the way, they weren’t all Italians. Jews (the Hyman Roth character in The Godfather Part II was based on the life of Meyer Lansky who said, “We’re bigger than US Steel.”) and Irish (Road to Perdition) were also involved.
Those who did business with the mob had to follow the mob’s rules. As long as you did not get involved in the ‘services’ rendered by the mob, you were mostly free of the mob’s influence.
This isn’t the case when it comes to the people who have been elected to govern. They’re worse than the mob. We can’t escape their rule or tyranny. There’s no rival mob gang to come to our defense.
When George W. Bush proposed a tax cut for all wage earners in 2003, Alan M. Webber, founding editor of Fast Company magazine, presented the classic plunder-to-satisfy-the-wants-of-the-people worldview. “At the community level,” he wrote, “ordinary folks want jobs, they want benefits, and they want reassurance. This is the time, not for tax cuts, but for Democratic-style spending programs: temporary job creation, targeted public works expenditures, extended unemployment benefits.” These are the comments of someone who believes that government is really run by mob bosses.
Weber believes that confiscating money from wage earners, passing it through a huge bureaucracy, and then distributing a lesser amount of money to the helpless masses is better than allowing wage earners to keep their money, save it, spend it, and invest it. This is mob politics in action.
Real jobs are created, and fewer people remain dependent on the State when consumers make their own economic decisions. But then, dependency isn’t created. All mobs need the people to be dependent on them and fearful of what they can do.
Webber believes that a complex and multifaceted economy is better managed by bureaucrats than the billions of economic decisions made every day by consumers. The only ones who benefit by “public works expenditures” are the politicians who create the programs and those empowered to implement them. The losers are the productive members of society who are plundered and those who become dependent on confiscated wealth given to them in the name of compassion.
It’s no different today. There are drones in the skies, a hit-list of political undesirables, a bought-off complicit media, continued tribute (taxes) to the bosses, laws passed to drive out competition, subsidization of supporters of the regime, and support of unions.
The Mob is alive and well in Washington. Some enterprising person should erect a ‘Government Mob Museum’ in our nation’s capital. The only problem is that there probably isn’t a plot of ground big enough to house all the criminal acts of our government. On second thought, just take a tour of DC. You can see the mobsters in action when Congress is in session.
- Alan M. Webber, “Bush’s proposed tax cuts won’t rescue sinking U.S. economy,” USA Today (January 13, 2003), 13A. [↩]