Mises Wire

Government Greedheads

Government Greedheads

Progressives — who religiously believe in the holiness and sanctity of the State — are forever lecturing the rest of us about capitalist “greed.” The capitalists, they tell us, have no compassion and no decency; they are interested only in money and will walk over anyone to get it.

This recent story from Beaver, Pennsylvania, tells us about a different kind of greedhead: the government agent. A widow had her house sold from under her in a tax sale for…$6.30 in unpaid interest for overdue property taxes. That’s right; the government had a widow unceremoniously booted from her house for a sum of money that would not even provide breakfast for a typical bureaucrat.

The government, of course, is blameless, or so its enforcers tell us. The woman was NOTIFIED BY MAIL. That means the government sent a letter to her, and that is all the government needs to steal the home of someone else: a letter. The Associated Press states:

BEAVER, Pa. — A widow was given ample notice before her $280,000 house was sold at a tax auction three years ago over $6.30 in unpaid interest, a Pennsylvania judge has ruled.

The article continues:

Beaver County Common Pleas Judge Gus Kwidis wrote that the county tax claim bureau complied with notification requirements in state law before the auction. She had previously owed other taxes, but at the time of the sale she owed just $235, including other interest and fees.

“There is no doubt that (she) had actual receipt of the notification of the tax upset sale on July 7, 2011, and Aug. 16, 2011,” the judge wrote. “

Let us put this into perspective. The woman’s late husband apparently handled all the financial affairs for the family and the widow was not very good at doing the government’s voluminous paperwork. Yes, one can argue that the woman was notified and that the law was followed to the letter, but maybe we should ask ourselves if the government should have the power to seize private property for trifling sums. Or maybe any sums.

My sense is that had this woman had political connections, none of this would have happened, even accounting for the $6.30. We finally have achieved what the Progressives always have wanted: a state of things in which political connections and political viability decide how everyone else should live. Long live Progressivism!!

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