Op-Ed: 'Federal family' is world's most successful gang

Posted Sep 11, 2011 by Michael Billy
When the federal government, particularly FEMA, decided to nix the word "government" from its lexicon and replace it with "federal family" the conservative and libertarian blogosphere became amass with criticisms of Orwellian language manipulation.
A law enforcement counter-terrorist team in action. Special Actions Unit (UTK) or Pasukan Gerakan Kh...
A law enforcement counter-terrorist team in action. Special Actions Unit (UTK) or Pasukan Gerakan Khas (PGK) operatives armed with a Heckler and Koch 9mm MP5-N sub-machine guns simulates Counter-Terrorism operations at Bukit Aman Main Police Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
But the more I think about it, the more the term "federal family" makes sense to me, just maybe not in the way the Obama Administration was hoping. After all, what is the government if it is not a gang? Or, phrased better perhaps, the world's most successful mafia family.
President Obama said it best himself when he admittedthat nation states are organizations with a monopoly on the use of violence in a geographic region. For the "federal family," that area happens to be the geographic landmass known as the United States and the included territories. For the mafia, the area tends to be a part of a city, like Chicago or New York.
This, however, isn't the only similarity between the "federal family" and the mafia family. They also collect their revenue in a similar fashion. Namely, initiating — or threatening to initiate — force on their victims.
With the mafia, we call this use of force extortion. The family's enforcer heads to a local store and gives his spiel: "You need to pay up if you want our protection. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to break your legs. Caspisce?"
When the "federal family" performs a similar type of extortion we call it taxation. We call this family's enforcer the tax man, or, in the case of the United States, the IRS. But for all intents and purposes, the spiel is the same: "We protect you. We provide a valuable service, whether you like it or not. So, pay up, or we will lock you in a cage for a very long time. Capisce?"
The "federal family," however, is much more successful than any other mafia on the planet. That is, if you define success as the ability to extort money. The "federal family," after all, extorts over $1 trillion every year through what it calls an income tax. No other family in the world could dream of living up to those standards.
Then again, the "federal family" might be considered an epic failure by some, considering it actually spends more money than it brings in. Any mafia that conducts business in this manner is surely headed for insolvency.
There is, of course, one major difference between the "federal family" and the mafia family: the Mafia doesn't actually have a monopoly. If they get out of hand, there is always another organization ready to take their place. Or, if they forget to pay off someone important, they might feel the wrath of a local government, or even the "federal family."
There is no such check on the "federal family" itself. Sure, the people within the landmass controlled by the family have been granted the privilege to vote for which particular person will be the don that is extorting them; but, that is hardly any real consolation. When leviathan has grown so large that the people within the government can't even keep track of what other government agents are doing, let alone the citizens keeping track of the government, it can hardly suffice to vote for one figurehead over another.
No, the problem is with the apparatus itself and not merely the people in charge of it.