The Root of America’s Inequality Problem

Sean Edwards
For the New Christian Intellectual
9 min readNov 1, 2016


America has a serious inequality problem.

For a country that was founded on the idea of absolute equality, its reprehensible.

It goes deeper than #BlackLivesMatter and other movements like it.

The government’s main jobs is to protect minorities from the aggression of majorities. Otherwise, we’d have some sort of authoritarian regime.

However, even though our country was built on equality, both parties are failing our minorities.

And there’s one minority that has taken the most abuse recently.

In fact, both parties claim to be defenders of this group.

And both parties continually put these people under greater and greater oppression.

This group has been beaten, silenced, ridiculed, labeled as crazy, and completely dismissed by our government today.

This group has been beaten, silenced, ridiculed, labeled as crazy, and completely dismissed by our government today.

And our government deliberately and systematically keeps these people oppressed.

A lot of people say that we have systematic racism in this country.

That’s not true. Systematic racism means that racism is written into law.

There is a difference between the Jim Crow laws and individual law enforcement offers abusing their power.

But this minority is oppressed by the system.

Laws are written specifically to oppress these people.

And nobody notices.

Who are these people? And how–in this day and age–do we still have laws on the books targeting them?

That’s a good question.

The only minority specifically targeted by our laws are: Individuals.

If you balk at that, please stay with me.

We don’t usually talk about individuals as a minority, but aren’t they?

Merrimack-Webster defines a minority as:

  • A number or amount that is less than half of the total
  • The group that is the smaller part of a larger group
  • A group of people that are different from the larger group in a country, are, etc., in some way

Individuals are certainly less than half the population.

Individuals are smaller than the whole.

And individuals are different from the whole… because they are individuals. A person cannot be multiple people (unless they have mental health issues).

The individual is the smallest, most oppressable minority on the earth (I know oppressable isn’t a word, but I like it, so I’m using it)

The individual is the smallest, most oppressable minority on the earth

It is easier to make a person submit than a group of people.

And our government oppresses them every day. Don’t believe me?

The Rise of Feudalism in America

Let’s look an example:

Property Taxes.

You may not think of property taxes as a form of oppression, but lets take a closer look at them.

In a nutshell, you don’t own your house, the state does.

Think you own your property?

Try not paying your property taxes.

If we don’t pay the government a portion of what our land is worth, the government evicts us and gives it to someone who will pay.

Does that sound familiar?

It should. It’s called serfdom. And it defined a dark and oppressive form of government during a very oppressive time in history.

I understand that the government needs money to operate. I’m not saying that all taxes are oppression.

But let me ask you this… If the government can kick us off our land, do we really own it?

There need to be consequences for failing to pay taxes. But taking someone’s property is an affront to the the basic tenets of individual rights.

Individuals Are The Smallest Minority On Earth

All of our racial problems in this country stem from this problem: We give equality lip service, but hate its application.

Why do we hate its application? Because if we truly believe that all people are equal, then it means we have to give up things we cherish.

Things like socialized healthcare, legislating who can marry whom, or criminalizing drug use.

When we accept that ALL people are equal, then we realize we can’t force ANY other individual do ANYTHING.

I cannot tell you how to live your life. I cannot enslave you. And I cannot take your money from you. I don’t have that right.

Since the government is made by people, and it is just a collection of people, it must be held to the same moral standards as people.

I.e., the government can’t perform actions that individuals couldn’t (morally).

For instance, I cannot tell another person how to live their life, or force them to work for me.

If I don’t have that right… and you don’t either… do we gain that right when we do it together?

What if we get a group of 10 together? Or 100? Or 1,000?

What size does our group have to be so we can ethically take people’s money by force?

What’s the magic number that makes the majority the arbiters of truth?

What philosophical argument allows the majority to dictate who can marry whom? Or what you can or cannot put into your body? Or dictate how you spend your money?

What makes the government different? Why does the government get to do these things, but individuals cannot?

Why can the government morally do this individuals cannot?

If we understand equality, then government can only exist for one purpose: Protect the individual from the oppression of the majority.

If it tries to go beyond those boundaries, it will become oppressive in nature.

Why Protecting Individual Rights Protects Minorities and Destroys Racism

Once the government oppresses the individual, ie., once we task our leaders to force other people to live by our values, we give it the power to easily oppress racial minorities.

Or ideological minorities. Or economic minorities.

But, if we mandate that the government can ONLY protect the rights of the individual, then it wouldn’t have the ability to oppress racial, ideological, or economic minorities.

All our racial struggles come to this problem: Our government no longer protects the individual.

If we protect the individual, we protect minorities.

It doesn’t matter what skin color you have, who you want to marry, what bathroom you want to use, or what you want to put into your body.

It doesn’t matter how much money you make.

It doesn’t matter where you live.

It doesn’t matter what language you speak.

Or what country you come from.

We are all people. And we are all equal.

The government became the problem when we decided it should be the instrument of social change.

We said, “Government, this social problem needs fixing. You’re big and powerful, and you have the strength to accomplish this. You fix it.”

So, we attack poverty by levying a tax to subsidize healthcare for those in need.

However, that money has to come from somewhere. Which means that one person is being forced to pay for someone else’s healthcare.

And even though its a noble cause, its still theft.

There is no such thing as forced charity.

If you take money from someone without their consent, its theft. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

If it is their money–and not yours (nor society’s)–and you take it from them without their permission, it is theft.

Money can only change hands in one of two ways: By trade, or by force.

We can either choose to exchange wealth voluntarily, either through trading, or by charity.

Or one must steal it from the other.

Which means we can’t forcibly take money from some in order to help others.

“Forced charity” is a contradiction of terms. Charity has to be completely voluntary, otherwise it is just a nice word for slavery.

“Forced charity” is a contradiction of terms. Charity has to be completely voluntary, otherwise it is just a nice word for slavery.

People OFTEN object to this line of reasoning by saying, “It isn’t theft, its a tax” (like the property tax mentioned earlier).

It is easy to think they are different.

“Theft” conjures an image of a thief, masked and lurking for their next victim.

And a tax is just something that comes out of our paycheck.

No one is holding a gun to your head. No one is lurking in the shadows to steal from. Everyone does it. Its just how things work, right?

So it seems like an inapt comparison to call it theft.

However, taxes don’t justify any expense. You can’t just label something a tax and call it good.

If something’s a tax, it only means that enough people in congress said “yay” to a vote.

Taxes Aren’t Theft (Except When They Are)

Taxes fund the government.

If we task the government with a new job, it needs money to accomplish it.

And as long as the government uses those dollars to protect the individual, that’s okay.

But, if the government is doing something immoral, that means those tax dollars are being used for something immoral. Which makes the tax immoral.

What if we taxed black people more heavily because they place the largest burden our prison system? Would that be moral? Could we still say, “Its not racism, its a tax.”

No. That would be preposterous and evil.

Thus, when someone says we can tax one person to pay for another’s health care (or education, or paid maternity leave, or whatever), they are saying that theft is okay as long we call it a tax… and that the majority agrees its okay.

Theft is wrong. Even if you intend to use that money for good purposes.

Therefore you cannot hide behind the term “tax”.

Taxes can only be used to fund the government to protect individual rights.*

Otherwise the tax itself becomes immoral (and thus, theft), and and our government becomes the aggressor.

If we truly want to eliminate the inequality in our country… then we need end inequality in our country.

We need a philosophical revolution to occur. And we need to re-task our government to only protect individual rights.

Not just the parts we like.

We cannot say, “I stand up for individual rights, but believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.” That is a contradiction.

We are picking which parts of equality and freedom we like, and which we don’t.

This says, “I like freedom as long people behave how I want. If they don’t, I making a law that forces them to.”

We cannot say, “I am a proponent of social justice and human rights,” and also believe that the government should tax the wealthy to fund social welfare programs. This too is a contradiction.

We are picking which parts of freedom we like, and which we don’t.

This says, “People should be free, so long as they behave how I want. If they don’t, I’m going to force them to do so.”

The democratic and republican parties are 2 sides to same coin.

If we say we believe in human rights, we have to accept them all, not just the ones we like.

If we say we believe in human rights, we have to accept them all, not just the ones we like.

We can’t cherry pick which rights we like and which we don’t.

This means everyone will have to let go of their golden calves. We must limit the government to only protecting individual equality.

Otherwise equality itself is undone.

Your motives or intentions don’t matter. Your actions do.

So if you support a law that forces your neighbor to live by your values (and forces them fund a program with which they do not agree), then you don’t actually stand for equality.

You don’t want freedom. You just say you do.

If you want to force some to pay for other people’s healthcare or education, you don’t really believe in justice.

If you want to dictate who people can and cannot marry, you don’t really believe in freedom.

If you want to tell people what they can and cannot put into their bodies, you don’t stand for equality.

If you want any of these things, you don’t want freedom. You want to control people. Its plain and simple.

And you have no place in government.

Government cannot be run by people who want to control people.

Enlightened government, and people, don’t seek to control people. They seek to expand freedom and justice.

True freedom respects people with basic human dignity.

It says, “No right of mine constitutes an obligation on any living person.” (Ayn Rand)

It respects that I have no right to tell you how to live your life.

An enlightened people realize that if I can’t control you, the government can’t either.

There are other ways to change the world for the better. Forcing our values on those around us is not the answer.

We must learn to love freedom in all of its applications. Not just the parts our party prefers.

We must learn to love freedom in all of its applications. Not just the parts our party prefers.

We must learn to love freedom and hate oppression.

This is what our country was built on. This is our purpose and our destiny.

Love freedom. Love your neighbor. Don’t try to love people by forcing them to live by your values.

Let go of your favorite political ideas and just love people… even if they do things you don’t agree with.



Sean Edwards
For the New Christian Intellectual

Author and communication strategist with a passion for discussing philosophy and American politics.