Sep 28

Everything Counts in Large Amounts

Grabbing hands grab all that they can.

Grabbing hands grab all that they can.

Everything Counts in Large


By William Schroder

Note: to enhance one’s reading enjoyment, please clickthis link to listen to the song the article is about while reading.

In the 1980s, mega pop stars Depeche Mode came up with the brilliant song “Everything Counts (In Large Amounts).” The song at the time was about the greed of corporate America. If a person listened to the song in the ‘80s, they would instantly think about greedy corporations, but for those listening to it for the first time in 2013, a different image comes to mind. The song is no longer about big business, but big government.

The song mentions quite clearly that “the graph on the wall tells the story of it all.” From 2008 on, the economy has been horrible. It does not matter what graph is placed upon the wall, they all stink: unemployment is high; ever increasing numbers of people are applying for disability and government aid because they cannot find a job; companies are hiring less full-time and more part-time workers; and students are graduating from college with no jobs, but plenty of debt.

How has the government responded to this economic woe? The government has, as mentioned in the song, used its “grabbing hands” to “grab all that they can.” They raise taxes on those in need, in order to have more money to spend on what they want. They also grab more power through regulations, which state what a person can or cannot do. According Penny Starr, over the past decade, the federal government has issued almost 38,000 new final rules, according to the draft of the 2011 annual report to Congress on federal regulations by the Office of Management and Budget. That brought the total at the end of 2011 to 169,301 pages.

Government officials will claim that they are not taking so much with their grabbing hands, but do not believe them. For as the song states, “everything counts in large amounts.” They will add a 1% sales tax on certain products, only raise the taxes on people in a specific tax bracket, and cut tax breaks for a few of their good friends to benefit themselves. All of these power grabs add up to a big gain for them and loss for everyone else.

How did we arrive at this point, where the government’s grabbing hands are all over our stuff? Simply put; we were duped “confidence taken in by . . . a grin.” Smooth politicians strolled into our lives and told us everything we wanted to hear. The slick politicians claimed they would help us and meet all of our needs; in return, all we needed to do is hand over our money and freedom.

Some might ask, how do we know that the government is not looking out for the little guy with all of their hand grabbing? If one has any doubt about the self-serving nature of government, simply observe how two variables continue to change: the size of government continues to grow, while citizens’ bank accounts continue to shrink. Government’s “grabbing hands grab all that they can, all for themselves.” To make matters worse, the number of grabbing hands continues to multiply and take more and more. In order to keep up with the new government healthcare system, the IRS will have to hire 6,700 new employees and seize $1 billion more of the citizens’ money. They cannot wait to get their greedy paws all over our pocketbooks.

While this does sound depressing and sleazy; we should not lose hope, the song hints of a way to liberate ourselves from government through the “competitive world.” Instead of turning towards the government, we need to turn to the competitive market. In a free market, companies will find a way to meet our needs. If some companies are unable to, then they will be replaced by another company that does an even better job. Less government grabbing and more competition will allow for more solutions and a better economy. People need to tell the government “don’t hand me no lines, and keep your hands to yourselves.”


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