Our Threatened Freedom

Are You Filthy Rich On Ten Thousand A Year? (04:11)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:00 Are you filthy rich on $10,000 a year? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. I can recall not too many years after World War II hearing someone described as filthy rich who made 10,000 a year. In fact, I once saw an old movie, one of the earliest Cary Grant pictures, I think, in which some women described the hero as very rich because he had an income of 5,000 a year. Of course, one of my university professors described how rich he felt with his first big job, a $20 a month in gold. Well, inflation has changed things since then. Everybody knows that except the tax man. Nowadays, 10,000 a year puts one far below the poverty line. No one is filthy rich on that amount. What 5,000 would buy in 1940, 15,000 would not buy in 1970, and certainly not in 1980, 81 or 82. Inflation has gone from one or 2% to 10 and 15%. And everyone’s real income has decreased. Very few of us get pay raises each year equal to the actual rate of inflation.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:36 However, the tax rate has not taken inflation into consideration. Thus, as the intellectual activist has pointed out, the man who earned 10,000 in 1972 will in 1984 would be paying 63% more in taxes on that same inflation adjusted income. The Reagan administration’s tax break will not too substantially offset this inflationary disaster. The meaning of this is very clear. In 1940, a man with an income of $10,000 was reasonably well off. A man with $30,000 was doing very well indeed. In 1960 for example, a new home of fairly good construction on a larger parcel cost 10,000. That same house sold in 1980, 20 years later, for 229,000. The people in that neighborhood made 10 to $15,000 in 1960. In 1980 they made in 20 to $30,000. The value of their houses had gone up many times more, and their taxes, income and property were outstripping their income. Of course, these people seem to be living as well or better, but are they? In 1940 and 1960 these people had very limited debts. Now in the 1980s, they are all disastrously in debt.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:22 All over burdened with taxes and skating on thin ice economically. They are all taxed as though they were very rich. Even while all of them are beginning to feel poorer, as their paycheck buys less and less per dollar. And the tax man hits them for a sizable part of their income. Taxation has become the modern form of slavery. Slavery means ownership in the involuntary labor of another man. All of us were in involuntary servitude to the tax man about five months every year. This is not freedom, nor is it reasonable. This has been R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder