When Julius Caesar first crossed the English channel and invaded Great Britain in 55 BC, he thought it was primitive, barbaric, and uncivilized… especially when compared to the splendor of Rome.
But Caesar knew it had potential. He wrote to his colleagues back in Rome that Britannia had vast minerals, timber, and livestock, and that it could provide excellent resources for the Empire.
The Senate concurred. And though it took nearly 100 years, Rome eventually conquered Britannia and made it an imperial province.
Over the next several centuries, the Roman government invested heavily in Britannia and built an incredible civilization there, including roads, engineering works, and major building projects.
Britain became a kind of paradise; in addition to the exceptional Roman works, the weather was also just about perfect. The soil was fertile. And it was sparsely populated.
All of this caught the eye of barbarian tribes on the European continent, who constantly attempted to migrate into Britannia. But Roman legions defended against these incursions for centuries.
By the early 400s, however, the western Roman Empire was essentially finished. Inflation was out of control. The legions were revolting. Civil wars and invasions were commonplace. And the Roman government simply no longer had the resources to provide security for faraway provinces.
So, in 410 AD, the Roman emperor Honorius essentially abandoned Britannia and stopped providing border security.
(Honorius was widely considered incompetent; in fact the ancient historian Procopius describes him as a complete buffoon who may have had a few screws loose.)
With Roman security gone, Germanic barbarian tribes almost immediately began mass crossings over Britannia’s southern border. And, over time, they made the land their own– by slaughtering many of the local Britons who remained.
The Germanic tribes– especially the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes– brought their ‘Anglo-Frisian’ language with them. This language developed rapidly into what linguists call ‘Old English’, and Rome’s abandonment of Britannia is the key reason why modern English is rooted in German.
Personally I’ve always been fascinated by how languages develop– and English is especially interesting.
When the Vikings invaded Britain and established their own settlements in the mid-800s, their ‘Old Norse’ language mixed with Old English. The influence of Old Norse is still obvious today; dozens of many common words including knife, rotten, sky, and wrong are of Norse origin.
After William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, the language once again transformed– this time with heavy French influence.
This is one of the reasons why there are so many synonyms in our modern language; the word ‘ask’ is Germanic in origin. But the word ‘inquire’, which means almost the same thing, is French in origin.
There are so many other examples: motherhood/maternity. Holy/Sacred. Work/Labor.
It’s also fascinating how, as language evolves, words take on different meanings. For example, in the 1300s, the word ‘nice’ used to mean ‘ignorant’ or ‘foolish’. Yet today it has a totally different meaning– pleasant and kind.
Often times these changes are cultural. There was a time, for example, when it was common to describe a happy, joyous person as ‘gay’. Now it almost exclusively refers to someone’s sexuality.
And sometimes, of course, governments and institutions deliberately adjust the language, often to suit a political agenda. Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and North Korea’s Kim Il Sung all manipulated the definitions and even eradicated words from their languages.
Sadly we see similar Orwellian tactics with the English language today. The word liberal, for example, originally referred to someone who favored individual liberty. Then it was hijacked by people who never saw a tax or regulation they didn’t like.
And the definitions for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ were crystal clear for all of human history until just a few years ago.
The latest, however, is the new definition of the word “rich”.
‘Rich’ is Germanic in origin, similar to the German word reich; 1,000+ years ago it referred to a ruler or powerful person. It started being associated with money in the 1300s.
But even still, the word rich for centuries has been typically associated with tremendous, almost unimaginable wealth.
When I was a kid and watched Scrooge McDuck swimming in an indoor pool filled when gold coins, I thought, “man, that guy is rich”.
Leave it to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to change that definition.
Remember when the socialist politicians first stormed to power in a America a few years ago? At first they were constantly moaning about billionaires.
AOC herself infamously lamented “You don’t make a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.” Not only does she demonstrate complete ignorance about the private economy, such statements also make me wonder how she thinks the government collects trillions of dollars in tax revenue…
However they quickly widened their gaze. And, since billionaires make up less than 0.001% of Americans, they then started attacking the top 1%.
This became the new definition of ‘rich’. And at the time this meant around $500,000 in household income. Good money, for sure. But not exactly Scrooge McDuck.
But I predicted a few years ago that this definition would continue to evolve. And AOC has willingly obliged.
A few days ago, she lamented about the horrible crises plaguing New York City– crises, by the way, which are of her colleagues’ own making. Homelessness, migration, crime, etc.
Her solution to these problems, of course, is more government. That means more money. And more taxes.
And who should pay these taxes? According to AOC, the rich. And that now means the top 5%.
She has moved the goalposts once again. It’s not the top 0.001%, nor the top 1% who are considered ‘rich’. Now it’s the top 5%, i.e. households making $250,000, or individuals making $125,000.
Ironically this includes AOC herself, whose Congressional salary pays $174,000 plus other financial allowances and extremely generous benefits.
Naturally we can expect AOC and her ilk to keep moving the goalposts. Elizabeth Warren’s definition of ‘rich’ already includes the top 10%. And in time I suspect we’ll see politicians complaining about the top 25%… and then the top 50%.
That’s the problem with their way of thinking; to paraphrase the late Margaret Thatcher, sooner or later they’re going to run out of other people’s money… which means constantly casting a wider net.
This is why I say that AOC wants you to be rich. But not in the way that you think.
She has no regard for your actual prosperity. She doesn’t want you to succeed, to have financial security, or to enjoy nice things. Quite the opposite, actually.
She’ll never admit it, but deep down AOC wants people to suffer… so that they depend on the government. This is the source of her power– because it’s predominantly people who suffer who will vote for politicians that promise more government benefits.
So she definitely doesn’t want you to be rich in the way that we think about it. She just wants to adjust the definition of the word ‘rich’ in order to ensnare you in a cycle of endlessly higher taxes.
The bottom line: this is coming. The only solution these people can think of is higher taxes and more government spending. It’s almost a certainty.
Fortunately there are so many completely legal steps you can take to minimize your tax burden.
Naturally you could try the the Hunter Biden tax strategy, which is to simply not pay what you owe and then blame your tax fraud on being a crackhead junkie, and rely on your dad to get you off the hook.
But for civilized, law-abiding people, you may simply consider maximizing contributions to tax advantaged retirement accounts.
That said, nothing is more powerful than voting with your feet. Even moving to a lower tax state can save you a boatload… hence why droves of people are leaving California and New York.
Puerto Rico’s tax incentives are very compelling. You could pay as little as 0% on investment income, and 4% on business income.
For non-Americans who aren’t taxed based on their citizenship, cutting your income tax rate to zero is as simple as moving to a zero tax jurisdiction.
But even Americans can benefit from the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion by moving overseas.
Based on 2023’s exemption, a married couple could exclude over a quarter million dollars of income when you factor in the housing exemption— and after all, according to AOC, this makes you filthy rich.