In 1791, the great American revolutionary and author-pamphleteer Thomas Paine wrote in Rights of Man about the oppressive governments of the old world:
“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” (H/t Patriot Post)
By “the old world,” Paine was referring to the old Europe that the early settlers had left behind.
After nearly 235 years, that’s exactly what the experiment in self-goverment called the United States of America had become.
“We have a system that rewards bad people at the very top as well as a
significant percent at the bottom. That lessens incentives for honest work. We
are not Europe and we are not Japan, we are worse. China, Europe and Japan would fare better over the coming years. They have more responsible governments than ours in terms of looking out for the honest working men and women.” —Jas Jain, the Prophet of Doom and Gloom