Chad Hensley
5 min readJan 26, 2021


You are on a Tax Farm of Free Range Humans

This meme was striking to me in several ways. First, last year as we were going through old documents and books at my parents’ house, I spent some time reading about my ancestors, who settled the plains. These were people with nothing, but they were hard-working, capable people who just wanted the opportunity to make a life for themselves. From what I have read in other accounts from the 1700–1800’s, this is what drove many people to come to the New World. There was a feeling that in the European countries that they fled, no matter what they did, the governments would never allow someone to rise above their station. Those who were born poor would stay poor as the government dictated the rules of society in such a way as to keep each person in his or her place.

These are generalities, but they show up enough in accounts that there is truth to them. When my ancestors chose to move to unsettled territory, they brought everything they thought they would need with them. They staked their claim to a plot of land and built a dugout house that would provide shelter until a more permanent structure could be constructed. This life must have been incredibly hard, but they chose it because they knew what they would build would be their own. In time, they had a house on a farm that provided for the needs of their family.

My dad can attest that his family was fairly independent. They had crops, fruit trees and animals that took care of most of their sustanence and the only thing they typically bought from town were staples such as salt, sugar and flour. There was no real regular income to tax and there was no expectation from anything from the government, except to be left alone as they pursued their own destiny. For most of the things in the meme above, it would have never occurred to them to ask the government for permission to do any of those things. I was wondering when most of them began to change.

The second thought that this meme brought to mind was a debate that raged over the last year as people dealt with the challenges of how to manage/live through a pandemic. When you compare the way this pandemic was handled by the government compared to previous pandemics, it is almost as different as this meme’s comparison of life from 125 years ago to today. Instead of issuing guidance and allowing people to take personal responsibility for their health and the health of their neighbors, the government decided to take an active role and dictate how people were to do that. This varied from state to state, but in every state, at least for awhile, the government took charge and demanded obedience.

Not only did this move toward paternalism and the removal of personal responsibility, but it impacted some families’ ability to function with any degree of independence in society. One of the most courageous acts of the individual is to start their own business. For most people this is to say that they believe in themselves enough to risk everything for the hope of an independent future. Most people who start their own businesses don’t want to be dependent on anyone. Much like the pioneers, they want to work hard and benefit personally from the sweat of their brow so that they are able to control their own destiny.

The nationwide lockdown took that away from hundreds of thousands of brave individuals. Many of them could not survive being closed. For many, they saw their biggest competitors (Amazon, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.) have record profits, while they were forbidden from doing business. They were given government stimulus checks and small business loans to help them survive, but most of them just wanted to do what they had always done, just get up and go to work to earn a living.

2020 saw the destruction of more small businesses than the Great Depression. When that happened, the government expanded to be more involved in people’s lives than it ever had before. Some would equate the 2020 crisis with that time period, but the majority of the economic destruction wrought by 2020 was not by the Covid-19 virus, but by disastrous government policy decisions designed to deal with the virus. Many of these decisions are already regretted, but some have been covered up in order for government officials to avoid blame.

As the impact of the virus starts to fall over the coming months, opportunistic government officials will continue to look for ways to expand people’s dependence on the government. The greatest enemy of big government in our country is the American pioneer. When a man or woman goes out and builds something for themselves and their family without any help from the federal government, the people in Washington get scared. For too many politicians, they consistently pursue more power and control over the populace. They are not looking for ways to serve the will of the people, they are looking for ways to dictate their will to the people.

Promises like a mandatory base government income, student loan forgiveness, high minimum wage laws and easy to obtain government subsidies are not gifts from a benevolent government, they are ties that bind you further into dependent status. When I think back to my ancestors, the pioneers, I believe they wouldn’t recognize the country we live in today. They may not have been educated in the classical sense, but they were survivors who persevered through trials and lived in community with one another, helping their neighbors when it was necessary. They were opposed to handouts, but never afraid to work for whatever they received. Life was definitely harder, but in some ways it was better.

The future of our country seems headed to a dark place. People are more willing every day to sacrifice freedom for a kind of serfdom to the government. Many people are willingly giving over everything, others had it taken away by policies such as those handed down during the lockdowns. If you want a better future and a better tomorrow, I emplore you, stop looking to the government for that future. Instead, be willing to work hard, sacrifice and vote out all those who are complicit in forcing you to live like the meme says, as a free range human on their tax farm.



Chad Hensley

Chad Hensley grew up in the great state of Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma where he received a BA in English Literature in 1993.