Being in chains is a metaphor, of course. Chains depict restraint of a physical sort, but the reality of economics depicts restraints of a different sort. One person might be restrained from eating T-bones due to the lack of a few dollars, or a politician might be restrained from buying those last few votes because he couldn’t produce the millions required for handouts. But regardless of circumstances, the slack eventually takes out of everyone’s chain.
But this is why economics is such a hot topic isn’t it? No one likes restraint, especially when they see their neighbors living lives with much less restraint. It just doesn’t seem fair. Perhaps that’s because it isn’t. Worse, a different sort of chain, “human nature” will keep anyone from fixing it. Oh, not that it won’t be tried over and again, but man’s selfish nature will always intervene in his vain attempts at instituting equality. This truth is simple to see, and clearly demonstrable with a cursory glance at history, but while man is clearly not capable of producing a “fair” society, apparently he is exceedingly apt at self-delusion.
Every person’s chains could be loosened if the efforts to loosen them were judged by results. But unfortunately history is generally marked by the burden of unnecessarily tight chains because man’s tendency to judge efforts according to intentions rather than results. Failure, therefore, is gain for the “fixers” because it results in shorter chains that the “fixers” are eager to address if only the enslaved would grant them more power. The result? More chains.