That viral protest song. Oregon can relate

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Oliver Anthony is a Virginian factory worker who lives off-the-grid in the woods.  In his backyard with his three dogs, he recorded his first ever song in front of a microphone.  Within 6 days he scored 6 million views, national news coverage and the number #1 song on both iTunes and Spotify.  This is worth noticing.

The song is Rich Men North of Richmond (North of Richmond = Washington DC politicians).

Watch it and then keep reading below for our analysis.


We decode his powerful lyrics and how Oregonians relate to them.

Here is one line from the song:

“Lord, we got folks in the street, ain’t got nothin’ to eat

And the obese milking welfare

Well, God, if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds

Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds”


Oregonians can relate.

People can use food stamps to freely purchase all the junk food, all the fat food and all the lavish food in the grocery store (chips, pork rinds, ice cream, lobster, steak, candy, Oreos, etc..).   Oregon has extended food stamp benefits longer than most states, so it allows people to abuse the system longer.

During the pandemic, the monthly food stamp allotment was increased.   Our office got a call from someone who saw their neighbor throw end-of-the-month welfare parties for her friends.   The single woman simply could not spend the $600 or so in free food items she was allowed, so she wasted the remaining amount on party food every single month during the pandemic by throwing wild alcohol events.

Additionally, your tax dollars went to fund a nutritional study that claimed that junk cereal Lucky Charms is as healthy as wheat bread and steak.  So our government is telling people that junk food is healthy and giving out tax dollars to buy all the junk food they wish with next to no restrictions.

Here is another line from the song:


“’your dollar … it’s taxed to no end, because of rich men north of Richmond”


Oregonians can relate.

Our state was rated as having the highest taxes on the middle class by CNBC.

Higher taxes robs people of their freedom and quality of life.



“Lord knows they all just wanna have total control

Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do

And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do”


Oregonians can relate.

There is no end to the total control politicians are exercising.

A dozen Oregon counties have voted to study leaving Oregon for Idaho because they feel they have no control over their property, their school decisions, their level of taxation and their own future.

Consider the pandemic, where then-Governor Kate Brown made all the important decisions by herself behind closed doors.    When her Covid Emergency Executive Orders exceeded the statutory time limit, she used a loophole to extend them without having to involve the people’s elected Representatives.   Brown hid from the media and answered to no one for nearly three years while every aspect of our lives was turned upside down.   Oregonians were deprived of their voice in the process.

Lacking school choice laws in Oregon, we Oregonians can’t properly choose the school we wish to attend because government says we citizens are not worthy of making those decisions (like other states are afforded).  The artificial 3% public charter school cap, makes it illegal to set-up a new public charter school no matter how much parents want it.   Nationally, when parents complained at school boards over Covid school closures, there was an effort to label them “domestic terrorists” by the Justice Department.   Parents effectively have been both been denied a choice in their education and denied the ability to complain about it.   That’s what we call “total control”.

Rural Oregonians have to beg politicians for permission for the right to build a private hospital while they are dying from lack of care.  At the same time, Oregonians in the city have to beg politicians to let them close a hospital that no longer can afford to stay open or face steep fines because the politicians have made it a crime to close such a private business in Oregon.  That’s what we call “total control”.

Oregon politicians love to ban things; natural gas, straws, sparklers and self-service gas (until just a few days ago).  Unelected bureaucrats mandated that in 2035 all sales of new gasoline cars will be illegal.  Not a single public vote by our elected leaders was taken.  That’s what we call “total control”.

Another line from the song:

“I wish politicians would look out for miners

And not just minors on an island somewhere”

Biden just banned one million acres worth of land from mining in the West, without a vote of the elected Legislature of the state’s impacted.  One of those mining products just blocked by Biden is a product we currently purchase from Russia.  So we lose American mining jobs to pay for Russian mining jobs to ship it to America at higher cost.

The island reference is Jeffrey Epstein.   Taxpayers are angry at this.  In 2008, the man pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year old girl (and possible a dozen more) and was given only 13 months (13 months!) in prison for child rape.  Upon his release he again was arrested for extensive human trafficking crimes of minors.

Oregonians can relate to this.

A teacher who repeatedly abused students for 15 years was ignored and excused by the school by 15 years until it spiraled out of control.  Another criminal, Jesse Calhoun, received a light sentence for assault and kidnapping a woman.   Calhoun was arrested again for attacking a police officer and auto theft.  For a second time, Calhoun was given a light sentence and given an extra bonus of an early release by then Governor Brown.  Now he has been arrested again and is allegedly tied to the deaths of four women.   We are not protecting our women in Oregon.

Interesting fact.  Upon watching 20 YouTube first time reaction videos to this song, you will notice that when people come across this “minors on an island” line in the song that they say “I can’t believe he dared to say that”.  Clearly, people feel like they can’t talk about the Epstein scandal.  People believe that the media has given him a pass because he was associated with favored celebrities like Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg and  Democrat U.S. Senators John Glenn and George Mitchel (ex-Senate Majority Leader).

When Tim Ballard shared his true-life law enforcement story of rescuing children from human trafficking, media outlets like The Guardian, did positive stories on him.  When Ballard made a movie about it, (Sound of Freedom) the same media ran negative stories on him.   The difference was that Tim Ballard criticized America’s open-border policies as contributing to human trafficking when the film came out.   Epstein’s politics were perceived as correct so he gets a pass on his crimes while law enforcement hero Tim Ballard has so-called “incorrect” politics, so his anti-crime message is spurned.   This is just an example of what people think as they feel like they can’t talk about certain subjects.

Crime should be free of politics.  In Oregon, if a public school teacher sexually abuses a minor, it should be treated with just as much scrutiny as if it were committed by a member of the clergy.   A man who human trafficks someone, like Jesse Calhoun, should not be given three different light treatments because liberals want to empty our prisons —  at worst this liberal mistake may have caused four women to have been murdered.

— Final thought.  We appreciate how the song brings out what many taxpayers are feeling.  We hope we can learn and grow from it.  We also fear, what sudden success, what politics, what cancel culture and what the music industry may do to this rising star talent.  We hope more people sing about the problems of taxes and free speech.

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