Posts Tagged ‘government’

Rights

Posted: June 15, 2013 in constitution, freedom, politics
Tags: , , ,

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The 4th Amendment, though not explicitly stating we have a right to privacy, does explicitly affirm it. In recent days, the 4th has been in the spotlight, and rightfully so. However, all of our rights are in danger. We need to stop thinking about rights that come from government or the constitution. Rights are not something someone gives to us. Rights that are given can be taken away, and if they can be taken away they aren’t rights, but privileges.

No, our rights aren’t given to us by anyone. We have these rights the moment we’re born. These rights are innate in each and every one of us and therefore cannot be taken away.

The constitution merely states these rights. It doesn’t grant them. Once we start thinking about our rights as innate and not granted, we’ll finally understand we hold power over the government, not the other way around.

I’m reading Leonard Peikoff’s (executor of Ayn Rand’s estate) introduction to We The Living, & I have to disagree with him on one point: he says America was the result of, among other things, the West’s ridicule of Christianity. To my knowledge, the colonies were a pretty religious lot, as were the founders. 

To treat religion as the enemy is the wrong approach. I am a Christian. I believe in helping others. I believe in being charitable. I don’t believe, however, that it should be up to the government to direct our dollars to charities at their discretion.

Randians & religious peoples of all flavors can find a common ground: my money is mine to do with as I see fit, not for you to forcibly take from me and do with as you see fit.

Government should go back to it’s beginnings and do what it was meant to do: keep us safe, while the courts do what they were meant to do & protect the law from government.

Isn’t funny how people can figure out what kind of person you are, how you grew up, etc just from one political comment? It’s uncanny how accurate they are!

For example: during the 2008 presidential campaign I made a comment on a blog on Myspace that I didn’t support Obama because I don’t agree with his stance on several issues (for the record I supported Ron Paul. When he didn’t get the nomination, I voted McCain *ugh*). Well this one reader of the blog took it upon herself to call me out. And rightfully so. I never would have seen the light if not for her.

Turns out it wasn’t because I believed in a different political/economic ideology because of all the research I had done up to that point. No, it was because I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I’m rich, have had everything handed to me on a silver platter, and I don’t care about the little people or those that are suffering.

How very accurate! At that point, I dropped to my knees & prayed for the Lord to forgive me for my sins!

Ok, if you’re not getting the sarcasm by now, seek help. Also, read on to learn about my childhood.

I was born in 1979. If I remember the story correctly, I was 2 or 3 weeks premature (got my picture taken with Miss Tennessee, though, so it was worth it). I spent a couple weeks in an incubator because my lungs were underdeveloped & I would forget to breathe.

My dad, albeit jokingly (I hope), has credited my hospital stay as part of the reason my parents filed bankruptcy (also, the economy sucked back then, too). I vaguely remember living in a trailer in the middle of town, briefly. When I was 4, we (me, Mom, Dad, & my brother) moved in with my grandparents, who lived in a very, very small house. 

There was a living room, kitchen, (I think) 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom…for 6 people (was used for several more when Dad was raised there. Big family). I didn’t care how big it was or the condition it was in (the uneven floor made roller skating, in one room, easy). 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Mom & Dad took out loans for a Christmas or two, just so me & my brother would enjoy it (I miss my little yellow 4-wheeler). We never wanted for anything. We had clothes, a roof, loving parents, food…but we were far from well-off.

I made friends at school & little league. I fought with my brother. Got in trouble. Blah blah blah.

Am I leaving some stuff out? Yeah. But you won’t get my life story here.

My point is: don’t think you know someone from one comment they make about anything. I have friends who make racist jokes. Are they racist? No. Insensitive, maybe, but not racist. I have friends/family who are Democrats. Are they facist, socialist, commie pigs? Of course not. Though we disagree politically (which makes for great conversations), we know we are both good people. We’ve just had different life experiences that led to different conclusions.

So obviously I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Things aren’t handed to me on a silver platter. I’m most definitely not rich (I’ve been unemployed for 11 months now). I do care about the poor, which I am, and those that are suffering. I just believe a truly free market is the way to promote income mobility & alleviate suffering. Will there be assholes who take advantage of the disadvantaged in a free economy? Of course. But the market, IMO, would deal with them. 

Yes, Ayn Rand is the source of my main belief that “Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.” (from The Ayn Rand Institute). This belief fuels my other beliefs.

In conclusion: I am not a Godless heathen who cares only about himself. I am a God-fearing man who believes rational selfishness and adherance to the truth benefits everyone, not just the one. For future personal attacks on me, please refer to this post before being an anonymous hit-and-run commenter.Haters

Why is it so hard for people to see the government’s culpability in rising healthcare costs? Is it because they don’t wanna see?

Consider this: by the White House’s own admission, the government controls $.49 of every $1 spent on healthcare thru Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs. Medicare & Medicaid reimburse physicians at lower rates than private insurers. Lower reimbursement rates lead doctors to increase costs to private insurers to make up the difference. Increased cost to private insurers lead to increased rates for consumers.

Again, why is it so hard for people to see this simple logic? The thought that more government control over healthcare will lower costs is counterintuitive.

Whose fault is it that we’ve been gradually losing our freedoms since the founding of our country? Do we blame the politician, who speaks out of both sides of his mouth? Do we blame the lobbyist, who bribes governments for special favors? Do we blame the corporate CEO, who wants to make money at all cost?

Or do we blame “We the people”? Is it not our job to ensure our liberties are protected at home while our military protects us abroad? For too long we have sat idly by while the politician, lobbyist, and the occasional CEO have nibbled away at our liberties. We became complacent, thinking we could never lose freedom. But that complacency is the very reason we have lost, and continue to lose, bits of our freedoms.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. We sat idly by while the Progressive elements in this country struck blows against freedom in the guise of protecting or taking care of us. We let them pass social security, thinking the government could plan our retirements better than we could. We let them pass Medicare and Medicaid, thinking they could manage our healthcare better in our golden years than we could. We let them pass the Patriot Act, thinking warrantless wiretaps would protect us from terrorists.

Liberty is the freedom to choose. But the examples I’ve given, among others, take choices away. Social Security hinders our choice to plan our own retirements. Medicare takes away our choice of what doctor we see (private insurers do the same, which needs to be addressed). The Patriot Act takes away our very privacy. Yet we the people sat idly by and let it happen.

Will we continue to stand by while Congress tries to expand a failing healthcare program (Medicare) to tens of millions of Americans? Will we stand idly by while they enact stricter environmental laws (cap and trade) when scientists are still at odds over man’s effect on global warming? Will we stand idly by while the largest Ponzi scheme in history (Social Security) is allowed to grow even more out of control? When will we stand up and let the government know that “We the people” are taking our country back?

I’ve asked a lot of questions. I hope everyone who reads this seriously thinks about each and every one. Do your research. Talk to friends and family. Talk to those who will challenge your opinions. Again, I’ve asked many questions, but I’ll leave you with one more: I’m willing to do my share of fighting for my freedoms, are you?

Government And Business

Posted: November 13, 2009 in business, politics
Tags: , ,

Government and business have always had a symbiotic relationship. Government benefits from the tax revenues of businesses and business benefits from the protection of government, bankruptcy protection being one example. Until recently.

The relationship has turned into a parasite/host one. But who’s the parasite and who’s the host? That’s the real question and one I hope to answer here.

Let’s start by defining what a parasite is. A parasite is an organism that feeds off another without regard for the other’s health. In light of recent actions by the government, inspired by FDR’s New Deal, the government has become parasitic. With the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, the U.S. government has increasingly become dependent on corporate tax revenues while imposing increasingly stricter regulations hampering their ability to freely conduct their business.

But not all businesses suffer under these conditions. The ones who can afford it hire lobbyists to protect their interests against the government by lobbying for special favors. This does nothing but give the government the power to pick winners and losers. It becomes an endless cycle.

This brings up another question: how do you end an endless cycle? The first step should be to ban lobbyists. This needs to start on the business end. If businesses want to improve their public image, they need to end their lobbying practices. Once they’ve shown they’re serious about ending this practice, the government, in order to prove they have the public’s interest at heart, should ban lobbyists altogether.

While this would be a good start, it won’t eliminate the problem. The government would still be able to raise corporate taxes. My solution? Cap corporate taxes at 25%. This way businesses would be able to plan their budgets knowing the maximum they would pay in taxes. That would also help them when deciding on expanding and/or hiring new employees. This would give employers the protection they need while possibly increasing tax revenues for the government.

While this two step solution is far from perfect, it could go far in bringing business and government back to a symbiotic instead of parasite/host relationship. If anyone else has other suggestion I’m open to them.