Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The End of America

It has been a gradual process.  It has not happened overnight, nor is it complete.  But the basic concept of America is fading.  It is becoming just another statist, government centered bureaucracy.

The uniqueness & influence of America over the last couple of hundred years has been this unusual concept in human history:   Government of the people, by the people, & for the people. It was founded on the principle that government should serve the people, not vice versa.   Government was to secure our rights to life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.  The emphasis was freedom.  People had the freedom to live, take risks, face dangers & take responsibility for themselves.  Government on the national scale was very limited & had little impact on people's day to day lives.

The idea of america is for citizen representatives to honor their responsibility to secure the rights & freedoms for the rest of us. Those ARE high ideals, & tyrants have hidden behind those kinds of words for centuries, perhaps millennea. It is still a goal we can aspire to. I know perfection is impossible, with people being what we are, but the concept of America is too important.. too unique in history to let it die. We have had thousands of years of kings, dictators, emperors, coalitions, juntas, parliaments, caliphates, & any other ruling system you want to name. They have always been state centered. Oh, they might be benevolent, or treat people ok, generally, but they are still the rulers, & the rest of us live by their whims. They have the power, & wield it at their pleasure, not for the rights & freedoms of the people.

This message is getting lost in the muddy convolutions of noise & hysteria in our current political climate. The basic ideals are at times given lip service to, but they are not the driving force. The driving force seems to be for the politicians to grab the power, so they can make the rules. They promote themselves as the most benevolent rulers, who will rule us fairly, but they still intend to rule.  This attitude is the major indicator that we have lost our center. We are no longer a republic of free people, but are choosing our dictators in a corrupt system where we pay them to oppress us.

Most of the problems we face are because of the politicians, & bureaucratic decisions.  They spend taxpayer's money freely, tossing it out like parade queens throwing candy.  They start wars & meddle in other nation's affairs.  The promote utopian programs that encourage irresponsibility.  They have incurred a crippling debt that we may never recover from.  But instead of wising up & voting for fiscally responsible officials, we continue electing big spenders to run the gravy train.  But it will end, & badly.  Financial collapse is almost always related to spending more than you take in, whether you're an individual, a family, a company, or a nation.  People have a basic desire for security, & the illusions the politicians sell are very seductive.  They promise to take care of us.. feed us, house us, give us water, cell phones, cable, & free health care.   But these are not things that a government can provide for its citizens.  The productive workers of the country are the only ones who can produce enough substance to buy these things.  Money printed out of thin air to pay for free stuff will only lead to bankruptcy, which will hurt most the people politicians pretend to help.

So is it inevitable?  Is America doomed to become just another state centered system where govt rules supreme?  Unless we stop voting for frauds & charlatans who promise us goodies from the public treasury, the financial basis for the nation will collapse.  Unless we value the individual & champion personal liberties, the state will continue to whittle away at our freedoms until we are just another nanny state.  If there is a collapse of our currency, which seems to be coming, the void created will likely be filled by a powerful entity, promising order & stability.  Those are never good for individual freedoms.  I do not know how long we can last in the current direction.  But if we do not correct our fiscal problems, the future looks grim.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Evolution & Origins. Fact or Fraud?

The idea of evolution explaining the origin & complexity of life is mostly presented as fact in schools, national parks, & anywhere the topic seems to come up. I would like to examine this claim, & question it's validity.

First, i'll present the central question:
Does evolution provide a scientific & logical explanation for the origins & complexity of life?

I say it does not. Here are my reasons:
1. Micro evolution, or natural selection, explains how species adapt to their environment. The result of this adaptation is a decrease in diversity in the species, as the genetic pool limits itself to certain traits that are favorable to the environment. This is dark moths adapting to dark bark on trees, white rabbits doing better in the snow, & other natural selection processes. This kind of evolution does not increase complexity, but decreases it, as fewer genetic traits become available to the species. There is no known mechanism that causes an increase in genetic complexity. Mutations are aberrations in the genetic code, seldom produce anything positive for the species, & do not increase the complexity of the life form. It does not indicate macro evolution.

2. To say that micro evolution proves 'macro' evolution is a leap of logic. It is like saying that since we know people can travel easily between towns, they can travel easily between planets. There is a major difference between natural selection, which is a scientifically observable phenomenon used in breeding & hybridization, and the increase in complexity in a life form.

3. There is no mechanism that can explain why or how life can become more complex through evolution. It is assumed, & that is a faulty assumption. It is not good science, nor good logic. Neither mutation nor millions of years provide any mechanism or even explanation of HOW, but it is erroneously extrapolated based on natural selection. But just asserting that a species adapted over millions of years does not make it true, nor is it based on any scientific or logical constructs. It is speculation & fantasy.

4. One of the most basic concepts in science is that of entropy, or the tendency of all things to move to less complexity. Unless acted upon by an outside source, all of the universe is moving toward equilibrium & a simple state. There is no known mechanism that explains HOW or WHAT is causing life to increase in complexity. If anything, in recorded history, life is decreasing in complexity & diversity. Unique species are lost, and distinct new ones are not being added. We have variation within a life form's genetic limitations, but no moving into more complexity. This is what you would expect with entropy, & it brings a major difficulty to those claiming an increase in complexity through evolution.

5. As to origins, there is no mechanism or procedure that can create life.. real, reproducing life, not just some amino acids or 'building blocks' of life. There is nothing that can be measured, repeated, falsified, or even theorized. It is a leap of faith to believe life began spontaneously & increased in complexity for millions of years. There is no valid scientific explanation for this, even though it is asserted as fact in many spheres.

I am not making an argument for special creation, or alien seeding, or any other theories or speculations of origins. I am including evolution with the others. Our origins are a mystery, which science & logic have not been able to explain to this point. Macro evolution, or the increase in complexity in life forms, is an unproven speculation & fantasy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Unsustainable Statistics

Here are some interesting numbers..

Total state, local, federal employees: 20m (2008)

Federal contractors:  14.6m (2006)

People on welfare:  100m (2009, does not include SS & medicare)

Total number of jobs in the us:  155m (2012)

Population of the US:  312m (2010)

These are the most current statistics i could find.  Now let's analyze them.

Half of the 312M population works, supporting the other half.. children, elderly, spouses, & other dependents.  Of the 155M jobs in the us, 36M are govt.. either working directly for, or contracting.  They are paid by the taxpayers.  That leaves 119M people working.  There are 100M people getting some kind of govt assistance.. food stamps, housing, adc, etc.  Some of these are probably working, but a great number are not.  But if you total both govt paid workers & welfare recipients, the number totals a staggering 136M.  You only have 119M working to support them, in addition to their own children, elderly, & other dependents.

This is unsustainable.  The dependent class has grown astronomically.  But the burden has not really been felt, as the govt has used borrowed money to support them.  If the taxpayers had been taxed for the actual expenditures, there would have been a revolution.  Taxpayers would not have submitted to paying for this much dependency.  But by borrowing the money & trading free handouts for votes, the politicians insulated themselves from the taxpayer's wrath.  But the reality is the taxpayers are still on the hook for the spending.  The growth of govt has far exceeded the abilities of the american taxpayers to fund.  Borrowing the money to spend is not a solution.  That only postpones the inevitable.  The other problem that the govt is not facing, is the continued growth of the dependent class.  Govt workers & welfare recipients are growing at a much faster rate than the economy.  It is already beyond what is financially feasible.  Continuing down this path will be disastrous  both for the workers & the dependents, when the inevitable crash occurs.

An analogy would be a family.  Say you have 10 people in your family, as i do.  There are 4 total households, with currently 6 people working to support them.  In my situation, all are in the private sector, & none get govt assistance.  Now let's have 3 of those workers quit & expect money from the other 3 for their support.  It can't be done.  The only way you can support these 4 households with only 3 working is to borrow money.  So the households live off of credit cards & 2nd mortgages for a while, & borrow from friends & extended family.  But unless you shut down some of the households, it cannot be sustained.

As a nation, we are running $1T/yr over income.  The debt is $16T & growing.  There are too many dependents living off of the working people.  We cannot have this level of spending, both in govt & welfare.  Social security & medicare are not even factored in these numbers, & their mismanagement makes things worse.  You cannot hide from the numbers.  A currency collapse is in our future if spending is not cut back drastically.

The problem is not a lack of compassion, but a lack of money to fund the compassion.  It is also unrealistic expectations from the working people, to fund exorbitant levels of govt & an entitlement culture.  If we do not stop the madness, the whole system will collapse.. the currency & the whole financial structure will fold.  If we truly are compassionate, we will not allow the govt to bankrupt us & spend us into economic collapse.  Govt workers & dependents will be the hardest hit if the currency folds.

It is folly & madness to think that the rich can be taxed enough to support all of this spending.  We are $1 Trillion over each year.  1,000 million is a billion.  1,000 Billion is a Trillion.  There is not enough revenue to support these kinds of spending levels, & the govt knows it.  That is why they just borrow.. obligating future generations to pay for their irresponsible pandering for votes.  But all it will do is wreck the nation.

Total working people:        155M
Total govt workers:           35M
Total welfare dependents:  100M
Net annual deficit:             $1T
Sustainable:                       No
Economic collapse:           Yes

Thursday, November 29, 2012

State of the union 1944. Socialist turning point?

This is from FDR in 1944. He states his famous 'second bill of rights'. He died about a year later, & the country was distracted by war, but it is interesting to think what might have been..

Was this a turning point away from socialism? These same principles were in the french socialist party pre ww2, & were part of the soviet constitution in 1936. Looking at this in hindsight, it seems terribly naive, but we have the history of the attempts at collectivism for the rest of the last century. It is interesting that a great many people, including those in actual power would think these things could be implemented by the govt.

But to be sure, there are many today who still think this is a reasonable list of 'rights'. They think govt can dictate this, & provide it.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.
For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

How is it your right to take from me to use for yourself? This is the basic process of providing for the second bill of rights that fdr lists. If there is no appeal to self evident truths, then we are back to 'might makes right'. You have no basis to claim any rights, as it has been throughout history. Only might provides the power to secure your rights.

'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,'

You can leave god out of it.. earlier jefferson said, 'to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,' so you can go with 'nature' if you want.. he was not being denominational.

But without this appeal to natural rights of Man, we have nothing but the whims of govt power to determine what they are to protect, & this usually means the exploitation of the weak & minorities.

I see govt as being there to 'secure' my rights. If it fails in that charge, it is our right to alter or abolish it, and to institute NEW govt, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to us shall seem most likely to effect our Safety and Happiness.

This is not the majority deciding to screw the minority, or one powerful group oppressing another. It is a basic statement of human rights.. that ALL are entitled to. Govt is there to secure those rights for all, not just the moneyed elite, or the majority party, or the powerful. THAT is what makes the american experiment unique.. it was not just democracy.. it was democracy with a basis in an ideal.. and the ideal superseded what the majority wanted, if they should decide to exploit others. The american republic is not a majority that decides how to do everything, but a republic of laws that the nation abides by. The majority can tweak those laws, & change with the times, but the basic rights are immutable. The minority or 'outliers' as you call them, are protected from the tyranny of the majority. Govt becomes dictatorial when it no longer abides by the basic rules. When the majority think they can vote themselves special privileges, or take from others & violate their basic rights, the republic is over. It is a free for all, then, & we're back to survival of the fittest.

I'm not addressing any specific examples of govt overreach, but like a frog boiling in water, it is a gradual thing. From the beginning, americans have had a mistrust of govt.. we are not content to hope for a benign ruler, but wish to keep control of our system to keep the power grabbers at bay. Every generation has had to fight off the state centered ideology, with varying degrees of success. It is no different today, & tomorrow's generation will have the same battle. The state longs for supremacy, & the people have to keep them in check. Our 3 prong system is supposed to do that, but lately, they have worked together to ignore the constitution, & overreach in many areas.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, & don't believe the nation is in danger of wild eyed statists grabbing power & overrunning the white house, congress, & the supreme court. But we need to retain that citizen based system of govt, & not let it fall under the control of a ruling elite, or corporate media sponsored elections. We need our representatives to keep the faith.. to remain true to the vision of america, & not try to change it to some socialist utopia.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Is the Progressive Left Anti-American?

What is 'american'?  We know 'who' an american is: anyone born or naturalized as a citizen of america.  But what makes 'america' distinctly 'american'?  It is not the military, the police, firemen, the education system, money, or anything that is common to humans throughout history.  No, what makes america distinctly american is the basic philosophy of a govt of the people, by the people, & for the people.

'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed'

This, in a nutshell, is the basis for america.  It is the unique idea in human history that govt should serve the people, & protect their liberties, rather than govt dictating to the people how they will live.  Freedom, independence, self-reliance, & opportunity are the basic ideals of this revolutionary concept of human govt.  Human history has seen it's fill of state centered ideology.  Kings, dictators, chairmen, generals, & ruling bodies have been the norm of human govt.. where the state is supreme, & the people are subservient   In the dream of america, the people are supreme.  The govt's duty is to protect & provide the freedoms of the people.  Anything more begins to infringe upon the liberties of the citizens.

The last few decades have seen an eroding of these american values.  We have seen a growth of a dependent class, with an entitlement mentality, promoting the idea that govt is responsible, not just to ensure our freedoms, but to provide all the necessities of life:  food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.  The govt is seen as a vehicle of social justice.. a tool to create a utopian paradise on earth, forcing redistribution of wealth.  This vision of america from the progressive left, is diametrically opposed to the central tenets of historic american values.  Progressives look longingly at europe, long a bastion of statist systems, & want to change our basic values to state centered, big brother style of governing systems.  They see a cradle to grave dependency as being desirable  & want to use govt to force economic 'fairness', where they tax the 'haves' & give to the 'have nots'.  They want an intrusive nanny state, not individual freedom & responsibility.

This collectivist mentality does not work.  It never has, & never will.  Socialism as a governing system collapses upon itself, as there are not enough producers to support the growing dependent class.  They may succeed in revolutionary rhetoric, stirring up people with propaganda & lies to work against their best interests.  They may succeed in taking control of the power of govt, and levy stiff taxes on the producing classes to promote their concepts of economic justice.  But collectivist philosophies eventually run out of other people's money.  History is littered with the remains of failed collectivist experiments.  Even europe is giving us a modern preview of the harvest of socialism.  Greece, France, and many other nations in europe are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy & economic chaos, & many of the people still demand govt to keep the gravy train running.  But without a strong economic engine, & without a stable currency & freedom to make ventures & takes risks for rewards, the train jumps the tracks.  The statists can only call, 'all aboard!' & tell us to hop on the disabled train.  'We're not going anywhere, but we're making good time!'  They offer illusion & fantasy, and blame the only thing that can actually heal the problems they have created:  Freedom.

It is past time for americans to wake up to the direction we're going.  This is not our father's america.  We are being beguiled with false promises & lures of free stuff.  We're selling our birthright for a mess of pottage.  If we do not take control of our govt, & make it get back to being a govt that serves the people, then we will be just another state run, state centered bureaucracy  micromanaging the citizens & dictating to them how they will live.  If the citizens of america do not stop the drift to state centered ideology, the american experiment is over, & we will be just another statist nation.  We need to oppose & expose the progressive agenda, with it's anti-american goals, & anti-american ideals.  They only promote & offer more govt & state power, & less individual freedom.  The progressive left is the enemy of america.  They do not protect our life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, but only offer more state domination.  If we continue down their chosen path, the dream of america will be over, & only the nightmare of statism will remain.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Making babies for fun & profit

Are you a third world woman of child bearing age?

Are you uneducated, poor, & have no marketable skills?

Would you like to have plenty of money, have your choice of men, & live like a princess?

Then you should read this, or have someone read it to you.

Don't pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity! You can live the life of your dreams, wear designer clothes, have a nice home, cars, & have men wanting to meet you!

All you need to do is come to America! Here, you'll get all this & more!

What would you pay for this opportunity? $10,000? $5,000? Well, the truth is, it won't cost you a penny. In fact, if you can have babies, you can have all the luxuries you've ever dreamed of, & america will pay YOU! That's right! Get yourself to america somehow.. visit a friend.. cross the border.. have someone take you, & once you have a baby, you're set for life! The more you have, the more you make.

Now you may think, 'I don't know, raising children is a lot of work'. But in america, you don't have to raise them. No! You can drop them off at the government paid baby sitting establishments, which are everywhere. That way you are free to make more babies, or party, or shop, or do the things YOU want to do!

Everything you ever dreamed of.. nice clothes, a home, a cell phone, food, & attentive men are yours if you can get yourself to america. Don't wait any longer! Make your plans, now! Once you're pregnant, go to any hospital. You don't even have to speak english. Just go in, & begin to receive the benefits you deserve. Soon you'll have money coming in, a home of your own, plenty of food to eat, & all you did was get pregnant! It's fun! It's easy! It's the most natural thing in the world, & YOU can do it!

I'm thinking of sending this to the state department, to print up & drop around the world.. why should only the neighboring poor have this opportunity? It's not fair for other 3rd world women to be discriminated against & not allowed to share in this benefit. Perhaps we should even start a transportation service for women in these other places. I'm sure there are young women in africa, china, and even europe that would love the opportunity.

ps.  This is a satirical commentary on american policies of promoting irresponsible childbirth.  I am not serious.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Leftist strategy

This is very interesting.. i just intercepted this message.. it is some kind of strategy paper.. anyway, here is the text:

Comrades. As we battle together against our common enemy, the capitalistic pigs, we must use every resource to win. When you engage the evil dogs, you must not get drawn into their conversations, but look for ways to take control of the discussion & expose them for the evil scum they are. As a reminder, here are a few proven methods the party heads have approved for our use.

1. Look for hot button diversions. Don't discuss things in the manner THEY want, take control of the conversation. If they start setting up logical arguments, don't answer them! Instead, change the subject. Make a comment about their mental health, or suggest they are racists or discredit their intelligence. You will know by their reaction which works the best. If they get enraged about your response, you know you have hit a hot button. Keep working that angle until they leave in frustration.

2. Always use insults. It does not matter how polite they are, or how sensitive you naturally are. You must continue to attack if we are to defeat the evil capitalists & see our Cause gain supremacy. Be rude & insensitive. You cannot over do it. This will cause insecurity in the younger ones, & the older ones will be frustrated from continuing any arguments. If you can, use vulgar language & slurs.

3. Ridicule is always one of the best methods when dealing with enemy resistance. You don't have to know anything about the subject, just make fun of their arguments.. laugh & generalize about how no one thinks that way, or say how any intelligent person knows better.

These 3 strategies are proven effective when dealing with the hated oppressors. Do not let yourself become engaged in a dialog with them. Remember, they are evil deceivers! We need you to be strong & stay with the Party's directives, not be shaken by the confusing reasoning of the capitalist pigs. So rather than try to reason with them, it is more effective if you use one or all of these methods. When the revolution is over, you can take your rightful place as a division head over these counter revolutionaries, & they will recognize your superiority, then. But until then, we need you to show solidarity with the rest of your comrades who are waging this righteous struggle for humanity.

Disclaimer:  This is not real.. i made it up.  duh..

Anti American Protests

Why don't we get a clue? Some countries just don't want america meddling in their affairs. Why don't we leave them in peace.. or however they want it? We can have trade agreements, make treaties, and the usual things sovereign nations do with each other. But we need to stop funding these despotic govts, stop bombing & meddling with their internal affairs, & stop lording it over other nations.

Right now there are choreographed protests going on. They are protesting the us involvement all over the mid east. We can support our allies without having bases in every other country in the mid east.

While we're at it, why not get out of all asian countries, & european ones, & s. american ones, too? We can't even take care of our own house.. the debt is staggering, the country divided, the economy stagnant. Who are we to tell other countries what to do?

I think the movie clip thing is pretty lame. The state dept has no business commenting on some stunt a private citizen does, nor apologizing for our first amendment.  Plenty of stupid, inflammatory things are said every day about any religion or group on the internet. We should not have to apologize for their intolerance. We have freedom of expression in our world. They will have to accept that, or weary themselves trying to kill us all.

I haven't seen the clip, nor do i care to. There are plenty of bigoted, bad taste videos, pics, & jokes around, & i don't buy this instigated the concerted attack 6 mos later, coincidentally on 9/11.

What if we just got out of the way of all the muslim haters? Pull our state dept personnel, close down the military bases, end the foreign aid, & just treated them like any other country. If they want to trade with us, fine, we can come to an agreement. But we are not their protector, or nanny, or some dictator's invisible prop. If they come after us & want to start a fight, we can give it then. But we are there picking the fight with them. We are the provokers, here, & we need to get out.

It seems to me that most of the left, almost all libertarians, & many conservatives are tired of the 'american meddling', masquerading as 'foreign affairs'. If there is one thing that we could pressure our reps to do, it should be to cut back our military presence around the world, & save us lots of money. How easy is this? We don't really have any business there.. we're not exploiting them & stealing their oil, nor helping them. We prop up oppressive dictators, & breed hatred & resentment. We kill innocent people, & bomb villages. This policy does not reflect the feelings of americans, why should we allow our govt to misrepresent us like this? Treat other nations with respect & tolerance, negotiate fair trade agreements, & leave them alone. This is not manifest destiny. We are in the 21st century, & need to back off.

We can model freedom. We can encourage it. But i don't think it is OUR national duty to free the entire world. When the politicians use that concept to justify intervention, we often find out there was a hidden agenda. The american taxpayers should not be financially responsible to provide freedom or justice for the world. Let the world & immediate neighbors take care of that. If freedom loving americans want to become freedom fighters, or give money to free some oppressed people, they should be able to do that. But the govt as a whole should not be involved in making arbitrary decisions about whether another country is as free as we think it should be, or if the rulers there suit us, or any artificial measurement. We should treat other nations with dignity & respect, & if they treat us the same, we're fine. If another country's citizens revolt against their govt, we can cheer for democracy, but picking winners & losers can be a tricky process. Politicians are too easily fooled & end up supporting just another oppressor.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Stamp out Poverty!

The basic goal of the Federal welfare state in the us, from the 60's, was to 'stamp out poverty'. This is a good rallying cry, but it's intent followed along these lines:

1. Give people a hand up, to improve their lives.
2. Provide a safety net when adversity strikes.
3. Reduce poverty & move the poor into useful, productive lives.

These goals were based upon premises:
1. No one should go hungry.
2. Everyone deserves a home.
3. Everyone deserves healthcare.

So programs from the federal govt began to grow, targeting these issues. There were commodities programs, but too much got wasted, so it evolved into food stamps. There were public housing projects & health clinics. In essence, it was an attempt to provide the basic necessities of life to people for free. It was not intended to be a lifestyle, but a short term 'safety net', until the party could get back on their feet.

Now let's look at the results.
1. Has poverty declined? No, it is more than ever.
2. Are the poor moving into productive work? No, they stagnate in pockets of poverty & dependency.

And there are other negative consequences of this 'war'.
1. The poor are herded into ethnic ghettos.. almost like concentration camps.. gulags trapping generations in a life of poverty & hopelessness.
2. The 'welfare communities' become a breeding ground for crime. Young people are not motivated to provide for themselves or their families, but are pushed to criminal behavior.
3. The welfare communities promote irresponsible breeding, adding to the problem of over population.
4. They contribute to the breakdown of the family, & erode the family values of the culture, encouraging births out of wedlock, & fatherless families.
5. They remove the natural motivation & drive that people have to better their lives & their children's.
6. They take away people's self respect & sense of dignity.
7. They promote a sense of entitlement, with more & more people expecting all the necessities of life to be provided for free.
8. They promote racism by handicapping by race, & grouping the poor into ethnic communities.
9. They promote dependency, not self sufficiency.
10. They promote poor quality schools, where the 3 r's become, 'Robbery, Rape, & Racism'.
11. Hopelessness & despair breed chemical addiction. Society is burdened even more dealing with the consequences of drug & alcohol excesses.

This list could go on. It is not a worthy goal of a free people. The welfare state programs have not accomplished their intended goals. We have had over 50 years of attempting this experiment, & have only proved that welfare at the federal level does not work. It only institutionalizes poverty, making it into a govt business, wasting the taxpayer's money, & trapping people in a life of dependency.

It was motivated by pie in the sky utopian fantasies, but the real world does not work this way. It is time for us to phase out this colossal failure in public policy, & turn the concept of safety nets to local communities or states.

The results have been more like liberal zoos, herding people into regions where they can be fed, caged, & viewed by the zookeepers. People are not treated with dignity, but as progressive pets.. things that the proponents can point to to assuage their guilt, or money making projects for faux civil rights causes. But this practice is demeaning to human beings, & denies them their pursuit of self respect. It is a racist, oppressive practice, & should be stopped. It is contrary to the american ideal.

Now the left tries to twist things around.. if anyone questions the validity of welfare programs, howls of 'racism!' or 'heartless!' go up. But in actual reality, the heartlessness & racism is promoted by the backers of these programs, not the opponents. Promoting dependency like this in not good for a culture, or society as a whole. It is not sustainable. These 'pet' projects of misguided bleeding heart liberals has had the reverse effect.

How much longer will freedom loving people allow this kind of oppression in our nation? Why do we tolerate this racist, demeaning treatment of our fellow citizens? It is time for true liberty loving americans to stand against these discriminatory & oppressive policies that trap our people in a cycle of dependency. It is time for true liberals, who love liberty & individual freedom, to wake up to the lies of welfare state propaganda, & the deception of false compassion. Let's really be compassionate, & give people what they really need. Let's turn the safety net over to local communities & states. Phase out this fiasco of social engineering, & promote freedom & self respect. Let us focus on the goal, rather than perpetuating govt bureaucracy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Is 'humanitarian aid' inhuman?

Why do progressives, or the left, or whatever ideological label you want to use, support 'humanitarian' aid, when the very thing they do is negative for humanity? Is this not ironic? The view of the religious right is at least consistent.. they think God has put them in charge of 'helping the poor', and they don't believe overpopulation is a problem, at least from what i've heard from them. So while creating a breeding ground has some moral questions for them, it fits into their world view.

But progressives think overpopulation is a big problem. So why would they support sending food to overpopulated countries to encourage overpopulation?

Personally, i don't think govt should be involved in these kinds of moral decisions. They should stick to the basics, & let the religious or humanitarian groups agonize over the plight of the poor. It borders on 'establishing' religious views, not legal or ethical responsibilities of govt.

I understand those with a religious motivation. They feel God has given them the charge to care for the poor. Any human suffering causes them to ache in empathy for their plight.  But the secular humanism of the progressives does not have that religious motivation.  Neither does a govt.. especially the US govt, which is supposed to be separate, religiously.

And where do you draw the line? There are suffering poor all over the world. Some places there are political injustices.. syria, for example.  Innocent people do not receive justice. Many 3rd world countries do not have any kind of economic justice.. some are rich, exploiting the poor for their own enrichment, but most of the workers are dirt poor, eking out an existence that makes American poor look wealthy by comparison. Why do the progressive govts or groups not labor as hard to bring justice to them? We dump some food in ethiopia or somalia, but let the oppressed poor in china or india suffer. We 'liberate' iraq, yet let the syrian govt oppress the people.

And all during this, the progressives will bring alarming statistics about the horrors of overpopulation to the health & welfare of the planet, yet do the very things that make it worse. How is this reconciled in a logical way? How do american progressives support 'humanitarian' aid, when it is mostly a religious motivation?

Logical motivations are cold hearted. The 'heart' has no place in a discussion about motivations, unless that is the motive. Do  progressives, even though they know it is bad for the planet & humanity, support aid to the world's poor because of religiously motivated compassion?

I think it is inconsistent.. and ironic. If 'job 1' is saving the earth & cutting back on world populations, then artificially feeding people in large breeding grounds, with no strings attached, is illogical. Some have suggested exchanging food for sterilization, but this hasn't gotten much support from the progressives as a whole. Why not?

My part in this discussion is a philosophical one.  There are many poor, disadvantaged, hungry, homeless, & people without ipads all over the world.  Many humanitarian efforts are made, & have been made over the years to alleviate their suffering.  Humanitarian groups have formed to help those in need.  Govts have instituted social programs to combat the problems.  Cell phones, sodas & chips are provided for free.  But they have not been effective, & have only worsened the problems & compounded them.  Not only have the poor increased, but their dependency has increased, & our efforts to 'help' have only provided a breeding ground.  Giving away free food, housing, medical care, etc, only taxes the resources of those who are providing for themselves.  It does not promote independence.  It promotes a culture of crime, irresponsibility, & unchecked procreation.  The productive citizens of the world cannot afford to keep a 'zoo' for the amusement of social engineers & religious ideologues.

Here are a few of my basic objections for the motive for govt humanitarian aid:

1. Govt sponsored 'humanitarian' aid does not help humanity, but only makes things worse.

2. It seems to be a religious motivation, to 'help the poor', which violates the no establishment clause in the american constitution.  Other nations may have religious values embedded in their govt, but the us does not.

3.  Medical care, national protection, food, water, & housing are all necessary for people's survival.  None of these things are free or a 'natural right', but must be worked for.  Someone must pay for them.  There are not enough prosperous people in the world to support all the poor, or provide a breeding ground for them.

I have not addressed solutions.  I am only defining & identifying the problem, & the failure of the status quo & the programs of the last 50 yrs or so.  But to continue with the same failed policies is madness & folly.  We need real solutions.  The working people of the world cannot support a larger & larger dependent class.  The working people of america cannot afford to support a massive dependent class, or the rest of the world's poor.  We need to grow the productive working class of the nation, not shrink it by  moving them to dependency.  Our policies should be motivated by that concept.. that is the underlying philosophical basis for determining govt's role.

For some things in life, there are no solutions.  We cannot end death.  We cannot stop gravity.  We cannot end war or human violence.  We cannot stop earthquakes, hurricanes, or tsunamis.  We cannot end poverty or provide free food, housing, medical care, or any other survival necessity to the world.  Individually, as a nation, & a world, we can only deal with things the best we can, & try to provide the best environment for people to work & provide for their families.  Redistribution does not solve any of these problems.  It also just compounds them.  It is clear that the cost to support a larger & larger dependent class is unsustainable.  Our budget is bursting with entitlements & welfare redistribution programs.  It is bankrupting us.

Some believe very strongly that americans have a divine responsibility to police the world, & seek international justice.  This, too, is a noble cause, motivated again, by a religious opinion.  But the underlying basis for the opinion is the same.  It is motivated by compassion for the poor & disadvantaged.  It is a religious view, not a logical one.  The basic 'rule' in the universe is that the fit survive.  You may try to work against that rule, but that is a religious goal, not a natural one.

Now if you want to argue the need for man to manage the earth, then other considerations should be made.  Overpopulation is a major problem.  Providing a breeding ground for unchecked population growth directly violates the goal of reducing or checking the world's population.  Unchecked human breeding diminishes the habitat of other species, & taxes the environment.  So the religious concept of humanitarian aid is diametrically opposed to more earth based concerns.  A balance should be sought, to satisfy both concerns.  But again, the current trend is unsustainable.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Sum of Good Government

One of the interesting things about the western US is how recent most of our recorded history is. It's easier to illustrate points without having to go back hundreds of years when a community started. The town i live in was not really settled much by 1900. There is a large flat area, called 'grasshopper flats' because fishermen used to stop & catch grasshoppers when they came to fish in the creek. There were a few farms, but not much at that time.. a couple of orchards, some cattle ranches, some hunters & hermits. Two brothers came in the '20's & each homesteaded a parcel. They were both stonemasons, & built some homes, and an inn that still stands. By the '40's, they sold their land to a lady who had made her fortune in mining in Nevada (some say she also ran a bordello, but that's just a colorful side note). She bought up a lot of the land, which had little practical use, because there was no water to irrigate crops or water homes. She paid to have a deep well dug, & once water was found, started developing the land. People from Phoenix bought lots & built cabins & summer homes, to escape the low desert heat. Eventually a town was established, with businesses, gas stations, grocery stores, shops, schools, churches, & all the usual small town trappings. When i moved here in the mid '80s, most of the land was unimproved.. about 25% was developed. It is almost like an island, here, because it is surrounded by national forest.. public lands. Now, it is about 95% improved. There are some larger parcels around, & a few lots that are empty, but it has grown a lot in the last 20 yrs.

This same history is repeated all over the country, & the world. You get some industrious people improving the raw land.. they plant fruit trees, tend them, & sell the fruit. They build houses & barns. Others raised cattle or sheep. They sold their livestock to other people, or traded for goods or services. Then an investor comes & adds more value.. not from their own direct labor, but they pay someone else to make the improvement, like the lady who dug the well. The brothers who sold their land made a profit.. they had money to live in town, & probably did not have to do stone work in their old age. They provided a necessary requirement for human survival: Housing. Others provided food. I'm sure there were tailors, hardware shops, bootmakers & other support services that benefited from the production of the area. The lady who developed & started selling lots also profited from her investment, even though she herself did not make any improvements.. but she paid for it, hiring others to do the actual work. The 2 brothers were able to do similar things with the proceeds from their land sales.. they were now 'capitalists'.. investors who used capital to work for them. Now they were able to profit from the labors of others, as they could hire work done, & still sell a house & make a profit.

By the time i came around, there were no homesteading opportunities. I was able to borrow from some capitalists, buy a lot, build a house, & sell it. The interest was pretty high, then, but the numbers worked. The demand for homes was there, so i could buy the raw materials & make something that people needed. I did almost all the work. I drew up the plans, got the permits, poured footings, installed septic systems, plumbed & wired the house, drove every nail in every board, & put together a house that would provide a protective, climate controlled environment for another family. I hired out the heating & cooling, & the drywall hanging, employing other contractors & paying them with the money i borrowed from the capitalists. I also had to use some of the money i borrowed to live on & to support my kids. But even with the cost of borrowing capital from others, i was able to provide a product that competed in the market. I repeated this process over the next 20+ yrs, employing my sons & teaching them useful skills.

This micro culture started simply, & has become much more complex as has the world. Technology improved methods & materials, & made what used to take a lot more work, easier. During this time, govt increased too. Police & fire districts formed out of necessity. Building regulations were adopted to protect the consumer from shady, fly by night contractors. The city incorporated a few years ago, as growth put too much weight on the county. I provided a lot of income for a variety of people in the community.. lumber salesmen, drivers, govt workers, teachers, utility companies, grocery stores, etc. But my provision also expanded across the globe as i bought goods from other places.. trucks, tools, electronics, clothing, food, etc. As long as i was able to build a marketable home, my increase spread to others, & their increase spread to me. We are all interconnected, & as long as the community is industrious & protected from thieves & vandals, growth is inevitable, & with it prosperity for all those who provide a useful service.

I think even in large cities, or taking the country as a whole, the same principles apply. This industrious working class.. the producers in society.. are what has made the US middle class the largest & most prosperous in world history. We have benefited from our pooled resources & built an infrastructure, providing roads, national defense, & other useful communal services.  The previous generation in my family worked & increased their family's wealth, not by stealing, or begging, or conning others out of their labors, but by working themselves.. in hard times.. & they raised families & life went on. Previous generations before did the same, not enjoying the levels of technology that we have now, but they had similar struggles & difficulties in life. My children & grandchildren will do the same. Those who work smart & hard will usually see positive results. We are all in a time line..generations before & after will live, love, work, & die in their time.  All we can hope for is the freedom & opportunity to build our own lives. If the capitalists charge too much in interest, it takes away from the fruit of the labor of the worker. If the govt charges too much in taxes for govt services, the same is true.  And if govt tries to do too much, wasting the fruits of our labors on inefficient or corrupt spending programs, it takes from those who produce.  Good govt should try to maximize the fruits of the labors of the workers.. by providing cost effective, useful services. They should also enforce fair regulations to prevent the capitalists from exploiting the workers. This is the sum of good govt. This is all we need.. no more, no less.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spend without raising taxes

One of the biggest problems i see in american federal govt today is spending.  The idea of spending.  Govt decides to spend on some project.  They don't have the revenue, but go ahead with the project.  How is that possible?  It is like they raise taxes without having to do it, as all govt spending is paid by taxes.  They are raising taxes by spending.

This is another way they bypass the taxpayers, & obligate us for some federal projects without appropriating the funds.  It's not like we're in a crisis.. a war for survival or something that requires us to spend on credit.  No, they could spend only what they raise, but don't.  They spend far more than they raise.. over $1T this year!  These numbers are huge.  They are also dangerous to us as a society, as they put our currency at risk, & threaten our national security.

But we allow them to continue to spend.  They do not seem to care about the fiscal stability of the nation.  What kind of public servants are these, anyway?  They think they are rulers, or a privileged elite, like party heads in a communist country, or nobility in a monarchy.  They think they can tell us 'how it is going to be', when it is us who should be telling them.

We in america need to learn how to vote.  We need to be more skeptical & critical of our elected officials, & fire them without mercy if they don't serve the basic interests of the country.  We have too many career politicians, who see public service like winning the lottery.  We have too many fast talking salesmen, conning us with absurd promises that we should never even consider or believe.  I would like to see more 'citizen' representatives.. people from regular backgrounds, not mostly lawyers & political science majors, who targeted politics from infancy.

We don't need any more 'rulers'.  We need public servants.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Leftist Lies

Perhaps the most effective & favorite tactic from the left is distorting conservative positions. They take an issue & distort the motives or reasoning to smear their opponents. They repeat the lie over & over, a proven propaganda tactic, & promote their cause, not through open, logical discussion, but by seizing the narrative & using falsehoods to define their opponents.  Here are a few examples:

1. The tea party is racist.
2. Conservatives hate women.
3. Securing the border is racist.
4. Fox news lies.
5. Obama is a fiscal conservative.
6. Reduced govt advocates want anarchy.
7. Conservatives are greedy corporate shills.
8. Conservatives are war mongers.
9. Gun owners are stupid, racist rednecks.
10. Welfare reform is racist & hateful.
11. Conservatives want to ban books, teach the bible, & hate education.
12. Conservatives hate unions & want to exploit workers.
13. All conservatives hate gays & birth control.
14. Those who disagree with Obama are racists.
15. Conservatives are stupid with low iq's.
16. Conservatives want children, the elderly & the poor to die.

There are more, but this gives the idea. The central message is that conservatives are haters. That is a commonly used term to describe their opposition: The haters. 'Racist' is also used a lot, but still falls under 'the haters' smear. There is no addressing any points of reason, but just insults & smears.

I'll briefly address each of these.

1. No tea party person i know is racist. There are many multicultural people involved, both on the local & national scale. The tea party is primarily a single issue movement: Stop the spending. They are opposed to the out of control spending & deficits the govt has been doing over the years.
2. Many conservatives ARE women. The smear is absurd, and assumes that women cannot have divergent views, but all must believe in the leftist ideology.
3. Every nation in the world has immigration policy & laws. America has more immigrants than any nation in history, so we are not opposed to immigration, just open borders.
4. All media outlets promote a bias. A wise person has a variety of sources they get their information from.
5. Obama is the biggest spender in us history. This one is so overt it seems ridiculous. But many on the left promote this distortion.
6. Wanting a more conservative govt.. with less intrusion & less nanny state policy is not anarchy.
7. Wanting a fair tax system & reasonable business regulations is a noble goal. Americans want fairness for all, not discrimination against any class. We are the land of opportunity, & redistribution policies kill opportunity, as they punish those who succeed.
8. There may be some people who want the us to be a world policeman, but many conservatives do not like the cost or the meddling in other soverign nation's affairs.
9. The 2nd amendment is a constitutional right for all americans.
10. The welfare state has bred dependency & promoted crime & corruption. It is more compassionate to want reform, rather than continuing to waste money on programs that do not work, & trap people in a life of dependency.
11. This is an attempt to smear all conservatives as religious wackos.. most religious conservatives do not want this.
12. Most people see the value of unions, especially historically. We can also see the problems of corruption & overreach that some unions have had. The balance of power between unions & business has swung too far toward the unions, & we have lost manufacturing & balance because of inflexibility in many unions.
13. Most conservatives don't care about sexual preference, race, religion, or other diversity. The left tries to promote division to evade discussing real issues.
14. People disagree with each other's politics. This is no indication of racism.
15. This is just a broad brush smear.. obviously there are intelligent people & stupid people in all ideological spectrums.
16. Wanting a debate about entitlements & welfare is not hate. It is fiscally responsible.

I know we can get into more detail for each one of these, but a thorough refutation of all these points is not the purpose of this post, but an overview of the tactic.

Does this mean all left leaning people are liars & hypocrites? No, i don't think so. Some truly believe the distortions, and are afraid of the evil conservatives. There are many uncritical thinkers, who are easily manipulated by the propagandists, & are mere dupes in the leftist propaganda machine. When mobilized, they can be a powerful force for the left. They are sincere crusaders, & see themselves in a holy war against bigotry & stupidity. They do not realize they are caught in a lie & are mere pawns manipulated by professional propagandists.

Propaganda like this IS effective, though, so the left will continue to use it. Truth & reason are the only means to combat lies & distortions, but the culture is changing so that truth & reason are lost in a muddy mass of confusing points & counter points, all meant to continue the left's control of the narrative & let them define conservative views.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tea Party vs Occupy Wall Street

The tp says, 'don't tax me', or 'don't tread on me', or 'we're unarmed.. this time'. Ows says, 'where's my free stuff?', 'pay off my student loans', 'down with the capitalist pigs'. The tp did not care which party you were with.. if you were a big govt spender, they protested (and voted) against you. Ows seems to be an arm of the union & the democratic party.. maybe they weren't originally, but they have become that, now. The left is very fond of hijacking other movements & morphing it into their own.. environmentalism, civil rights, etc.  But they don't merge for ideology, only to get the numbers. To defeat the evil capitalists, they need a broad coalition, & they try to convince all other movements that they (the left) really wants what they want, too.

Occupy Wall Street actively campaigns for dems, attacks republicans, & just coincidentally are on the left on every issue. You did not see that with the tp. The tp scared the crap out of republicans, too.  They voted the spenders out as fast as they could, & didn't care what party they were in. I'm sure we'll see more of the same this next election.

I also think the charge that the tp is corporate backed is bogus. The corporations are just as scared of the tp as the rinos (republican in name only). Most of the people that went to tp rallies, & most that i know are regular working people that have had enough of wasteful govt spending, & the trend to a nanny state. No one paid them to go to these rallies.. they took off work, made their own signs, & demanded the madness stop. I'm sure this is true for some of the ows people, but if you watch their rallies/protests, you see a lot more organization.. someone feeds & manages the movements of the ows crowd. They were in tents for weeks all over the country. These were not working people taking some vacation time to do their civic duty. You have the big unions & big pacs & the democratic party working closely with ows, providing food, jail bail & legal expenses, signs, t-shirts, etc. Many republican parties tried to cozy up to the tp in it's early stages, only to be rebuffed as 'big spenders' & part of the problem. The tp is more of a single issue movement.. stop the spending. Ows is all over the place, & is barking up the wrong tree, in the basics. Those who do try to 'speak' for ows convey a muddled, inconsistent message.. ramblings about the evils of capitalism & economic unfairness.. the usual radical socialist talking points. So it is hard to take them seriously, even though they have managed to dupe a lot of people to succumb to their ruse.

And if anything the 'corporate' main stream media seems to support & promote ows at every opportunity. They actively compaign for obama & any leftist politician, & all leftist causes. Corporate cronies got the spoils from the obama victory.. GE, GM, solyndra, etc.. and they are glad to have the ows vilify all the evil capitalists so they can keep on draining the treasury. But the people are waking up, & we're onto you. We many miss a few shysters here & there, but we're going to be a lot more critical in our voting.. at least i hope we do. The leftist propaganda machine is pretty powerful, & sifting through their lies & distortions isn't easy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dream of America

The proletariat are always oppressed by the bourgeois elitist exploiters. Sometimes the oppressors are in a monarchy, sometimes they are in a collectivist system, sometimes rampant capitalism does it. Every govt system has flaws, & most of the time throughout history, the workers.. the ones who actually produce in the nation.. are exploited. Some governments have it as a goal, to exploit & oppress the workers. Others do it slyly, enslaving the worker while giving lip service to opposite ideals. Which is worse? An oppressor that openly exploits the workers, or a deceiver who tells you how free & liberated you are while fastening your chains? There is no difference. One just lies to you.

According to lincoln, the goal of good govt is to insure & provide an environment where the worker receives as much of the fruit of his labor as possible. Neither the govt, the greedy money people, or any other dependents should be allowed to forcibly take a large share of the produce of his labor.

"And, inasmuch [as] most good things are produced by labour, it follows that [all] such things of right belong to those whose labour has produced them. But it has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have laboured, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To [secure] to each labourer the whole product of his labour, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government." ~Abraham Lincoln

Govt is a necessary evil. It's primary purpose is to protect the property & labors of the citizens. If it does not do that's most basic function.. but is complicit in exploiting the worker from his labors, it is no different than the capitalist oppressor, allowing the primary producer a fraction of the increase while devouring a large portion for themselves.

The statists miss that. They think govt should be central.. IT should be the primary function of the people, to support & fund the govt, so it can tell them what to do. That system is no different than govt working to fleece the people with capitalistic corporate oppressors.

We need a system of checks & balances. A system where individual freedom is the primary concern, & govt's role is to protect them from greedy exploiters wherever they come from. We need a simple system that does not extort the people for imperialistic pursuits, or corrupting personal gain. Such a system would allow the people to keep a large share of their work for themselves, and not have to enrich either governmental or capitalist overlords. A system like that would allow a majority of hard working people to succeed & become prosperous. They would have adequate protection from thieves who would steal their property, & a sympathetic govt that would not waste the fruits of their labors on corrupt or utopian fantasies. This govt would use its power to build an infrastructure for the entire nation, & keep it's demands on the working people to a minimum, so they could enjoy the fruits of their labors, not see them wasted in govt centered, mismanaged, unnecessary programs.

There is a system like this in existence. It is outlined in the declaration of independence & the us constitution. But it has been engulfed & trivialized by a growing mega maniacal monstrosity of supreme statism. This govt does not serve the people, but only pretends. It wastes & corrupts the labors of the workers, and is shrinking the large middle class that freedom & a strong work ethic built. It pretends to care for the people, but only works in concert with the greedy moneyed elite to take more of the workers' labors.

America needs a revolution. We need to demand that govt returns to serving the people, not their elitist cronies. We need to return to a simpler, limited govt that can use it's power to protect our labors, & provide a fair business & working environment. We need to stop the descent into statist madness.. it never works, always exploits the people, & wastes our labors. We need to encourage & build a strong work ethic, where hard work pays those who do it, rather than punishes them.

That is the dream of america. That is what built the largest middle class in the history of the world. That is what brought unheard of prosperity to a nation of rejects & outcasts. Is the dream over? Are we moving to another state centered system where the worker is exploited by a governing elite? History is full of those & the accompanying revolutions they breed. Can we keep the american dream alive, or are we doomed to repeat history?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Labor, Capital, & Dependents.

This is a topic i've been trying to get a simple view of for many years.  It is a basic concept, but seems to get lost in complex layers of confusing counter points.  Honest Abe got me thinking about it quite a while back in it's most basic terms.

"And, inasmuch [as] most good things are produced by labour, it follows that [all] such things of right belong to those whose labour has produced them. But it has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have laboured, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To [secure] to each labourer the whole product of his labour, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government." ~Abraham Lincoln

Now on the surface, this sounds like it could have been written by an early 1900's labor leader.  He extols the virtues of labor, & decries those who profit from that who have not labored.  The goal of good govt is to try to see that each laborer should receive as much of the production of his labor as possible.  Laborers have been exploited throughout history, & Abe is saying this is wrong, & workers should get a full return on their labors.

He is not arguing for wage fixing or collective bargaining, but neither is he arguing against them.  His statement is much deeper.. a philosophical one that sees labor & capital in its  most basic forms.  He says that the laborer should receive 'as nearly as possible', 'the whole product of his labor'.

For labor to be truly productive, a real value must be derived from it.  Abe talks about this, too.

"Upon this subject, the habits of our whole species fall into three great classes---useful labour, useless labour and idleness. Of these the first only is meritorious; and to it all the products of labour rightfully belong; but the two latter, while they exist, are heavy pensioners upon the first, robbing it of a large portion of it's just rights. The only remedy for this is to, as far as possible, drive useless labour and idleness out of existence." ~Abraham Lincoln

The earlier concept of a laborer receiving 'the whole product of his labor' depends on the value of the labor.  A man can labor uselessly, working for something that has no profitable result.  Labor does not automatically have value.  It is not meritorious in & of itself.  To have value, it must produce something of value.

This 'value' we define as 'capital'.  It is a means of exchange for the results of true, productive labor.  It can be goods, services, food, or anything of value.  But the labor is foremost.  Here's abe again:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." ~Abraham Lincoln

Abe is not singing the virtues of capitalism, here!  He says that labor, not capital should be given preference, as labor produces capital.  He is not condemning capitalism, or the concept of investing for a return.  But he is putting labor in it's rightful place as superior to capital.  A capitalist investor cannot get a  return if there is not labor to increase the value of the investment.  But to abe, the laborer should get a larger return from his labors than the investor who has not labored, but profits from the labors of others. He considers that the goal of good govt.

"The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This, say its advocates, is free labor---the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all---gives hope to all, and energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all." ~Abraham Lincoln

This kind of productive labor is essential for economic growth.  It  is the reason for the growth & success of America.  We are the land of opportunity & free markets, where you could labor, & receive the fruits from it.  Oppressors were restricted, & capitalists had competition.  Anyone could save their money, build a farm or business, produce something of value & increase the production & standard of living for all.  It was LABOR that did this, not capital.  The hard work of the citizens brought a return & raised the nation into the most prosperous country in history, with an industrious middle class.

Abe also talked about those who do  not engage in 'useful labor'.  These are 'useless labor & idleness'.  They are dependents on the former.  They do not produce anything useful or productive, but are 'pensioners' of the producers, robbing them of their increase.

Some companies hire efficiency experts to help them identify areas & workers who are not productive, but decrease production, waste the resources of the company & increase costs.  The goal is increased production, which increases value for the business investors & those who labor.  But when a business or farm increases those who are not productive, or are idle or performing useless labor, the fruits of labor are decreased, as they are shared with a larger base of consumers.

This is the reason for the failures of collectivist experiments over the years.  Those who labor become outnumbered by those who only consume.  Soon the producers cannot make enough to support all of the dependents.  Any collective entity, business, farm, govt, or society as a whole, must have a large productive base of those who labor usefully.  If it does not, it will collapse.  That is the lesson from history, & it will repeat itself often, until we learn it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pyramid of Labor & Dependents

This is a classic 1911 worker's rights poster that i have edited for current issues.

1. The producers are on the lowest tier. They are the ones that support the entire system. Their labors create all the wealth & capital that feeds the rest.

2. You have exploiters on the second tier. They are the ones being enriched by the labors of the masses. They do not produce anything by their own labors, but leech off the production of others. I would put welfare recipients, govt employees, profiteers, passive investors, and all who do not themselves produce anything.  All these are supported by the labors of the producers.

3. Then you have the military, which in the american tradition is to protect the people so their labors are not stolen by enemies, foreign or domestic. They are an expense, but if they do their job of protecting society so they can labor fruitfully, then it is a valid expense. It is up to the people & the conditions of the world to determine how much they need to spend on this protection.

4. Next are the entertainers.. celebrities, sports heroes, religious movements, & all multimedia.  They are a leech on the producers, but it is an optional one for free citizens. It is not mandated by the govt, or enforced by the military.

5. The govt is at the uppermost tier, which is usually the case. Govt has always ruled from the top, & used their power to enforce their mandates on the working producers. The larger this tier gets, the more of a burden it is on the productive parts of society. Lincoln said the goal of good govt is to let the laborer keep as much of the increase of his labor as possible. Govt should be small & efficient, with power used to prevent the exploiters from robbing the labors of the people.  In America, govt's main duty is to secure our rights, not take a large share of our productivity.

Capital is a result of labor.. the harvest of the producers at the lowest levels of the tier. The capital is what everyone lives on. Those that sponge off the producers are on the top tiers. All the increase is at the bottom. This is basic labor, that produces all the capital & property of the society.  All salable goods & services fall into this category.  All others are dependents on the producers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Constitutional Liberty

The current direction the govt is taking us is away from personal liberty.  Totalitarianism seems to be the default governmental system that we humans naturally gravitate towards.  Freedom is the opposite.  America has been, historically, a land of freedom.  Now, the guardians of that freedom have to be continually on watch for those who would pervert the constitution & take our freedoms, but that does not mean the system does not work.  It does.  It just needs to be constantly watched.  My generation has dropped the ball.  We have not protected & valued our liberties & the american system of govt, but have allowed statism & euro envy to shape our public policy.  We can turn this back if we can get honest representatives who will enforce existing laws, & follow the constitution, as written.

Some view anarchy as a preferable direction.  The problem is that, with anarchy, you would not have a bunch of thugs terrorizing the countryside, but well armed private armies.  Those would be the ones to grab power, not random thugs.  They would be indistinguishable from govt swat team, & they would take whatever they wanted, & oppress us like any govt.  That is the 'default' world system.  ..always has been, always will.  It takes a determined citizenry to band together & support a system where power does not rule, but serve.  ..where power is used for protection of the weak, not oppression.  This is the dream of america, where power is used for the people, to secure their rights & freedoms.

'That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men', is from the declaration of independence.  It DOES work.  It has for over 200 yrs.  It can work again.  The default human condition is 'might makes right'.  Power is used for selfish reasons, & to promote the agenda of the powerful.  But that is NOT the american way.  The ideals the founders promoted is that govt should be a force to protect the liberties & property of the citizens, not exploit them or let other exploit them.

I want to return to these american ideals, not abandon them.  If we abandon the constitution, then a govt of the people, by the people, & for the people will have perished from the earth.  We would return to the default ruling system of 'power rules' & 'might makes right.'

I am not happy to see the direction the country is headed.. more & more statist policies, redistribution, fiscal madness, currency policy at the brink of collapse.. but we cannot surrender the dream of america to the statists.  They will dismantle america & make us into another euro nanny state.  We need all those who see the dream of freedom to keep it alive, not give up.  We need to vote for & promote honest, sincere representatives who will represent the people, protect the constitution, & preserve our liberties.  It can still be done.  We just need determination, clarity of thought, & the will to see it through.

One of the most difficult things is for rugged individualists to band together.  The statists are very good at solidarity.  Individualists are not.  They fight with each other like they would a socialist.  But the stakes are too high, now.  We are in danger of losing the country.  Unless those who value the dream of america come together & tell the govt what we want, it will continue to ignore us.  But if we can agree on some basic issues.. those that preserve our freedoms.. shrinking govt, cutting spending, basic responsible govt ideals, then we can do it.  No candidate is perfect.  But we can begin by picking the lesser of the evils.  Then get more constitutionalists to run.. promote & support them.  They won't be perfect, either.  But with the checks & balances inherent in our system, it can work

“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”  ~Thomas Jefferson

"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." ~Samuel Adams

I like the attitude of Lincoln, here:
"Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her" ~Abraham Lincoln

The nation was in a time of great uncertainty. No one knew if the republic would survive. But Lincoln fought for it, indifferent to the outcome. That attitude is my role model. I intend to never desert the dream of america, whether she lives on to the next generation, or ends at mine.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Government: Ruler or Servant?

1. Is govt an entity separate from the people, with a life & will of it's own, or is it an extension of the people, reflecting their wishes?

2. Are the rights of the people provided by the govt, or are they inherent to the people?

In most state centered systems, govt is seen as the source of all decisions. Individual rights & liberties are viewed through the filter of what is best for the state. If there are things that are negative to the state's power, those things are limited. The state can decide what is best for the people. They pick the religion, regulate speech & the press, regulate how & if common people can possess weapons, & reflect a state centered ideology.

In the US constitution, govt's role is deliberately limited. The founders saw that govt was naturally intrusive, taking more & more until it was the central figure in peoples' lives. They intended to limit govt, & make the individual's rights more important & central to govt's basic function.

Govt should be a servant.. it should be there to protect the individual. For a country to prosper, people need to have the freedom to work.. to provide for their families & increase their property. According to Locke, preservation of property is the basic function of govt. If a farmer grows crops, but they are stolen by marauding bands of thieves, their property is not secure. Govt's basic functions should include:

1. Protect the citizens from enemies. They should provide protection from those who would steal the property of the citizens. This is the central, basic function of govt. A prosperous nation can afford to delegate part of their property to this duty. If the nation is too cheap, enemies can defeat them. If they spend to much of their property for protection, it is wasteful & overkill. This protection is a cost that the citizens choose, & a good balance is important for continued prosperity of the people.

2. Protect the individual's rights, & provide a level playing field for their labors. Lincoln argued that labor was superior to capital. Labor precedes capital, & should be a govt's focus. It should protect the labors of the citizens from unscrupulous, greedy exploiters. It should have fair laws & regulations that keep the wealthy & powerful from taking advantage of the poor. By their labors, the poor should be able to increase their property, & have it protected.

3. Provide infrastructure. Govt can provide larger projects that all citizens can benefit from. They can pool the resources of the many to improve the returns on the labor of the individual, & the lifestyles of the citizens. Roads improve commerce. Farmers can distribute their crops to a larger market. Manufacturers can grow their business by expanding to new areas. But like protection, this infrastructure has to be paid for by the citizens. If they are too cheap, their infrastructure will be limited & their lives more difficult. If they spend too much of their property on infrastructure, they can bankrupt themselves & have little property left for production and basic needs.  It is another balance that the citizens must decide. Each infrastructure project should be viewed as a family purchase. Can we afford it? Will it improve our lives? Is it a good investment for our future?

California is a good example. It has evolved to a mini nanny state.. dictating to the people what they can & can't do in almost every area of their lives. They seem to have the statist view of govt.. that govt is supreme, & all things flow through it. Every minutia is managed & regulated by the govt. Business is over regulated, individual rights are set aside, & the state & bureaucrats are the ruling elite.

The results of this system are becoming painfully evident. Instead of serving the people, & protecting rights & freedoms, their govt centered ideals have led California to a cliff of fiscal disaster.

I am not putting govt into extremes of definitions as lords or servants, but the overall attitude, or culture that our govt reflects. I do not expect judges, police, etc to act like a lord with me, for example. They can still be public servants. Their salary is paid for by the people. Yes, they are there to protect us from those who would steal our property or do us harm, but that does not empower them to lord it over us, or trample our rights. I am not categorizing various arms of govt into either lord or servant. ALL are servant, or should be. ALL are a reflection of the public will, or should be. It is when govt thinks it is an independent entity, & can demand the people's resources.. raises or jobs or special privileges, or make dictatorial pronoucements, that they move to the 'lord' extreme. They no longer see themselves as servants of the public, but rulers who can dictate what the people can do.

This is a big topic, but it is a central issue to all of us. We the people can choose which direction we want to go. We can pressure our representatives to do their job, and be servants of the people, rather than lords over us.

"And, inasmuch [as] most good things are produced by labour, it follows that [all] such things of right belong to those whose labour has produced them. But it has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have laboured, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To [secure] to each labourer the whole product of his labour, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government." ~Abraham Lincoln

"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience." ~John Locke

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. ~Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Food for Thought part 1

I was getting tired of working, so thought i'd try a different plan. I got a piece of cardboard, & wrote, 'Will think for food' on it & stood on the street. I got a lot of funny looks, but no food. Evidently thought is not valued much in the world.

Then i tried a think tank. I found one of those stock tanks.. pretty common here in Az.. and sat in it & thought. A few cows came by, & i had some good thoughts, but no one offered any food or money for them. I don't know how those other think tank people do it. Maybe it was because my tank was empty.

But the real point of this story is not about thinking. It is about food. I was thinking about food, which i do a lot, & it occurred to me that food is the most important commodity that we exchange for. I think it would be safe to say that food predated money in human history. Food was used more in human exchanges than money, & what we use as money now, is primarily used to buy food. Oh, we buy lots of other stuff, but most of that is unnecessary. The 'Will think for food' sign is silly, but food occupies a great deal of our waking thoughts, & if you're hungry, you dream about food.

The basic needs in life are few. We need air, water, food, & protection. Air is free, for now, so we don't worry about how we will take our next breath. We just take it. Water is plentiful, and fairly easy to find.. though i'm sure in the deserts someone looking for water would have a different perspective. But the point is that for most of humanity & throughout history, water was not a major problem, but food was. And of course, water has extreme significance now in food production. It is essential in food production. For most of human existence, food gathering.. whether it was from the wild or cultivated, took a large portion of our time & energy.

Protection has some different facets. There is shelter protection.. to protect us from the elements. We are fairly dainty creatures, & do not have thick fur coats, or the ability to endure climactic variations without outside help. So we have made houses & clothes to protect our fragile selves with.

The other protection is from danger.. some from wild animals, but mostly from each other. Some people found it easier to take other people's food, clothing, & shelter, rather than work to provide their own. So we built defense systems. We formed alliances with each other to fight off invading hordes trying to take our stuff. We had to protect our food stores & other valuables. We made weapons, built strongholds, & learned tactical maneuvers to protect ourselves. Of course, some of us were on the other side. We made the same weapons & tried to improve them so we could better defeat those with the food stores, so we could take their stuff. Most of our technological advancement is due to either defense for the growers or aggression for the takers.

We grouped together in larger & larger family groups, mostly for protection, then it became more geographical, racial or cultural, and recently we have grouped together in ideological groups. America is more like that. We are pretty diverse racially & culturally, but share a similar ideology about govt, as well as geographical common ground.

Early on, money evolved. We needed an easy substitute for food.. something we could exchange for our necessary commodities. We used pretty rocks, sea shells, bits of metal, or other items that came to represent a value.. a worth that you could use to trade for other things. Food was still the major item we exchanged for. Those who grew a lot of food had the wealth. They were the ones primarily able to buy protection from thieves. They grew more than they needed, & used the excess to exchange for leisure or luxuries. They could hire workers to build grand living quarters, & pay them with food to work in their fields or tend their livestock.

On the taker's side, powerful warriors gained prominence. They were able to invade other nations & take their stuff. Their strength gained them power & influence, & they provided for their group by that method.

As our technology advanced, and as our protections were more effective in providing a safe place to farm, food become more plentiful. It was soon easy to grow, & many people were able to get large crops & a distribution network was created by ships, rails, & roads. Refrigeration made keeping it fresh easier, & freezing, canning, and other means of storage made getting & keeping food easier. Soon, food acquisition became less of a full time job, & people could pursue other luxuries & leisure time activities. Money became more of the standard for exchange. You could work for an individual farmer, or collectives, or corporate ventures, as people pooled their resources to accomplish greater things. Govts increased their power, & used their military might to take the resources of weaker nations.

We all rely on the distribution process, & the ability of farmers to provide cheap food for our survival. When there are problems, famine results. In every area of the world where there is prolonged famine, it is usually a breakdown in the distribution network or the protection umbrella. Sometimes a blight or drought causes it.. but the long term famines in the world are due more to those 2 things breaking down. Civil war is a major cause of famine. The warring factions tend to view their tactical advantages as more important than seeing food grown or distributed. An early tactic we discovered is that if we disrupt our enemy's supply line, it weakens them in battle. And the warriors themselves see their own sustenance as more important than the civilians living in the middle of the war. So the result is famine. People do not have the food, the local money inflates to a useless value, black market supplies of food or other necessities make eating very expensive.

But other things can also create tough economic times. During the american depression, years of drought created the dust bowl, and along with the stock market crash, & other financial shenanigans, the nation was plunged into a deep depression. Food was available, but the means to exchange for it was more difficult to obtain. People worked long days for barely enough food to live on. The time spent working for food increased, & not much was left for luxuries or leisure.

If food is cheap & plentiful, we can pursue leisure & luxuries. If it is not, we work a lot harder just for food. We take it for granted, now, but food has been the central, single most important item people have worked & fought for in the history of man. We have evolved into a complex society, with other things seemingly more important, but if you strip it all down, food is still our most central & daily need for survival.

In America now, we have a fairly inexpensive food supply. We give it away in food stamps & international aid. Our farmers are fairly efficient, as is the distribution network. We get processed food, already packaged for storage. The main value of our work is not just the amount of food we can buy, but in other things.. mostly luxuries.. that are not central to our existence. If anything were to interrupt the cheap food supply, our luxuries would also diminish, as more of our time would be spent hunting & gathering, rather than enjoying leisure diversions. If war, economic issues, severe weather, or political unrest were to upset the farming & distribution network, we could be in a famine scenario very quickly. Money would become less valuable, & luxury items would lose some of their luster. You cannot eat a cadillac. In a scenario where desperation begins to set in, & food scarcity becomes common, especially in the large cities, we would probably see a growth of those spending their time taking from others, rather than producing anything themselves. It might become more difficult to provide a protective umbrella for the food creators, or the distributors. The currency's main value would be in what you can purchase or protect your food.

Food is our central commodity. All other things of value.. homes, manufactured goods, clothing, vehicles, weapons.. are only valuable in that they help you produce your food or provide the protective umbrella. But without food, they are useless playthings.

Probably the central reason for the growth & prosperity of america in the last 100 yrs has been our food production. We have been called, 'the breadbasket of the world'. We produce & export more food than anything else. National protective umbrella devices (weapons) are probably second. All other ventures either support that production, like farming equipment, irrigation, processing, distribution.. or they leech off of it. Our luxuries & leisure time are direct results of efficient & productive farming methods, & the protective umbrella to let it prosper.

Weapons are only useful for protecting food production & distribution, or taking it from others. Weapons are an expense for the food producers.. they have no value in themselves, but only in protecting from the takers. Weapons & national power are only useful as a means of protecting food production, or taking it from others.

There has never been but one question in all civilization-how to keep a few men from saying to many men: You work and earn bread and we will eat it. ~Abraham Lincoln