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,

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Liberal or Conservative – and Why I Choose Conservatism

I’m compelled to provide my definition of what it means to be a Liberal versus Conservative. In my opinion both terms have been hijacked for political purposes. The best way for me to provide clarity is to use a metaphor to illustrate the mindset behind each school of thought.

Let’s say 2 people, one Liberal and one Conservative, are standing on a street corner when a poor person comes by and asks for help because he’s starving.

The Liberal approach to help this person is to go out to the community and take “fish” from those people to give to the poor person. The poor person is then able to eat the fish taken out of the community and thus is prevented from starving. Problem solved. BUT, the community will have to give up their fish everyday in order to keep the poor person from starving.

The Conservative approach to help this person is to take the person down to the community pond and teach him how to fish. After the first day of lessons, the poor person may not have been successful so the Conservative will also take fish from the community and give the fish to the poor person to prevent that person from starving. BUT, the Conservative will take the poor person down to the pond every day and make sure that the fishing lessons will continue until the poor person no longer needs to take fish from the community to keep from starving. At that point, the Conservative will stop giving fish to the poor person and inform them that it is now up to them to decide how good they want to become at fishing. Some people want to accumulate as much fish as possible and devote lots of time and energy to become great at fishing. Others think that there is more to life than just catching fish and spend time pursuing other activities besides fishing even though they understand that they’ll never have as much fish as some other people. But in the end, all people are able to accumulate enough fish to keep from starving so just as with the Liberal approach, problem solved.

Both approaches have worked. Both approaches were based on good intentions (helping the poor); and, at this point neither approach is superior to the other.

But what if a second poor person comes by also looking for help? The Conservative, having made the first person self-sufficient has the capacity now to repeat the process with the second. The Liberal however, will now have to go back to the community and take a bigger portion of fish from the community in order to keep both poor people from starving. In both cases, problem solved.

But what if 10 more poor people come in town, then 50, then 100? At some point, the community will tell the Liberal “STOP, if you take any more fish from us, we’ll starve!” so at that point, the Liberal reduces the amount of fish given to the poor to equal the amount left for the community. Now all are prevented from starving, the Liberal has achieved “Equality”.

The Conservative however will never achieve “Equality”. Even if all 100 poor people show up at once, eventually each one will learn to fish and stop requiring fish from the community. Additionally, as each poor person becomes self-sufficient and therefore a contributing member of the community, they create more available fish with which to feed those who are still learning. In time, all will be prevented from starving, many will have more fish than they need to survive and start living better and some may end up with more fish than they can eat in a lifetime.

In this metaphor, the fish represents wealth. Liberals believe that wealth is finite and therefore the only way to solve the problem is to take from those who “have” and give to those who “have not”. Conservatives believe that wealth is infinite and the acquisition of wealth is only limited by a persons desire to pursue it.

Oversimplified? Look at the numbers. Since 1964 when Johnson signed into Law “The Great Society”, the Federal Government has spent $8.29 Trillion (by the way, that’s $8,290,000,000,000.00) on entitlement programs designed to fight poverty, but not to teach people how to become self-sufficient (which is the definition of an entitlement program). The result, in 1964 the number of poor people was 36.1 million; in 2004 that number was reduced to 35.9 million. So we reduced the number of poor people by 200,000 at a cost of $4,145,000 per person or $103,625 per person per year. By the way, the cost to run the entire Federal Government in 1964 was $118 Billion, so where did all that money come from if not from the increased wealth being created by the community?

At the core of the problem is the political process. Politicians have learned to use fear and Class hatred to stay in power and not only defend, but also perpetuate the failed policies of the last 40 years. By telling the poor that these rich, greedy conservatives want to keep all their wealth for themselves and let the poor starve to death, they have created what I call the “Dependent Class” who will obediently vote to “keep the fish coming” out of fear of the unknown. Then, adhering to the short-term election cycles, the politicians will create more entitlements aimed at showing the poor who is really on their side by keeping them from starving to death.

Can the cycle be broken? I don’t know. But I do know that as long as there are politicians who will benefit by maintaining the existence of a Dependent Class, it will be an up-hill battle.

Click on the two links below for additional information.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0109/p01s02-ussc.html http://www.heritage.org/Research/Features/Issues2004/welfare.cfm

Friday, September 16, 2005

Stop Global Whining!

From Investors Business Daily.

Let's ignore that the earth went into an ice age and then emerged from it (in other words, experienced global warming) without the existence of combustion engines.

Let's ignore that the earth experienced a massive hit from a comet which blackened the sky for years and was able to "heal itself" without the existence of Tree-Huggers.

Let's ignore volumes of Scientific Research that shows how volcanoes spewed more CO2 emissions into the atmosphere in one year than all industrial production and auto emissions combined from the beginning of the 20th century to now, without destroying the environment.

Let's pretend that as ice melts in a glass of water, the water levels go up instead of down.

And let's pretend that neither earthquakes, tidal waves (sunami's) nor hurricanes existed before George Bush got elected.

Al Gore is a bitter and possibly unstable man with no background, educational or otherwise, in any area of science. The legitimate scientific basis for his propaganda would not fill up the head of a pin.

In the 1970's it was an impending ice age caused by man. When that did not work, the story changed to Global Warming. In 2004, they came up with Global Climate Change just to make sure they could cover next years trend. Isn't it about time that we realized that the earth and its solar system has regenerative powers far greater than anything we could possibly throw at it? The earth and its relationship to the sun will be the only factor in observed climactic change and there is nothing we human's can do but stand and watch.

Click the word "LINK" below for the article.

Any Conservatives in Office?

From Investors Business Daily, here is Tom Delay the second most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives claiming fiscal responsibility(?). I don't know what happens to people when they get to Washington, but the idea that the current structure is anywhere close to Constitutional Design is sheer folly!

We need to put pressure on our representatives to skewer the pork, not the tax payers.

Click word "LINK" below to view the article

Katrina Recovery - Dealing with the Numbers

The attached link is an excellent editorial from Investors Business Daily, concerning the source for Federal Dollars being allocated to the relief effort. Every day, the left is clamoring for tax increases on the American public, either through new taxes being levied upon us or at very least, an expiration of the 2003 tax cuts which were what kicked the economy back into recovery mode from the Clinton-Gore recession.

It has been my opinion for a long time that the Left views taxes as a way of dictating our income. By continuing to take a bigger piece of our gross income, they limit our capability for real financial success while doling it out to those who would put them in power. We need to resist any attempt to increase taxes at the Federal Level and make them accountable for every dollar they spend.

Click the word "LINK" below to view the article.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's Time to Slaughter the Hog

Growing up, I would often hear my father warn "never expect more than a grunt from a pig". His warning was in regard to seeing things as they are, not as we wish they were and is as true today as ever.

The single most glaring observation from the Hurricane Katrina debacle is that the Federal Government is not effective as the great protector of the American People. It has become too big, too bureaucratic, too political, too slow and too expensive to adequately react to localized events be they natural or man made (riots, terrorist attacks, etc.).

The Founding Fathers foresaw this over 229 years ago and sought to mitigate the problem by creating a Constitutional Federal Republic of States, which gave the State Governments the independence and power to take action required to serve their populations. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gave a detailed and very limited list of powers vested in the Federal Government through the Congress while the Tenth Amendment notes that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people".

Unfortunately, since Roosevelt decided that the Federal Government should be responsible for creating jobs, managing retirement accounts (Social Security) and health care (Medicare); the Federal Government has morphed into an enormous swine with an insatiable appetite. Crumbling under its own weight, the hog is now sucking over $2.0 trillion out of our economy while failing to deliver on every social promise made in the last 40 years since LBJ's "Great Society". The Federal Government is now the largest employer in the country while its employees produce nothing to generate income or create wealth.

The two parties who have dominated politics since I've been around seem only to be competing for the Head of the Hog. Although it was the Democratic Party, flush with young Marxist elitists who put the massive growth of the government into overdrive, the Republicans have done nothing to reverse the progress since they've been in power. It doesn't matter who has their hand on the leash, the Hog is still eating.

Just like the moribund conglomerates of the late 1970's, the time has now come that the Hog is more valuable cut up and barbecued.

It is time to revisit Article 1, Section 8 and force the US Government to give up responsibility for anything not expressly in the general welfare of the American People and return all those other responsibilities to the States. Cabinet-level departments, for example, should be reduced to just two, the Defense Department and the State Department, with the latter purged of the weak-kneed interna­tionalist crowd who have dominated it for so long. Departments of Agriculture, Com­merce, Education, Natural Resources, Energy, Labor, etc., should all be abolished as just money-wasting bureaucracies serving outside special interests, instead of the people whose taxes support them.

Government subsidies should be drasti­cally reduced, starting at the top. That is, there should be a prohibition against giving a dime of government money to anyone whose annual income or total assets exceed $1.0 billion. Why should agricultural subsidies be going to Ted Turner and David Rockefeller, or uni­versal health care to pay for their medicine?

Even though Social Security and Medicare (which should also be eliminated or at least out-sourced to a more efficient organization) make up 40% of the Federal Budget, we could immediately cut federal outlays by 30% or $700 Billion dollars.

The States could then take it upon themselves to compete for these tax dollars by creating environments that would attract those dollars to them. Based on the will of their people, the State Legislatures could use tax policy, education reform, environmental policy and the like to craft an environment that would attract new business, retirees, young workers, tree huggers or whomever. If the state of Michigan wants to drive business out by over taxing and over regulating, let them. If Vermont wants Ben and Jerry's to be the sole producer in their state, let them. If Alaska wants to open up Anwar for oil drilling, let them. If California wants to force all residents to drive electric cars, let them.

Not only would this take a lot of money out of politics, it would push that money much closer to the point of use and eliminate the bureaucratic siphoning that takes place at the federal level. Senators and State legislators would once again become beholden to their state constituents instead of Howard Dean or the RNC.

Private business learned a long time ago that large, centralized bureaucracies don't work. Cuba, China, the U.S.S.R., Western Europe all failed or continue to fail in improving the lives of their citizens through centralized control. It's time for Americans to wake up and demand that our Federal Government stop the madness. The States have to act now to take back our Governments or risk becoming obsolete. If we lose the notion of States Rights, there will be no going back.