Archive for ‘Economics’

January 17, 2013

Poverty and the American Dream

Written by Dick McDonald, founder of http://www.theusaplan.com

Today the people of the United States of America have an opportunity to make the world a better place. Rather than wasting time compromising the political ideologies of progressives and conservatives, Americans could use that time to employ modern economic and scientific advancements to eradicate poverty. The USA could lead the world into a new era where prosperity is the rule rather than the exception.

For example, if  Americans had enough money on which to live a decent life and a million-dollar nest egg to retire on (then pass on to their families) we wouldn’t need government to tax Americans to fund safety nets like Social Security and Medicare.  We wouldn’t have a $138 trillion debt to contend with; America would be financially solvent and countries all over the world would emulate us.

All economies throughout history have been free enterprise, free market, capitalist economies unless temporarily sidetrack by populist ideologues practicing socialism or dictators employing tyranny. Therefore in order to make a free enterprise, free market, capitalist economy like ours into one that sponsors the prosperity of the poor and lower classes it has to create the opportunity for the poor to invest in that economy and prosper in its growth.

Man hasn’t had the tools to address poverty until recently. With the advent of the digital age, massive and flexible databases, the internet and instant communications he now has them.  He can make dramatic nation-wide moves that will eventually enable all the people to achieve the American Dream of financial independence. No political party or political think tank is even attempting to address making the poor rich. It is the time to do so; in the process most of our economic and social ills will either fade or disappear entirely.

We can’t make the poor rich without making all citizens even richer. To do that requires a simple change in the way the government does business. Instead of imposing a 15.3% payroll tax on income we propose the government send that money undiluted directly to an independent unreachable trust for all citizens to be maintained in each taxpayer’s own “USA” – universal savings account – and immediately invested weekly on the behalf and under their direction into indexed stocks for their working life.

The average American makes $50,000 a year and pays either 15.3% in payroll taxes if self-employed or shares in paying that amount with his employer if he works for somebody. The yearly $7,500 ($50,000 x 15%) investment amounts to $300,000 (40 years x $7,500) over an average 40-year working life. Invested weekly in indexed funds at the average rate of return of the S&P 500 in 40-year cycles generates a $4 million nest egg which throws off a $33,333 a month retirement check without reducing the principal. See here for the computation by year.

Today the market cap of all stocks on American exchanges is about $50 trillion. If in 40 years just 150 million Americans had a $4 million nest egg the market cap would be $600 trillion. In other words it took 236 years to get to $50 trillion. It would, under my plan, take just 40 years to add $550 trillion to that amount at today’s prices.

Given the choice of becoming a millionaire without investing a dime out of your present paycheck or staying on welfare and dependency programs most will opt for the former. In this manner the Plan, http://www.theusaplan , will wean welfare recipients off welfare and reduce the need for excess government workers.

Millions of jobs will be immediately created by the infusion of almost a trillion dollars a year into the stock market where the selling shareholders will no doubt invest much of their proceeds in new exciting ventures that will require millions of new employees.

In this manner the poor will be helping create their own new jobs and working-life income and at the same time insuring themselves of an affluent retirement and the best old-age medical care on the planet.

A rising tide lifts all boats. Unfortunately America’s boat has been in dry dock too long. Enacting my plan will be the rising tide that makes the poor rich as well as everyone else richer.  The country will then be exceptional place we claim it is.

Let’s agree poverty has no place in the 21st Century.

Read all about the Prosperity Commission’s USA Plan and its Rise Up Theory of Economics here.  Join us in our effort to make the world a better place.  You can e-mail us your thoughts at dick@theusaplan.com .

via Poverty and the American Dream | New York Daily Sun – The Trusted New York Daily Broadsheet.

January 15, 2013

Who gets your Social Security when you die?

Help Personalize Social Security and Make the Poor Rich.

Help Personalize Social Security and Make the Poor Rich.

EDITORS NOTE:  The following comment is from a viral email that I received today. To find out more on our efforts to make the working poor, single and divorced women, and Black Americans wealthy while generating more revenue to the U.S. Treasury, visit the USAPlan.com. Here we outline a thorough explanation on how to achieve a massive reform of our government’s welfare and entitlement programs.

——————————-

Who gets your Social Security when you die?

This is another example of what Rick Perry called “TREASON in high places” !!! Get angry and pass this on!

Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500.

If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you’re 95 if you retire at age 65) and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.  The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had..

Entitlement, Phooey! I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!! Just because they borrowed the money, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!

Congressional benefits —- free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement entitlements?

We’re “broke” and can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless

In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey. And now Pakistan …….home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!

Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government pours Hundreds of Billions of $$$$$$’s and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries!

They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave ‘US’ the same support they give to other countries.

Sad isn’t it?

January 14, 2013

‘FrackNation,’ a Documentary – NYTimes.com

frack_nation_pensioner

A Polish retiree bemoans her utility bills in the documentary “FrackNation,” about natural gas extraction.

By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS

Directed by Phelim McAleer, Ann McElhinney and Magdalena Segieda

1 hour 17 minutes; not rated

If your only exposure to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the process of extracting natural gas from shale — has been Josh Fox’s alarming documentary, “Gasland,” then “FrackNation” would like your attention. Claiming that Mr. Fox’s chilling conclusions are misleading at best, Phelim McAleer and his fellow directors, Ann McElhinney and Magdalena Segieda, attempt to prove that shale gas just might be “the miracle of the 21st century.”

Narrated by Mr. McAleer, whose previous documentaries have also argued against environmental concerns, “FrackNation” is no tossed-off, pro-business pamphlet. Methodically researched and assembled (and financed by thousands of small donations from an online campaign), the film picks at Mr. Fox’s assertions and omissions with dogged persistence. Much of what it reveals is provocative, like a confrontation with Mr. Fox about the presence of methane in the water supply decades before fracking began.

What’s clear is that Mr. McAleer knows his way around the Freedom of Information Act and has done his legwork. Besides talking to carefully selected scientists and water experts, he visits pro-fracking residents of Dimock Township, Pa., who are annoyed that their community is being characterized as a toxic wasteland. And he’s not above taking a sentimental detour to Poland to commiserate with a pensioner who can’t pay her energy bills, or reveling in the odd gotcha moment, like accusing a public official of “inappropriate ties” to Mr. Fox.

More than anything, “FrackNation” underscores the sheer complexity of a process that offers a financial lifeline to struggling farmers. Whether it also brings death to their water supply is something we won’t find out by listening to only half of the debate.

via ‘FrackNation,’ a Documentary – NYTimes.com.

January 4, 2013

Labor Attacks the Constitution

Written by Dick McDonald, founder of Founder of the Prosperity Commission

CalPers, California’s $240 billion dollar giant employee pension fund is asking the courts to give the State of California police powers to compel the City of San Bernardino to pay its pension bill for city employees.  As the city is in bankruptcy court Calpers will have to convince the judge to overturn the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution as Federal bankruptcy laws which includes the right to withhold creditor payments would have to be declared “unconstitutional.” The chances of this argument succeeding would normally be unheard of but look at what happened to GM bondholders. We are living in a new “progressive” world where America’s Constitution is largely ignored.

You might ask why San Bernardino went bankrupt. Well it is the same reason the Federal government is already technically bankrupt ($138 trillion of fund

ed and unfunded debt – see http://www.usdebtclock.org.) That is – too much spending. The only reason the federal government itself can avoid bankruptcy is because they can print money to pay their bills – “monetary easing” they call it.  San Bernardino can’t print money so they went into bankruptcy court just like Stockton and many other cities throughout the country are doing. In fact it is an endemic international problem as well. Greece can’t print money and that is why they are in the tank.

CalPers is suing on principle. They are massively unfunded themselves and are desperately looking for any help they can get from the possibility that every city in California will go bankrupt and stop paying all or part of their of their pension obligations. This is an economic threat of unimaginable proportions to CalPers – the most successful and employee-friendly pension plan in America. Its beneficiaries get thousands more per month than those on Social Security. A large number of bankruptcies could limit pension payments.

The CalPers pension model is to be envied.  The employer and employee contributions were funnelled not to Social Security but to CalPers.  CalPers invested those funds into the stock market.  In 2008 when the confluence of a real estate mortgage disaster met the realization that an anti-business administration was going to be elected the Dow 500 fell from 12,000 to 6,000.  Like many others who don’t understand long-term stock market investing CalPers made moves to reduce their risk of losing all of their capital. That meant it “went to cash”, “went to bonds” and other risk-reducing schemes.

Needless to say when the Dow retraced its 50% fall with a 117% jump to 13,000 Calpers didn’t have all its capital in stock to enjoy the climb and recoup their losses – and predictably became underfunded.

Unfortunately individuals, governments, their instrumentalities as well as funds and investment concerns followed suit.

Trillions were lost because the losers really didn’t understand that the stock market is a weather vane and looks only to short-term profits. All they would have had to do was look at the GDP.  It stayed constant.  It didn’t have a disastrous fall.

However, the losers are those pension funds looking down the throat of government instrumentalities going bankrupt and their pensioners losing some or all of their pensions. Something has to be done and relying on politicians to do something positive hasn’t worked since Lincoln.

Inasmuch as “we the people” have to solve this debt and pension crisis we can’t look to conventional solutions politicians advance.  They are the ones whose incompetence has put us into this crisis and they are incapable of getting us out.  We need to look for a plan, an idea, an out-of-the-box solution to reduce our unfunded debts without sacrificing people’s pensions.

I have advanced a solution to this and many other financial concerns facing America as the Founder of the Prosperity Commission and the author of the USA Plan. Among the Plan’s many features it saves cities, counties, states and the federal government from the current pension and entitlement debacle. It also immediately reduces the government’s funded and unfunded liabilities from $138 trillion to $30 trillion.

If, in addition to saving pensions, you are interested in eradicating endemic poverty, increasing benefits of safety nets like Social Security, Medicare and Disability, economically emancipating women and a whole host of other things please go to the website and learn more. We need all the people to support and advance our Plan. It will really help your kids and grandkids.  The kids can’t afford to pay the debt politicians and ideologues have run up.

via Labor Attacks the Constitution | New York Daily Sun – The Trusted New York Daily Broadsheet.

January 2, 2013

Will Aging Childless Voters Enslave My Future Grandchildren?

The problem with entitlement democracy is that you eventually run out of other people’s babies.

By Bill Frezza

Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 9.51.44 AMIf demography is destiny, democracy is toast-at least those democracies where citizens can vote themselves a living at someone else’s expense. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to see that governments’ addiction to intergenerational income redistribution is not sustainable unless someone keeps supplying babies at an accelerating pace.

The root cause of the economic disaster that lies ahead is the kamikaze drive of democratic governments to displace the functions of the family, including the care of relatives in their old age. Since time immemorial, in every human society that ever was, and buttressed by social mores central to every religion ever practiced, children, grandchildren, and kin did what governments the world over now promise to do.

The burdens of providing for the aged used to begin when people could no longer care for themselves. The liabilities were dispersed, unenumerated, and owned by small groups of closely related individuals. These individuals owed their very existence to the elderly dependents who brought them into the world and nurtured them through childhood. The glue of duty, love, and reverence bound families together. Yes, families occasionally broke down, which threw unfortunates onto the mercy of charity. But isolated family failures never threatened to destabilize global economies.

Democracy changed all that. The burdens of providing for the aged are larger than ever thanks to the greater longevity that modernity accords. But the necessity and personal pride that drove the elderly to provide for themselves for as long as they could has been replaced by the invention of a universal “right of retirement” irrespective of an individual’s means.

This “right” to stop working for the last 10, 20, or even 30 years of our lives is secured and supported through an electoral system under which politicians promise old-age entitlements in return for votes. The system subsists on coercive taxation, money printing, and borrowing from the future. Ballooning centrally owned liabilities are perched atop a demographic pyramid with a base that must continue growing to avoid Ponzian collapse.

The aggregate U.S. federal and state unfunded liabilities required to pay for all the entitlements promised by politicians past-namely Social Security, Medicare, and defined-benefit pensions for public employees-now exceed $100 trillion. Tomorrow’s workers, including those yet unborn, have no particular kinship to the people who will be feasting on their paychecks.

The perpetual pin-the-blame-on-the-donkey circus in Washington proves that politicians will never take responsibility for curtailing entitlements, or even stop inventing new ones. The illusion created inside the Beltway and peddled by our public education system that we have somehow pre-paid for our benefits with money set aside from payroll deductions throughout our working lives makes it impossible to honestly fix the problem.

Now consider the fate of modern democracies as birth rates plummet. Educated, liberated 20- and 30-somethings are increasingly dodging the rigors of marriage and parenthood as they search for self-actualization, zipless hook ups, and ecological consciousness. Growing ranks of childless, single citizens are dealing themselves out of the cycle of life. This has never happened in all of human history. These people have no particular stake in the world they will one day leave behind. And yet they vote, in increasing numbers as they age.

This powerful shift in our cultural foundations is meticulously outlined in a recently released study titled “The Rise of Post Familialism: Humanity’s Future.” Its many chilling charts and graphs show how country after country across the developed world is hurtling toward population implosion.

It takes a live birth rate of 2.1 children per woman to maintain a stable population. Birth rates across Southern Europe have plunged below 1.5, and are expected to drop even further as Euro Zone economies continue to contract. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan are converging on birth rates closer to 1.0, literally halving their population each generation. Even the Black Plague didn’t do that.

As women increasingly gain financial independence through education and higher workplace participation-the study calls this the New Girl Order-they are increasingly shunning marriage and child rearing. Meanwhile, entire cohorts of emasculated young men have adopted the so-called “herbivore” lifestyle, living a partnerless existence filled with comic books, videogames, pornography, and masturbation.

The trend is slower in countries like the United States that attract large numbers of both legal and illegal immigrants, whose babies fill the gap. But don’t get too comfortable. The fertility rate associated with recent immigrants disappears with assimilation. Meanwhile, protracted economic downturns like the present Great Stagnation have stemmed and in some cases reversed the flow of baby makers.

One need only look at our biggest and most politically powerful cities to get a picture of our future. These dense urban centers have become entertainment megaplexes with economies that cater to single professionals. Meanwhile, sky-high rents and deplorable school systems drive families away. A majority of residences in Manhattan are now for “singletons,” with Hizzoner Michael Bloomberg pushing to build 300 square foot mini-condos to cram in even more. In Washington, D.C., an eye popping 70 percent of the female population is unmarried, with nearly half of all pregnancies ending in abortion. San Francisco has become a mecca for urban tribes of single, childless hipsters whose behavior and policy preferences further accelerate family flight.

The fatal flaw in this scheme is the skyrocketing dependency ratio. The number of young people entering the workforce (should they be lucky enough to find jobs) is not growing fast enough to support the exploding population of non-working 60, 70, 80, and 90-somethings. Meanwhile, the elderly’s over-consumption of health care services threatens to bankrupt an indebted economy to which they’ve stopped contributing.

Signs and portents of the new reality abound. The government of Singapore has begun begging women to have babies. There are now more adult diapers sold in Japan than baby diapers. In America dogs are the new kids, so much easier and less expensive to train and care for.

Those of us who have or hope to have grandchildren (alas, far fewer than the number enjoyed by our grandparents), have to wonder how many of their working hours will be devoted to paying for the “rights” the aged have voted for themselves. With take-home pay dwindling, will my grandchildren be able to afford families of their own, or will they decide that it’s cheaper and easier to join the crowd and resign from the gene pool? Will those that buck the trend be forced to emigrate to escape economic enslavement imposed by a childless, aging majority? And what will happen to Western civilization when the only people left having babies are those who plan to raise them on welfare and food stamps?

The problem with entitlement democracy is that you eventually run out of other people’s babies.

via RealClearMarkets – Will Aging Childless Voters Enslave My Future Grandchildren?.

December 14, 2012

Yes We Can – Eliminate Poverty in our Lifetime

theUSAplan-LOGO

On December 1, 2010, the President’s Debt Commission issued a report recommending specific budget cuts and tax increases.   To date, these austerity measures have not been acted upon by the administration.

Written by Dick McDonald, founder of www.theusaplan.com

During the recent campaign, the Republicans promised draconian spending cuts to the national debt and tax cuts for the 2% of “job creators.” But these, it seems, were largely perceived as attacks on government welfare and entitlement programs; and the people re-elected President Obama and a majority Democrat Senate.

All that was heard from both parties was “no we can’t” – compromise our cradle-to-grave policy or sink-or-swim principles.  What the nation desperately needs is some meaningful “Yes we can,” and they need it in big doses because we are heading off the proverbial social as well as fiscal cliff.

This is why I started the Prosperity Commission to give Americans the “hope and change” no government in the history of man has ever given its poor and working class – wealth. That is a big idea; one the people will actively support.

Granted, America has the “wealthiest “poor in the world, but that “enrichment”  is supported by government entitlement and welfare programs that have run up debt  amounting to a $1.2 million liability for each and every household in America. See http://www.usdebtclock.org.

The Prosperity Commission is promoting its USA Plan.  The “USA” stands for the Universal Savings Account. At its core, the plan expands trickle-down economics to include (1) the poor, (2) the middle-class and (3) rich people who aren’t “job creators,” like movie stars and sport stars. We prefer to call it the Rise Up Theory of Economics.

Making all Americans job-creators will lead to a citizenry that can afford, out of their own pocket, to retire affluently and acquire the best healthcare on the planet.  Considering our current unfunded $121 trillion of debt attributable to the existing Social Security, Disability and Medicare programs, the government is clearly not up to the task.

It is time for the people to assert their sovereign right to change the way government works as specified in our Declaration of Independence. The USA Plan is step in that direction.

The USA Plan funds each taxpayer’s Universal Saving Account (USA) by diverting his or her Federal payroll taxes (the 15.3% of their gross income withheld or paid) into their personally owned account, which is unreachable by the government or the courts and administered by an independent trust not associated with Wall Street.

Over the 40-year working life of the average $50,000-per year taxpayer, that 15.3% withheld or paid amounts to an investment of $300,000 (40 x 15% x $50,000).  Invested weekly into the stock market (not bond or money market) will accumulate and compound into a nest egg of $ 4 million,  based on the average rate of return for 40-year investments in the S&P 500 since 1911 – the period of 1871 to 1911 being the first 40-year period. See the USA Plan website for the year-by-year calculation of the $4 million nest egg and the historical record of the S&P 500’s rate of return.

The logical response to the diversion of payroll taxes into USAs is, “Where are we going to get the money to pay existing Social Security, Disability and Medicare benefits?” The answer to that is much simpler than you think: The USA Plan upon enactment will immediately cut the $138 trillion of “funded” and “unfunded” US debt to $30 trillion. READ FULL ARTICLE  Yes We Can | New York Daily Sun – The Trusted New York Daily Broadsheet.

November 19, 2012

GOP, To be Modern or to be More Moderate?

Editors Note: I know not many of us are not big fans of the Republican Party leadership, however, I am a fan of the history and achievements of Republican party. I am also a fan of it’s platform, with a few modifications. I believe fiscal conservatism can solve most of the nations social problems such as crime, poverty and bad education and the ones it cannot, should not be in the national platform, such as abortion and gay marriage, but should be relegated to the people of each state.

GOP, Time to Get With It

 12 Nov 2012 from Breitbart News

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) hit the nail on the head on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday: “I don’t think it’s about the Republican Party needing to become more moderate. I really believe it’s the Republican Party becoming more modern. And whether it’s Hispanics, whether it’s women, whether it’s young people, the Republican Party has to make it a priority to take our values, take our vision to every corner of this country, to every demographic group.”

She is 100% correct. Every time I suggest better, smarter GOP outreach to young people, Hispanics, African Americans, and women, many in the GOP old guard wave their pointer fingers at me and insist that I am advocating pandering, that I am allying myself with the Left’s divide and conquer tactics.

Let me correct them in writing, as I have done in speech: Outreach is not pandering. They are completely different things. I am not talking about dividing the country up into special interest groups, pandering to voting blocs with speeches telling them what they want to hear in order to win votes. What I am talking about is taking the conservative message, a message that stands to benefit everyone in society, to places the GOP often ignores–local African-American and Hispanic church groups, feminist centers, and left-leaning college campuses, to name a few.

Will your message face resistance? Yes, and that’s okay. It gives you a chance to correct false, media-driven stereotypes about conservatives and conservatism. Will you convert the majority in one afternoon? Of course not; these stereotypes have been inculcated over decades. Opening hearts and minds is a process, not a lunch appointment. That doesn’t mean you don’t get to work. Andrew Breitbart understood that better than anyone.

Talk to young people about freedom. Remind them that their ability to control so many aspects of their lives is on the line. Remind women what many founding feminists fought so hard for–independence and opportunity–and talk about why the Left is a phony ally of both of those things. Talk about big-government policies, and why they are keeping poverty up–not down–in all communities, including Hispanic and African-American ones.

This is not pandering. This is a message of unity, a message that articulates how conservatism drives success among African Americans, whites, young people, women, men–all of us–but that message won’t be maximized until you step away from preach-to-the-choir venues and engage those who aren’t part of the GOP base. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s very hard work. But isn’t it worth it?

Let me add a few things. First, the quality of messengers matters. Charismatic, energetic messengers of conservatism are a must. We live in a world where people often listen to those they can relate to in some way. That’s a fact, so don’t ignore it. Send that pro-life conservative female feminist to a left-leaning women’s group. Send young conservatives to left-leaning college campuses and let the youth debate it out together. That’s not pandering; it’s smart outreach.

When it comes to the youth, I must make a few additional points. I have worked with young people ages three to twenty-five as a teacher, coach, Dean, tutor, and Adviser. Young people pay attention substantially more when they are entertained. The best messengers of the conservative cause to our youth are funny, entertaining, and enthusiastic individuals. We have those people in our movement, and they are the key. You want young people to hear what we’re saying? Send Greg Gutfeld to talk to them; he will make them laugh and they will find themselves questioning every stereotype about conservatives they spent years believing. Invite Steven Crowder to a campus coffeehouse to talk with students about his vision and why it matters. I know I can count on him to bring a video montage and/or costume that will get them laughing, thinking, and listening.

via GOP, Time to Get With It.

November 15, 2012

Ron Paul’s Goodbye Speech (video & text) to the United Staes Congress

VIDEO: Ron Paul’s Last Speech to Congress and a warning to America.

TEXT:

This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor.  At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period.  My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today:  promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.

It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.

To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.

The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little.  No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness.  In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues.  Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.

All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer.  A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going.  One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and  corporate elite.  And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues.   As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits.  If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell.  Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty.  There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.

During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible.  Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.

I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.

Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth.  In our early history we were very much aware of this.  But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax.  The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.

They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.

Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved  for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.

But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady.  It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected.  As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone.  That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.

The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market.  It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.

The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail.  We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.

If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time.  Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.

Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law.  A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties.  Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled.  Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy.  Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely—that is until it too fails.  There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option.  The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.

The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism.  And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future.  The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.

If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored.  By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.

Everyone claims support for freedom.  But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others.  Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.

Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited.  These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.

The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.”  The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less.  Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.

Just this recognition—especially if we move in this direction—increases optimism which in itself is beneficial.  The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.

But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.

Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the  one that we have  had for the  last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers.  We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.

It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself.  Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer.  The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.

After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders.  In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed.  Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome.  The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.

Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need.  Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:

Undeclared wars are commonplace.

Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.

The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.

Debt is growing exponentially.

The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.

Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.

The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.

It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.

Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.

Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”

Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.

Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.

Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.

Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:

Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?

Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?

Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?

Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?

Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York?  Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?

Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?

Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?

Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?

Why should there be mandatory sentences—even up to life for crimes without victims—as our drug laws require?

Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?

Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?

Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?

Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?

Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?

Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?

Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?

Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?

Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?

Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?

Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?

Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.

Why is it is claimed that if people won’t  or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?

Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?

Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?

Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?

Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?

Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?

Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.

Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and  foreign policy?

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?

Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?

Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration?   Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes.  The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems.  Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.

Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves.  Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades.  The blame is shared by both political parties.  Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop.  Without this first step, solutions are impossible.

Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity.  The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.

We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.

Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced.  Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats.  This replaces the confidence in a free society.  Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they,   armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production.  This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty.  It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.

It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.

Economic ignorance is commonplace.  Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals.  Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.

Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.

Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty.  This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge.  But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence.  Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions.  The results are always negative.

The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems.  Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world.  Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned—or especially when well-intentioned—the results are dismal.  The good results sought never materialize.  The new problems created require even more government force as a solution.  The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.

This is the same fundamental reason our government  uses force  for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.

It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.

Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order.  Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.

Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society.  Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream.  We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000.  Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.

Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.

We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.

The Constitution established four federal crimes.  Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands.  No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code.  Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China.  I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws.  Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.

The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year.  When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force.  If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed.  To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective.  The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty.  Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations.  Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer.  This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages.  Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible.  It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously.  Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that:  “power corrupts.”

Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government.  Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression.  There’s no in-between.  Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good.  As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed.  The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system.  It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis.  It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power.  Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2.  There is no other choice.  Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.”  It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise.  What we see today is a result of that type of thinking.  And the results speak for themselves.

American now suffers from a culture of violence.  It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people—practically at will.

Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate.  Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt.  It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.”  They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.”  The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority.  Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.

This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified.  This is similar to what we were once told that:  “destroying a village to save a village” was justified.  It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people.  And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.

Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms.  The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.

First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government.   Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority.  If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.

When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority.  It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs.  As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase—as are already occurring— violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs.  They will not wait for a government rescue program.

When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer   just can’t be helped.

When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs.  All moral standards become relative.  Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth.  Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.

Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.

Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government.  It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.

To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected.  Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.

Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed.  The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people.  The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.

Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government.  The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty.  The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt.  The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.

If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.

If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.

It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time.  This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due.  This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.

But that illusion is now ending.  Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.

Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.

The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.

Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.

I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.

Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek.  Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.

If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of  personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions.  The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior.  Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.

What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.

1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.

2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.

3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.

4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.

5. World government taking over  local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking,  a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.

Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.

What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression.  The retort to such a suggestion is always:  it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.

The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.

What could be more utopian than that myth—considering the results especially looking at the state sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.  It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.

No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior.  Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny.  This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.

The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried.  The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war.  The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time.  It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.

Today the principle of habeas corpus, established when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, is under attack. There’s every reason to believe that a renewed effort with the use of the internet that we can instead advance the cause of liberty by spreading an uncensored message that will serve to rein in government authority and challenge the obsession with war and welfare.

What I’m talking about is a system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.

The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people.  Just writing rules won’t work if the people choose to ignore them.  Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans, especially those who work in Washington DC.

Benjamin Franklin claimed “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”  John Adams concurred:  “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.

A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society.  All great religions endorse the Golden Rule.  The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials.  They cannot be exempt.

The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.

The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.

The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow.  This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society.  If we can achieve this, then the government will change.

It doesn’t mean that political action or holding office has no value. At times it does nudge policy in the right direction. But what is true is that when seeking office is done for personal aggrandizement, money or power, it becomes useless if not harmful. When political action is taken for the right reasons it’s easy to understand why compromise should be avoided. It also becomes clear why progress is best achieved by working with coalitions, which bring people together, without anyone sacrificing his principles.

Political action, to be truly beneficial, must be directed toward changing the hearts and minds of the people, recognizing that it’s the virtue and morality of the people that allow liberty to flourish.

The Constitution or more laws per se, have no value if the people’s attitudes aren’t changed.

To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome.  Number one is “envy” which leads to hate and class warfare.  Number two is “intolerance” which leads to bigoted and judgmental policies.  These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.

The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism.  Both views ought to be rejected.

I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things.”  The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.

If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.

November 9, 2012

A Modest Proposal for Saving Our Schools

By Tom McClintock

The multi-million dollar campaign paid by starving teachers’ unions has finally placed our sadly neglected schools at the center of the budget debate.

Across California, children are bringing home notes warning of dire consequences if Gov. Schwarzenegger’s scorched earth budget is approved – a budget that slashes Proposition 98 public school spending from $42.2 billion this year all the way down to $44.7 billion next year. That should be proof enough that our math programs are suffering.

As a public school parent, I have given this crisis a great deal of thought and have a modest suggestion to help weather these dark days.

Maybe – as a temporary measure only – we should spend our school dollars on our schools. I realize that this is a radical departure from current practice, but desperate times require desperate measures.

The Governor proposed spending $10,084 per student from all sources. Devoting all of this money to the classroom would require turning tens of thousands of school bureaucrats, consultants, advisors and specialists onto the streets with no means of support or marketable job skills, something that no enlightened social democracy should allow.

So I will begin by excluding from this discussion the entire budget of the State Department of Education, as well as the pension system, debt service, special education, child care, nutrition programs and adult education. I also propose setting aside $3 billion to pay an additional 30,000 school bureaucrats $100,000-per-year (roughly the population of Monterey) with the proviso that they stay away from the classroom and pay their own hotel bills at conferences.

This leaves a mere $6,937 per student, which, for the duration of the funding crisis, I propose devoting to the classroom.

To illustrate how we might scrape by at this subsistence level, let’s use a hypothetical school of 180 students with only $1.2 million to get through the year.

We have all seen the pictures of filthy bathrooms, leaky roofs, peeling paint and crumbling plaster to which our children have been condemned. I propose that we rescue them from this squalor by leasing out luxury commercial office space. Our school will need 4,800 square feet for five classrooms (the sixth class is gym). At $33 per foot, an annual lease will cost $158,400.

This will provide executive washrooms, around-the-clock janitorial service, wall-to-wall carpeting, utilities and music in the elevators. We’ll also need new desks to preserve the professional ambiance.

Next, we’ll need to hire five teachers – but not just any teachers. I propose hiring only associate professors from the California State University at their level of pay. Since university professors generally assign more reading, we’ll need 12 of the latest edition, hardcover books for each student at an average $75 per book, plus an extra $5 to have the student’s name engraved in gold leaf on the cover.

Since our conventional gym classes haven’t stemmed the childhood obesity epidemic, I propose replacing them with an annual membership at a private health club for $39.95 per month. This would provide our children with a trained and courteous staff of nutrition and fitness counselors, aerobics classes and the latest in cardiovascular training technology.

Finally, we’ll hire an $80,000 administrator with a $40,000 secretary because – well, I don’t know exactly why, but we always have.

Our bare-bones budget comes to this:

5 classrooms $158,400
150 Desks @ $130 $19,500
180 annual health club memberships @ $480 $86,400
2,160 textbooks @ $80 $172,800
5 C.S.U. Associate Professors @ $67,093 $335,465
1 Administrator $80,000
1 Secretary $40,000
24% faculty and staff benefits $109,312
Offices, expenses and insurance $30,000
TOTAL $1,031,877

This budget leaves a razor-thin reserve of just $216,703 or $1,204 per pupil, which can pay for necessities like paper, pencils, personal computers and extra-curricular travel. After all, what’s the point of taking four years of French if you can’t see Paris in the spring?

The school I have just described is the school we’re paying for. Maybe it’s time to ask why it’s not the school we’re getting.

Other, wiser, governors have made the prudent decision not to ask such embarrassing questions of the education-industrial complex because it makes them very angry. Apparently the unions believe that with enough of a beating, Gov. Schwarzenegger will see things the same way.

Perhaps. But there’s an old saying that you can’t fill a broken bucket by pouring more water into it. Maybe it’s time to fix the bucket.

November 1, 2012

Communists, Socialists & Other Liberal Plagues

Burt Prelutsky
humor columnist

RECENTLY, when Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to Greece, she was greeted with violent protests. Because Greece’s socialist government had long retained power by caving in to every last demand of its left-wing labor unions, much as we have done in America, when economic circumstances inevitably changed for the worse, the worker bees inevitably turned into greedy, self-righteous, sons of bees.

It was only natural that the Greek strikers would revile the head of the nation that has done the most to keep their economy afloat, thus setting a new low when it comes to ingratitude. The world now sees that the major difference between Greeks and the mangiest of curs is that only the former is so contemptible that it bites the hand that feeds them.

Ever since the Trojan Horse, people have been advised not to trust Greeks bearing gifts. In recent years, the world has discovered that you also shouldn’t trust Greeks accepting gifts.

Starting in 1901, using the money generated by royalties accruing to the estate of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, the Swedes have awarded Nobel Prizes dealing with literature, physics, medicine, chemistry and since 1969, economics. However, when it came to the Peace Prize, the Swedes jobbed it out to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in Oslo.

I have no clue as to why they did so, unless it was in order to make their Scandinavian cousins the endless target of ridicule and derision. Perhaps the Swedes harbored a sneaky hunch that the Norwegians would eventually hand out these million dollar prizes to such nincompoops and ne’er-do-wells as Woodrow Wilson, Le Duc Tho, the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Barack Obama, while ignoring the contributions to and sacrifices for world peace made by the likes of Winston Churchill, the R.A.F., Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton and the entire U.S. military.

In keeping with its proud tradition, Oslo gave its most recent Peace Prize to the European Union. It is just possible that the Norwegians, who are even more left-wing than their wacky relatives in Minnesota, figured that any group that referred to itself as a union was prize-worthy.

When people, including some conservatives, insist that Mitt Romney is stiff or, worse yet, a stiff, I suspect they’re merely repeating guff they’ve heard from the likes of Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and David Letterman, much the way that liberals who dismiss Fox as a right-wing megaphone must overlook the constant presence of Juan Williams, Geraldo Rivera, Leslie Marshall, Marc Lamont Hill, Bob Beckel and Alan Colmes.

After seeing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama delivering jokes at the recent Al Smith charity dinner in NYC, you would have to revise your opinion as to which of them is the dullard. Whereas Obama came across like the sort of no-talent amateur who used to show up regularly on The Gong Show, Romney proved he definitely didn’t require my writing services in order to channel his inner Bob Hope.

Speaking of Obama, like most politicians, he is fond of pretending that he subscribes to Harry Truman’s line about the buck stopping with him, so long as he can bob and weave, eluding the pesky buck the way that Walter Payton used to elude tacklers. Among those things that Obama has blamed for his own failings are George Bush, Japan’s tsunami, Europe’s economy, the oil and coal industries, congressional Republicans, the Tea Party, Hillary Clinton, droughts, earthquakes and Kim Kardashian’s divorce. He has laid the blame on everything, in fact, but Michelle’s hot flashes and his own incompetence.

The only bucks that stop with Obama are those donated to his re-election campaign. And in the end, like those billions of dollars he has used to subsidize green energy companies owned by his major bundlers — all of which have gone bankrupt — this money, too, will be foolishly wasted. But at least the billion dollars squandered in an effort to keep this schmuck in the White House came out of the pockets of boobs like Bill Maher, Jeffrey Immelt, Eva Longoria and the two Georges, Clooney and Soros, and not, for once, out of yours and mine.

Finally, it’s a shame that Obama inherited his disdain of white people, Englishmen in particular, from his loony Commie father. Otherwise, instead of banishing the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, he might have harkened to Churchill’s sage advice that “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year and, of course, have the ability to explain why it didn’t happen.”

 

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