Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dismal Ratings and Dismal Reform

Status quo, you know, is latin for 'the mess we're in'. - Ronald Regan

Its a fact; the poverty rate in America is expanding rapidly, and unemployment rates still remain frightfully high. The current state of our economy is evidently quite gloomy. In spite of these circumstances, the government at large has failed to comprehensively and effectively address this pressing dilemma. Why aren't we making progress? And what will it take to turn America back towards the abundant prosperity that we were once characterized by?

I believe the problem is multifaceted, and quite frankly America will not recover unless we address the plethora of fallacious and harmful inconsistencies that plague and hamper every attempt to treat our economic illness. The two main epistemological flaws that restrict our economy from flourishing are 1 - A Victim Mentality, and 2 - Insanity (as defined by Einstein). Allow me to examine and elaborate upon each of these issues independently in order to explain and clarify my argument.

1 - The Victim Mentality
During the campaign of President Barak Obama, he frequently blamed President Bush for economic turmoil and a host of other predicaments. What the President fails to see is that his administration didn't simply "inherit" the "worst recession since the great depression". The majority of us sat back and apathetically observed as our economy slowly deteriorated under a obsolete and inefficient Keynesian economic approach. Playing the blame game only perpetuates our suffering, and ultimately gets nothing accomplished. The economic turmoil we are currently experiencing will not lessen unless citizens and civil officials alike take responsibility and passionately endeavour to fix the mess each of us has made. We are not victims, and to act like we "inherited" this problem is a childish excuse for inaction and complacency.

2 - Perpetuating Insanity
Albert Einstein once said, "Insanity [is] doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." For decades, America has been governed by a progressive ideology which contends that running a deficit is feasible and practical and that spending our way out of a recession is possible and in fact ideal. In short, we have stuck to Keynesian economics in spite of its historical inefficiency. Our President has proposed multiple policies to address our economic woes, from the stimulus to the financial reform bill. However, we fail to see solid results, primarily because we refuse to adopt new remedies. For years, we've held to Keynesianism, with little to show for it. Isn't it time to try something new? Perhaps more regulation and excessive spending isn't the solution? Would it kill us to broaden our horizon and change our approach? Enough of the same old redundant outlook that's got us into this problem; it's time for a new approach.

Unfortunately, our government isn't commonly characterized by wisdom and responsibility. But all hope is not lost, the future can be prosperous and blissful if we emphatically pursue a rational and historically effective approach to economics. The status quo is indeed messy, but if we adopt a fresh and sensible approach, we can begin to treat, and potentially cure, our dismal condition.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"I have a dream...."

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." - Samuel Adams

In the early 17th century, amidst the rein of King James I, British Protestants eagerly sought to purify the church of catholic doctrines and traditions that prohibited them from adhering to their beliefs. But their efforts were opposed by King James, and they were forced to either live in subjection to customs and rituals that contradicted their faith, or leave their homeland and search out a place where they could freely exercise their religion. Faced with such a dilemma, the “Puritans” made an extremely bold decision: They set sail for the “New World” and hoped to establish a settlement where they could hold fast to their beliefs without governmental opposition.

Nearly four centuries later America is the most prosperous nation on the planet and its citizens enjoy freedoms that are seldom found elsewhere. What started as a dream for the freedom to practice religion without inhibition of the state eventually developed into a reality that forever altered the course of the western world!

In 1776, when America first declared independence from British reign, a government was established for the sole purpose of protection of individual rights. The declaration of independence outlines the rights which man is entitled to, and states that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men ... deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.

Unfortunately, the same establishment that exists to protect individual rights has morphed into a primary threat to the same. I believe that the spirit of freedom that defines the United States of America is slowly being forsaken, and sadly we fail to see that this development will prove to lead to the demise of “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

Although I am a strong believer in the sovereignty and omnipotence of our heavenly father, I also believe that He gives us the ability to change society - to alter the course of history. And for this reason, I am dedicated to an occupation as a public servant and a civil official. God has given me a dream, and through His grace alone I plan to fulfill it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Exceptionalism

"Comparing America to England is like comparing Heaven to hell!" - Thomas Jefferson 

The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave has not successfully been duplicated within its 230 years of existence. America, slowly but surely rose to the singular major global power within the past decades. The United States has always been different than any other nation. At the height of America's global power, we led the world in wise decision making. Countries looked to us for sound advice and sound policy.

Within the past year, this status has been quickly fading away as America's leaders claim that we need to be like other nations and all cooperate for the common good. Instead of a "lead by example" mentality, we have adopted the mindset of "follow the crowd". I would like to ask, when and why the free society of America decided that American exceptionalism was something to be frowned upon? Allow me to outline a common sense argument for the advocacy of American exceptionalism. But before I accomplish this, please keep in mind that American superiority is something to be desired only when our Christian values are maintained and acted upon within our Governmental system.

1 - Follow the leader. Freedom leads to innovation, prosperity and individualism produces a happier populace. A free society is a beautiful thing, and one that cannot be overlooked. If America exercises principles of freedom, the world will see the fruit of this mindset and pursue a similar model in order to achieve such success. History proves this argument. The French revolution is an ideal example of such imitation. Shortly after America declared independence, the French followed suit. Unfortunately, France's "free society" didn't last long, and left open loop holes which eventually led to abuse and tyranny.

2 - God is glorified. When America is on top, and it also adheres to its Christian roots, the Pax-Americana is not only good for society, but it is good for the advancement of Christian ideals. If you are a Christian, and desire to spread the gospel, American superiority should be desired and pursued.

The Pax-Americana is coming to a close experts say. But this is not an inevitable fate, we can maintain the premier global power status. All that is needed, is for American's to cling to their freedom, and never let a politician strip this from their hands. Liberty is priceless, and I wouldn't give mine up for anything. America has always been the "city on a hill", which brings hope to the oppressed and liberty to the enslaved. The air has become foggy, and our beacon of light has become dim. However, all hope is not lost. If Americans wish to be free, and act based upon this inclination, then the fog will slowly drift away, and our beacon of light will once again become a light beyond all comparison.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Beauty of the Free Market

“The cyclical fluctuations of business are not an occurrence originating in the sphere of the unhampered market, but a product of government interference with business conditions designed to lower the rate of interest below the height at which the free market would have fixed it." 
~ Ludwig Von Mises ~

Balance: A foreign concept to most governmental institutions, but a close companion of the free market. When government steps in (with admirable motives) and attempts to address a problem, more often then naught, balance is disregarded. Allow me to explain this concept in more detail. Take the recent health care dilemma. No doubt, the system is in need of some change (although, despite its faults, the US health care system is one of the best in the world). But the question to ask ourselves is not "What kind of regulations should the government impose upon the people?", rather we would benefit far more by considering the question, "How can the government encourage a market solution?" I will further expound upon this idea through the following statement; Government intervention betrays balance.  

Consider the health care example; for decades the US government has imposed stringent requirements upon the health care industry; these regulations, are in large directed towards the protection of American citizens. Unfortunately, good intentions don't make good policy. With a plethora of needless requirements and cumbersome paperwork, health care businesses face perverse incentives and a market plagued with distortion. Perhaps the government should divert its focus to competition, and encourage the market to address the health care dilemma. It wouldn't take much for the industry to receive a substantial boost. Its simple; with less red tape in the system, an increase in efficiency will undoubtedly occur. Not only can the market address health care in an expedient manner, but it can do so in a balanced manner.

When Federal officials impose costs upon the health care industry, in order to achieve "public safety", they do so at the sacrifice of economic prosperity and entrepreneurial innovation. If the system is packed with bureaucracy, then there are less incentives for consumers to increase the quality of care or explore more efficient alternatives.

The market, in contrast, approaches this dilemma from a balanced perspective. It not only considers economic prosperity, health, and safety, but it is also built upon a foundation of balance. In a free market, wealth is created. Wealth creation occurs when one individual helps out another, resulting in a voluntary exchange which makes both parties better off. The argument that governmental standards are necessary to ensure safety is largely capricious. In a free market, the quality of health care will essentially determine profit. If the quality of your care is poor, than consumers will not be attracted to this establishment. The reverse is true as well: If a business provides quality, customer centered care at a reasonable price, then consumers will be inclined to do business there. Competition raises the standard of excellence, and this should be the primary focus of civil authorities.    

One more thing, another facet of mammoth federal regulations also affect the health care business: federal drug regulations. A business cannot provide cheap health care if the products it relies upon for success must undergo stringent and needless processes. It is almost amusing, that the very establishment that is attempting to lower prices for health care is in fact doing the opposite. Just another testimony to the efficiency of government!

There is no doubt, the market can solve the problem. The government must simply take a step back, and allow to free market to fill the gap. Not only will the market fill the gap, but it will do so in a balanced manner. In its ideal environment, the free market is indeed a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Draconian Benevolence

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government" 
-James Madison-

     A disaster of unprecedented magnitude recently struck the impoverished nation of Haiti. With so many people suffering, we rightly ask ourselves "what can we do to help?" Private organizations are flocking to Haiti by the dozens, and doing a large amount of good saving lives, treating the sick and comforting the brokenhearted. However, recent gifts to Haiti from the US government that total 100 million taxpayer dollars are not only unjustified, but are also contrary to the purpose of civil authority. My argument is simple: the government should have no role in monetary foreign assistance. Imagine for a minute that the US government did not have a 12 trillion dollar national debt, or a 3 trillion dollar budget deficit. regardless, foreign aid/disaster relief from the government is still unwarranted. This argument is supported by four universal contentions: 1- The government has no resources of its own, 2- Government programs are inefficient, 3- Private donation is sufficient and 4- The Government's duty lies in domestic affairs.

     The first order of business concerns the source of all government funds. Civil authorities acquire funding through one primary means: taxation. When the government gives funds toward disaster relief in Haiti, remember, it is using your taxes to finance this act of kindness. Instead of confiscating money from its citizens in a fraudulent attempt at benevolence, the government should instead encourage private action. Remember, these people actually have money of their own, unlike the government. 

     Milton Friedman once said "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara desert, in 5 years, there'd be a shortage of sand." Unfortunately this quotation sums up the efficiency of government programs. Recent federal regulation of the economy has proven the inefficiency of government programs. Much of the economic turmoil we are experiencing today is a result of government regulation! The population frequently fails to see the correlation between government ownership and inefficiency. You may think it presumptuous to label all government programs as inefficient. I ask you to provide me with a counter example to this theory, then I may consider rethinking my position. 

     The recent celebrity campaign entitled "Hope For Haiti" has generated nearly 66 million dollars. This fund, along with countless others have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in America alone, all for the purpose of Haiti. Remember, these funds were given voluntarily, unlike recent government aid to Haiti. There is no question, the private sector can raise enough funds, and can provide more than enough assistance for disaster relief. In the absence of federal assistance, relief efforts can, in fact, succeed! 

     The US government was established for once purpose: to protect the rights of its citizens. When the government sends aid to foreign entities, it violates the solitary purpose it was established for! Life, liberty and property are rights of every US citizen. It is the governments job to protect the rights if its citizens, not the rights of other people in other nations. That may sound cruel and downright heartless, but that does not make it any less true. Foreign aid is not the job of the government, period. 

     If the government really cared about the Haitian people, it would encourage private giving, and restrain itself and only exercise the powers delegated to it by the constitution. As oxymoronic as it sounds, this approach is not only in the interests of the United States, but its in the interests of the world as a whole. The US government has many responsibilities. Unfortunately, charity is not one of them.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Political Correctness: is it killing us?

"...yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service"
- John 16:2 -

Christianity and Islam, despite their differences, have coexisted in our world for centuries. One as a state, and the other as a religion. Christianity is seen as a peaceful religion, with key figures such as Jesus Christ and his disciples, Augustine and Martin Luther, who all labored for the cause of the gospel. These men show us precisely what Christianity really is: a faith grounded in the love of God. In contrast, Islam was founded by Muhammad, a man of violence, immorality and corruption. He was followed by men like Saladin, who is often seen as a hero in the war against the west.

Now to avoid misunderstandings, let me say this: I do not desire to jump to conclusions, or make unfounded generalizations which would make my reasoning void and illogical. My desire is to present the facts and to communicate truth. Please keep this in mind.

In the midst of the Fort Hood shootings, we are told by our commander in chief to be careful not to jump to conclusions regarding whether or not this act was religiously-motivated. I find this ironic, because Nadal Hasan, the shooter (who has ties with Islamic extremists) has said that the US military should be cautious of muslim recruits, because they are more likely to be connected to terrorism. I do not believe that every muslim is a terrorist, nor do I believe that every terrorists is an Islamic extremist, but to deny the common thread between the two is a childish attempt to remain ignorant.

The holy book of the Islamic faith, The Koran, mandates followers of Muhammad to; "Fight those who do not believe in Allah..." In light of this, the notion of Islam as a military power is no longer a hasty assumption. Yes, there is faith involved, and I have no doubt that many who follow this belief follow it in steadfast faith and conduct themselves peacefully. But to deny the animosity that exist between Muslim's and those who have not accepted this belief is to ignore the truth.

My biggest fear is that peoples, religions and nations will be content to remain ignorant, or deny this inconvenient truth. The latter is by far the worse, but that seems to be where our society is today. Out of the goodness of our heart, we assume that Islam is a peaceful religion, and are extremely careful not to accuse Muslims for acts of terrorism. And the truth is, this mindset is slowly but surely, killing us.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Where America is headed

“Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed in social combinations. They assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange.”
- Frederick Bastiat (French philosopher and economist) -

Currently, the US Federal Government has control over the environment, economic prosperity, public health and safety, domestic security, and countless other sections of American society. But it hasn't always been this way.

Just two centuries ago, the Government believed it existed solely to protect the liberties of its citizens. But its not that simple these days. Civil authorities must maintain an admirable international image, and ensure that that our allies like us and that our enemies learn to like us.

Domestically, the Government also believes that it should subsidize everything that could fail on its own, regulate everything that is too prosperous, and tax those whom they can't regulate. The recent AIG bailouts and monstrous stimulus package exhibit the Governments ever expanding, self conceived obligation to ensure that American prosperity remains stable. It must also be said that this desire to control stems from the Governments growing attachment to the private sector. The fact is, our economic stability is tied to the prosperity of certain institutions that are apparently "too big to fail." We must ask ourselves, why was the government so concerned with failing financial institutions? Can capitalism not thrive on its own? I need not give an answer, because I assume you can connect the dots on your own.

If America's socialistic trends continue, and Government continues to expand, we will arrive at a place where citizens will be dependent on the Government for their existence and nothing will keep the fed's from regulating and controlling every sector of our lives.

There's no question, something must be done. No doubt, the solution is you and I. America is waiting. What are you waiting for?