The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A morsel of truth

Of course, when President Obama, in that now-famous campaign speech with the “you didn’t build that” line, said:

The point is, when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

there was a morsel of truth in what he said. There are some things we don’t do on our own. The point is, every dollar the Government takes from us to do these things is a dollar we can't control, and possibly use in a way that benefits us more. So it is important to look at what Government wants to spend our money on (and yes, it's our money, not the Government's) and decide whether we feel it's high enough in priority to justify Government's taking our money to use it on these things.

Here is where Pres. Obama gets it wrong. He decides what he thinks Government needs to spend, and then decides to raise taxes enough so that Government will have enough to spend on these programs. What ought to be the process is that a President decides what he would like Government to do, and then would weigh it against what the American people would be giving up if taxes were raised enough to enable these programs, and decide whether the American people would be better served by not having all these programs and instead using their money in ways that we all, individually, would view as more beneficial. And the people must all, individually, do a comparable weighing of alternatives. I might want Government to do something (like build a transit line) that benefits me and that I cannot, by myself, accomplish. Others do not see the benefits of the transit line. It is competition between these different assessments of benefits that leads to decisions as to what programs get to be initiated. But whatever they are, we must keep in sight the fact that other things — which might have been accomplished with the same money in private hands — will not get done if the money is taxed away.

And in this economy, one of those big “other things” that will not get done if Pres. Obama raises taxes on those he deems to be “too rich” is hiring of people by the businesses that many of these people own. And this means Pres. Obama's plans work against bringing our unemployment rates down.

And this is why Obama needs to be retired in November.

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