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, December 08, 2012

More on the "fiscal cliff" controversy

I recently had an exchange of e-mails with my brother, who is politically somewhat more conservative than myself, though we are closer to each other in our views than either of us is to those our parents held. Some interesting points were made, which I will make public here. First, after I referred him to my post:

Actually, I read similar ideas to yours recently, soak the really, really rich, but leave the really rich alone. Well said on neither side being willing to compromise, when you wrote it, but there is breaking news. Joe Biden, the Clown Prince of Buffoonery, was quoted yesterday as saying that it doesn't have to be exactly 37 percent for the top bracket, it could be less, it's just the principle that the rich have to pay more.

To which my response was:

I suspect that some compromise like this will be attained in the end. What we really don't know is what is going on behind closed doors in secret negotiations, where Boehner's lieutenants and Obama's can make deals that neither can endorse in public because of the socialistic elements in the Administration and the TEA Party contingent within the House GOP.

He continued:

The Republicans were willing to compromise by expanding revenue, 800 billion worth, but that wasn't enough for the Dems, and is too much for the TEA Party.

What we have here are two opposed sides ON PRINCIPLE. (Old Yiddish saying: "Corrupt officials can be bribed into doing the right thing, but men of principle are much more expensive.")

To the Socialists, the high-earners are anathema. They contradict the very foundation of Marxism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. They get paid more than (the Marxists think that) they need.

To the Republicans, high-earners provide the life-blood and impetus of life's flows, without their spark of energy, the society would fail and wither. Everyone else (and that includes you and me) are hangers on, who should just shut up and follow, unless we want to become entrepreneurs and get some skin in the game. This is best represented by the works of Ayn Rand.

I had to agree with his comment that “[w]hat we have here are two opposed sides ON PRINCIPLE.” But my main point is that:

All that you say is true. BUT, sometimes it is necessary to make some concessions even from one's principles. The socialistic Democrats control the White House and (except for the filibuster rule) the Senate. The Republicans control the House. Nothing can be done at all unless all three can find agreement — the Madisonian principle enshrined in the Constitution. If neither one gives an inch, a result occurs that neither side wants to happen — it's like Prisoner's Dilemma: you have to make what seems to be the worse choice, or the net result is the worst possible alternative.

I'm willing to say as much publicly, and so this post.

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