Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

04 October 2013

A Democrat Wants to Know, Sort Of

A young Democrat of my acquaintance, who was educated as an engineer at Georgia Institute of Technology and has a Wharton School of Business MBA, sent me the following note:
Again the GOP strikes with the Govt shutdown. It all stinks of politics, and the unfortunately for the GOP, they are not very likeable right now, so the American people don't buy what they are selling. How childish was Cruz the other day?? If every politician threw a tantrum every time they didn't get what they wanted or believed in, where would we as a country be? 

Simple questions. Why is there no leadership in the GOP? Why is the Tea Party effectively blocking the everything? This GOP is frankly a shitshow (excuse my french), and there is no site in end. It is a shame, I am starting to think that an independent may have just as good a chance as the GOP in the next presidential elections, because almost everyone there is either useless, or has to flip flop numerous times just to get the party nomination (a la Romney - a good candidate). I know how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, but I don't think it is a bad idea to ask people to chip in when it is health related. America needs to go away from the "every man for himself" motto when it comes to basic fundamentals like health. The Affordable Care Act does not make America a socialist country.
Now despite this thinking, this young man is of considerable importance to me.  As a consequence, I have had several discussions with him, though as is usually the case when talking to a Democrat, there has been no change of his opinions despite my sterling reason!  There is always the sense that a Democrat simply lives in a different universe and all the laws of physics and economics are different there and they cannot imagine what those laws are on Earth.

Here is my reply:

When government spends 24 to 25% of the entire GDP and has a couple of hundred thousand pages of regulations that impose restrictions on the actions of individuals and many cost and time requirements on individuals in addition to its actual spending, then passions will run high on political issues.  And contrary to the pretense of those who believe wholeheartedly in Big Government, government is all about the use of force.  With our democratic pretense, we suppose that 50.1% of the voters have the right to use that force to make 49.9% do anything they please.  This is not the case.  It does make every government act of the legislature and of the President a matter of politics.

The purpose of legitimate government is to protect the rights of the individual.  These rights are very broad with respect to freedom of conscience, freedom of association, and the freedom to take all actions which support your own life and happiness without the use of force against others.  Those broad freedoms are only partially spelled out as a few particulars in the Bill of Rights.  The 9th Amendment which might protect the full scope of our individual rights is ignored and this is not surprising because too few people have thought out the complete scope of our individual rights.
 
The Constitution listed the few powers of the government and the list was short.  Had the government and many special interests not long fought to ignore the limits of that list, most individual rights would not be violated by the government.  In fact, many of the Framers of the Constitution made this very argument against a Bill of Rights, noting that a Bill of Rights would be too narrow a protection and just protect a portion of one's individual rights.  They argued that this would be taken as a reason to say the government can do anything to anyone which is not then denied by the Bill of Rights.  This is what has happened and then some.  Now even rights explicit in the Bill of Rights are violated, such as Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to Assemble, Freedom to Petition the Government, and the right to own and bear arms.

 
Let us return to the problems of unfettered democracy with a big government.  This creates a society in which on issue after issue a slim majority (in the ideal case, in actuality, special interests very often control such a government and the beliefs of the people be damned) uses force to impose their will on a minority.  The minority is enraged both by having to do something they think is wrong and by the fact that they are forced to do it by force-wielding thugs, agents of the government.  There is the wrongness of the thing itself and there is the wrongness of the force itself.

Even if you are on the majority side in many cases, you will inevitably be on the minority side many times also.  This is an awful way to live life.  It is very stressful and very confrontational.  But, it is the nature of unfettered democracy and is a substantial part of the reason such democracies soon collapse.  They destroy the society and replace a natural tendency to cooperate with one another in the private sector with a mob or gang mentality striving to control the use of government force to their advantage.  They also make laws to cover many activities they simply do not understand.  This really gums up the works by removing the specialists in the private sector from the decision process.

 

If a minority and a number of special interests combine with a socialist President, they can even impose a monster system such as ObamaCare, despite most of the People opposing it.  Most of the things that big government does have some special interest group wanting it and most of the People are actually remarkably uninformed about it.  They are also generally victims of that action and do not understand that.

Big Government is all about every faction for itself.  It is not about the welfare of the People.  That is the pretense and it is very clear these days that it is a very hollow pretense.  Contrary to your statement, the private sector is not properly characterized as "every man for himself."  The private sector is characterized by people cooperating with one another for a multitude of purposes of their own choosing and helping one another to achieve the goals that each has chosen of his own free will.  The private sector, unlike the government sector, does not live by the use of force and does not allow some to impose their will on others.  It is the government sector that refuses to allow us to work out mutually agreeable contracts and associations with others in many, many ways.  The government limits our activities mostly in interactions with others and thereby forces us to go it alone in many cases where we would have sought out a mutually beneficial cooperative enterprise with others.

Such effects are very clear with such laws as the Minimum Wage Law.  If I wish to hire an under-educated and inexperienced young person and he wishes to take the job I may be able to give him, we are not allowed to negotiate any wage lower than the minimum wage.  I never get to evaluate his work ethic and ability to do productive work and he never gets to prove he can do the job and move on to a higher pay grade.  I have to go it without his potentially good production and he gets to turn to a life of crime.

Or take the fact that ObamaCare is forcing employers to stop hiring before they grow to 50 employees and it pushes them to reduce the hours worked in a week to fewer than 30 hours.  In effect, ObamaCare is forcing the employer to go it alone.  His ability to cooperate with others for their mutual benefit is restricted.  Then there are many, many medical providers who are now being laid off because their employers cannot make enough money to survive under ObamaCare.  Once again, Big Government is making people go it alone.

You say you do not think it is a bad idea to ask people to chip in to provide health care to others.  I do not much care whether you ask them to do so or not.  Go ahead and ask all you want, provided you are not being terribly dishonest and are not actually using force to make them contribute their hard-earned income to provide for the health of others.  But you are being dishonest here.  There is nothing that gives you the right to make others do this.  This is nothing but your particular wish.  Unfortunately, others wish that everyone had the same income.  Others wish that everyone has a nice home.  Others want everyone to eat well.  There is no end to what people wish with respect to others.  Imagine how awful a society would be if everyone got to use force to make everyone else live according to their wishes.

By and large, the Republican Party is for a slightly smaller government than is the Democrat Party.  To have a slightly smaller Big Government, such a party will often say no to the Party that is constantly proposing a new government program.  Some of the People actually want a substantially smaller government.  Many of these people are in the Tea Party movement, which I associate with myself.  They generally are Republicans, though not very happy Republicans.  Some are in the Libertarian Party.  But, naturally they are not going to join the party most enthusiastic about Big Government.  So, they have become a fractious element in the Republican Party.  They want that party to stand up for something closer to a constitutional government.  Naturally, they are opposed to most programs that would make the government still bigger and still more intrusive in our lives.

You bemoan the lack of Republican leaders holding the membership in an iron grip of control.  Well, what do you really expect of people who want to manage their own lives and choose their own values.  Those who want government to do this for them are naturally inclined to follow leaders.  Those who like to think independently and control their own decisions in life do not naturally turn to a leader to tell them what to do.  Traditionally, Americans never did, but after 100 years of growing Progressive Elitist effort and influence in the government-run or bribed schools, there are many people now well-conditioned to do as they are told.  I am of the old school and never allowed myself to be so conditioned.

The iron grip of control of the Democrat Party line is actually very exposed as it forces them to maintain beliefs obviously contrary to reality.  They still maintain that Americans will have better healthcare under ObamaCare at a lower cost and that enough medical care providers will be available.  This is clearly not going to be the case.  Many employers are dropping health insurance plans, many people will find that their doctor is no longer available, most people will find their costs will go up and that much of the cost provides them with care they do not want.  Many young people especially will not be able to get jobs because they would cost the employer more under ObamaCare than they used to.  It used to be that if you hired a young person, the average age in your insurance pool dropped so your health insurance cost went down and gave you some incentive to train the young hire.  Now you add a young person and his affordable plan cost at 9.5% of his pay is likely to force the company to reduce the coverage offered to its longer time employees to keep the young hire's health insurance below 9.5% or cost you a $3000 penalty tax.  Or you do not hire the young person.  It is so simple.  More and more Americans are realizing how ridiculous the Democrat Party claims are and the lock-step adherence to the party line will be deadly to the Democrats.

Another clear example of the inability of the Democrats to think rationally and independently is the adherence to the claim that man's emissions of CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming.  After 17 years of no surface temperature increase and rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, this claim has become entirely laughable.  Yet Obama just recently made the claim that 97% of scientists support the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis, which is also a very untrue statement.  So his EPA is putting out a new regulation to keep anyone from building a coal-fired power plant and he still has not approved the Keystone XL Pipeline using this specious argument as the justification.  It is imposing many uneconomic mandates such as for the use of ethanol in gasoline, an increase in vehicle gasoline efficiency, electric vehicle programs, and programs pushing solar and wind energy generation that are very much hurting the economy and helping to raise the unemployment rate.  Despite these obvious deleterious effects, few Democrats have departed from the party line.

No X, I prefer to think for myself and be a member of the Republican Party that at least sometimes acts to slow down or stop the growth of society-destroying government.  I will remain in the libertarian and the Tea Party wing which is most determined to keep the iron hob-nailed boot of government off of our necks.  However many people want to be dependents of the government, I will not be one who wants that.  I want to be left alone by gangs of thugs to establish my own cooperative agreements with others to work toward our mutually chosen goals.  It really matters to me both that I am able to pursue my goals and that they are able to pursue theirs.

Please give what I am saying some real thought X.

1 comment:

Harry Dale Huffman said...

It's not my business to critique your answer to the young man, but I was struck upon reading it that it took me a while to get into it. I liked the last 9 paragraphs in the above, and didn't "like" the first 6 paragraphs (in quotes, because they just didn't seem hard-hitting enough, to me, on the all-important first reading).

So I'm going to split the difference between butting in and not, and suggest just changing the first paragraph around a little. I would start with the hardest-hitting sentence, and go on from there, then go back and pick up your first sentence:

"Contrary to the pretense of those who believe wholeheartedly in Big Government, government is all about the use of force. With our democratic pretense, we [note: shouldn't this be "you", and all the Democrats now?] suppose that 50.1% of the voters have the right to use that force to make 49.9% do anything they please. This is not the case. It does make every government act of the legislature and of the President a matter of politics. And when government spends 24 to 25% of the entire GDP and has a couple of hundred thousand pages of regulations that impose restrictions on the actions of individuals and many cost and time requirements on individuals in addition to its actual spending, then passions will run high on political issues."

But I think we both have seen enough in the hard-headedness of those I call the Insane Left (you might tell your young friend that I am an independent, not a Republican, a dispassionate, truthseeking scientist by education and lifelong experience, and live outside of the cloistered halls of consensus science and consensus two-party politics) that "if only we communicate better maybe they will understand" is a vain hope. When I say insane, I mean just that, about those who would use force against our inalienable individual rights. For your young correspondent, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and say he has only bought into the insanity, and he is only deluded. But the difference is a thin line, and really I think he has already crossed it, from delusion into full insanity, with his statement above. I can only let such people know I know they are crazy, and why, and that I will not accept their passive-aggressive demands, even though (and especially as) they are touted as well-reasoned and compassionate governmental benevolence (which is a lie, not merely a naive good intention). I will be America in my heart alone, if need be, and he can watch, as contented perhaps as a cow on a grassy hillside--or a young Brown Shirt in Nazi Germany--as his government squeezes me out of existence.