Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Is the European Union "the new Soviet Union"? To answer that dumb question in one word, no and to expand its not "the new Soviet Union" but a collection of Socialist Democracy's of republics and a few monarchy's. As well as what I would call a few Conservative Democracy's like in perhaps Italy. Where religion has a bit more influence in lawmaking. The European Union is essentially the United Nations but of Europe, Western Europe mostly. Made up of anglo, nordic, and mediterranean caucasian countries. But its a hell of a lot better run then the UN and a hell of a lot more then a "Debating Society" like the UN. And very capable of taking strong stances and acting as we've seen in Libya. Where a lot of that operation as been Euro Led and not American Led. They have their own currency, Foreign Policy or at least a Coordinator for that, as well as a Law Enforcement Agency. An Executive, a Legislative, Judicial and is moving towards a United Defense Policy as well. And looks a hell of a lot not just like a country but a large Developed Country. The Soviet Union was physically the largest Communist Republic the World has ever seen and the second most populated Communist Republic the World has ever seen. So in Europe, you have Socialist Democracy's and in Russia then at least you had Communism. Two very different Political Ideology's, one centered on Freedom and Collectivism in Europe. And in Russia at least during the Soviet Union era, you had this very large Authoritarian Republic where freedom was very limited if any. Very little if any Economic or Social Freedom but where the State there was at least able to produce a certain amount of Public Services. Like in education and employment. But where they struggled very badly in other areas, like shortages of food to use as an example. Russia being then and now the most or second most Naturally Resourced Nation in the World and they couldn't produce enough food for its people.
The European Union really needs to consider this and I believe they are already are, which is unification of 25-30 States. They would be a very powerful country, with an economy approaching 20T$ and Living Standards that are very similar to the United States. They would be a republic of 400M people or so with also a lot of land, about half the size of Mainland America. United they would have tremendous Economic as well as Diplomatic and Defense Power. Because of its size and population as well as its money where they would have plenty of it. Issues that they would have to resolve would get to language, most of this union already speaks english at least as a second language. So they could have that as their National Language, with each State being able to operate in their Native Tongue. And also how much power would the Federal Government have, because their State would have all been former nations. But this would be a very powerful force for Democracy in the World that would challenge the United States.
The European Union is an organizations of democracy's, you have to be a democracy with an excellent Human Right Record to get in. Which is why Turkey, Ukraine and Russia have all been left out. The Soviet Union was the most powerful Communist Republic the World has ever seen. They have very little if anything in common.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Does government have a role in Welfare Insurance at all, whether its at the Federal, State or Local Levels. Libertarians other then Gary Johnson who's a Presidential Candidate in the Republican Party and former Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003. Is the only libertarian that I know of who believes government has a role in Welfare Insurance. But also has a different approach in how we would administer it, by taking all of the Federal Welfare Insurance Programs. And Block Granting them to State and Local Governments to run with the resources to run them. Liberals, conservatives, socialists of course, believe that government does have a role in Welfare Insurance. But differ on how they believe it should governed and by who. Liberals such as myself as well as conservatives to a certain extent, believe that government should use Welfare Insurance to empower the Less Fortunate. To become Self Sufficient so they can take care of themselves and this gets to education, Job Training, Job Placement and short term Financial Assistance to tie these people over. While they are getting the skills that they need in order to take care of themselves. Socialists of course believe that government especially the Federal Government, should take care of the Less Fortunate indefinitely. With not much if anything in return from them that they should be able to live off of Tax Payers indefinitely. If you believe that the job of government is to look after not to take care but to see that their people are doing okay. Whether that gets to National Security, Law Enforcement, Disaster Relief to use as examples. Then you probably believe that government has a role in Welfare Insurance as well, at least to the extent to tie people over while they get themselves on their feet. And that government should tax the people who are Self Sufficient and can take care of themselves. At a reasonable rate so they don't get hit by over taxation, to help the Less Fortunate get on their feet. Because thats where government gets the money to run its operations through taxation.
Again I support the idea of Welfare Insurance but again I'm a liberal and I believe this assistance should yes be used to help tie these people over. While they are getting themselves on their feet but to also help get themselves on their feet and also be temporary. I don't believe people who are both physically and ,mentally healthy, should be able to live off of people who take care of themselves. Just because they haven't gotten themselves the skills that they need in order to support themselves. That these people instead should be empowered to get the skills that they need in order to take care of themselves and become Self Sufficient. And paying into Public Assistance instead of collecting it.
Welfare Insurance should be temporary, targeted and designed to help people get on their feet who don't have the skills to take care of themselves. It shouldn't subsidized bad behavior, if people want to do dangerous things, then they should do it at their own expense. Not at Tax Payers expense.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Maybe its just me but I seriously doubt it but when Law Enforcement Officers like this gentlemen in this video. Says that the War on Drugs in America has failed, I believe we should listen to them. On why they believe the War on Drugs in America has failed and see if they have suggestions on where to go from there. I'm not saying that we should go from a Drug Policy that prohibits narcotics like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and meth. To a Drug Policy that decriminalizes all of those narcotics without any regulation or taxation. But I am in favor of Decriminalization of Marijuana and regulating and taxing it like alcohol and tobacco. 21 or over to use, posses, sell and license to sell marijuana as well. With steep fines and even jail time if necessary for people who break these Drug Laws, similar to alcohol and tobacco. Why you might ask, because if you look at marijuana, its about as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco. Perhaps a little less or more and we arrest and send people to prison for not only what they do to themselves. Which seems crazy to me but for doing something to themselves thats about as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco. And we have all of these people in jail and prison today and have a Prison Inmate Population of over 2M people in America. The largest Inmate Population in the World, with the third largest overall population in the World behind China and India. Where they both have over four times as many people as we do, where a lot of our offenders are in prison for marijuana use and possession. Where also by the way a lot of people who use marijuana in America have never been to jail for anything, explain that one. Marijuana is illegal in America and we have all of these Drug Offenders who are in prison, who aren't a threat to anyone taking up valuable and short prison space. That should instead be occupied by actual dangerous criminals.
Like I said I'm for decriminalizing all narcotics, I would stop at marijuana and anyone who said if you start with one drug. That would lead to others, should just look at the Decriminalization of Alcohol in the 1930s and you'll see no other narcotics have been decriminalized since. America has more sense then to end one bad Drug Policy of complete prohibition and replace with a Wild West Drug Policy without any rules. Decriminalization of Marijuana but stop there because if we did the same thing with meth, cocaine and heroin. We would have serious Health Costs that would come with it, with the increase visits to the Emergency Room. Because of all of the overdose's and people dying right away. Things that do not happen with marijuana use and we would see non heroin, cocaine and meth addicts paying for the Health Care Costs of the people who use these drugs. Because a lot of these users wouldn't be able to afford the costs that comes with their addiction. But then get our Drug Offenders the users out of prison, the ones with clean Prison Records. And get them in Drug Rehab instead where they would pay for their Drug Rehab and stop sending heroin, cocaine and meth users to prison. But to Drug Rehab and Halfway Houses again where they would pay for their stays.
Again like anything if people want to do something bad enough, they'll find a way to do it and they'll screw off the consequences for a short term pleasure. Knowing this what we should be doing is stop sending people to prison for using something thats no more dangerous then alcohol and tobacco. And teach the other drug users why what they are doing is wrong, so they don't do it again and can move on with their lives. If you just send them to jail or prison, then they'll remain addicts there and when they get out.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I'm for all sorts of Freedom of Choice in Education as well as a lot of other areas that I've blogged about as well. But I'm also for a couple of other things as well, as a liberal who believes in Limited Government. Which are States Rights as long as States live within the US Constitution as well as their own Constitution. And Local Control again as long as cities and county's live within the US Constitution and their own Constitution. I don't support Private School Vouchers on principle because I believe Tax Revenue for Education should be used to fiance Public Schools. But If States and Local Governments want to have Private School Choice as part of their Education Choice, then thats their right and they should finance that on their own. Washington is a big city of over 600K people and their population is rising after decades of losing people to its suburbs. They are also one of the wealthiest cities in the Union, Top 3 if not the wealthiest city in the nation. Other big cities like Chicago and Detroit, Philadelphia would love to have the Financial Resources that Washington has. If Washington wants to have a Private School Choice program, then thats their right as a city. But it shouldn't be forced on them by the Federal Government or anyone else. Washington does have one of the worst Public Education Systems in America at least amongst big cities. And they have been working to improve their PES over the last few years and have the responsibility to reform their own PES. And the Federal Government shouldn't be down their backs forcing reforms on them as long as Washington is operating within the US Constitution as well as their own Constitution. What the Federal Government can do for Washington is to work with them to reform their PES but not force it on them. Just like they would work with any other City or State to reform its Public Education System. Anyone who truly believes in Limited Government, doesn't want Uncle Sam to dictate how States and Cities run their Public Education Systems.
What the Federal Government can do is encourage States and Cities to reform their Public Education Systems not dictate how they do that. And they can do this by encouraging as well as supporting including with resources. Things like Public School Choice so parents can send their kids to the best school thats for them. Rather then sending them to the closest school thats to them physically. As well as eliminating Teacher Tenure and judging educators based on how well they do their job. Instead of how long they've been doing their job. Merit Pay, paying good teachers more, Low Performing teachers less. Retraining or Laying Off Low Performing teachers, encouraging well qualified New Educators to teach in under served areas and paying them more if they do that. More money for School Construction and Renovation. And if Private Schools as well as States and Cities want to have their own Private School Scholarship program, then of course they can do that themselves.
So called "conservatives" for eighty years or more have been arguing for States Rights and Local Control. Except of course for the City of Washington and of course as long as they are doing things that they support. But if a State were to Decriminalize Marijuana or Legalize Gay Marriage. Then of course they believe the Federal Government should step in to stop that. For States Rights and Local Control to be anything then other clever terms. Then they have to have meaning and be enforceable.
Sweden may be the most successful Socialist Democracy in the World, Democratic Socialism is the type of economy and government that they have. Their economy is mix between private and public, with a large Private Sector and Private Company's with a huge Public Sector. At least by American Standards, with a large Welfare State to provide a lot of services for their people. Health Care, Health Insurance, Education , Pensions, Transportation etc. Their Living Standards are very good and matchup pretty well with America. This is not the type of Governmental System that I would like to see in America. Sweden is a large country physically like Libya, bigger then Afghanistan actually but with only 9M people. Compared with Afghanistan roughly 27M people also similar to Libya, a lot of land but lightly populated. Sweden would be like New Jersey in population. So the Swedish System wouldn't work here I believe nor would americans who tend to love their freedom and government not interfering with that. Would never vote people into power, give them the White House and Congress, who would try to turn America into Sweden. Maryland where I live and from is one of the highest taxed States in America, we have roughly 6M people. Where the State Government provides a lot of services or spends a lot of money on the services they provide. We I believe are also the wealthiest State in the Union at least from a Per Capita standpoint. But America as a whole is a very low taxed country compared with our competitors. You don't see every other State in the Union trying to design their government around Maryland a State that I love and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Marylanders put up with the High Taxes because of what they get in return, a great Public Education System, roads, colleges, economy, recreation, parks scenery etc. But Texas which is also a very wealthy State but also a very Low Taxed State especially compared with Maryland. California might be the Highest Taxed State in the Union and not even californians would say their government is too efficient. Look at their debt and deficit to use as examples.
Democratic Socialists in America love to point to Sweden as its model, their Socialist Utopia and use them as their reference to try to convince americans that we should be more like Sweden. You can't really compare the economy's and countries, both countries deal with different populations and issues. For example Sweden doesn't have to deal with 1M new immigrants every year like America has to and wouldn't be able to deal with them if they had to. What works in Sweden, works very well in Sweden and Denmark, Britain and France. But these countries including Sweden, are already in the process of reexamining their Welfare States. And looking for ways to make them more cheaper and more efficient. Something America needs to do as well.
Sweden is a beautiful country that I would love to visit at some point and see, especially their women and eat their food. Well do these things in the summer, assuming they have one. Their winters are brutal but its not a model for what would work in America, what works in America is what we used to do as a country. And is something we need to get back to.
Friday, August 26, 2011
The problem with our debt and deficit, is a bad economy and the fact that our Federal Government does too much as far as I'm concern. We are over committed at home and abroad. And we have people collecting Social Insurance for too long, Unemployment and Welfare Insurance being pretty good examples of this. And I would add Public Housing and Grocery Assistance to that list, with these people collecting this assistance for too long as far as I'm concern. When we should be trying to move these people to become Self Sufficient instead. Which would save the Federal Government a lot of money right there alone, because instead of people collecting from these Social Insurance Programs. They would be paying into them instead saving people who are Self Sufficient a lot of money. We also don't educate our students well enough while they are still minors and they end up not getting a good enough education to to go to a good college. To get the skills that they need to be successful in life and thats just assuming they bother to finish High School. And they end up in prison or on Public Assistance because they don't have enough skills that they need to take care of themselves as adults. And if we just educated our students while they are young well and this is why Public Education Reform is so important in America. Then these people wouldn't end up on Public Assistance as adults. Which would save the Federal Government a lot of money in the future, because these people wouldn't need Public Assistance at all. Because they would have the skills that they need in order to take care of themselves as adults and be Self Sufficient. So what we need to do is the Federal Government get its debt and deficit under control in the short term and we won't be able to do that without a strong economy. But we need to cut back what the Federal Government is currently doing and get it to a manageable size and then reform it in the future. So its doing and less and doing better at what its need to do for the country.
They way I would reform the Federal Government for the future is in the areas of National Defense and Social Insurance to start with. Bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, keep them out of other countries as well. By not committing anywhere thats not in our National Interest, no Ground Troops in Libya and Syria to use as examples. And then bring our troops home from Developed Nations that we care currently defending as well. Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea and demand that these Developed Nations defend themselves. Convert NATO into the European Defense Alliance or something. And then reform our Social Insurance Programs for the short term and long term. Fix the financing in all of them to save them and then provide the Social Insurance Programs that don't have their own Revenue Sources with their own revenue. Welfare Insurance, Grocery Assistance, Disaster Relief, Medicaid to use as examples. And then get them off of the Federal and State Budgets. And convert them into Semi Private, Non Profit, Independent Community Services to serve the Less Fortunate that would have to serve anyone thats eligible for them.
We have two duel threats to our economy and Financial System, a bad economy with not enough Economic Growth and not enough people working. And then a debt and deficit issue where we are borrowing too much money, spending too much money and are overcommitted at home and abroad. And we have to address these issues.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Is Sen. Rand Paul a radical sure, especially in today's Republican Party thats dominated by Christian Theocrats and Neoconservatives. And with elements of the Tea Party now forming a coalition with the Religious Right. But back in the day the Republican Party was dominated by Classical Conservatives and even libertarians to a certain extent. Which is where Rand Paul is on the Political Spectrum, I don't agree with him as a liberal on Civil Rights at least on the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Federal Government does have a role in seeing that the Equal Protection Clause which is part of the US Constitution. Should be enforced for all americans not just the special few. But if you look at Rand Paul's views on cutting the Federal Debt and Deficit, bringing American Troops home from Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Korea. He's not a radical and fits in the American Mainstream in American Politics and has reasonable positions of reforming the American Welfare State as well. Reforming it so its there for people who need it not for the people who don't. Or providing our Welfare State with Private Competition or repealing or reforming the Patriot Act. He's in the American Mainstream on these issues and fits in well with the Republican Party today at least on Fiscal Policy. As well as being Pro Life on abortion, its his positions of Foreign Policy, National Security and some Social Issues. That makes him a radical in the Republican Party but the GOP used to be where he is now and was a mainstream party. That was Classical Conservative and based on the US Constitution and Individual Freedom. Not telling Free People how to live their own lives or invading Foreign Countries because you don't like the government there and want to replace it. Which is kind of where the GOP is today.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
|Source: Gary Johnson 2012-|
Anyone who believes the American tax system is a sound efficient system, has never had to fill out their taxes in America and pay American taxes. We subsidize things that aren't productive, we subsidize things that are doing very well and don't need subsidy's. We have so many tax loopholes that some people end up paying such a low effective tax rate. That they end up paying lower percentage of their income in taxes. Than people making a lot less money than them.
So we end up having higher tax rates then we would have to have otherwise to fund our Federal Government. To make up the difference in lost tax revenue from the people who would otherwise be paying higher taxes. But can afford to hire a smart accountant to get them off in paying those higher taxes than they would otherwise have to pay. Because of all of the tax loopholes in our tax system. I'm not arguing for high taxes on anyone in America because I don't believe in that, but what I am arguing is for system that eliminates most if not all of our tax loopholes. And then in exchange we could bring down our overall tax rates on everyone.
But where no one would be able to escape what they owe in taxes because we would eliminate most if not all of our tax loopholes. We need to develop a tax system like this in the short-term to help get our debt and deficit under control. But also in the long-term for our economy, to encourage more private investment in America that we need. For economic and job growth and also so we have a tax system that most of the country if not all of it that has to deal with our tax system. Including the people who write our tax laws, which is Congress and the people who have to enforce them the Administration, can understand.
Before we reform our tax system we should reform our Federal Government to make it smaller and more efficient and where one program is no longer wasting 100B$ a year with your money. Once we do that, than our Federal budget would be much smaller and we could afford to eliminate most of these tax deductions. As well as lower our tax rates, because our Federal Government wouldn't need as much tax revenue to fund themselves. And this starts in national defense by bringing our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in developed nations like Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea.
But also reforming our social insurance programs, our entitlements programs, but also our anti-poverty programs. To make them more cost-effective. And I would do this by reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. So they are saved going forward, but also reforming our other social insurance programs like Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Agriculture Insurance, Disaster Insurance, etc. By giving all of them their own funding source and then taking them off of the Federal budget all together as well as state budgets. And turning them into independent state-run, instead of Federally-run government services. That would be regulated to the extent that they would have to serve anyone whose qualified, but would operate on their own.
Once the Federal Government is reformed, then we could move to permanent tax reform that's based on consumption rather than on income. Both private and public consumption pay for the private and public services, that you use by when you use them and then paying a tax on them. Paying taxes when you by a car or a home to use as examples. And then having a consumption tax that's based on how much you spend not how much you make. So grocery's would be taxed lower than luxury cars to use as an example. But also pay for the public services you use when you use them by paying a fee for when you use them.
Like the Border Control would be financed by the people who leave and enter the country. People who travel would pay for the Transportation Security Administration with a fee on their ticket, to use as examples. And the consumption tax wouldn't replace the payroll taxes, just the income tax. Tax Reform as well as government reform, is essential if we want to have a strong economy in the future, want to get our debt and deficit under control. And want to have a cost-effective and efficient Federal Government going forward in the future to make us more competitive with our foreign competitors.
To the non Political Junkies who aren't that interested in either Politics or Current Affairs. Who seem weird to Political Junkies like me, just as weird as we seem to non Political Junkies. These terms seen strange or unnecessary to them but perhaps terms like democrat and republican seem strange to them as well and perhaps unnecessary to them as well. But these terms are actually important especially when its time to vote. Because probably everyone if not very close to everyone who votes, has some idea where they are politically. And want to vote for the Political Candidates that best represent their politics. And thats where these terms are useful to give people an idea who understand these terms. Where these politicians are politically and who they should vote for. In the past are Political Spectrum where you find all of these labels on them. It was fairly easy to decide where people or at least the two main parties were politically. With the Democratic Party as they still do today, representing the official Liberal Party in America. The Left of Center Party in America, with liberals being in charged of that party. With the Republican Party as they still do to a certain extent but not as much today, with the rise of Religious Conservatism and Neoconservatism taking a much larger role in that party and in their Leadership. Representing the official Conservative Party in America, the official Right of Center Party in America.
But with the rise of Democratic Socialism and I'll explain that later, in the Democratic Party with socialists becoming more vocal and organized in the Democratic Party. You can no longer call the Democratic Party just a Liberal Party. Its always had more liberals then anyone else in the party, just look at its Leadership today and in the past. But up until 20-30 years ago, the Democratic Party was made up of liberals, Moderate Liberals, socialists and even conservatives. Neoconservatives consider former Democratic Member of Congress Henry Scoop Jackson as the Father of their Movement. And with the rise of both Christian Conservatism and Neoconservatism in the Republican Party. The Republican Party that was once dominated by Classical Conservatives, the Barry Goldwater's, Everett Dirkson's, Ron Reagan's, Bill Buckley's of the World. Is no longer a Classical Conservative Party, they now have three competing Political Factions in it. Classical Conservatives, Neoconservatives and Christian Theocrats.
Because libertarians and Democratic Socialists have never had a major Political Party of their own, which I believe they should have. Especially in a country of 310M people, they've had to merge with the Democratic and Republican Parties in order to have a major voice in a major Political Party. Which can make it difficult for voters who again aren't Political Junkies but are interested in Current Affairs enough to bother to vote. And when they look at these Political Candidates, they have to try to figure out are these candidates, liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist or centrist. And if they are centrist are they left of center or right of center.
If I were to help voters decide this for themselves, I would say liberals and conservatives both base their politics on the US Constitution and Individual Freedom. With liberals believing that government can play a role in helping people help themselves and with conservatives taking more of a Free Market approach. Same thing with libertarians but they want government out of the economy all together. And with socialists wanting government especially the Federal Government playing a big role in providing services for the country through a Welfare State financed through High Taxes. And then base your vote on where you are politically and who would best represent you in the office they are seeking.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
|Source: Fox Mulder-|
Was FDR's New Deal the birth of libertarianism in America? Probably not because the U.S. Constitution was written by Conservative Libertarians and Liberals in the 1770's. But what the New Deal did for the libertarian Movement, did was help to organize it along with LBJ Great Society in the 1960s. Plus the rise of the Christian-Right in the Republican Party in the late 1970s, as well as neoconservatism. Had the Christian-Right and neoconservatism, not risen in the Republican Party, you could make a pretty good case that the Libertarian Party doesn't come about in the early 1970s. And the Republican Party would be made up of Libertarians and Conservative Libertarians today. And the Republican Party might be an overwhelmingly majority party in the Federal Government today. With the White House and large majority's in both chambers of Congress as well.
Its the birth of safety net in America that didn't give libertarianism its birth in America but rose it up. And Americans started to say what's going on here, the Federal Government all the sudden has gotten real big. Their taxes no matter the income level, have gone way up from what they used to be. And Libertarians started to get the idea that now that America has this safety net. Where in it in the U.S. Constitution is the authority for the Federal Government to be doing all of these things. The libertarian movement should thank Franklin Rossevelt and Lyndon Johnson, as well as the Religious- Right, for the fact that they even have a movement today.
I'm not just talking about the Libertarian Party which unfortunately for Libertarians, represents a small part of the libertarian movement. Libertarians in America don't have a major party that they can call their own. The one's who are still in the Republican Party, are their mostly for political convenience so they have a say in a major political party. Rather than being Republicans because they believe they fit well in that party ideologically.
I don't say this as a Libertarian because I'm not. Perhaps contrary to popular belief. I'm a Liberal and a Democrat, not a Democratic Socialist, which are two different things. I support the goals of the New Deal and Great Society, I just would've designed it better and not put all this power with the Federal Government to deal with these issues. But created these programs, give them their own financing but then make them independent and semi-private and non-profit community services. But one the things that New Deal and Great Society accomplished ironically, was it gave voice to the libertarian movement in America and put them on the map.
The Libertarian Party was born partially in response to the New Deal and Great Society. To sort of fight back against progressivism in America and give people the freedom to handle these issues on their own. Instead of empowering the Federal Government to deal with all of these issues on their own for the most part. And they wanted the Federal Government to get back to what they believe is laid out for them in the U.S. Constitution. So in a way the New Deal and the Great Society has been good for the libertarian movement in America as well as the Religious-Right. Because it gave them something to fight back against and a reason for them to have their own political party as small as it still is forty years later.
|Source: Reason Magazine-|
Anyone who believes we as a country can fix a system that we've spent 20-30 years screwing up, is screwed up themselves and perhaps a victim of our declining education system right now. We are probably ten years away and thats from the time that we actually put the education reforms in place to reform our public education system. And thats the part of the education system that needs to be reformed because thats where most of our students go to school and graduate from high school. Which is why we need to reform our public education system right away and get started as soon as possible.
Not because we can fix education right away, of course we can't but so that it will be fixed as soon as possible. And serious comprehensive education reform is not about "No Child Left Behind" a bipartisan piece of legislation with good intentions written by good people in both parties. But as the late Senator Paul Wellstone said was full of unfunded mandates that he new the Federal Government would never fully fund, leaving states and local school districts with the costs of the Federal Government's mistakes. Which is why Senator Wellstone didn't vote for NCLB back in 2002.
The Obama Administration led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, I believe has gotten off to a good start on education reform. Advocating for things like public school choice and merit pay for educators and actually taking on the Education Unions on these issues which is a major step in achieving education reform. But other than Race To The Top which was part of the 2009 Recovery Act and really didn't have to go through Congressional hearings, they haven't put anything on the table yet on education reform. And thats what needs to be done, real legislation that reforms our public education system in a positive way that builds off of Secretary Duncan's approach.
This piece is about Freedom of Choice as it relates to education for parents and students, so they aren't forced to go to a school, good or bad and in a lot of cases bad, just because of where they live. And this gets to school choice. I'm not a fan of private vouchers for private schools, because I believe that tax revenue for education should be used on public education. If private schools want to set up their own scholarship programs, then of course they can do that. If states and school districts want to set up their own scholarship programs, then of course they can do that. But this is not something especially the Federal Government shouldn't be doing and running.
Again, education is mostly a state and local responsibility, they pay for most of it and run most of it. What the Federal Government can do is to encourage states and school districts, to reform their own schools and provide the resources to do so instead of passing down more mandates. Things like public school choice, allowing parents to send their kids to the best available public school possible. As well as charter schools- independent public schools with less red tape. This is the future of education reform in America.
Education is one of the top five most important professions that we have because it affects our country and our entire economy in every way. Which is why we need to make it work as best as possible and freedom of choice and accountability, something the education profession has lacked in the past, are a couple of ways to fix it.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
If you look at the US Constitution and what its about, its a very Individualist Document designed to empower the people and limit the government. Its all about Individual Freedom and Limited Government with Check and Balances designed to make the Federal Government perform somewhat ineffective to prevent it from becoming very powerful. Unlike European Republics and Canada to a certain extent, where most of the power in the Federal Government resides with the Executive. But if you look at the US Constitution, its all about Individual Freedom and Limited Government, freedom for the people and limits on government written by libertarians and liberals. With all sorts of Individual Rights, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to practice or not to practice Religion, the Right to Bare Arms, the Right to Privacy, the Right for the people to select their Leaders, limits on the Federal Government. Its the one Political Document that liberals Classical Conservatives and libertarians all love. Where Religious Conservatives, Neoconservatives and socialists all have major issues with. Because it puts limits on what the Federal Government can do, in Religious Conservatives case, Separation of Church and State. As well as strong limits on how government can regulate how people live their lives. In Neoconservatives case limits on what the Federal Government can do enforce Law and Order and our National Security. In socialists case limits on what the Federal Government can do in the economy as well as regulating things like Hate Speech where some of them believe should be illegal.
So if your a liberal Classical Conservative or a libertarian and your in Public Office, your job is to defend the US Constitution and defend Individual Liberty. And not let any government that you work for pass any law that would restrict Individual Liberty, the ability for people to live their own lives. If your a theocrat, Neoconservative or a socialist, you really need to amend the US Constitution which is almost impossible as it was designed to be and believe correctly so. Especially in the area of Property Rights again another Individual Liberty protected by the US Constitution, in order to pass your agenda. Thats what theocrats need to do if they want to bring religion closer to government and pass Anti Pornography Laws, Anti Homosexuality Laws and any other law that would make discrimination legal in America. For Neoconservatives to make their agenda law, they basically need to pass a Constitutional Amendment to throw out the Fourth Amendment that protects our privacy as well as another Constitutional Amendment to throw our Property Rights. And if socialists want to pas their agenda, they are going to need to pass a Constitutional Amendment to limit or throw out Property Rights. If they want to pass Single Payer Health Insurance and perhaps another Constitutional Amendment to repeal the 11th Amendment that limits what the Federal Government can do. If they want to nationalize the Education System or something.
Limited Government is exactly that, limits on what government can do to prevent it from becoming too strong and to protect Individual Freedom. This is something that liberals, Classical Conservatives and libertarians all agree on and what those Political Ideology's all have in common. And the Constitution is something that tends to get in the way of theocrats, Neoconservatives and socialists when they try to pass laws.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I don't agree with Rep. Ron Paul on everything, I actually disagree with him more often then I agree with him. But I believe he's dead right on our Foreign Bases oversees, Decriminalization of Marijuana and the Patriot Act, Gay Marriage Decriminalization of Prostitution and perhaps a few others. But he's dead right on our Defense Budget, a big cause for our debt and deficit is our Defense Spending oversees and not just in Afghanistan and Iraq. But defending Developed Nations oversees and not just in Europe but in Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea. We've borrowed 3T$ to fight the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and borrowing billions of dollars in our involvement in the No Fly Zone in Libya as well. And one reason why I'm against America getting involved in Syria as well. Because that would represent more billions of dollars on our National Debt Card as well. But one of the things I'm in favor of in the Debt Deal between Congress and the White House is the Defense Cuts, perhaps as much as a Trillion Dollars over ten years. And we could cut 200B$ a year from the Defense Budget as well by closing our Foreign Bases in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea as well. And demand that these Developed Nations take a bigger role in their own National Security. Because they have the Financial Resources to do so and then we can bring those resources home and get our debt and deficit under control as well as rebuilding our own economy. If we did this we could have a Defense Budget of around 500B$ a year and 3% of GDP and still have plenty of resources to defend our country and continent well, where we don't currently have any foreign threats to us as far as a country capable of invading us and taking over America.
As far as Media Attention goes, I believe Ron Paul is doing pretty well there considering most Political Analysts republican and otherwise. Don't give him much of a chance at winning the Republican Nomination for President. After all Rep. Paul is running for President in a party thats still controlled by the Religious Right and Neoconservatives. And with elements of the Tea Party merging with the Christian Right, that just presents another obstacle for Ron Paul. Who's a libertarian running for President dominated by these Far Right factions. The idea of Rep. Paul running for President as either a Libertarian Independent or with the Libertarian Party. Is a viable option for him as I see it, because of his ability to raise money, command Media Attention and reach young libertarians. A Ron Paul Gary Johnson Ticket under these circumstances I believe would make a lot of sense. And be a big boost to the Libertarian Party if they went that route or the broader Libertarian Movement in general. But they wouldn't win the White House but would be a big boost to be able to recruit credible Libertarian Candidates in the future for President. But also for Congress, Governor and other State Offices in the future as well.
Unlike with Barack Obama who've I generally supported but have several issues with. Like on his latest position on the War Powers Act, the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs. And just some aspects of him as a politician who I believe is weak at times and not bold enough. The Debt Debate and the economy being perfect examples of this. At least with a President Ron Paul, its very likely he would take on the Defense Establishment and get our Defense Budget under a more manageable level. Unlike with President Obama who looks for the safest course possible to offend the least.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Is Ron Paul the only adult running for President in the Republican Party, to answer the question no he's not. Gary Johnson who gets almost no Media Attention is an adult with clear views and not worried about offending people when he speaks. Buddy Roemer again someone who I would describe as perhaps the only Classical Conservative running for President in the Republican Party. But again gets almost no Media Attention outside of C-Span which again is my favorite News Network. I don't say that to put Brian Lamb down but GOV Roemer is another candidate who's never afraid to speak his mind. Newt Gingrich who's looked like a disaster running for President right now but thats not because of his lack of honesty. But because of the amount of people he's offended while running for President. And the rest of the Republican Field, you have Mitt Romney who's the constant politician the only constant aspect of his campaign right now. Who if he needs your vote, has the exact same Political Positions as you do. And of course Michelle Bachmann who's a pleasure on the eyes at risk of sounding sexist. But is a real life nightmare as a Political Candidate who would put our liberty at risk with all of the new Restrictions on Freedom she would like to make law. And then there's Rick Santorum who at times I can't tell who's farther to the right, him or Bachmann. And then there's Ron Paul who I happen to disagree more then I agree with him on the issues. But as a liberal we also have several things in common. But at least you always know where is on the issues, which is saying a lot from a Public Official because our politicians don't tend to be the most honest when it comes to our professions. He knows exactly what the issues the country faces and what he would do to solve them. Whether you agree with him or not but again as a voter you at least know where he stands and then can decide for yourself whether you should vote for him or not. Instead of Mitt Romney who you might be wondering when he speaks, is he saying what you want to here. Or does he believe in what he says.
Ron Paul's 2012 Presidential Campaign reminds me a little of John McCain's 2000 Presidential Campaign not on substance. Rep. Paul is a libertarian and Sen. McCain is a conservative but their style is very similar. This is where I stand on the issues and I'll leave it up to you the voters whether I deserve your vote or not. John McCain wasn't called a "maverick" for nothing he truly was a Maverick Republican at least at one point. Before he decided to run again for President again in 2007 but the campaign he ran in 2000 I believe looks similar to Ron Paul's campaign now. America has had enough Presidential Candidates sounding like Career Politicians and I'm here running for President to tell you exactly where I am on the issues. And if this sounds like something you support, I would appreciate your support and vote. To me Ron Paul represents a breath of fresh air as a Presidential Candidate.
Ron Paul no he's not the only adult running for President but he's the most honest adult and is someone who deserves to be listen to by voters. Because you know exactly where he stands as a candidate and is running for President in a country that like Low Taxes a lot of Individual Freedom. Which is another reason why he deserves more Media Attention.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
If you look at the Downfall of the Republican Party as I would call it, I believe it started in the early 1990s as far as them losing power. With the Republican Party losing the White House in 1992, while democrats kept control of Congress as well in that election. But it started a generation before that when the Republican Party with Richard Nixon brought in the Religious Right to expand the Republican Base. So they can become competitive in the South and Rural America. And then they became very powerful in the late 1970s when they took on President Carter and the Democratic Congress. And the Anti Tax Wave that hit America in this period. That Ronald Reagan used to win the White House in 1980 and then he brought Neoconservatives on his Economic Council and National Security Council. People like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl and others. Which gave them major power in a Conservative Administration. The Republican Party brought in Neoconservatives and the Religious Conservatives in the party in the late 60s, 70s and 80s. And the Religious Right gained huge power in the mid 90s when the Republican Party won back control of both Chambers of Congress in 1994. They brought in these two Political Factions in a Classical Conservative Party that was made up of Constitutional Conservatives. That government especially the Federal Government should only have the power thats laid out for them in the US Constitution. But the problem with the Republican Party of the 1960s was that they weren't very competitive outside the Midwest and West, they weren't a true National Party. One of the reasons why democrats controlled Congress for as long as they did and also won as many Presidential Elections as they did from the 1932-76. So the Republican Party needed another block of voters to become competitive in Congress and always have a good shot at the White House. Which is how they won 5-7 Presidential Elections from 1968-92 and controlled the Senate from 1981-87 and won back control of both Chambers of Congress in 1994.
But what is Neoconservatism, its basically a Political Ideology that believes National Security is more important then Individual Freedom and the Constitution. Just look at the Patriot Act and that the United States Foreign Policy especially its military, should be used to promote democracy around the World, just look at Afghanistan and Iraq. And that government should stay out of the economy when it comes to regulating it and cut taxes and pay for things by borrowing the money. Just look at the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001-03, the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq 2001-03 and Medicare Advantage of 2003. And this Neoconservative Policy when it comes to governing finally caught up with the Neoconservative Bush Administration 2006 and 2008. When they lost control of Congress and then in 2008 when they lost the White House. Because the Bush Administration moved away from the Core Values of Classical Conservatism of Limited Government and Individual Freedom. And instead moved to make the Federal Government even more powerful then they already were.
The Republican Party needed to expand its Political Base in the 1960s which is exactly what they did in the late 60s. To make then a true major National Party. But the reason why they struggled to be relevant in this time period up until 1967 or so. Was not because of their Political Ideology of Classical Conservatism. The Barry Goldwater's, Gerry Ford's, Everett Dirkson's of the World. There problem was that they didn't reach enough like minded voters and they should've targeted libertarians instead.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I don't believe Rep. Ron Paul has a snowballs chance in Los Angeles of winning the Republican Nomination for President. The Republican Party is still dominated by the Christian Right and now they've merged with the Tea Party or parts of them have merged. And even though Neoconservatives have lost influenced in the Republican Party, just look at the vote on the Debt Deal last week where 170 House Republicans voted for 1T$ in Defense Cuts. But they still have more influence then Classical Conservatives and libertarians in the Republican Party, this is how much the Republican Party has changed in just twenty years. And Iowa being the first Republican Caucus or Primary for 2012 and where the Christian Right still runs that party. Even with how the numbers look now with Rep. Paul currently running third, unless thousands of libertarians move and get registered to vote in Iowa and with the Republican Party in the next four months. I don't see how Rep. Paul beats Mitt Romney or Rep. Michelle Bachman in that race. But New Hampshire which still has the motto of "give me liberty or give me death", is still very friendly territory for libertarians, Classical Conservatives and liberals even. The Democratic Party does very well in New Hampshire, democrats who are actual liberals and not socialists. So if Rep. Paul were to do well in Iowa finish in a competitive third and then win New Hampshire, which is definitely Romney Territory. He would still be alive but the problem would be South Carolina which probably has more Christian Conservatives then Iowa which is saying something. I believe the Road Map to be the Republican Nominee for President in 2012, is like trying to swim up Niaggra Falls. There's too many Republican Primary's thats unfriendly to Classical Conservatives and libertarians. Which will also represent a problem for Mitt Romney who's more of a moderate then anything on Social Issues which is why he's been going out of his way to prove otherwise. But if Ron Paul were to take both Iowa and New Hampshire, I think he has a good shot in New Hampshire, you never know until all the delegates are counted.
Its all about Iowa and New Hampshire for Ron Paul to have any shot in hell in my opinion of winning the Republican Nomination. But his best bet to get his Campaign Message on the American Agenda is a third party run with the Libertarian Party or running as an independent. With his ability to raise money command National Media Attention and reach out to young libertarians.
Monday, August 8, 2011
|Source: Reason Magazine- Bill Ayers-|
This idea that the Obama Administration, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wants the Federal Government to take over the public education system in America, is bogus. (To be nice)
What President Obama and Secretary Duncan want to do at the Federal level is set up a system where all public educators are judged by the job that they are doing. Not by how long they've been doing them.
Be able to pay good educators more and low-performing less or eliminate them.
Provide as much public school choice as possible including charter schools, so students aren't forced going to bad schools just because of where they live. But there parents would be able to decide for themselves where to send their kids to school.
And the President and the Department of Education wants to help (not force States and Localities) set up this type of education system along with what they are already doing in education reform.
Not even Republicans in Congress or Republican presidential candidates, are arguing that the U.S. Education Department wants to take over public education in America. No serious person on education reform believes that. That would be a 2T$ monster that you would be leaving the Federal Government in charge of of public education. And we all know the Federal Government doesn't have a good record in managing large budgets, just look at their own. This country is just too damn big for that, 310M people spread out over 3000 miles long and that just Mainland America and 2000 miles wide. What the Education Department wants to do is set up a system of choice and teacher standards. Where teachers are not only qualified to teach the subjects they teach but are required to do a good job teaching them in order to keep their jobs. But they wouldn't be fired, hired, demoted or promoted by USED. Local government's would still do that.
The Education Department would just like to see a education system like this in place. What they want to do is build on what No Child Left Behind attempted to do back in 2002, but with less regulations and mandates and more resources and a broader vision of education reform. Education reform shouldn't be about mandates, regulations and control especially not Federal control. But it should be about choice, merit pay and making sure that all of our public schools have enough resources to do a good job instead of getting resources whether they have enough or not based on the community where they are in. With wealthy and middle class communities have plenty and low- income communities barely survive. Every President has their own owns ideas when it comes to education reform and send them to Congress, as well as the states and localities. Doesn't mean they want to force everyone to run education based on what they think should be done. But instead give school districts and states more option and resources to educate their students. President Obama is no different.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
My main problem with "Do Gooders" is that they take other peoples money to give to the Less Fortunate. Don't worry your problems are now over, we'll take care of you. Your problems are over, instead of telling the people look we know your doing well and making a good living and are Self Reliant. But we have this small population that just isn't for whatever reasons and actually we won't just take money from people who are doing well. But for people as well who aren't doing badly and can take care of themselves but perhaps without many resources to spare and have their own issues. And they take this money to give to the Less Fortunate in hopes that it will take care of them. Making them dependent on Public Assistance, by the way the Less Fortunate are still Less Fortunate after they are on Public Assistance and I'll get to that a little later. And instead of using this money to empower these people to get on their feet and be able to take care of themselves. They leave them in their current situation, where they remain poor with a little Tax Payer funded Public Assistance to help them take care of themselves. Which only makes then a little worse off but still worse off and thats the whole problem with the "Do Gooder" approach to Public Assistance. Just look at the New Deal Legislation from the 1930s and the Great Society Legislation of the 1960s. And then look at the Poverty Rates of those era's and then look at them today, by the way you should also look at the approach to Public Assistance of the 1990s. Which I'll get to later which is different from the traditional approach and you'll see a huge positive difference. And the "Cycle of Poverty" or Culture of Dependence" just continues, because people on Public Assistance continue to have family's and expanding their family's. But their economic situation hasn't changed yet and their kids and then later their grandkids grow up under the same poor circumstances as their parents and grandparents. And have the same future ahead of them, because no one took the time to figure out why they are poor in the first place and tried to help them get on their feet.
Look I'm not a libertarian, I don't know who spread that rumor around its simply not true. I'm a liberal and proud of it but I'm not a socialist in any form either. I do believe government does have a role in helping people in poverty and can be effective at it as well. Because of the fact that the Federal Government represents the whole country and is responsible for looking after the well being of the country. State Governments have the same responsibility for their States and Local Governments have the same responsibility for their City or County. Thats why we have a military and Law Enforcement to use as examples. But government also has a responsibility to spend Tax Payer funds effectively and not waste it. And Tax Payers have a right to know how their money was spent and how much of it was spent. Its their money after all, so when it comes to Public Assistance for the Less Fortunate. We should be helping people in a way so they are no longer Less Fortunate and become Self Sufficient. And we have experience with this with the 1996 Welfare to Work Reform. That empower people on Welfare Insurance to go to school to get the skills that they need to get a good job. And then help them find a job and this is what we should always be doing when it comes to Public Assistance.
Click on the link of the blog to see Libertarian Economist Milton Friedman on "Do Gooders"
If you believe in the notion that all people are to be treated equally under law under under the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution. Then great I'm with you we should never as a society treat people by anything other then their character and their merit. When it comes to employment, education, housing etc. If you believe in Dr Martin Luther King's I have a Dream Speech, that he has a dream that one day his children would be judged by the Content of their Character and not by the Color of their Skin. And you take that to mean that all children should be judged by the Content of their Character and not by the Color of their Skin. Then great I'm with you on that as well and thats exactly what we should be doing. We shouldn't be discriminating people in the Private or Public Sectors based on their race, ethnicity, color, gender, religion, sexuality or any other Non Relevant factors. And judge people by what they bring to the table, what are their skills and abilities and punish people when they commit bigoted actions against innocent people at the benefit of the people who were bigoted and society. At the expense of the bigots, bigotry has no place in a Free Society. And then have an Education System that allows for all people in our society to get the skills that they need to be successful in life. So once they are out of school and in the Employment Market, they have the skills that they need to get a good job. And not be dependent on Public Assistance to survive.
I've just laid out my alternative to Affirmative Action which is what I see as Public Sponsored Discrimination, because one of government's role is to protect society equally. But with Affirmative Action you have government benefiting groups of people benefiting at the expense of another group. Basically saying you've had it real good for a long time now, now its time for you step back even though you might have the skills to continue to be successful. And you might have better skills then the people that we are going to let benefit from society at your expense. Instead of government having an Economic and Education System that empowers everyone in society to benefit from it based on what they put into it. A system that would empower everyone in society to get the skills that they need to be as successful as what they put into the economy. And then having strong Anti Discrimination Laws that are truly Color Blind and Racial Blind, Ethnic Blind for the benefit of the victims of bigotry and society as a whole. So everyone is judged by their merit and nothing else, what they bring to the table that would benefit the employer or school or whatever that they are applying to.
If we want to have truly Color Blind Society, then the only way we can get there is actually being Color Blind. As well as Racial Blind, Ethnic Blind, Gender Blind etc. And just treat people by as Dr King called the "Content of their Character not Color of their Skin". And you don't get there through Government Discrimination. You get there by practicing what you preach.
Friday, August 5, 2011
I not a fan of the whole notion of "Class Warfare" whether it comes from the left or right. Attacking wealthy people because they make a lot of money coming from the right, cutting taxes in a way that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy. Or cutting their taxes to the point with Tax Cuts and Tax Loopholes that they are essentially paying such a low Tax Rate, that they are paying less then the Middle Class. What we should do as a country is have an Economic System, that benefits everyone by what they contribute to it. Where everyone has the opportunity to get the best education and get the best skills possible and then be able to benefit from their skills as much as possible. By what they contribute to the economy. Where we have a Tax System thats based on how much people can afford to pay, with the wealthy paying more in taxes then anyone else. And go down from there but where we don't have Tax Rates so high, that there isn't enough incentive for people to work hard and produce. Because of how much government would end up taking away in taxes. What we shouldn't be doing as a society which is what the Far Left does, all the time is essentially bashing people for making a lot of money. Especially when they earned by being very productive. Or having Tax Rates up so high and giving a lot of that money to people who don't have the skills to go make a good living on their own. What we should do especially for our Low Skilled people and workers, is empowering them to get the skills that they need to go out and earn a good living on their own. By empowering them to go back to school as well as furthering their education with things like Vocational Schools. So they can get themselves the skills that they need so they can be productive enough to go out an make a good living on their own. Which would be good for our economy, because their would be more High Skilled workers in the economy and their would be less people in need of Public Assistance and more people paying into it. We don't need to Redistribute Wealth in the Economy to take care of the Less Fortunate. But what we need to do instead is create more wealth so the Less Fortunate can take care of themselves.
But "Class Warfare" does nothing more then make a divided nation even more divided and what we should do instead is celebrate our productive workers who put in the work they needed. To go out and earn a good living and empower the Less Fortunate to go out and do the same thing for themselves and create more wealth not take from what's already there.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
|Source: US Chronicle-|
Despite all the progress that libertarian movement has made in American politics the last 3-4 years, that Ron Paul has played a big role in making with the Libertarian Party actually being a small part of this libertarian movement, which tells you the sad shape of the Libertarian Party right now, the Libertarian Party is still a third-party in American politics. Perhaps the largest third party but still a distant third from the Democratic and Republican parties. Because of this I believe Libertarian Peter Schiff and I'm talking about his politics, I don't know his party affiliation, has suggested that what the libertarian movement should do is instead of trying to build the Libertarian Party, take over the GOP.
That Libertarians should instead try to take over the Republican Party. And they had some success in 2010 by electing Rand Paul and Ron Johnson to the Senate. And Mike Lee is either a Libertarian or a Conservative-Libertarian, but those political factions are similar. Something that the Ron Paul movement has been trying to do. But does anyone who looks at this objectively, actually believe Ron Paul will win the Republican nomination in 2012. Of course not, the Christian-Right which Representative Paul would need to win the Republican nomination, would never back a Libertarian candidate.
And why would the Christian-Right back Ron Paul, Paul is a Libertarian and the Christian Right are theocratical authoritarians. Small government vs big government. And the Christian-Right still has a big say in who the Republican Party nominates for President. And Republican presidential candidates can't get elected President without them. Just ask George H.W. Bush and John McCain. But the Libertarian Party is still fairly small maybe a million members, clearly not enough to challenge Democrats and Republicans anywhere outside of those parties. So what can the LP do and more importantly what should the libertarian movement do in America to have a bigger voice and elect more of its members?
What the LP and the broader libertarian movement has going for them, is a lot of its members used to be Democrats and Republicans. Democrats who were fed up with big government socialism in the party and Republicans who were fed up with big government authoritarianism from the Christian- Right and Neoconservatives. Thats the first thing the LP can build off of, because I don't see how Libertarians take over the Republican Party thats dominated now by the Tea Party thats gotten in bed with the Christian-Right or at least some of its members.
I believe neoconservatism has lost a lot of ground in the Republican Party, all you have to do is look at the debt deal vote in Congress. Where that deal includes 1T$ of defense cuts over ten years and 170-242 Republicans voted for it in the House. And 28-47 Republicans voted for it in the Senate. But the Christian Tea Party which might be safe to call them now, currently runs the Republican Party. Leaving a lot less room for Libertarians in the party, even Conservatives-Libertarians as well. But what the Libertarian Party I believe could do is recruit Classical Liberal Democrats who are fed up with the big government socialism in their party. And recruit Conservative Republicans who are fed up with big government theocratical Republicans in the Republican Party. Making the LP a hell of a lot bigger than it is today in the future.
The libertarian movement has a big future in American politics if they want it but they have to decide in what direction they want to go and with what party. To give them as big as a political force as possible. But more importantly give themselves enough members so they recruit enough candidates to get elected into high office. And actually be able to make policy in government.
|Source: Liberty Pen-|
And when you have limited government which is what America generally has, putting the last ten years aside where both Republicans and Democrats have made the Federal Government less limited, you can keep the tax rates down. And the people will have more freedom to live their own lives because they'll be able to keep more of their money. And of course with money comes freedom and the more money the more freedom people have. But even with these anti-tax waves that became real big in the late 1970s especially in California, California is still one of the highest tax states in the union, ironically.
The last thirty years or so except for a few years in the 1990s, there's been this "starve the beast" theory. The beast being of course the Federal Government in the eyes of supply side Republicans and others. That since you don't have the power to eliminate certain Federal agency's, that what you can do instead, is not give them enough money to do their jobs and cut taxes instead. During the eight years of the Neoconservative Bush Administration, where they brought their own version of big government as it related to national security, education and Medicare Advantage. They went with this theory of, "look, we have all these things that we want the Federal Government to do in Homeland Security, the Education Department, two wars, Medicare Advantage etc. But if we make taxpayers pay for it, we are going to lose power and they lost all their power anyway."
In 2006 and 2008, back to back landslide elections losses for the Republican Party. But free-2006 the GOP Leadership decided instead is to borrow all of the money and put it on the National Credit Card. Some 7T$ worth in the Bush Administration alone. And we are now suffering the last ten years of borrow and spend economics a policy that the Obama Administration has kept in place its first two years.
My whole point is that the whole notion of limited government is, what do you want government to do and figure out what it does well and better than the private sector. And have it do those things only and fund it well enough so it can do its job properly without hurting the economy.
And for me the whole notion of limited government to me means, that government is pretty limited in what it can do well. And should just concentrate on those areas. And for me that means protecting individuals constitutional rights to be free and that you have to have taxes low enough so they be free to live their own lives. And have laws that are designed to protect innocent people from the harm of others, not from themselves.
That means effective national security, law enforcement, and help people who aren't making it on their own. Help themselves become self-sufficient and thats really it. Everything else can be up for discussion.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
What is America, this is a question thats been debated as long as we've been an Independent Nation but its a good question. Because a lot of americans have their own answers to this important question. Classical Conservatives have always seen America as a Constitutional Republic that protects Individual Freedom and I believe libertarians believe the same thing. Liberals see America as a democracy where we have Constitutional Rights to protect our Individual Freedom. Democratic Socialists of course wished we were a Socialist Democracy with a Constitution that protects our Individual Freedom except for the economy but with a Welfare State in the form of Sweden thats a lot a lot larger then ours. Christian Theocrats I believe would like to see us become a Christian Theocracy or a Christian Republic where their interpretation of the bible becomes our Constitution. Actually I see it were are none of those things but we have aspects of what conservatives, liberals and libertarians see America as. We Were not a Majoritarian Democracy, where everything is ruled by Majority Vote, just look at the Electoral College or the US Senate as proof. I believe Democratic Socialists would like to see us move in that direction and they would see a lot more of their policy's become law. Things like Congress or just the House deciding who the President to use as example and Congress essentially becomes a Parliament and we perhaps even eliminate the Senate. Were clearly not a Theocracy in any form which is a great thing from my perspective and we do have Separation of Church in State, whether its written in the Constitution or not. We are clearly a Constitutional Republic where we have a working Constitution that works very well from my perspective, with civilians not Military Leaders, or Religious Leaders or Monarchs running our government. And we clearly have Check and Balances in our government, which again from my perspective is a good thing.
So what is America what type of country are we with what type of government. I see America as a Liberal Democracy and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Liberal Democrat but because its true. We are a country with a Constitution that governs how our government can operate, which is good and protects our Individual Freedom which is what we have. Protected by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. This means that we can essentially live our own lives, at least Free Adults as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our freedom. I actually believe we should have more Individual Liberty but thats a different blog. We are individualist not collectivist that socialists prefer as a society and we can make our own decisions with our own lives. Everything from where we work to making our own Health Care decisions to where we shop and live etc. Government doesn't make these decisions for us but we make them for ourselves. Thats what liberty in a Liberal Democracy looks like . That people can live their own lives, even if a majority of the people believe we shouldn't do certain things in our lives because they don't like them.
America is Republic in the form of a Liberal Democracy meaning we are not completely run by Majority Rule that you would see in a Majoritarian Republic. But where we can live our own lives because we have the Constitutional Rights to do so and where we can live our own lives. Without being harassed by government because of our Constitutional Protections.
Monday, August 1, 2011
The State of the Welfare State at least in America as well in several other Developed Nations, is not good in the sense that we are all thinking about how to reform them. To make them more Cost Effective and save money on them, because at least in America's case we are currently facing a huge generation of people. That are going to be eligible for them and we don't currently have the resources to pay these obligations, even though these people have been paying into them their whole adult lives if not longer. For people who worked jobs as adolescents for example and most of us including myself probably have. This is good news in a sense from my point of view as a liberal who believes in Individual Liberty and Limited Government. And that the Welfare State should be exactly that, only for the people who need it and that everyone who can take care of themselves and are financially Self Sufficient on their own. Should stay that way and take care of themselves, that Tax Payers shouldn't be funding the retirement, Health Insurance, Health Care Unemployment Insurance etc of millionaires and billionaires unless they worked in Public Service for a lot time lets say twenty years. This is good news from my perspective, because its just more evidence that America will never have a Swedish Style Welfare State, americans who can will always be expected to take care of themselves. Americans who can fiance their own Health Insurance will be expected to and so fourth, that americans who can will be expected to take care of themselves will have to. That we'll never see in America 50, 60, 70% Tax Rates especially on the Middle Class or overall Tax Bills like that on americans. That our government will always be limited and smaller then Europe and hopefully more limited and smaller in the future.
Having said all of that, I not in favor or never have been in favor of slashing our Welfare State and throwing people off of it who actually do need these Social Insurance programs. And how can we do this and have a Federal Government more limited and smaller. Everyone who needs these programs now and into the future will keep collecting from them but the people who are physically and mentally capable of working. Will be expected to do so and if they are not working because they lack the skills that they need to get a good enough job to become Self Sufficient. Then they would get help in getting that by going to school and getting those skills.
But here's a major reform, I would take the Welfare State off the hands and backs of the Federal Government. And unlike what Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson wants to, which is essentially hand the Welfare State over to the State and Local Governments. I would give all of these Social Insurance programs their independence so to speak. And make them independent of the Federal Government but still owned by them at least in the short term. But they would be operated independently with their own Revenue Sources, as well as Management and Board of Directors that they would select on their own.
The State of the American Welfare State as far as the financing of it in the future is not good, in the sense that its another problem we have to fix. But its good at least in my perspective that we'll probably never expand it in any significant way at least from the Federal Level. And this gives us an opportunity to rethink what the purpose of our Welfare State is and how best to reform it.
I've been writing a lot about poverty lately and how I feel we can as a society finally win the War on Poverty that we as a country declared in 1965. Long time ago, there were actually Gen Xers born in 1965, so if your getting tired of hearing my thoughts on poverty, I apologize but its been in the news a lot lately and I've seen a lot of things about it. Plus I really care about the subject and this is a war we shouldn't be losing as a country as great as we are. If we are capable of an Unemployment Rate 4.5% which we had just three years ago before the Great Recession of 2008/2009. We can have a Poverty Rate of 4.5% as well, other Developed Nations have Poverty Rates of that level and with our wealth we can definitely achieve that as well. But I'll try to be as original as possible with this post as I can but no promises. Libertarians and Democratic Socialists who read this post will disagree with it but for different reasons, one side thinking government especially the Federal Government. Has no role in addressing Poverty in America and one side will disagree with me saying that your approach isn't Government Centered enough especially from the Federal Government. Which I believe is great we live in a Liberal Democracy and people can agree and disagree and have a Constitutional Right to do so. And they can tell me why they think if I'm right or wrong and how or not say a thing their choice. Small preview this post will again be centered around freedom. Education Reform, Temporary Financial Assistance and Job Placement and not exactly in that order.
Again in the 1930s when the Federal Government officially took on Poverty in America, it was very Government Centered especially from the Federal Government. The idea behind it that these people are poor, can't take care of themselves and don't have the skills to take care of themselves. So society meaning the Federal Government has a Moral Responsibility to literally take care of these people and there were Religious Feelings behind this. And that you help Low Income people by giving them Welfare Checks and let them be and this approach if anything was expanded in the 1960s with the Great Society. This is the approach that Democratic Socialists prefer, government giving Low Income people money so they can support themselves. Well seventy five years later, we've seen how this approach has worked. If anything Poverty in America is a bigger problem in America today, then it was back then. The New Deal and Great Society if anything created a "Culture of Dependency", making Low Income people the Working Poor and unemployed if anything more dependent on Public Assistance. Because instead of empowering these people to get out of poverty and again if gets back to Temporary Financial Assistance so these people can survive in the short term. Education, empowering these people to go back to school and finish their education and go on and further their education. So they have the skills that they need to get themselves a good job and become Self Sufficient. And then finally Job Placement helping these people find good jobs.
Going forward to finally winning the War on Poverty, we need to empower adults to get the skills that they need to get a good job and become Self Sufficient. So they can have as much freedom as Middle Class people or better. But then for the future we need to empower their kids that they need to get a good education that they'll need to get good jobs in the future. And I believe thats centered around holding educators and schools accountable for good and bad. As well as paying them well up front so they have enough incentive to go into and stay in the Education Profession. And then Public School Choice, so parents will have the ability to send their kids to the best school possible as well as Charter Schools. We can win the War on Poverty in America but to do that, we have to empower people who are in poverty so they can finally get out of poverty. Not just giving them Welfare Checks.