Sunday, July 31, 2011
Europe in some ways at least East of the United Kingdom West of the Slavic States and perhaps South of Scandinavia and this will be the end of the Geography Segment of this blog. Have been somewhat at least moving to a United Europe whether its called the European Union or something else for about sixty years now. After World War II with the creation of the European Union, Europe's own version of the United Nations but a hell of a lot more efficient with a lot more power. Partially in response to the Soviet Union and the Cold War but also for economic reasons, Mainland Europe East of the United Kingdom and West of the Slavic States, I'm sorry is a region of around 400M people with a total GDP approaching the United States with similar Living Standards. So they figured they would be better off working together including a Single Currency that started around 2000. Instead of several countries that are small compared with the biggest countries in the World both physically and population working by themselves. They figured if they worked together and traded they as a Union would have a bigger say in the World, then if they were all by themselves. France, Germany, Italy, Spain etc could all be States or Provinces in America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Russia etc but together they would be a huge country both physically about the size of Mexico. And in population, together they would be bigger then America. And by in large the European Union has been a huge success, Europe does have a bigger more influential say in the World united then they would separately. And all of the large States in the European Union are all Economic Powers. The question is how far down this road of unifying would the European Union go, personally I would like to see them come up with a Unified Defense Force that could take a lot of pressure off the US Military as well as a Unified Foreign Ministry and see both of these organizations run by the EU Executive for the same reasons. But how much farther down this road of unification would Europe go, they already have a President an Executive and a Elected Legislature as well as a High Court.
Personally I don't see the United Kingdom ever becoming part of the European Union as one Nation, I believe they'll always hold on to their independence. But I could see France, Germany, perhaps Ireland and economic boost they would get out of that as being a State instead of a tiny country of around 4M people. I could see Spain, Italy and a lot of the smaller European Nations. Another issue would be borders, how far would a United Europe go, economically most if not all the Slavic States aren't ready to be in the European Union. And they all have questionable Human Rights Records that the EU takes seriously, which is why Turkey has never made it into the European Union. I could see a United Europe that lets say included South Ireland but not Britain and then went from Western Mainland Europe to the Baltic States, perhaps even Poland thats moved quickly down the road of being a Liberal Democracy or a Socialist Democracy. And then going as far south from Portugal to Italy, with the Balkan States not ready for the EU yet. This would make Europe a Super State of 400M people or so and about the size of Mexico physically. And perhaps the largest economy in the World. But if this were to happen, it shouldn't be forced on europeans and they should have to approve it.
Personally a United Europe would be great for the United States when it comes to our Foreign Policy and National Security. Because we would have another strong partner on our side that could take a lot of pressure off of us. But we would also have another Economic Competitor with a lot of money that would be able to invest it all over the World. This wouldn't be for us to decide but the European People to deal with and decide one way or the other.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
America will never get past its Legacy of Racial. Ethnic, Religious or Gender Bigotry that will always be with us. And no matter what we'll ever do, we'll never have a perfect society with no discrimination and where everyone is equal economically or anything else. We are all individuals with our own skills and abilities and its really up to us as a society to decide for ourselves what we do with our skills. Whether we live up to our Full Potential or not. That doesn't mean we should have the goal to having the best society that we can with as little bigotry as possible. Knowing we'll never have a perfect society but that we shoot for this goal that we'll never achieve, to build the best society as possible. Just because some peoples in society haven't done as well as others, doesn't mean we should say, look they've been down for so long. That must mean there's no hope for them, they are destined to be on Public Assistance for their whole lives. And generations after them, we might as well just leave them there. And use the America Legacy of Bigotry to make our case that we care about them, argue more Social Insurance Programs that we'll leave them down but with a little more money. And we'll also use this message to stay in power so we sound like we care and to raise more money in the future. I don't mean to sound partisan if this sounds like I'm coming from a Slanted Position on this but this is how I feel. The last thing that we should do with people who are down because they don't have the skills to get up, is to leave them there. And make the bogus argument as old as it is, that they are destined to fail because of bigotry. What we should do instead, is first have strong Civil Rights Laws, that would prevent bigotry from happening in the first place. And then justly punish bigotry when it happens, for one to give the Victims of Bigotry justice but also to prevent bigotry from happening in the future. And then what we should do is have the best available education possible for the whole country. That has the best teachers possible, holds them accountable for good and bad. Pays them well enough to go into education in the first place and then give the parents as much choice as possible as to where to send their kids so they aren't forced to going to bad schools. And then also give the parents of Low Income students the ability to finish their education and further their education so they to can get a good job.
The American Legacy of Bigotry is a horrible evil thing that we'll never live down, just like Germany will never live down Nazism. But that doesn't mean because of this fact that we just give up and accept it. That certain groups of people aren't doing as well as others and that they will always be destined to be worse off then other groups. We should do is empower these people instead to be able to live up to their Full Potential as well just like other groups of people in society.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq especially, are already on the table and will be part of a "Grand Bargain" if one is reached. In raising the Debt Ceiling and getting our debt and deficit under control. As far as laying off Public Workers who aren't doing a good job and are a waste of Tax Payer money, I'm all for that. But its not that easy, you have to figure out what Public Workers aren't doing a good job and in what agency's and departments. I mean were are talking about a Federal Public Service of around 8M people, in a Federal Budget of 3.7T$ where we borrow 40% of that to fiance the Federal Budget. But another problem would be that some of these employees and probably a lot of them, actually do a good job. Like in the Military, FBI, Justice Department, FDA, the Health Service, State Department and others. If you want to lay off Low Performing Public Workers, I would start in Congress , in both Chambers and in both parties. Then I would work my way to the White House, the President and Vice President could stay. They still have eighteen months left on their terms and then I would work my way to the Supreme Court. Just saying your going to lay off Federal Workers, is way too broad, you should be more specific and put more thought in to it. And if your talking more about laying off more departments and agency's, then you should also be more specific and lay out exactly where. I don't believe the old Ronald Reagan "Cut and Run or Slash and Burn" strategy is the most appropriate here.
A lot of times you can make government less expensive and more efficient by simply reforming it. For example do we really need hundreds or thousands of Federal Programs Public Welfare programs. For the Less Fortunate and others, I and Sen. Tom Coburn who at times I've agreed with on these issues. Even though he's a Conservative Republican and I'm a Liberal Democrat but Sen Coburn is a good conservative, a Classical Cosnervative. Believe we simply don't need all of these programs and can no longer afford them. And we should look at Block Granting, sorry thats a Washington term meaning turing them over to State and Local Governments and giving them money to run them. To the State and Local Governments, programs like Welfare Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Public Housing, Medicare, Children's Health Insurance. CHI is funded with Tobacco Tax by the way, hoping people would smoke and hurt their lungs to pay for Health Insurance which is good for people, but thats a different story. This would be a better approach in my view instead of the Federal Government trying to manage all of the Social Insurance programs all over the country and having them all report to Washington. My problem with it, is you would end one headache and start another. Because then the Federal Government would be left to regulate State and Local Governments to see how they are spending Federal Taxes.
What I would like to do is see all of these Social Insurance programs reformed in a way, including Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Where they would become Non Profit Independent Services, not fully privatized at least not in the short term. But they would have their own Management and Board of Directors that they would select. With their own financing up front and then their clients would pay them back once they become Self Sufficient. Like with Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Food Assistance to use as examples. Social Security and Medicare are already essentially Fully Funded but both need to be reformed. These other programs would need their own Revenue Sources but this can all be done. This type of reforms would save Tax Payers and the Federal Government, State and Local Governments, around a trillion dollars a year in appropriations. Because they would no longer have to collect the taxes to fund them and to manage them. And this is just the savings in our Social Insurance programs and I haven't gotten to the Defense Budget yet. And the Federal Government can concentrate on what at least its done well historically, National Security, Foreign Service, Health Service, Law Enforcement and Regulating. Instead of trying to be everything to everybody.
The "Cut and Run Slash and Burn" strategy has proven not to work in the past, for one thing it just angers a lot of Special Interest Groups. And another there are people who actually depend on these programs to help them to survive and you leave them with nothing. But what we can do is reform them in a way to make them more Cost Effective and efficient.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
America isn't in the bad economic shape that it is in today because of capitalism or American Capitalism. All Developed Nations in the World and some Developing Nations in the World, have their own version of capitalism or their own aspects. What they all have in common at least the Developed Nations, is they all have large Private Sectors. But the American Economy isn't failing because of American Capitalism, our economy is failing right now with a lack of Economic and Job Growth and massing debt and deficit. Because we've moved away from American Capitalism and aren't doing the things that we used to be great at, if not the best in the World. The institutions in our economy that made our economy the largest in the World, are no longer working. What made our economy great, was our people and our institutions and are people being able to use those institutions successfully but those institutions are currently failing. What made our economy strong, was a package of vast Economic Freedom that was well regulated. Not over regulated or under regulated but well regulated to prevent people from abusing each other unfairly in the economy and punish them when they do. Low Taxes to encourage people to get a good education, get a good job and be productive and successful. But where everyone pays their fair share of taxes, with the wealthy paying more then everyone else. But not at such a high rate that they aren't encouraged to be productive and earn a good living. A good Education System both public and private so our future workers could get the skills that they need to get a good job. Write now our Public Education System is failing to the point where we are no longer producing enough High Skilled workers and we now have to import High Skilled to fill these good jobs. We used to have one of the best Public Education Systems in the World if not the best and now we are ranked like 39th in the World. And a Safety Net that caught people who fell through the cracks and helped them back up on their feet. Instead of keeping them on Public Assistance indefinitely.
The last ten years or so we've been in a period of what's been described as "Cowboy Economics" where the wealthy no longer are required to pay their fair share of taxes. Where company's are encouraged to send jobs out of America, where regulations aren't enforced, where government borrows money instead of paying for their operations. Hopefully we are moving away from "Cowboy Economics" but we won't get their over night. Even if we returned back to American Capitalism tomorrow, it would be ten years before our economy is as strong as it was in 2007 before the "Great Recession". Because we've piled up so much debt, our Living Standards have fallen so far and we've lost so many jobs. Several million and now have an Unemployment Rate at 9.2% which is twice as high as it was in 2007. But we'll get there if we just get back to what we do best and start making things in America again.
"The Power of Choice", what does that mean exactly and I'm being serious at least for a second. Well if you look at that phrase, the answer is in that phrase. Choice the Freedom to Choose, the Freedom for people to Choose for themselves how to live their own lives. Put all the options on the table and let people decide for themselves what's best for them and their family's. Freedom to Choose is Anti Monopoly, public and private but its Pro Unlimited Open Free and Fair Competition. Don't let anyone control too much of the market and prevent and punish unfair abuses in the system. This is a concept that not only libertarians believe in, even though they may of invented the phrase. But something that liberals and conservatives believe in as well and I'm not talking about Democratic Socialists or Neoconservatives but the real things. The freedom for people to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting any innocent person with their freedom to live their lives. At risk of sounding partisan, a concept thats not popular with socialists and authoritarians. Their faith in people is lacking to put it mildly, especially compared with these other Political Factions. They essentially believe at least in some cases that people can't be trusted with freedom to live their own lives and that they essentially need to be taken care of by the Central Government. With a vast Welfare State and in authoritarians case restrictions on how people can live their own lives. Even if they aren't hurting people with what they are doing.
I recently got in a debate online with a socialist on Health Care Reform and this person was obviously in favor Single Payer Health Insurance. And I support a system of unlimited free and open competition thats regulated properly. And this person asked me what type of Health Insurance System I'm in favor of. And I said which I am and if you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I'm in favor of a Health Insurance System that has Freedom of Choice for the patients to decide for themselves where they get their Health Insurance and Health Care. And that their could even be public Health Insurance as well as Health Care in this system. But the people would decide for themselves where they get their Health Insurance and Health Care. I basically laid out the French Health Care System, which is the main difference between a system like this and a Single Payer Health Care System.
The person I debated literally did not understand the concept of Freedom of Choice and I explained it to them. But I did it in a humorous way, saying think about Freedom of Choice the Freedom to Choose, the answer is literally in those two phrases. One problem that I believe socialists have with this phrase, is how simple it is. That they are used to complex things and policy's, where people who are more in favor of Individual Freedom. Understand this phrase very well because its something they've always believed in.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Progress Party Leader Siv Jensen on "Norway's Myths and Realities": Libertarianism live and well in Norway
I'm glad to here that there's another type of Political Party in Norway, that its not just a country thats dominated by Democratic Socialism. That there is another choice, Political Party ideology that people can choose. Norway has a ruling Socialist Party but the Opposition Party is a Libertarian Party called the Progress Party. So norwegians definitely have a Political Choice, between socialists and libertarians and I'm sure other choices as well. Either socialism or libertarianism is definitely a choice. Interesting enough that a Libertarian Party would call itself the Progress Party. I would think a party called the Progress Party would be a Socialist Party but of course they can call themselves anything they want. Norway is not the only Nordic State in Scandinavia thats reexamining its Welfare State and its Democratic Socialist policy's. Sweden in 2010 elected a Conservative Party or Conservative Coalition at least by Swedish Standards. In a country where the Democratic Socialists have been in power for a long time. And Scandinavia especially Sweden, is the Socialist Utopia the place that socialists look at to make their case for socialism in their country.
Norway is lucky in a sense that they do have a clear choice in who they want to run their government. The Ruling Socialist Party or whatever they call themselves and the Opposition Progress Party which is actually a Libertarian Party. Because they really do a get a real choice between Democratic Socialism and Libertarianism. Where Democratic Socialists essentially believe and this might be putting it simply. In collectivism where you essentially put all of the resources in a country all in one pot. Where no one is allowed to have "too much more then anyone else". And you do this with High Taxes basically on everyone to fiance a large Welfare State for the whole country. Where the Central Government plays a big role in providing goods and services for the country. And then with the Opposition Party, libertarians who believe the best way to provide these goods and services for the country. Is to give the people as much freedom as possible to get these services for themselves. So there's a clear choice for Norway.
I'm glad Democratic Socialism is alive and well in Norway, because Democratic Socialists are definitely democrats. And they believe in democracy and freedom, even though I disagree with them a lot on Economic Policy as well as Foreign Policy. But I'm also glad that there's another choice for Norway. And libertarianism definitely represents a clear choice for Norwegian Voters.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I love the idea of School Choice in our Education System, the idea that parents would have a choice in where they could send their kids to school. I believe is the best thing that we could do for our Education System to reform it. Because it would force our Public Schools to do a good job and perform, especially Low Income Communities where a lot of the students there are forced to go to a bad school. And in a lot of cases don't bother even finishing school and dropping out. Having kids early, ending up on Public Assistance or working Minimum Wage jobs most of their adult lives or worse ending up in jail or prisons, perhaps going through the Revolving Door of our Criminal Justice System. This would force our Public Schools to do a good job to retain or get new students. Because parents would now have a choice in where to send their kids to school. Would no longer be forced to send them to a bad school anymore because they would now have a choice in to where they send their kids to school. School Choice would also be one of if not the best Anti Poverty Programs we could create as well, because kids who come from Low Income Family's would now have a good shot at getting a quality education. And getting a scholarship or Student Loans to go to college in the future and escape poverty for good.
My idea of School Choice is Public School Choice for the simple fact that I believe Tax Revenue should be spent on Public Services not Private Services. Thats one reason, another would be as much as libertarians and others may want to eliminate the Public School System in America they never will. We'll always have Public Schools in all fifty States, there will never be enough libertarians in power in America to eliminate the Public School System at least in my lifetime and I have a ways to go. So since we'll always have a Public School System and competition within our Public Schools is a way to reform it in a positive way. Besides even if we ever did that, someone who believes there's a way to eliminate the Public School System, I would like them to explain that to me. But with this being the case there will never be enough Private Schools in America to house all of our 100M or students in America and private unlike Public Schools don't have to accept all students that come their way. So some students could get left out without a school to go to. So what we need to do is have the best Public School System that we possibly can and Public School Choice is one way to accomplish this.
I don't have a problem States and Local School Districts having a Private School Choice System, because thats their right they control education in their jurisdiction. As long as they do it with their own Tax Revenue and not Federal Tax Revenue, because education is mostly as State and Local Issue.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
America has never had a pure capitalist economy meaning a totally Free Market, the Federal Government has always been involved in our economy one way or the other. Whether its been subsidizing Private Enterprise like agriculture and other areas and even the Postal Service. And then of course we became less of a Capitalist Economy in the 1930s with the FDR New Deal and the creation of the American Welfare State. That has only expanded ever since with the Highway System under President Eisenhower in the 1950s and then with the LBJ Great Society in the 1960s. We've never had a purely Free Market Economy that libertarians would like to see and of course we've never seen a Classical Socialist Economy that Classical Socialists would like to see in America. Where the State owns the Means and Production of Society like with Cuba for example. Actually no large Developed Nation in the World has a Classical Socialist Economy. All of these Developed Nations including America, have a Mix Economy of capitalism and socialism. With a Private Sector and a Public Sector, with a lot of countries having larger Public Sectors then Private Sectors and with America where the Private Sector is large then the Public Sector. Any Government Program or Agency is a form of socialism, not just Social Security and Medicare but anything that government runs is a form of socialism. Socialism in a lot of ways is a Public Service provided by government. America has always had an mix Economic System when its worked well, that gives people a lot of Economic Freedom. But regulates how people interact with each other to prevent unfair abuses in the system. And that has a Safety Net that catches people who fall in the system but helps them back up to become Self Sufficient. As much as libertarians would like to see America have less Government Involvement in the economy. And as much as Democratic Socialists would like to see more Government Involvement in the economy like in Europe. We've never had either type of system of a totally Free Market or more Big Government Involvement in the economy.
When the American Economy has worked well, we've had American Capitalism. A system of vast Economic Freedom, Low Taxes, thats well regulated. A quality Public Education System and a Safety Net that catches people who fall and helps them back up. We've never had a pure Capitalist Economy or a pure Socialist Economy, because neither system is good enough to meet the needs of the people on its own.
Friday, July 22, 2011
The Asian Republican: Milton Friedman- Small Government vs Big Government: Defining Limited Government
|Source: The Asian Republican- Professor Milton Friedman-|
This whole debate of big government vs small government that we've probably been having in America probably since the Founding Fathers were debating how they were going to establish the United States, I believe misses the point and I'll explain. Unless you believe in some type of authoritarianism and feel free to take your pick, guess what you believe in limited government. If you believe in some type of democracy which I believe most Americans do, which is a big reason why we live here and so many people have immigrated here, you're like me in this sense, that you believe in limited government and least a particular form of it. And guess this as well, you might not even be aware of it which I believe a lot of Americans would qualify as. If you're some type of democrat and I'm not talking about the Democratic Party my party by the way which I'm proud to be a member, but your at least a democrat in the sense you believe in democracy and freedom, you believe in some type of limited government.
Whether you believe in some type of big government or small government, you believe in some form of limited government. All democrats across the political spectrum believe in some form of limited government. And why I say that it's very simple, all you have to do is know what limited government means. Limited government simply means you believe that government is limited in what it can and what it should do. That it has a limited role in society and that it can't do everything for everybody. Even Democratic Socialists believe in a form of limited government. Just they tend to believe that governments limits are in the foreign policy and national security as well as law enforcement areas. And that government shouldn't be trying to limit how people live their own lives. Socialist-Liberals- People who are liberal on social issues and socialist on economic policy, tend to be very liberal when it comes to personal freedom. Just take a look at Switzerland which is a perfect example of this.
Just to be fair and not to sound partisan but truthful, even theocrats and Neoconservatives who are also democrats, again small d believe in a form of limited government. But they believe government's limits tend to be in the economy. But that government can regulate how people live their lives and don't tend to take civil liberties and constitutional rights as seriously as Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians and Socialist-Liberals. My idea of limited government is fairly simple and yes limited. Figuring out what government does well and what it does better than the private sector and what government can and should do that the private sector can't or shouldn't. And how best to fund it to make it the most cost-effective and efficient as possible. And it's all centered around protecting individual freedom. Whether it's national security, law enforcement and catching people who fall with a safety net. (so to speak) And help them up so they can have the freedom to live their own lives as they see fit, like the rest of the country. That's what limited government means to me. It's centered around protecting and promoting individual freedom.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Rep. Ron Paul: 'Freedom Is a Young Idea and We're Throwing It Away': Libertarianism vs Neoconservatism
I agree freedom is a young idea as far as how it relates to World History but the freedom is the idea that America was founded on, so its not a new idea in American History. And speaking of freedom, Rep. Ron Paul is a libertarian running for President in the Republican Party. With two other Libertarian Candidates in Gary Johnson and John Huntsman but he's the only libertarian getting serious attention. The rest of the Republican Presidential Field, is made up of Neoconservatives and Theocratic Conservatives. And Mitt Romney who wants to be everything to everybody but is basically when he's not running for President a Classical Conservative. Who's been a big believer in Individual Freedom at least in the past, on things like abortion and Gay Rights. Until he decided he wanted to win the Republican Nomination for President and calculated that those positions wouldn't fly in the Republican Party. So Rep. Paul really stands out in this Republican Field, which is why I've been arguing the last few months at least. That he no longer belongs in the Republican Party and should switch to the Libertarian Party. And some have argued to me that he would have no shot at becoming President in the Libertarian Party. My points to them are, first of all Ron Paul will never be President of the United States anyway, he will never get the Republican Nomination. In a party thats dominated by Theocratic and Neoconservatives, especially if GOV Rick Perry decides to run for President. And with the shape of the Libertarian Party today, he would never be elected President with them. And would have to spend a lot of resources just trying to get on State Ballots and other things that President Obama and the Republican Nominee will already have. But thats not my argument for Ron Paul to switch back to the Libertarian Party, where he was once a member and won their Nomination for President back in 1988. Especially since Rep. Paul is retiring from the House after this term. I believe with his ability to raise money, command mainstream Media Attention like here in this interview and reach out to young libertarians as well as liberals and even Classical Conservatives. He could build the Libertarian Party into a major force in American Politics and give them the ability to compete with democrats and republicans all over the country.
Ron Paul especially since he's retiring from Congress, could spend the rest of his Political Career, if he ever gets tired of running for President. Building his message of Maximize Freedom and taking it nationally with a strong Political Party behind him and be the official Libertarian Leader in America. Whether its the current Libertarian Party thats reformed and rebuilt or a new Libertarian Party.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
|Source: Liberty Pen- Professor Milton Friedman-|
What is the proper role of government, a question that has been debated before the United States was formed and has been debatet around the world even longer. As I see it the role of government, is to protect innocent people's right to live their own lives as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. Once they hurt an innocent person they are no longer free to live their own life as they see fit, because they just hurt someone else's freedom and will lose their freedom for some time as a consequence. Freedom is literally not free, people are held everyday for their own actions and these actions have consequences as a result of their freedom, good and bad. So innocent people have the right to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. Doing something to them that hurts them in a way that they shouldn't be hurt. The role of government is to protect and promote innocent people's freedom and that everything else that government does in America is centered around that.
Whether it's public safety- To prevent people from hurting each other as well as prevent that.
Or national security- To prevent others from hurting the country.
Or government regulation- To prevent and punish abuses in the economy, when people hurt innocent people in a way that they shouldn't of.
The safety net- To catch people when they fall (so to speak) and help them back up so they can have their freedom as well. Because without the ability to support yourself and be self-sufficient, you're not really a free person, or as free as someone who can take care of themselves.
The whole role of the Federal Government is to protect innocent people's individual liberty. The ability for innocent adults to be able to live their own lives as they see fit, as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. The role of government is not to look after the general welfare of its people in the sense that try to regulate how people live their own lives. But regulate how people interact with each other.
The role of government is centered around one thing, with everything else being a part of that. To protect the individual liberty of innocent adults. The role of government is not to take care of people who are mentally and physically capable of taking care of themselves. But it can help people who can't take care of themselves to get the skills that they need to take care of themselves. And the role of government is not to reduce the level of freedom that people have to live their own lives. By passing laws that make things that are currently legal, illegal and trying to tell people how to live their own lives. But instead educate the people so they have the intelligence to make their own decisions and are responsible enough to do that. And then hold them accountable for the decisions that they make themselves. Government is good at research and letting people know what consequences can come from certain decision-making. But they shouldn't tell people it is illegal to do this, simple because it may have dangerous consequences.
Is Health Care or Health Insurance a right, well lets see to put it simply its not a black and white issue and thats not a duck its really not that simple. If your really sick and badly hurt and you go to an Emergency Room, yes they have to take care of you. If a doctor sees a hurt person somewhere and they can help that person. The doctor basically has to do whatever they can to help that person, pure and simple. So to that extent yes americans have a right to Health Care and I doubt most people would disagree with that. But if someone is hurt on a street or on a road and someone drives by and does nothing to help the injured person. The person who ran away, whether they had a Moral Obligation or not, they are not legally or constitutionally responsible to help that person. And these are just two examples. Do americans have a right to Health Insurance, of course not, its not in the US Constitution which protects and guarantees all of our rights. If you want more evidence, 50M out of a population of 310M people don't have Health Insurance or don't have enough Health Insurance. Now you could make a case that this is a big problem that the Federal Government should try to help solve. And I think the 2010 Affordable Care Act is a first step in that but legally the Federal Government doesn't have to do anything about it. Whether they have a Moral Responsibility or not which is debatable. You could make a very good case either way and I believe most liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists and independents believe the Federal Government should do something about Health Care Reform or fix things that have already been done. Its just that all five of these Political Factions have their own approaches to solving this problem. But none of them have to, they are all interested in solving this problem because its a big enough problem to solve. And having that many people uninsured and not being able to pay for their Health Care in any way on their own. Makes Health Care and Health Insurance more expensive for everyone else, thats why they are interested in solving this issue. Not because they have a legal or constitutional responsibility to do so.
Americans have a Constitutional Right to live free as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom essentially. But they are also with that freedom, responsible for their own actions in life good and bad. Because they are also responsible for taking care of themselves as well and are held accountable for their actions.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
"Cut Cap and Balance", what does this mean, from what I've seen which isn't much. Under the House Tea Party plan is that they would bring the Federal Government down in size and revenue to around 20% within ten years. Basically what it was in 2008, the problem with that plan, whether you agree with that goal or not. And actually I don't have a problem with that goal, is that they don't lay out how to accomplish it. Its a piece of paper that says reduce the Federal Government by 20%, put a committee together and let them figure it out how to accomplish it. Its the ultimate Punt Formation, excuse the football analogy if that offends you but its getting to be that time of year again finally. Except they are punting on 3rd Down and not even trying to finish the drive off, its look this is what we want to do and you figure out how to accomplish it. If this plan had details in it, like this is where we believe the cuts should be made, here some things that don't work very well. Here some things we shouldn't be spending money on in the first place. And they go over the entire Federal Budget and examine what should be cut and if anything where we should spend more money on and how to pay for it. To go along with the goal of getting the Federal Budget down to 20% of GDP within 5-10 years whatever the goal is. Then this plan would have some credibility instead of looking like a plan that was written by a small group of people. And then later they present it to a broader audience and tell them take it or leave it. Which is actually what the Democratic Senate is going to tell the Republican House, we are leaving it and throwing it in the garbage where it belongs. And telling the House to go back to the Drawing Board and don't come back until you come up with something real that we'll consider. Which is exactly what Senate Leader Reid has already told House Speaker Boehner and the House hasn't even officially voted on "Cut Cap and Balance" yet.
The House Tea Party Caucus has once again proven why they don't belong in leadership and is another reason why John Boehner is the Speaker and they aren't. Because Speaker Boehner who I'm not a fan of but he is an adult in the room. Who if they let just do his job, will reach and agreement with Leader Reid and President Obama. And the Federal Government will be able to avoid defaulting as well as paying down its massive debt.
Monday, July 18, 2011
|Source: Liberty Pen-Milton Friedman-|
Source: Liberty Pen: Milton Friedman on Collectivism
What is collectivism? It’s a belief by Socialists (and others) that no one in society should have more than anyone else essentially. That we are all in it together and that we should all put our resources to make society better as a whole. Even if some people have the skills and are productive enough to get a lot more out of life (so to speak) than others. In a Collectivist Society in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any winners or losers essentially. We would all be even at least on paper. Now try imagining a sports event without any winners or losers, no champions right. What would be the point of watching the game? Athletes would essentially be entertainers, what would be the point of teams getting better and acquiring better players and coaches. If you know the answers to these questions, I would suggest that you’re a collectivist, someone who believes in collectivism. Now collectivism is a fine goal, even I will admit that, but that’s basically it a goal that you would see in a perfect world but not in real-life.
Imagine a world of no winners and losers , what would be the point of individual achievement and working hard and being productive as possible. Because the benefits that someone would receive from achieving those things, would be just as equal as the people who didn’t achieve on their own, who didn’t work hard, perhaps didn’t finish school, who weren’t productive. Someone who didn’t make them self the best person that they can be. Another issue with collectivism that I have is one of the ways that it achieves it. By taxing people at really high rates to take care of people who aren’t productive enough to even take care of themselves. Which sends two bad messages in my view. It tells productive people that they shouldn’t work hard and be productive. Because government is going to tax you so high, that you won’t see much of what you worked and well to produce. It also tells people that they don’t need to work hard and be productive, because the people who do those things will take care of you. And we would be left with a society of a lot of unproductive people.
Individualism or individualists which I’m one, believe that people should be encouraged to get a good education to work hard and be productive as they possibly can. And then collect a lot of the earnings from their work to be able to spend as they please. Yes pay their taxes based on their ability to pay, with the rich paying more than the middle class and poor and the middle class paying more than the poor. But not at such a high tax rate that it discourages people to earn a good living. This is how developed countries succeed, at least the large ones, where people have enough incentive to work hard and earn a good living. Individualism is not even a liberal, conservative or a libertarian value, but all three of these political ideology’s share it.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
The debate of whether there's Redistribution of Wealth or not is a bogus debate to put it mildly. Of course there's Redistribution of Wealth and its all over the World, at all levels of government. The debate is usually centered around whether government should highly tax successful wealthy people, in order to take care of the Less Fortunate or not. But the problem with that argument, is thats not the only Redistribution of Wealth anywhere. The Highway System, Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, really any Government Agency or Program is a form or Wealth Redistribution. And what do I mean by that in case you were wondering, the definition of Redistribution of Wealth is to to take money from one person or a group of people to give to other people. This happens everyday without people complaining about it. Government takes money from Tax Payers in New York to fund bridge, road, base in Texas as examples. Government takes money from Tax Payers in Florida in Payroll Taxes to fund Grandpa's Social Security or Medicare in Arizona. Government takes money away from from Joe Jones Construction Worker again in Payroll Taxes. To fund John Smith Auto Mechanic Unemployment Insurance in Detroit. And there more examples then that, actually more examples then I'm and hopefully any sane person would be willing to count. These are all forms of Redistribution of Wealth, so when people say they are against all forms of Redistribution of Wealth. They are implying intentionally or not, that they are against Social Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, roads, National Defense etc. Perhaps they are not aware of this or they simply don't know any better what they are against.
The question is not whether we'll have Redistribution of Wealth or not, we will always have some form of Wealth Redistribution forever. Now people can argue if we should or not but either way, we will always have it. The real debate is to what degree of Wealth Redistribution we should have and what it should be used for. I'll just use one example and I'll use this example because I care about it a lot and blog about it a lot. Which is the War on Poverty, a war we've losing badly for about ten years now and you argue we've been losing this war for forty five years. And part of that has to do with Wealth Redistribution, socialists say lets "Soak the Rich" so government can take care of Joe and Jane and others who live in poverty. Well a question comes to my mind anyway, should government be taking care of people who don't have the skills and money to take care of them selves. My answer to that to put it simply is no thats not a role for government and before you call me selfish or a scrooge or a jerk or use your own imagination. I'll explain, to take care implies intentional or not an indefinite amount of time that government funded by Tax Payers will take care of the Less Fortunate. That poor people don't need to better them selves and their worries are over. Because Uncle Sam will take care of them, leave it to your favorite uncle. But this is what I would do to help the Less Fortunate, yes the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes and that means a lot more then people who don't make nearly as much. But what I want to do with some of that Tax Revenue, is to empower Low Income people to become Self Sufficient, with education so they can get the skills that they need to get a good job and become independent. Which is a much different concept then "Soaking the Rich" and taking care of the Less Fortunate through government.
Its not about whether we have Wealth Distribution or not, we've always had that and will always have that, the question is to what degree and what we do with it. The fact is to have a strong economy in America and any other major country in the world. Taxes on everyone have to be low enough but not too low. So there's enough incentive for people to go to school, get the skills that they need to earn a good living and be as independent on government for their financial survival as possible. Otherwise people aren't going to want to do these things, because government will end up with most of their money. Making them more dependent on government then they need to be.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
|Source: Advocate- Professor Milton Friedman-|
This is a great debate except for the fact that Milton Friedman and Naiomi Klein never debated each other in person, as far as I know. Because thats a debate I would pay to see in person. But this is what debates are supposed to be about. Debates to me are not supposed to be (excuse the expression if it offends you) an ass slapping contest, where the two debaters take turns agreeing with each other and even go out-of-their-way to agree with the other. And its really just the fine print that they disagree with if each other if anything.
Debates are supposed to be between to people that represent different visions and perhaps different political ideologies. In where the debaters disagree on most things if not everything but disagree with each other hopefully in a respectful way. And perhaps share the same goals in what they want to accomplish but have different visions in how to accomplish these goals. That in a perfect world or if you're a Socialist in Planet Utopia is what debates would look like at least to me.
The two competing visions here between Naomi Klein and Milton Freidman, two people with different political ideologies as different as water and fire by the way, or a meat lovers platter and a vegetarian salad. The debate democratic socialism on Naomi Klein's part. The idea that government should be used to make the country as good and fair as possible through social insurance programs from the Federal Government, the welfare state. And that no one should make too much more money in their eyes than others. And when they make too much money in Socialist's eyes, they should be highly taxed and that money should be given to people who don't have enough. Thats the Naomi Klein political vision, the Fairness Doctrine or a quick summary of it.
Milton Friedman's political ideology of libertarianism and his vision of maximize freedom which is very simple. Which is one reason why so many people don't understand it, thinking its gotta be more complicated than that. Is that let free people should be free to go out and live their lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. This includes economic freedom which is where Socialists would disagree with Professor Friedman. The more money people have the more freedom that they'll have to live their own lives the way they want to.
So people should have the freedom to earn and make as much money in life as their skills and production will allow. That greed is essentially good because it gives people the incentive to work as hard and be productive as possible. To be as free as possible to live their own lives and be as less dependent on the Federal Government as possible for their economic survival. That there's no such thing as a perfect society or a utopia and that government is not capable of creating this. So you might as well give people as much freedom as possible to create their own wealth, freedom, and happiness, to make society as just as possible.
Two competing political ideologies and visions and what Naomi Klein and Milton Friedman offer here is a choice. The freedom for people to choose which vision to select or not select at all and perhaps pick something else or nothing. Thats what free people can do in a free society like America.
Friday, July 15, 2011
|Source: Liberty Pen- Professor Milton Friedman-|
I have a lot of respect for Milton Friedman, (in case it hasn't been obvious enough) but if you've been reading my pieces lately, it should be as obvious as water is wet, fire is hot, rocks are hard, etc (go down the line if you wish) I don't agree with him on everything. But he's pretty much has it on the mark when it comes to socialized medicine. I think our disagreements would be as far as Medicare and Medicaid, both government-run health insurance programs, clearly. He was for eliminating them, I would be for giving them autonomy not privatization, as well as competition for it's patients. And we disagree on what should be the alternatives to socialized medicine. He would be for completely leaving it up to market forces. Including no regulation of private health insurance companies. Where I believe in unlimited free and fair competition, leaving it up to the people to decide where they get their health insurance and health care, similar to France and Germany.
As well as I'm in favor of Patients Bill of Rights, something Professor Freidman wouldn't be in favor of. I don't believe in over regulation or under regulation when it comes to the health insurance industry, or any other private industry. But I believe in what I guess I would call well regulation when it comes to the economy. France and Germany two essentially social democracies that don't have single payer health insurance systems, incidentally. But both countries have a combination of private and public health care systems. So Professor Friedman as any Classical Libertarian would believe, believed that government especially the Federal Government should not have anything to do with the economy, regulating it or anything else. Where myself as a Liberal believes that government does have a role in the economy, but a limited role. That leaves the people in charged of where they go in life with unlimited free and fair competition, where the market decides which company's succeed or fail.
But an economy that's well-regulated and supports people who need help to get themselves on their feet and the health care industry would be an example of this. So Professor Friedman and I agree that socialized medicine when it comes to government completely running health care in the country. Take Britain as an example. But even they have moved to allow private health insurance companies and private hospitals. We agree that complete government control over the health care system and any other industry in this huge country, would be a disaster. But we disagree as far as what the alternatives should be. I guess I would be in the middle of Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists, who believe that government should be completely involved in running basic human services. Things that would be called basic social welfare. Like insurances in the economy like health care and health insurance, education would be another example. And Ayn Rand Radians, who believe that government shouldn't be involved in the economy at all.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Another problem that Gary Johnson has which is just as big, is that two of the first three Republican primary's/caucus's is Iowa and South Carolina. With Iowa being the first and both of these states have large Christian-Right factions in them. Governor Johnson would be lucky to win 2-3% of the vote there. One thing that Gary Johnson does have going for him which by itself is not enough for Governor Johnson to win the Republican nomination, but is something is that New Hampshire is right after Iowa. And is a state with strong libertarian leanings in it. Sort of how the way the Republican Party as a whole used to be.
New Hampshire, is a state where Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, John Huntsman, Rudy Giulani and of course Mitt Romney, could potentially do well there. Because generally speaking it doesn't care about social issues. This is a State that's elected and reelected pro-choice Republicans to the Senate and House. Like Warren Rudman and Jim Jeffords. Senator Jeffords left the Senate in 2007 and served in Congress for over thirty years combine service. So pro-choice Republicans in New Hampshire is nothing new to them and has been around a long time. After all, the state motto in New Hampshire is 'give me liberty or give me death'.
So if Gary Johnson managed to I don't know, get into some Republican debates between now and December and do well, he could have some momentum going into New Hampshire. Gary Johnson to me is a classical case of the skunk at the party. Because he's running for president in a party that's no longer anti-big government and has loosen it's grip on being pro-limited government. Which is why he doesn't have a snowballs chance in South Florida in July of winning the Republican nomination for president.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
This is a smart move by Rep. Ron Paul, he could accomplish so much more for the Libertarian Movement out of Congress then he can in the House of Representatives. He's not going to be elected President ever but what he can do out of Congress is spend the rest of his Political Career, building the Libertarian Movement in American Politics. Within the Libertarian Party or out of the LP and perhaps form another Libertarian Party that, I don't know is run a lot better then today's LP. Or work to reform the LP and work to build the Libertarian Movement in general. So more Libertarian Candidates would run for Political Office, not just for Congress and President but for Governor and other State and Local Offices. America in my opinion needs another choice in politics, perhaps more then just another choice. The current Two Party System isn't working right now, other then to keep the two parties in power and soot their needs. A strong Libertarian Party, a strong Socialist Party, a strong Independence Party would all be good for American Politics. As well as the fringes in both the Democratic and Republican Parties, moving out of those parties. So they can go back to being the Liberal and Conservative Parties in America. Instead of the Democratic Party being a mixture of liberals and socialists, with the socialists threatening to destroy the party every time the Democratic Leadership does something they don't like. As well as the Republican Party going back to being the official Conservative Party in America. Instead of a mixture of conservatives and authoritarians both secular and theocratic authoritarians. And making the Republican Party look like a Far Right party instead of a conservative party. This is a good move on Rep. Paul's part because now he can fully focus on the Presidential Election of 2012 and building the Libertarian Movement going forward.
Ron Paul doesn't fit in the Republican Party anymore to begin with and hasn't fit in that party for about twenty years now. Since the Christian Right and the Neoconservatives took over. He's a libertarian running for President in a party where the Presidential Candidates need the support of these two Authoritarian Factions in order to get elected.
Monday, July 11, 2011
If you look at what libertarianism actually is and I'm not talking about Ayn Rand Libertarianism, which I see more as anarchism. But Milton Friedman what I would call Mainstream Libertarianism. Thats about Maximize Freedom and Responsibility for the Individual, meaning adults can live their own lives as they see fit, as long as they are not hurting innocent people with their freedom. Meaning adults can live their own lives as they see fit, as long as they are not forcing people to do what they are doing or hurting innocent people in any way. If you look at what Mainstream Libertarianism is and what's been called Classical Liberalism and Classical Conservatism is. They really aren't that different. They all believe in Individual Liberty, individualism, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Constitutional Rights, American Capitalism and Limited Government. They all just have different approaches to these issues. Liberals, conservatives and libertarians are all individualist and not collectivist like socialists or statist like communists and other authoritarians. Liberals, conservatives and libertarians have more in common I believe then things that they disagree with. Especially on Social Issues and differ more on Economic and Foreign Policy then anything and have different versions of Limited Government.
To take what liberals, conservatives and libertarians disagree on which I'll admit is more fun. Lets start with Economic Policy, liberals believe there's a Role for Government to provide a Safety Net for people who fall through the cracks, to help them get up and become Self Sufficient. As well as regulate the economy to prevent people from hurting each other in the economy. Conservatives believe in some form of a Safety Net, but that it should have as much choice in it as possible and be decentralized as possible. Conservatives believe in some for of regulation as well, like Anti Monopoly Laws, that sorta thing but that regulation should generally be mild. Libertarians traditionally speaking have been against all forms of a Safety Net, especially from the Federal Government. But lately Libertarian Presidential Candidates Rep. Ron Paul and former GOV. Gary Johnson have moderated those positions. And have talked about privatizing the American Welfare State and Block Granting it to the States. Libertarians don't want government involved in the economy at all basically. On Foreign Policy liberals and conservatives tend to be internationalists but again in different forms. Liberals tend to be more willing to negotiate and conservatives tend to be more willing to use Military Force. Libertarians tend to be isolationist on Foreign Policy that we shouldn't butt into other countries affairs.
I believe if the Libertarian Party and Movement were to ever moderate its position on the Welfare State and the War on Drugs. Taking more conservative positions on those issues. Like being for privatization and Block Granting of the Welfare State and being in favor of Marijuana Legalization yes but stop there. And come out in favor of getting Drug Addicts out of prison and into Drug Rehab instead. The Libertarian Party could become a major force in American Politics.
If your talking about what the Republican Party used to be and about and what Classical Conservatism is about and how it used to run the GOP. Then of course not, no way Sarah Palin is the best voice for that GOP, because for the simple fact that Sarah Palin doesn't understand what Classical Conservatism is about and what Constitutional Conservatism is about either. For the simple fact that when she says she's a Constitutional Conservative and then someone asks her what does that mean, she can't answer the question. She's not even a politician anymore or very good at politicking at least when it comes to running for office. She had that chance and that time has come and gone, at best now she's a Political Celebrity out there to make money and to entertain. Two things she does very well, could probably have a very good career at being a Political Comedian. Her Political Influence however has to do with her popularity in the Tea Party/Christian Right base in the Republican Party. To influence who gets nominated and supported in the Republican Party, sorta like an Elder Stateswomen in the party if you can be that at the age of 47. Perhaps she's making new ground there but thats what can happen you give up your Political Career in your mid 40s by how you ran your last election. She doesn't have a strong command of the major issues and I don't believe she wants one either. For the first time she's wealthy and perhaps happy in life and if she got divorced, would probably end up paying her husband money in the divorce. Sarah Palin is not even the best voice for the Christian Right/Tea Party, Michelle Bachmann now has that title who actually is a Professional Politician despite all the missteps she makes. But still a hell of a lot less missteps then Sarah Palin would make if she was running for some office.
Sarah Palin is not running for office, President, Vice President, Congress, Governor or anything else. She loves her role as a Political Celebrity and raking in the cash that comes with it. And why not, aint America a wonderful country, where you don't even need may skills to be successful in life.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
I'm personally not in favor of Private School Vouchers especially at the Federal Level, where education is mostly a State and Local Issue as it should be. They know the populations that they have and what they have to work better then the FEDS. Also because I believe money that Tax Payers would spend on Private School Vouchers, could be better spent on paying good educators more money, investing more resources in well performing Public Schools and better Starting Salary's of Public Educators. As well as Public School Choice, bringing in competition to the Public School System, forcing Public Schools to compete and do well in order to keep getting students. Including Charter Schools independent Public Schools that are still owned by the Local Government. Education is mostly a Local Issue with States having a role to provide support and some limited direction. If Local Government's want to fiance Private School Vouchers, then they have the ability to do that without the State and FEDS prohibiting that. But the Federal Government shouldn't be deciding how parents send their kids to school and to what schools they send their kids to. This is an issue for the locals to decide how their students are educated and then the parents should have the Freedom of Choice to decide how their kids get educated. Through either Public or Private Schools and which school they send their kids to. Which shouldn't be decided on where they live and forcing kids to automatically have to go to bad schools just because of where they live. But be able to send their kids to the best school thats for their kid, the school thats best for their kids and will give them the best education possible. And Private Schools if they want to can also finance on their own Private School Scholarships for well deserving Low Income students that are stuck going to bad schools.
Education is a Local Issue with the States being the first line of support and then the FEDS to help out with financing, research and that basic standards are met. But the Federal Government shouldn't be in the business of running Public or Private Schools, with vouchers or anything else. This is an issue for Local Governments.
Click on the link of the blog to see a forum on Private School Vouchers.
Friday, July 8, 2011
When I here lets say Modern Conservatives the Rick Santorum's, Herman Cain's, Michelle Bachmann's, Sarah Palin's of the World call themselves Constitutional Conservatives. Speaking in favor of the US Constitution that the Federal Government should only do what's laid out for it in the Federal Government. A question comes to my mind and I really don't say this to be insulting or flip, this is exactly how I feel. Should I laugh or feel sorry for these people who probably failed Social Studies in High School and had to take it again. Or have forgotten almost everything they learned about the Constitution in High School, College and in Law School in Sen. Santorum's case and I believe Rep. Bachmann as well. Because when they speak about something they don't either understand or don't have a strong grasp of what they are talking about. And to put it in a not nice blunt and truthful way, they are speaking out of their ass when they are speaking about the US Constitution. There isn't a Constitutional Conservative running for President in the Republican Party today. The closest would be Rep. Ron Paul but he's a Constitutional Libertarian not a Constitutional Conservative and there's a difference. Constitutional Libertarians believe the Federal Government should be doing even less then the Constitutional Conservatives. There are a few Constitutional Conservatives or Libertarians in Congress like Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ron Johnson and Sen. Mike Lee. And perhaps a few in the House, like the Libertarian Faction of the Tea Party as well as Rep. Ron Paul. Constitutional Conservatives don't believe in things like banning gays in the military or banning gay people from getting married. Or passing a law making pornography illegal that would get thrown out by the Federal Courts on First Amendment like they always have. At least not at the Federal Level, because Constitutional Conservatives don't care about how people live their own lives. They believe thats none of government's business.
To be a Constitutional Conservative, first of all you have to know what the hell it means to be a Constitutional Conservative. Thats the first test that Modern Conservatives have failed, these people are authoritarians not Constitutional Conservatives. Then you have to understand that the US Constitution protects more then just Political Speech, Freedom of Religion and the Right to Bare Arms. Thats the second test that Modern Conservatives fail.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Constitutional Conservatism