Search This Blog

Monday, April 16, 2012

“The Same Old Things That Have Never Worked”

With those words President Obama dismissed free market solutions proposed by Republicans and signaled his support for government imposed solutions to real or imagined problems in our nation. What he really dismissed were individuals like you and me making our own decisions and being personally responsible for our lives. He dismissed individual freedom in favor of a few “enlightened” individuals making decisions for us. His is a belief that a few bureaucrats and politicians can make better decisions than you and I can in regard to our medical care, our retirement needs, what kind of food to eat, what kind of car to drive, and how much money we should earn.

Barack Obama, like countless would-be dictators before him, believes that if only we would let him do what needs to be done without being impeded by the Constitution, he can and will create a new society. He promised to transform America into an equal and just society, one that is radically different than that of the vision of our Founders. Our President is a utopian and he views barriers to his actions such as the rule of law as obstructions to creating his utopian society. As Mark Levin has written in his book, Ameritopia, “A heavenly society is said to be within reach if only the individual surrenders more of his liberty and being for the general good, meaning the good as prescribed by the state. If he refuses, he will be tormented and ultimately coerced into compliance for conformity is essential.”

As the often quoted, yet unknown author wrote, “Free men are not equal and equal men are not free.” Indeed, to insist that all men (and women) are exactly the same—with equal talents, skills, drive, risk-tolerance, and abilities—would be to deny obvious reality. All men are equal in the sight of God and in a free society, they are equal under the law, but otherwise each individual is totally unique. Individuals are not movements or groups or classes or even races—they are distinctive, unique beings created by God. There was never an individual before them, nor will there be someone after them that will be exactly the same as they are.

There are three aspects of American government—the executive branch, the judicial branch and the legislative branch. The executive—our president—is an individual with all the flaws and imperfections of every other man. All he brings to office is his talents, beliefs, and energy. The most important element is his philosophy of government and his understanding of human nature. Everything else is of much lesser importance. If he understands the fallen state of human nature and thus the importance of limiting government power he will succeed. If he looks upon himself as someone whose job it is to engineer the behavior of individual citizens instead of as a public servant who is to humbly serve them and to operate under the law, he will fail his oath of office and fail the trust of the American people. If he seeks to gather more power to himself instead of seeking to give the individual more power, and autonomy he will fail.

Similarly, the legislative branch of government will succeed only if they remain true to the understanding of the Founders view of limited government. If a legislator views himself as a boss instead of a public servant, he will have violated the trust of those who elected him (or her). Each time a legislator seeks to do something for the “people” he is depriving individual citizens of their right to make free choices as to what they want to spend their money on and who they wish to freely donate to. When a legislator seeks to give away money that is not his to enhance his re-election prospects he has himself become corrupted. When he engages in “log rolling,” i.e. agreeing to dole out money for special projects in another Representative’s District in return for that Congressman’s vote for pork spending in his District, he is guilty of dishonesty. Worse yet, his actions run totally counter to the vision of the Founders who sought citizen legislators who sacrificed to serve their fellow man and who scrupulously sought to live by both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.To do otherwise a Representative serves no one but himself.

A judiciary who views themselves as more than arbitrators of determining right and wrong and the Constitutionality of issues before them has gone beyond their Constitutional mandate. They have become unelected super legislators who re-write legislation and find new unwritten meaning in existing laws. When they issue edicts of taxation they have become potentates who have done violence to the Constitution itself. Those judges who substitute their own views for the law and rely on laws outside the United States have broken their oath of office.

All three branches of government are subject to corruption as all men are subject to corruption. That is the reason the Founders sought to limit the power of government over the lives of individual citizens. When left to their own devices, and given vast power, men will always seek to gain power over the lives of others and to enrich themselves.

Government is and always will be a dangerous public institution. The more power government has, the more your freedom and mine is in danger. And the more involvement government has in the economic sphere, the less fair and honest and productive the economy will be. There is no possible way or reason for you and I to believe that a few men and women in government, in any branch, can make economic decisions affecting our lives better than we can.

The free market is the most fair, the most just, the least corruptible segment of our society when government does not interfere. It is not perfect, but it is far, far more fair and just than any branch of government can ever be. The President is subject to his own failings and shortcomings and he is just one person who cannot possibly weigh fairly and make just decisions affecting every American in a positive way. The less influence he and the bureaucracy of government have over your life and over the lives of all Americans, the more fair, just and mutually beneficial economic choices will be.

Congress is only slightly more fair in its makeup and decision making process than the President. At its worst it is a mobocracy that acts in a self-serving, emotional manner, substituting its limited knowledge and views for the millions of independent choices that responsible American citizens make each day. Democracy is never as fair and just as the free market. Just 51% of the votes by flawed legislators is not an equitable substitute for the free market.

What is the free market? It is simply tens of millions of individual citizens making free choices how and when to spend their money, how and when to save their money, and how and when to give their money to others free of interference from government. That is a true free market. The opposite of a free market is government interference in the form of subsidies, regulations and taxes taking money from its citizens. When a relatively few politicians and bureaucrats make decisions how and when to spend your money instead of you making those decisions fairness, honesty, and productivity are not served. It’s no more complicated than that.

Tyrannical rule by a judiciary is even worse than decisions made by a legislature. In that case a few un-elected officials appointed by politicians, who too often have no commitment or understanding of the Constitution, make laws instead of ruling on the meaning of those laws. When judges seek to engineer social objectives that they believe to be good, they have gone outside the law. Such actions are nothing less than tyranny of the Court and they punish all Americans.

When President Obama derides free market solutions by saying that we want to “…try the same old things that have never worked before” he is simply ignorant of economic reality. Only freedom works. In fact, statism—rule by a few—has never worked. Socialism has and always will be a dismal failure. Social engineering schemes like Social Security and Medicare and Obamacare always fail. They are financially unsustainable structures as are all socialist ventures. Politicians love to create socialist institutions that make millions of voters dependent upon them for their needs of retirement and of health care. Such institutions fail to provide security, provide low quality services, and diminish your individual freedom. And the more dependent voters are, the more they can be manipulated and coerced into giving away even more of their hard won liberty.

The more independent and self-reliant and God fearing voters are, the more they will cling to liberty and eschew reliance on government. Such voters realize that government cannot guarantee anything. Any institution that takes from you to give back to you will always disappoint. God-fearing Americans know that security only comes from God and that any human construction is subject to failure.

Freedom has a foundation. Free societies exist only when there is a consensus of faith in God. The United States of America is not a Christian nation if Christian nation means the official church of the nation. That’s what the nations of Europe are where there is a state church. Today Europe is comprised of very secular states even though they are officially Christian nations. In stark contrast, the United States still has a large and strong group of Christians who strive to live their faith. It is the faith of millions of American Christians that creates and sustains a national consensus of traditional moral values. The weaker that consensus becomes, the more tenuous the commitment to the moral values of our Founders. When the moral foundation of a nation crumbles, self-restraint declines. The fact is that Faith is necessary to the exercise of self-restraint. One cannot believe in God and seek to follow him without striving to emulate Christ. That kind of self-restraint is absolutely essential to the creation of a free society. Without self-restraint, freedom turns into license and license devolves into chaos. At that point, the intervention of government power is necessary to restore order, but as government power grows, individual freedom dies.

Individual freedom cannot exist without economic freedom—your right to decide how to spend and donate your money, your right to choose what to buy and whom to buy it from, your right to offer for sale your goods and services at whatever price and in whatever form that you believe will be attractive to other free citizens. Our President has it backwards. Socialism is and always will be a dead end road to economic misery, inequality, and servitude. Economic freedom is the proven path to prosperity which offers hope and opportunity to every American. It is the American dream in action.

No comments:

Post a Comment