Sunday, July 24, 2011
In Their Own Self-Interest by Chuck McGlawn 10-08-2010
Fri, 10/08/2010 - 9:06pm
The Liberty/Libertarian Movement is stuck on “Pause” or even “Play Backward”. This cannot continue. Lawmakers propose laws, not because they think it is the right law to propose, but because it is going to advance their careers, or in their own self interest. Voters do not elect these self promoters because they are stupid, it is because the self-promoters are proposing the laws the voters want proposed, or in their own self-interest. People do what they do because they know what they know. Do you remember how mad you were when you learned that the National Government caused inflation by increasing the money supply? Do you recall your anger when you come to believe that the Government increased unemployment by raising the minimum wage? You became an activist for liberty because you wanted liberty to continue, or in your own self interest. The article below is a plan to activate approximately 4.5 million KEY PEOPLE to promote Liberty because it will be in their own self-interest.
The Libertarian Movement, from the very beginning has extolled the virtues of “Self-Interest. Attributing every action no matter how altruistic it may seem, to some motivation on the part of the actor engaging in his own self-interest. From Bill Gates giving multi millions of dollars to charity, all the way down to the driver who waves another driver the right of way in traffic, and everything in between. Claiming they are all somehow acts of self-interest. Perhaps the solution to the problem is to realign large segments of the population to advancing the liberty movement because of their own self-interest.
Let us face some realities, Democrats are not Democrats because they wake up each morning thinking of ways to “Tax and tax, spend and spend and elect and elect.” It is not true that they, “have never seen a tax they didn’t like.” Activist Democrats are working for what they have concluded is their own, and therefore your best interest.
Republicans are not Republicans because the wake up each morning thinking, “What laws they can pass to make Americans better, more responsible and more moral. Republicans are working to make America better, by making Americans better, and they are invigorated by their desire to live in that better America.
In the US today we have approximately 160,000,000 adults, divided between men and women, divided again among 50 States, divided again between employment in the public or the private sectors, divided again between hundreds or thousands of professions, careers and duties. These millions separate themselves again by personal interest, hobbies, and different activities physical and mental. Additional diversity manifests itself by political division (Rep. Dem. Lib. Grn. ETC.) Additional diversity arises from attitudes toward each issue, (Conservative, Liberal or Libertarian). Divided again by… Divided again by… Divided again by…All of these differences are inputs to some degree to creating diversity.
The diversity that I have so inadequately tried to describe above does not even scratch the surface of the diversity that exists within the borders of the US. We are a nation of peoples that are so freethinking, that no two individuals have the exact same total agenda. Talk about people as snowflakes, with no two alike. Is it any wonder that with all that individuality and diversity with the accompanying multiple cross purposes that comes built into that system that grass roots efforts to change or divert the bulldozer of government expansion has failed. We need a way to coral all of this individual diversity regardless of their far-flung self-interest, to somehow move in the same direction. How would we begin to think of a way to get any sizeable group to have any unifying self-interest?
There are two ways to accomplish this seeming impossible end. We are going to start with the second way. (We are starting with the second way because we have already been engaged in the first way for the last sixty years.) If we can make progress, and it is a gigantic if, way two is our only hope. [We have been suggesting this as your mantra for the last five years.] “By reducing the size of the Federal Government to its constitutionally limited size, would create a vacuum in the taxing and regulating departments, which would be quickly filled, separately by the 50 States governments. With the 50 separate State governments, tinkering with taxation and regulation some State would stumble onto a formula that would produce a bump upward in prosperity. Other States would see and begin to imitate the prosperous State. The second State would modify their taxing and regulating slightly to better accommodate their unique location that their State occupies physically and economically, and the unique make-up of their local population which will yield a bigger bump in their prosperity, and so forth, and so forth, etc.”etc
Then all the valuable lessons learned over the centuries, would come into play. Like lessons found in "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith; Division of Labor, and specialization would come into play and constant prosperity would be the standard fare, then none of this stimulus ruse designed to buy votes from the stimulated segments of the population to the detriment of other less vote producing segments of the population, because it would have a negative impact on prosperity.
Frankly, I am not sure the second step can ever be accomplished. Face it we have only two choices, the second being to educate enough people to adopt the Declaration of independence as the “Blueprint for our National Government.” The first being, “To educate enough American voters so, that will then take an active role in legislative selection, so as to vote out the tax and spend law makers, in favor of economically conservative lawmakers.” Gentle reader that is a process that started in the 1950s. Let me ask, how that has that approach worked out for us? The answer is that, while we have been working tirelessly to reduce the size of government for sixty years, there is no indication that we have slowed the process one iota. From Liberal Presidents like Johnson, Carter, and Clinton through Moderate Presidents like Eisenhower, Ford and Daddy Bush, to Conservative Presidents like Reagan. The growth in the size and intrusiveness of government has remained unchecked. You know all about the “Continuing the same steps of the past, and expecting different results.”
Today there is no clear distinction between tax and spend Democrats. who never saw a social program they didn’t like, and the borrow and spend Republicans. who never saw a war making program that they didn’t like. Sixty years of that effort has not produced a single Administration that successfully reduced the size and reach of government. This second way is to educate enough people to somehow put the “toothpaste” of government back into the “toothpaste tube”. As impossible as that sounds, it is far easier than the first choice that we have been engaged for sixty years.
Toward being able to accomplish the second method, remember we have a highly respected, even loved, roadmap, to a small National Government, we have a blueprint for small National Government; we have clearly defined guidelines for a small National Government. The document to which I refer is the Declaration of Independence. Within the Declaration of Independence, in the second paragraph we have a clear description of man’s proper relationship relation to his National Government. If enough could accept this paragraph as the “Mission Statement” for our National Government, we could easily use that blueprint to create a National Government of a size that would fit into the Constitution.
The job of educating enough people to accept the Declaration of Independence as the Mission Statement for our National Government is infinitely smaller than trying to educate the entire voting population to choose fiscally conservative lawmakers.
In just a few paragraphs, one can show clearly, the definition of our National Government. Using the highly respect and much supported Declaration of Independence, to achieve this clarity. Direct your attention to just the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. This advice has been available for 233 years. A carefully thoughtful reading of that simple sentence can provide the understanding to fashion a small National Government
The Declaration of Independence says, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness... [There is no major disagreement here, among a very large section of out population.]
What powerfully insightful words. First, it establishes that the truths are “self-evident” and are confirmed by observation of natural law. Then it goes on to reveal, that man’s rights, (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness) with the dictum that these rights are granted by the Creator or nature, called natural law, or the Rule of Law, and that they are “unalienable” which means they cannot be taken way. Not even by the government that is soon to be created.
Looking closer, you have three and only three RIGHTS. Simply by being born you have the right to LIFE. And you have the RIGHT to do with that LIFE anything you want to do. That is called LIBERTY. You have the RIGHT to plan and conduct that LIFE in a way that you think will maximize your happiness. These are all yours ostensibly without any interference from the National Government, so long as what you do does not interfere with another’s RIGHT to do what he/she wants to do with their LIFE. [I make a distinction between National Government and State Government because we have a blueprint for a National Government, but not a blueprint for State Governments. State governments will be molded and modified not by a blueprint, but by competition. Competition between the other forty nine States for populations.]
Next, the framers make a vitally important assertion. “That to secure these rights”, (notice here, that these are rights that we had even before we had governments to "secure" them.) “Governments are instituted among Men”. Please note here exactly what is being said, that “We The People” are going to engaged in a contract with our (soon to be formed) government to “secure” (that is to protect) our rights. It is also important to note that men make National Government, and therefore precede National Government.** This means that The National Government is the agent to and servant of man, and not the reverse. A reminder is necessary here. We are talking about our National Government, State Governments are not held to this high standard. Remember the State governments were established before these criteria were laid down. Some States had State religions, other States allowed slavery.
** Please note that as far as I know this is the FIRST and only time that States, individual Sovereign States, created a National Government. The European Union is another example, but that attempt will not have the impact on prosperity that these United States of America had on this Continent because by the time the EU was formed so many tenants of Socialism was built into their system.
Now the framers are going to designate from where our National Government gets its just powers, and at the same time put an important limitation on that governmental power. The Declaration of Independence says, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” There you have it. If our National Government gets its power from the governed, it would naturally follow that man cannot create a National Government and consent to give to that government powers that man himself does not have. Let me say that again. If government gets its power from the governed, then the government cannot have powers that individual man does not have.
A question or two are in order here; does man have the right to defend his own life and property? YES is the answer. Therefore, man can institute a National Government and share with that National Government the power to protect life and property. In fact, the ability to share these powers is the justification for a military and a judicial system.
Now, [and please read this carefully.] do you as a person, have the right to take money from others and give that money to someone else that you think needs it more? Do you as an individual have that right? The answer is NO. Therefore, it would follow that if man does not have the right to do it as an individual, then he cannot create a National Government, and consent to give to that National Government the power to take money from others and give it to someone else that the Government thinks needs it more.
This means our National Government can have no power to extract taxes from you to educate children. Our National Government can not be empowered to educate children, no matter how badly the population may think children need educating. It means that our National Government can have no power to extract taxes from you to fund social welfare, no matter how needy the population may think some people are. It also can have no power for health care providing, business promoting, Park building. The National Government should not be involved in educational standards setting, régime changing, weather reporting, democracy spreading. The National Government should not be spending tax monies on database keeping, farmer saving, speed limit setting or toilet designing. No matter how large a budget surplus our government may have it should never spend taxes on E-Mail reading, phone tapping, corporate bailouts, or the dozens of other things that the National Government is either financing or regulating.
Let me mention just one natural result of this change. If the Declaration of Independence is adopted as the “Mission Statement” for our National Government, and if all of those broad powers, and many many more too numerous to mention, were to be removed from our National Government, would there be a need for an IRS? I think not
The effect of creating a National Government that is limited to just the powers that individuals had before he had a National Government, would in effect divide all of that power among the fifty States. The POWER usurped by and is being exercised by our National Government would be transferred separately to the fifty State Governments, as it was originally intended.
The National Government would still have the power to maintain a DEFENSIVE military. You may be asking why I emphasized defensive? It is because DEFENSIVE is the only power YOU have to share with the National Government. The National Government would still have the power of the Judicial Branch to settle disputes between States.
This would in effect turn our States into Wal-Marts and K-Marts competing with each other for populations. The unintended consequences of this move would automatically end those dastardly “earmarks” Our National Government would not have the money (Power) to bribe or coerce States Governments into compliance with the desires of the National Government.
Would we have to pass laws to stop those “Horrible” lobbyists? NO. What would happen if you took away DCs Power Peddling? Then Corporations that had been paying the lobbyist to lobby for a corporate advantages would begin to spend that money on actual product improvement, or increase dividend payouts or paying higher wages, or perhaps a little of all three.
Right now, there are approximately 4.5 million state employees. The main concern for most of those 4.5 million is to have a job next year, that gentle reader is a formula for inefficiency. There is no real thought on the part of most of those 4.5 million State employees to deliver “Betterment” to the citizens of their respective States. There is no real eye toward efficiency in State Government. It is like having 4.5 million people employed by State Governments who, by the system in place are working against our self-interest. However, if every State had to compete with the other forty nine States for populations it would convert many of those 4.5 million State employees into machines of efficiency. Because it would be in their own self-interest to do so. That is if they wanted to keep their jobs. Each State employee would be seeking lower operating cost, always striving to become more efficient, always thinking of ways to deliver “betterment” to the populations of their State. The efficiency learning curve would be so steep as to astound lawmakers, and point them toward efficiency. This would turn our State lawmakers into writing and passing laws (often times repealing laws that created inefficiency) that would benefit the populations of their State. Moreover, if the lawmakers of one State were slower to move than the lawmakers of a competing State would find their tax base dwindling. Lawmakers that were slow to move or continued to propose laws that were contrary to the wishes of the people, he would be looking for a new job after the next election. In addition, the questions about term limits would become moot.
Another unintended consequence [And there are many more. We invite you to give this concept some thought, it will spawn ideas that will astound you.] would begin to surface that being the knowledge that the voter within a State could really affect their governments through the voting process. This would make interest in governmental matters higher on an individual’s priority list likely way ahead of knowing the scores of the last NBA Basketball game, or who the starting pitcher or quarterback will be in the big game.
PS I am very interested to know what you think about this article. Do you think it has merit. Do you have thoughts on how to recapture our liberty? If yes, please share your thoughts with us. We are specifically asking for your thoughts.