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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Declaration of Independence: A Closer Look

by Chuck McGlawn
While the foundations and underpinnings of “natural law” are taking root in the fertile soil of the "New World", they are, at the same time, being read and studied by the Founding Fathers who ushered in a completely new attitude towards RIGHTS, which took on the name “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS”, or “INALIENABLE RIGHTS”. The precise elements, the exact formulation and perfect timing all coalesced to give birth to this completely new concept in man’s attitude toward RIGHTS and a brand new governance based on that attitude. In short, we had arrived at that time in our philosophical evolution that man felt that he had the capacity for self-government.This time in our philosophical evolution made the concept of  “might makes right” ready to be discarded into the trash heap of history. This is the period when we realized that “the divine right of Kings” no longer held any significance, and the people no longer needed a monarch supposedly put in power by God to guide us through life.This was a gigantic step forward in man's attitude towards RIGHTS.

This was not only a completely new attitude toward RIGHTS; it also spawned a completely new relationship between man and his government. This step in the evolution has literally redefined nationhood, even though historians have not realized, or have chosen to ignore this giant step forward in the evolution of humankind. For the first time in the history of nationhood, the nation would be the servant of man, and not the reverse. The thirteen original colonies were to remain sovereign, linked only by the Articles of Confederation and later the Constitution.  

If you have any doubts as that last statement I invite you to read very carefully the last paragraph, copied from Wikipedia, you will find it at the bottom of this article.

This entire miracle is laid-out in just one paragraph of the Declaration of Independence; it is a paragraph that I have come to believe that even the author did not completely understand. The Declaration of Independence is the thread that stitched together thirteen independent States into one nation, and serves as the “Mission Statement” for that nation. It lays out the basic plan as to what our founding fathers wanted to accomplish with the government that would be created if we fought off the British Monarchy. The Declaration of Independence was the red flag waved in front of the bull to excite the bull to attack. It was the Declaration of Independence that energized enough of the colonist to think they could take on the British Empire.

Let us dissect and take a closer look at the components of that paragraph of the Declaration of Independence through eyes that are 232 years farther along the evolutionary process. Let us start with, We hold these truths to be self-evident… This statement indicates that the underpinnings of these concepts were well established, and were almost universally understood by 1776. The statement basically says, “If you look around you will come to the same conclusion. The Declaration of Independence continues with, …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. WOW, what a powerfully insightful sentence. It lays out man’s rights, (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness) with the dictum that these rights are natural rights granted by nature or the Creator. That they cannot be taken way. Not even by the government being created. They are “unalienable” And that these truths are confirmed simply by observation of natural law.

Let us look just a little closer. I am questioning the use of the words “among these…” Because you have three and only three RIGHTS. Simply by being born you have the right to LIFE. Moreover, you have the RIGHT to do with that life anything you want to do that is called LIBERTY. Furthermore you have the RIGHT to plan and conduct that life in a way that you think will maximize your happiness. Can you think of any more RIGHTS that the three so eloquently listed could be among? (These RIGHTS are all yours, so long as what you do does not interfere with another's right to do what he or she wants to do with their life).

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 government, and therefore men precede government. This means that our National Government is the agent to and servant of the States and the men that created the States. Putting the States and man in the positions of power, and not the reverse.

Now the framers are going to designate from where our national government gets its 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 power from the consent of the governed.There you have it. If government gets its power from the governed, it follows that man cannot create a government and give to that government powers that man himself does not have. Let me say that again. . If our national government gets its power from the governed, then the government cannot have powers that man himself does not have. Now we are talking here about a whole new concept in governance, where independent States, thirteen to be exact, create the framework of a nation.

Now, let us ask two questions to clarify the thinking about the power of government. Remember we are only talking about the National Government. The State, the County and the City governments do not enter into these limitations. Question #1, does man have the RIGHT to defend his own life and property? The answer to that question is YES.  Therefore, man can institute a National Government and share with that Government the power to protect life and property. In fact, that is the justification for the military for national DEFENSE, a police force for property protection. and a court system to adjudicate crimes against man and property.
Question #2, [And I am serious here.] Does man (that is an individual man) have the RIGHT to take money from your pocket, and give it to someone else that he thinks needs it more? The answer to that question is NO. Please note, if an individual man does not have the RIGHT to take money from one and give it to another. Then how could a collection of individual men derive such a power?) Therefore, it would follow that if man does not have that right then he cannot create a National Government, and give to that National Government the power to take money from one and give it to another that the government thinks needs it more.

This means our National Government can tax us to perform the job of National Defense and create a Judicial system. The National Government has no power to extract taxes from you to educate children, no matter how badly you 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 you think some people are. This restriction on the National Government does not prevent the individual States and Counties and Cities from taxing to support those activities.
As long as we are talking about the National Government, it also can have no power to extract taxes for health care providing, business promoting. Our National Government should not be involved in, Park building, educational standards setting, régime changing, weather reporting, democracy spreading. The National Government’s job description does not include database keeping, farmer saving, speed limit setting, toilet designing, e-mail reading, phone tapping, or the dozens of other things that the National Government is either financing or regulating.
The future of our already grossly eroded RIGHTS is grim indeed. With the two major parties competing with each other to buy your votes with increased spending and increased regulation, individual RIGHTS will continue to wane. Things are going to get worse before they get better. Let me quickly add, things will get better. History, moving ever forward, does not ever make a U-Turn.

Here is the last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Read it carefully.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Did you catch it? Do you see something that you have never seen before? If no, please contact this author either for some well needed “eye-opening” exercises or to join me in spreading this revelation.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

End All Minimum Wage Laws By Chuck McGlawn


The statement of a “Greedy Capitalist”, or is it a step toward more freedom? In this, the “Age of Polarization”, if you are generally called a liberal or progressive you accept the first answer. If you are called a conservative or a Tea Partier you would favor the second. If you were an economist of either stripe, you may say neither, followed by, “However, minimum wages do increase unemployment.”

OK, if almost every economist agrees and it is a given that laws that increase the minimum wage always increases unemployment. Then, on what segment of the labor force does it have the most effect. The answer to that question is a surprising, “it affects the least skilled, and then every skill level above the least skilled.”

It is easy to conceptualize that when minimum wage laws raise the minimum wage some of the least skilled workers may lose their jobs, even if the job is the least demanding menial tasks. Employers may think some of their employees and the jobs they do are not worth the mandatory wage raise. However, it is also true that the job they had been doing may still occasionally need doing. This means a more skilled employee is pulled off his more productive activity to do the menial jobs occasionally.

As occupants of more skilled levels must move downward, it follows that employees of the next higher skill level will be moved downward to fill in for work not completed by the lower skilled.

Let’s turn this thinking upside down, with a simple thought experiment. We are going to imagine just one company and one job center. There 100 people employed at four skill levels: 10% at the lowest skill level, 60% employed at the second level, 20% at the third level and top management constitutes the upper 10%. There is a minimum wage in effect. The company is able to compete in the marketplace. The product or service they provide or produce is selling at a level that provides enough profit to keep the investors satisfied. There is at every skill level one employee that is ready and eager for promotion but is held back because management is not sure the increased cost added to the increased production the result of four promotions are executed will have a market. In this thought experiment we are dealing with very high unemployment rate for certain segments of the population. It is as high as 50% for high school dropouts especially minorities. The reason for high unemployment are the minimum wages that must be paid. This prevents a willing buyer of labor and a willing seller of labor to connect because government prevents it.

Into this mental exercise let us eliminate the minimum wages. Now the willing buyer can contract with the willing seller and a single low skilled person is hired. This will free up the most skilled at every level to be promoted to the next level. Increased production  with very little increase in production cost making the company more profitable. In this example four people are gaining skills and experience not available to them when minimum wage laws prevent the lowest skilled from ever getting a job to get these experiences.

Friday, August 19, 2011

How the Left and Right Got Their Names By Chuck McGlawn

How the Right got its name is a no brainer, closely associated with Conservatives they simply called themselves the opposite to their opposition, the left. Now, how the Left got its name is a little more complicated and somewhat clouded. My assumption is that Karl Marx called his Communist movement a “movement of the left” because of the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly. The First Estate (the clergy and "Religion is the opiate of the proletariat".) and the Second Estate (the landed nobility, the exploiters of labor) was the power elite of the day sat on right side of Louie XVI. They were seen by Marx as the enemy, and he therefore called his movement a movement of the left. Lenin and Trotsky continued to refer to Communism as a movement of the left.

Even without my assumption, the usage over the years confirms many times over that Totalitarianism, Communism and Socialism (all 100% government) have always been referred to as "left" few people get this one wrong.
Now, stay with me here, if 100% government is the extreme left, and the starting point on the left end of a political spectrum, then 0% government, or Anarchy, would be the exact opposite and the ending point on the right end of that political spectrum. This is not conjecture or just my opinion. This single plane spectrum, with 100% government on the left and 0% government on the right, is the ONLY measuring device that takes in every person and every governmental system or lack of system on the planet.
There are “Big Tent” libertarians, there are the “Taxes are theft” libertarians. There are single issue Libertarians e.g. Anti-Gun Control, pro choice, libertarians, and many others. There are no “more government” Libertarians, this would mean there is no such thing as a “left libertarian”.

The Right
In The Transformation of the American Right, first published in Continuum, Summer 1964, pp. 220–231. Murray Rothbard correctly observed,  
The modern American Right began, in the 1930’s and 1940’s, as a reaction against the New Deal and the Roosevelt Revolution, and specifically as an opposition to the critical increase of statism and state intervention (Emphasis added)
According to Dr. Rothbard, the left/right political spectrum measures the increases in governmental power, especially the power to intervene into the daily lives of individuals and businesses.
A reinforcement of this concept is found in “Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal” published in 1969, Rothbard further observed: “…we adopted the standard view, (Emphasis added) let me repeat “…we adopted the standard view, (Emphasis added)  of the political spectrum: “left,” meant socialism, or total power of the state; the further ‘right’ one went the less government one favored. Hence, we called ourselves “extreme rightists." Rothbard’s  standard view of the left right political Spectrum would have looked like this, I have added some of the major occupants and their relative positions on the chart. (view full screen)
100% government ß-----------------------------------------------------------L---I --B---E--R--T--A--R--I --A-- Nà 0% government.
Left  (Totalitarian Communist Socialism Fascist Nazi)                                                                             Anarchy . Right
Note: Because different Libertarians believe in different amounts of government, we have spread Libertarianism over the right end of the chart.
Additional confirmation, farther along in the same article Rothbard said, “Originally, our historical heroes were such men as [Thomas] Jefferson, [Thomas] Paine, [John]Cobden and [Richard] Bright and [Herbert] Spencer. As our views became purer and more consistent, we eagerly embraced such near-anarchists as the voluntarist, Auberon Herbert, and the American individualist-anarchists, Lysander Spooner and Benjamin R. Tucker.”
In other words as they became “purer” and more “consistent” in their Libertarians thinking, there heroes were chosen from men that were closer to anarchy and 0% government on the right end of the Political Spectrum, that Dr. Rothbard called the standard view.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What Was Old Is New Again.…by Chuck McGlawn

There was a time when Right, Rightist, Right Wing and Conservative were almost synonymous. During almost the same period Left, Leftist and Left Wing and Liberal were also nearly synonymous. Verify this with a quick look at the Noland Quiz. In 1972 the terms left/liberal and right/conservative were almost used interchangeably. If you are trying to maintain the synonymousness (if that is a word) of Right/Conservative and Left/Liberal, let me say, it cannot be done. The distinction between Right and Conservative began in the early 50s, (With the launch of National Review.)and broadened greatly in the early 70s (With the bourgeoning of the conservative evangelical movement.). If you will look closely at these times in history, you will see the points of when the two concepts began to take on different meanings.

The distinction between Left/Liberal began in the mid 60s, and has continued more gradually ever since. If you will look closely at this time in history, you will see the point of distinction, when the two concepts began to take on different meanings.

The bottom line, is we have reached a point where we need to be specific when we mean “Right” and when we mean “Conservative”. Moreover, we need to be specific when we mean “Left” and when we mean “Liberal”.

Left-Wing took on its modern meaning in the US, that of being a movement that held that government was best suited to solve social and economic problems. The meaning evolved partially from Karl Marx, and then wholly from Lenin and Trotsky. Marx always referred to communism as being on the left. Let me remind you of Marx‘s call for the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat“. Let me also remind you that Lenin’s last major work… was entitled “Left-Wing” Communism…” Encyclopedia of Marxism. “Trotsky criticized the Soviet Union in some cases for being too far left” (Emphasis added) when they “initiated forced collectivization of all farms.” Encyclopedia of Marxism) Please note government nationalizing agriculture is an increase in governmental power.

The left’s connection to liberal occurred in the US around 1920. However, to make that clear we will go back to the late 1800s. when Communism, Marxism and big government were clearly Left. The left in America did not want to be connected in any way to Marx or communism as he had already made some very powerful enemies, so they did not call themselves “leftist”. The names they used to identify their leftist activities in America was “populist” and/or “progressive”.

The Populist party platform of 1896, calling itself the “party of the people”, campaigned for a graduated (progressive) income tax, postal [or national] savings banks be established by the Government, nationalization of the railroads and the telegraph in the interest of the people. These planks came straight out of the Communist Manifesto. See Populist Party Platform 1886 at http://www.iath.virginia.edu/seminar/unit8/popplat.htm

More specifically, the “populist” or “progressive”, clearly leftist, were very busy calling for the government intervention. More specifically, they wanted the government to solve the problems caused by the displacement of farm labor and its migration to the big cities. This displacement was brought on by the increased efficiency of agricultural production.

They failed so completely, that to the voters the Populist/Progressives programs were completely discredited. By the 1920s, the labels “Populist” and “Progressive” had become pejoratives in the political lexicon. Therefore, the “Populist” and “Progressive” needed a new name to identify themselves so they could continue their leftist work of collectivization of the American people. The name they took was “liberal for the first time the terms liberal and left-wing were connected and in time would become almost synonyms.

From that point until the mid 1960s, the terms left wing and liberal became more and more synonymous. These terms used almost interchangeably to describe people who were generally calling for more government, or more accurately that government was best suited to solve social and economic problems.

To quote Murray Rothbard, “The modern American Right got its meaning and its start in the 1930's and 1940's, as a reaction to the New Deal and the Roosevelt Revolution, and specifically as an opposition to the critical increase of statism and state intervention.”(Emphasis added) It was fairly clear that most everyone’s perception Right Wing meant opposition to big government. Among it’s most vocal adherents were John T. Flynn, H.L. Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, Rose Wilder Lane, and Garet Garret, Frank Chodorov and yes Murray Rothbard himself.

The Winds of Change

Please recall that prior to the mid 1960s, the Liberal/left had applauded and encouraged the growth and expansion of domestic social programs during the Roosevelt era. Additionally, the liberal/left tolerated the militarist expansion of the Truman and Eisenhower era. However, during the mid 1960s to late 1970s, a change was taking place. Even liberals, that had always favored expanding government, were beginning to be concerned with the exponential growth of governmental power. In other words, Liberals began feeling the pinch of expanded government.

At this point, the terms “Liberal” and “left wing” ceased to be synonymous. Liberals abandoned the Left-Wing call for government to solve all problems. On issues like marijuana use, prostitution, censorship and especially the military draft, liberals were decidedly anti-big government.

Conversely, the “conservative” and “right wing” movement was evolving as well, spurred on by two events: William F. Buckley in the early1950s stampeded many Conservative/Right Wingers into calling for more government to oppose communism. Secondly, the burgeoning Conservative fundamental Christian revival of the 1970s, with this growth in numbers and power, conservatives learned that they, could advance their agenda through government, a program that they eagerly adopted, and continue to embrace.

These are the points in time when the terms conservative and right-wing ceased to be synonymous. At that time conservatives were not always anti-big government. They now favored big military, increased FBI and CIA activity to oppose Communism. They favored things like “troops on the border” to stop immigration, laws that made “abortion illegal” and the Presidential use of the “Federal Registry” to stop “partial-birth abortions” and “stem cell research”. All of which are calls for more government.

None of those changes had any effect on the Left/Right Political Spectrum. That much maligned Left/Right spectrum is more important today than at anytime in beleagered history, because it measures the power of government, or the degree to which government makes the decisions for individuals and businesses, or the degree to which individuals and businesses are free to make their own decisions.

It looked like this: (view full screen)

100% government <-------------------------------------------------------------------------------> 0% government.

Left Communism Fascism Socialism -------------------------- England------------ USA----- Anarchy Right

The Soviet Union under Communism, (a totalitarian system) was 100% government. Fulfilling Marx’s call for “the dictatorship of the proletariat”. The State made 100% of the decisions for its citizens and industry. The Soviet Union was therefore, on the far left end of the spectrum, as described by Marx, Lenin and Trotsky.

Anarchy, which literally means no rule, would be on the opposite right end of that spectrum. England, with a Monarchy and a Parliament, and a semi-socialist economic system, made a high percentage of the decisions for its citizens, but still less than the 100% of the decisions as in the Soviet Union. England was then, to the right of the Soviet Union, but far from the right end of the spectrum.

This would place the constitutionally limited government of the United States clearly to the right of England and toward the right end of the spectrum but still to the left of anarchy.

In Conclusion

Conservatives are Right-Wing when they call for less government, for reducing taxes, reducing foreign aid, corporate and social welfare, for ending farm subsidies, protecting Second Amendment rights, reducing Federal regulations. Etc. However, Conservatives, as you have observed, are Left-Wing when they call for increases in governmental power, more troops on the border, laws making abortion illegal, regulations making partial birth abortion and stem cell research illegal.

Liberals are Left-Wing when they call for more government. However, Liberals are Right-Wing when they call for less government, for reduced penalties for minor drug use, for decriminalizing prostitution and gambling and for relaxed laws governing censorship.

Liberal and Conservative cannot be on a single plane political spectrum because liberals sometimes call for more government and sometimes call for less government. And with Conservatives it is the same, sometimes more sometimes less government. Literally, the bottom line Libertarians are on the Right because they always call for less government.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

President Obama AND (insert almost anyones name here) Must Be Stopped. By Chuck McGlawn

President Obama AND (insert almost anyones name here) Must Be Stopped. By Chuck McGlawn 08/04/2011

As I read President's socialist takeover must be stopped By Jeffrey T. Kuhner, I couldn’t help but be think of other names that should have qualified for Impeachment list.

Where he accused Obama of.” undermining our constitutional system of checks and balances; subverting democratic procedures and the rule of law;” the first President that came to mind was President John Adams. Yep gentle reader the second President of the United States is clearly guilty of that exact charge.

When Kuhner wrote that President Obama was,” presiding over a corrupt, gangster regime; and assaulting the very pillars of traditional capitalism. I thought, could there be a better description of the Roosevelt Regime.

When the author said of Obama, “He is slowly… erecting a socialist dictatorship…putting America on that dangerous path. I am sorry lads and lasses that description takes in every President back to Abraham Lincoln and especially Lincoln.

When Kuhner points out that “Obamacare’s most pernicious aspect is its federal funding of abortion. Pro-lifers are now compelled to have their tax dollars used to subsidize insurance plans that allow for the murder of unborn children. This is more than state-sanctioned infanticide.” I say, where was Kuhner when Daddy Bush, as one of the last commands at the end of Gulf War 1 ordered the destruction of Iraqi water desalinization capability and the sewage processing plants. This and the sanctions imposed by the UN that prevented reclamation of the equipment had a dramatic effect on child mortality. A BBC article reported two UN Studies showed that child mortality had gone from a low of 47 per 1,000 prior to the Gulf War to 108 per 1,000 between 1994 and 1999. Child mortality rate, which refers to children between the age of one and five years. Estimates like British Member of Parliament George Galloway: say, "a million Iraqis, most of them children."

Our list should include Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who on May 12, 1996, defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied "we think the price is worth it."

When the author said Obama, “has engaged in numerous high crimes and misdemeanors”. When I read those lines who else but Bush II comes rushing to mind. Where was Kuhner when Bush II engaged the US in two wars, one of them completely preemptive without a “Declaration of War” by the 107th Congress. Oh, and while we are at it let's include the 107th Congress for passing the: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ("USA PATRIOT") Act, giving the color of law to a whole list of activities not authorized by the Constitution. It ended and or greatly reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies' ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States. It expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.

There is only one thing wrong with ousting Obama; is there any, I mean any expectation that his replacement would have been better?

PS Did you know the “USA PATRIOT act” is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. Someone must have got a big bonus check for coming up with that