Opinion: Myopia or Lake of Comprehension
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I believe the biggest issue with contemporary American public opinion is Myopia or lake of comprehension. It is being strategically imposed on populous by corporate media and sold out politicians with thirty second narrowly focused reports. To be able to fully understand a highly broad based topic like this you, first of all, must fully understand and appreciate some basic concepts and principles on which the whole premise is based and depends on:
1. Sustainability: Dealing with poverty and prosperity of a population, numbered in hundreds of million which is hopefully going to stay there for a very long foreseeable future means the solution must be sustainable for a very long period of time.
2. Strength and resources of provider / providers: Whoever or whatever is going to provide the solutions must have enough resources now and in future to be able to provide a formidable solution.
3. Learning from history and experience: We must also have a determination. We must know if any of the proposed solutions has ever worked in human history or in contemporary world. One that has not worked will not work.
4. Goals: Doesn’t matter how good or bad the goals are, they can never be achieved just by goodness of heart or passion. There must exist, viable means to achieve those goals.
5. Reality vs. optimism: Optimism is good, but, reality always hit you, ultimately.
6. Natural vs. artificial: We must also recognize the fact, what originally existed and what was necessarily crafted to serve the purpose of naturally existing so that the means do not get preference over original purpose.
Now, take the example of buying a new home. It will be great for anyone of us to buy and own the world’s most expensive and most luxurious home, possible. But before making a decision on this, we must seriously consider some of our limitations, likewise:
1. Can we afford the ongoing cost of such a large and expensive home?
2. Is the bank we are lending money from is reputable, financially stable and trustworthy source.
3. Does the builder of our home has a track record of building quality and affordable homes?
4. How many rooms do we need? What kind of kitchen we want? Is home office necessary and needed? How much of the storage we need? What is the price we can afford?
5. We want a big yard, three car garage, and big porch. But, is that absolutely necessary? Can we live with smaller yard, garage and porch? Can we maintain bigger ones? Can we pay for those?
6. Is the primary purpose of owning a home is to have a comfortable space of your own or is it to have every possible luxury available at the time?
You can overlook one or more of these realities. But the chances are, if you do not make a decision within your means, you may ultimately end up having no home at all.
Now compare government run collectivist society and free market Capitalism on the bases of these undeniable realities of our lives and just cut out all the propaganda crepe you learned from public school system, corporate media and sold out politicians:
1. If you examine the trends starting from Teddy, the current craziness doesn’t seem to stop at any point. It is very well destined to ultimately reach 100% taxation rate, otherwise known as Socialism. Since private enterprise work for profit, 100% taxation means no more private enterprise and everything owned by government. Flip side of this is that taxation comes from private enterprise, the only source of income for government. So, no private enterprise means not more taxes.
2. You can deny it as much as you want. But, government is the most unproductive, inefficient, corrupt and coercive institution, humans ever created. It does not generate any income of its own, at all. Best it can do is to take taxes from one set of people and hand those out to other set of people. That is why every single system based on hand outs from this most unproductive institution has failed, without any exception.
3. You can deny this, as well, as much as you want. But, free market Capitalism is the only system in human history which produced the largest and richest economy, ever, largest and richest middle class, ever, and fastest declines in poverty rates, ever, right here, in United States between 1776 and early 1900s. The conditions were not ideal. But, this is the only economic system, ever which was practically providing a totally trustworthy promise of poverty free nation. Since Teddy, government has been expanding, taxes are growing and so called war on poverty is going on. But, poverty rates are actually getting worse since then. Government cronyism is at the peak and big corporations, financing the political campaigns of Democ-rats and Republicans, can virtually get anything they want, regardless of who is in power and controls which branch of government. The central spirit of Capitalism, competition which is also Adam Smith’s hidden hand, is literally withering away under the regulations, almost always financed by corporate lobbies. No chance, no opportunity, no crisis is wasted and is being indiscriminately used to expand war machinery and military industrial complex, and to curb civil liberties during the process, in the name of security. More people, now, are unable to afford healthcare then they were in 1913, more are now below poverty line, than they were in 1913, far more in jails than they were in 1913, far more killed, injured, and physically and psychologically paralyzed by wars than before 1913, dollars has lost 98% of its buying power compared to 1913, 18 trillion dollar federal government deficit and 0.6 trillion being added every year. When social security and Medicare funds become insufficient to pay for all promised benefits the deficits will grow even faster. How much do you think we can sustain and afford? How long do you think it can go on? I leave the answer on you. But, if you have a slightest bit of intelligence and you are just a little bit open for reason and evidence, this should be enough historical evidence for you to not rely on government as your caretaker.
4. How much of these benefits Soviet Union was able to pay and for how long? How much of these benefits China was able to pay and for how long, until they had to embrace the free market economy, at least to some extent? How much pre-market India was able to pay these benefits and for how long? How much of these benefits North Korea is able to pay? How much of these benefits Cuba is paying? How long Europe was able to sustain before going to cut backs? The cold hard fact is that even Western governments are able to pay these benefits just because of immense and unmatched wealth generated by free market Capitalism. But, if you eventually kill Capitalism in the process than where is your government going get all this money from? The declining tax revenues during recessions and depressions are not enough to sound alarm for you? All the historical, recent and contemporary evidence points out that only free market Capitalism has, and will drive people out of poverty. In spite of all the propaganda going around you, the fact is that government run economies have only made the problem of poverty worse. There is no way they can ever eliminate poverty. So, our goal must be equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome, and to eliminate the big government favoritism since the equality of opportunity is what has been successfully achieved before, not equality of outcome. Equality of outcome has always been a huge fantasy, played by rich and powerful, in cooperation with crony big governments to enslave us, the masses. Although, the difference between rich and poor in our country is widening due to crony Capitalism of big government and we are not where we would like to be under free market Capitalism, it is still not even close to difference between ruling communist party class and poor of Socialist countries.
5. No decent human being would deny that everyone must be able to afford a decent living, healthcare, education, food, clothing and shelter. Unfortunately, we live in a world where vast majority of people are not able to afford these basic amenities. If you read history, the depressed classes are mainly suppressed into poverty by brutal governments, religion, awkward and backward cultures, traditions, elite controlled governments, and government controlled media and education systems. Our founding fathers basically ran away from the tyranny of these feudal systems and they built a system, completely unprecedented in history on the bases of individual sovereignty. In U.S. constitution individual is the only sovereign and all the institutions including government are built around sovereign individual, to serve his purpose and to protect his rights. While most of the world was still under the tyranny of governments, we freed our individuals and made them sovereign. The sole purpose of government was to serve individuals. We did not have rulers anymore. We had public servants. These sovereign individuals, to the surprise of many collectivists did not destroy and kill each other. On the contrary they built the most productive and successful nation ever. Individual and entrepreneurial creativity, innovation, risk taking, adventurism, inventions and business acumen created wonders which changed the world forever. Airplanes, railroad, energy and light bulb, assembly lines and revolutionary inventions in transport, communication, electronics, mechanics, healthcare, and education and training transformed the world forever. We did not do that because our entrepreneurs were getting government handouts. It was because they had a vision, and nothing would stop them from turning it into a reality, and for the first time in history they were really free to do so. When Wright brothers were jumping from Kill Devil Hills in machine which no one thought would ever be able to fly, there was no law enforcement there to prevent them from committing these potentially suicidal acts. The result? They ultimately beat the multi-million dollar government project to invent flying machine, run by Langley, with bicycle chains from their shop. No government run economy has ever even come close to creating these kind of miracles. So, do you want to go with this practical reality of our own history or with the empty optimism and repeatedly failed socialistic ideas?
6. Human beings existed long before any of these institutions including government, came into existence. As a matter of fact all these institutions are crafted by human beings out of their needs to serve their own interests. So, the only credible reason for the existence of any institution is that it properly and appropriately serves the purpose of its existence. Otherwise, it has no point in its existence. So, why the institution of government was created? The simplest and straightforward answer is that it was created to serve the interests of elite, by controlling masses. This is the reason why governments were always run by elite and royalties. When gradually it became impossible for elite to have a direct tyranny over masses, we were given the illusion of Democracy. They said that okay you don’t want to be ruled by elite than from now on we will have government of the people by the people for the people. From now on instead of elite ruling class, majority will control all the decisions. Democracy was soon poisoned by two major phenomena, the tyranny of majority and control of power and money over the minds of voters like two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch? So, our framers went for a constitutional Republic. The idea was that it is good to have decisions made by majority instead of elite. But, there are certain natural rights awarded by God to every human being which cannot be taken away even by a 99.9% majority. These were called inalienable right, the rights which cannot be infringed under any circumstances for any reason, by anyone or any group of people, and everyone living under this constitution has those rights. Individual rights were specifically enumerated by constitution and for the first time the powers of federal government and other government were specifically enumerated, too. It was clearly mentioned the powers not enumerated in this document which will be supreme law of the land, belong to states or individuals. So, in their minds, no doubt was left that federal government, under any circumstances can go beyond these limits. In short, the idea is that purpose of artificially created institution, government, is to serve naturally existing human beings. Of course, this is not what happened. Most people now think that our rights are whatever is given to us by government. Actually, it is the other way around. Government has only what “We the people” gave them and they cannot infringe on our natural rights which are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
I hope this explanation of boundaries between individual freedom and government authority will be enough for every open minded person.