Monday, August 31, 2009

We Must Understand History

To achieve real progress, I think it is imperative that we understand history. Our ideas must be born on the understanding of what has worked or not worked in the past. Our own personal philosophies and experiences alone cannot be relied upon to guide progress.

I think progress should be an expansion of freedom, opportunity, understanding and success for everyone.

Here's what I don't understand: Today's progressives want to take away the successes and freedoms of the rich to ensure opportunity and success for the poor. Can this really happen?

It seems to defy logic that by taxing success, we can encourage people to succeed.

Of course, by not being a true "progressive" (in today's progressive sense of the word), I don't fully understand the agenda and what is meant to be accomplished by it. I do know that the more we rely on government to provide for our needs, the less we will be able to provide for ourselves if the need ever arises.

Does reliance really ever benefit anyone? The only benefit I can see might be that those relied upon have more power, control and influence.

My view of history shows me that our founding fathers understood how to achieve true progress. In turn, they created a system that would ensure everyone had the same opportunities, the same rights, the same freedoms and the same responsibilities.

Today's progressives seem to think they know better than history, yet none can explain to me how their ideas and philosophies have ever succeeded. We need to challenge these ideas...if they really work, our challenges will only make them better and stronger.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Improvement?

I realized an interesting thing today. The arguments for nationalized healthcare (aka the government-run health insurance option) focus on how we can provide health insurance to those who do not have it today, whether this be a choice or a lack of resources to pay for insurance ourselves. Some parts of the arguments focus on how health insurance companies are unfairly profiting off their policy holders and demonize the pre-existing conditions that disqualify some people from changing or getting an insurance policy. The argument comes down to the fact that people who have resources, should take care of the people who don't have resources.

The current arguments focus on the evils of the current system, at least in the eyes of those selling the concept, and how they think their plan will combat these evils.

Where's the improvement to the system?

The arguments for nationalized healthcare provide no new ideas or plans to improve the current system. Most polls show that almost 80% of americans are satisfied with their healthcare coverage. The ideas being pushed on us right now provide no improvements to the system for the majority of americans.

Of course the argument could be made that improvements are being made by providing services to those who do not have those services now, but doesn't that kind of go against the whole concept of equality, fairness and democracy. This is clearly a direction that is intended to take from the rich and give to the poor. Some might call it class warfare.

It is the scary part of the representative government that we live in. Popular vote decides our leaders, but what happens when they create policies that do not have popular support themselves?

When you see people screaming at their leaders in town hall meetings, these are the thoughts going through their heads. When their leaders ignore the sentiment of the majority, it upsets people...they feel that they have no voice and no control. One congressman publicly stated recently that he would vote against the will of the people if he thought it was good for them.

It disturbs me that some of our leaders truly believe that they know better than a majority of the constituents they represent.

We should ask ourselves what improvements will government-run healthcare bring to our system. We should ask our leaders how this will improve the lifes of the majority of americans.

I think I understand the arguments against what I am saying and I will address them in a future post. The idea that health care is a foundational human right, I believe, is false. I'll tell you why later.

Friday, August 14, 2009

History Repeating

"Governments don't tax to get the money they need, they will always find a need for the money they get" -Ronald Reagan

Below I have attached a brilliant audio clip, by Ronald Reagan in 1961, before he was the governor of California. It's worth listening to. As evidence that history is repeating itself, this audio clip can be played in direct response to an argument for socialized medicine being given today. President Obama ran on a platform of "change", yet he is attempting to bring the same socialist policies that have failed repeatedly throughout history. Let's understand the issues in front of us. Let's vote for freedom and prosperity.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Free Market Expanded

I think the term "free market" is misunderstood. It is closely aligned with capitalism, which assumes the production and consumption of goods is controlled by individual forces, not a governing body. It is easy to see the words "free market" and think that this is only referring to money, and how it flows through the economic market.

The free market as a whole goes well beyond economics and finance, although they often intertwine with each other.

There's a happiness market, an entertainment market, a farmers market, an environmental market...everything exists within some kind of "market", regardless of whether or not you agree with me. Each market has some kind of supply and some kind of demand.


Let me take demonstrate some free markets, and how they work with each other:

When I mow my lawn, I am satisfying market demands. My grass grows and it demands that I mow it. These demands may come in different stages. 1) The grass may demand that I mow it when I am annoyed because it is too high, 2) the grass may demand that I mow it when I am unable to walk through it anymore, 3) the grass may demand that I mow it when my neighbors complain.

There are always demands, and currently I am free to satisfy these demands by my own means. Depending on the demands of the grass, I might handle things in different ways. If I am annoyed, I might simply mow the grass. If I can't walk through it anymore, I might spray round-up on the entire lawn and kill all the grass. If my neighbors complain, I might build a fence, so they can't see the grass. There are multiple ways to solve multiple demands.

Now let's look at the happiness market at the Schechter house. Each person in the house demands that they be happy (although this demand may be sub-conscious) in some way. Each person will eventually do something that makes them happy. Now I noticed the other day that Abigail is extremely happy when she gets to ride on my lap while mowing. When she is riding along and looks up at me and smiles for no apparent reason, it makes me extremely happy.

Obviously, one option available to me to satisfy the happiness demands within the household are to mow the lawn, with Abigail riding on my lap. We can see some interesting market forces at work here. I now have the ability to satisfy two demands, in two different markets by the same action....mowing the grass. If I dis-regard all the other forces that might influence my options of taking care of the yard, I would probably choose mowing with Abigail over killing the grass or building a fence.

Another interesting observation is that in this case, all the demands were satisfied, and all parties involved got the outcome that they desired. The grass got cut, the neighbors are happy, I am happy, Abigail is happy. All this through the ability to satisfy a demand through a FREE choice. You can imagine how complex things would get if certain options weren't available to me or of additional markets forced me to solve problems in other ways.


Through a "free market" I was able to solve the problems efficiently and with the best results possible. I am sad to say that when governing bodies get involved, our choices become limited, our freedoms are taken away.

When government is involved the best options aren't even options.

All the markets in this world impact each other in some way or another. The impact may be subtle or seemingly unimportant, but the results influence the supply and demand of every market.

How will our health care market change if the government is controlling things? Will decisions be influenced by money or power? Will decisions be made that don't benefit the patient? How will our environment be affected by legislation through cap and trade? Will the air become cleaner? Should the same government who can't clean up their own problems, be responsible for cleaning up everyone's problems?

The natural state of man is to be free. Market forces exist regardless of the system they live within, and the further we stray from a free market mentality, the worse everything will get. Socialism, Communism, Marxism...all these attempt to fight and control forces that cannot be controlled.

If man really is causing global warming, we will fix that when the problem affects us. Many environmentalists are assuming they know the problems of the future, and creating problems today to fix them. The free market will correct any problem in the most efficient way possible, that benefits the majority of people.

The idea of Social Justice is a con. Society cannot obtain freedom and prosperity by taking handouts and giving up control. Just as we cannot solve problems created by debt, by spending money we do not have. I pray that someday, people will realize this once again.

Capitalism works because it lets men be men and choose for themselves what path they will take. We must examine the philosophies that guide our lives. If one free market is taken away, it is inevitable that will all be taken away. As supply and demand is distributed by a central authority, no free choices can exist in solving the demands or consuming the supply created.

Does this mean that we abandon all government? I think not. This has been shown not to work. Is it a coincidence that when a document like the constitution was created, and a country was guided by individual liberties and personal freedom, that man took the greatest strides forward in all of history through technology, science and industry?

Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. I pray that we can see the mistakes of the past and avoid making them again. It seems like someone looking for "progress" would agree on this point, yet they continue to push for socialized policies and the growth of central government that has failed repeatedly for thousands of years. These so called progressives need to examine what they believe. We all need to examine our roles in society and work towards the betterment of all men.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fiscal Wake-Up Tour

If you would like a dose of fiscal reality, check out the move "I.O.USA." The movie provides a great overview of our country's fiscal history, what our debt has looked like in the past and what it could look like in the future.

After seeing the movie, I am reminded of the quote that sits at the top of my blog. 2000 years ago, at least one man knew what would bring down a strong republic like the United States. A look at history shows massive empires of the Greeks, Romans and even Israelites at one point; yet if we look around today, the world is much different. What happened to these world powers?

The life-cycle of nations might actually teach us something. I will admit that I am ignorant to many details at this point, but a brief look reveals to me that men, poisoned by power, have ultimately brought down the great nations of the world. Yet we continue to rely on man to interpret our lives and give us purpose. The beauty of our constitution is that it ensures the individual rights that have been deemed to come from beyond man.

A look at history shows that a common thread that brings corruption and the loss of individual freedoms. "The love of money is the root of ALL evil", yet we continue to allow our leaders to take more money, and freedom, from us in the names of whatever good cause they claim to represent. History shows us that regardless of the cause, power and money cannot lead to the great country that America is and has been.

The scary part about I.O.USA is that the last 6 months have changed the landscape more drastically than many aspects of our entire nations history. Our debt has increased by One Trillion dollars in the last six months. That number alone cannot even be fully understood.

We must pay off our debt. National security, social well-being, and freedom all depend on this.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nationalized Healthcare

"Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy." -Quote from this article

Wait a minute! Do you mean to tell me that under nationalized healthcare plans, the government tells the doctors how to treat the patients? This is the case in the UK, and within other nationalized programs.

The question that no progressive will answer (that I have heard) is "what examples of nationalized healthcare can you point to as examples of a successful system?" We are told repeatedly by the White House administration and proponents of public health care that no rationing will take place, the patient and doctor will decide how to treat a problem.

EVERY case of socialized medicine ever created involves dictating doctor procedures and rationing care. The cost of care outside the system is higher than in a private system. Isn't the cost supposed to go down? Isn't that exactly why President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and their progressive party are attacking the private insurance companies?

Nationalized medicine will not fix the problems exist today; it will only shift the problems to an entity that will not give up control easily, and cost everyone in the country much more in the process.

My wish is that our current leaders would at least be honest about what they are trying to accomplish. They are doing NO good by telling us what we want to hear, while doing something else behind our back, in 1000 page documents that no-one can understand. Progressives can be comforted that the public health care option currently on the table will ultimately lead to a single-payer system. This has been voiced by President Obama in the past. We are told that no-one is talking about government takeover of healthcare, but that is exactly what many of our leaders are working towards. How can they be so dishonest and get away with that?

Advocates of freedom and choice need to find the leaders in this country that believe in reason, liberty and personal responsibility, contact those leaders and encourage them to do what is best for the individual; the country...not themselves.