I am always amazed at the level of pettiness and stupidity that reigns in our society. The inability to think something through in a common sense manner is over ruled by policy and "guidelines". Innovators in the workplace are always telling their staff to "think outside the box", then reject half of what is developed because it means some one's world has to change.
The Deficit Reduction meetings these past weeks is a prime example of pettiness and stupidity. The recomendations weren't fifteen minutes old before every targetted group postured against any cuts to their specific departments. The stupidity continued when the recomendations, we learned, don't take affect until 2050. and are the usual bureaucratic nibbles we have seen forever. No real change at all.
Being prepared to make the sacrifices is a monumental step for some people. Comfort and familiarity equals a sense of psychological security. Anytime we are taken out of that zone confusion and insecurity set in. It takes time to adjust to a new paradigm. But, adjust we do, and, with determination, excell where we thought we would fail. Confidence grows and fear slips away.
The new Congress must be willing to stop all new "programs", repeal completely those directly affecting prosperity. Waste in all agencies must be halted and those dollars recovered. With over 10 trillion in unfunded liabilities about to hit our Federal Budget, some radical ideas must be employed. How about this idea for Social Security?
Opt Out. Allow Americans to not be part of Social Security altogether. Those currently paying into the system can take a one lump payment equal to the total they have paid to date. But, here is the catch. You do not get that money in your hand. It is put into a high yield savings account, cd, or 401k of your choosing and cannot be accessed until the age of sixty five. Unlike Social Security allows; in the event of your death before age sixty-five, your spouse, or your children become the beneficiaries of that savings account. Again, they cannot access the money until retirement age. This money grows in a secure bank account, puts money into the private sector, hell you could even borrow against it if you had to.
There is only one problem with this idea..It makes too much sense and never will be considered.
This is what I mean by radical ideas. We must look at the situation we find ourselves in and admit that the policies of generations of Presidents, Congress' State and Local Administrations have mostly failed and rarely succeeded. As Frederic Bastiat has said in his pamphlet "The Law"; "...law, by no means confines itself to its proper function". Bastiat goes on to say that, "Self preservation and self development are common aspirations among all people". There are few who will argue that allowing Liberty to be the benchmark in consideration of a new law should be first and foremost. This is never the case. Each law passed is restrictive and counter intuitive to Liberty.
Even the measures taken to ensure a minimal safety net for society demand something from society. Social Security is a noble idea but is still antithetical to individual responsibility. As Milton Freidman points out, it is not Government's responsibility to help the poor, it is our (society's) responsibility to each other as human beings. Social Security is akin to Bastiat's "...francs to keep us quiet, like throwing us a bone to gnaw". The issue of the poor and the elderly cannot be solved in one dossiere, nor do I attempt to solve it here. I am just creating a thought to be considered.
By allowing a society to flourish unfettered by Governmental restraint truly is Ronald Reagan's theory; a rising tide lifts all boats. Taxation is nothing more than legal plunder. Legal plunder is taking from some one who earns to be given to some one who does not. The persons who benefit from this plunder will be the first to argue in it's defense. (This is the contigent I spoke of in Part I backing up the Government).
Socialism is legal plunder and as the laws are written to uphold the concept of Social Justice Government will use the legal system and it's armies to protect it. They may even circumvent the legal system under the mantle of "averting a crisis". Socialists could care less about the disenfranchised they claim to be looking out for. They are a monopoly and act wholly for their own ends.
Civil war is easy, electing Conservative Legislators is easy, educating people is easy. Creating an environment where we accept the hard facts that sacrifice and a 180 degree turn back to Constitutionsal values is very, very difficult. We are several generations separated from those early days of rugged individualism. Where do we start? Many of us don't realize we are most likely closet Marxist Socialists. We like our comfort, we like our Social Security and the knowledge of an Unemployment Check or our Tax returns. We like our public funded schools, we don't have to think about it yet complain when they get into our private lives (and we should, it's none of their business).
I will close this piece with another reminder from Frederic Bastiat; " ..if the purpose of law is to cause justice to reign, it is not a rigorously accurate statement...the purpose of law is to prevent injustice from reigning.. Justice is acheived when injustice is absent.."
....And That Is The Diatribe....