Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A few Quotes


** The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise ** Tacitus

** It is both foolish and wicked to teach the average man who is not well off that some wrong or injustice has been done him, and that he should hope for redress elsewhere than in his own industry, honesty, and intelligence ** T. Roosevelt

** Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery ** Winston Churchill

** Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom ** Alexis de Tocqueville

** The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money ** Ibid

** Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance ** Woodrow Wilson

** Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master ** Dwight Eisenhower

** If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom ** Ibid

** Socialism: An attempt to curb the destructive power of monopolies by creating the biggest one of all ** Unknown

** The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments ** George Washington

** America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves ** Abraham Lincoln

** If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be ** Thomas Jefferson

** The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog ** GK Chesterton

** If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin ** Samuel Adams

** I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them ** Thomas Jefferson

** Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions ** Daniel Webster

** The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power ** Ibid

** There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters ** Ibid

** The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair ** H.L. Mencken

** Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good ** Thomas Sowell

** Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is--the strong horse that pulls the whole cart ** Winston Churchill

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dear Brick

In response to the news that a Rhode Island public school committee has decided not to appeal a court decision to remove a prayer banner from its auditorium:






One wonders how the courts do not blush to rule that this somehow qualifies as the establishment of a religion.  Suppose the school hung the equivalent of an atheist religious banner right next to this one, giving more of a sampling of religious calls to self improvement.  It would be hard to argue then that this was not simply a display of several religious statements pertaining to personal improvement.  (And yes, atheism is very much a religion in that it is one of many views about the nature of ultimate reality, not known with certitude, requiring faith, in this case that the very base of our reality is mindless, or non-personal.)  That said, what would such a banner look like?   Maybe they could start the address to mindless matter:  "Dear mindless matter at the bedrock of existence, we speak to you, somewhat in a way as we would to a brick, and do not entreat you, because you are not a person with mind, but rather hope very much that the nature of your un-intended existence is such that we, by the mechanisms of the unalterable facts regarding the characteristics of 'your' substance, is and has always been such that we become more 'good' - by which we mean 'conformed to approved social conventions.' -- Amen....er... the end..."      For the agnostics, they could hang:  "Uh... Dear whatever is out there which we can't know, if you/it have any efficacy in doing so, please help us to be more honorable, in the way described by the other banner on this wall.. the end."     Now, who could complain about that?  :p

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baby Steps

The article below reports the close vote of the Indiana Senate to abolish the fees forced on non-union employees.  An analysis follows.


Indiana Senate votes 28-22 for right-to-work bill

Published January 23, 2012
| Associated Press
    Senate has voted to approve the right-to-work bill that has prompted the legislative boycotts by House Democrats.
The Republican-dominated Senate voted 28-22 in favor of the proposal Monday evening. The bill prohibits companies and unions from agreeing to contracts that require workers who aren't union members to pay representation fees.
Republican Sen. Carlin Yoder of Middlebury argued the bill not only would help attract business to Indiana but also give workers freedom to decide what to do with their money.
Democratic Sen. Vi Simpson of Bloomington questioned whether the law was needed. She says good companies such as Honda and Toyota have expanded in Indiana in recent years without it.
Nine Republicans joined all 13 Democratic senators in voting against the bill."""""""
Just think of the insanity of all this.  We got our current jumble of labor laws from years of collectivist courts and legislative action, all driven under the premise evil big business was abusing the worker.  Nevermind, that without the effort, time, and minds of the business creators, those 'workers' would still be lighting tallow lamps, tilling the ground behind a donkey, and threshing wheat by hand.  The only perk to be seen if you could erase the business man from history would be the shorter life span to suffer.   So, for the genius of efficiency and production, that led all those workers into the era of unheard of salary for a fraction of the work previously required, and the immeasurable benefit provided by the businessmen by producing a vast array of time and life saving products for the workers to buy with their new earnings, what is their reward?  Immolation by government force.  Specifically, our laws force one man to deal with another - to trade with him whether he likes it or not - salary for work, regardless of whether the man seeking to trade money for work agrees that it is a fair trade.    What is the result of this breach of freedom?  Injury to all, as is always the case, when real individual rights are trampled.  We get no or very little real increase in buying power for the workers forced on the employer.  We get not the best workers employed, but those with pull in the union or government, because now the hiring and firing of workers is based in the realm of influence, not in the realm of merit.  This yields a dramatic drop in efficiency across any industry.  This leads to higher prices, poorer product, and a cost of living increase that outstrips even the forced rise in wages for the government imposed workers. (It also leads to generation after generation of young men and women learning not the self-esteem and righteous pride of a job well done and the rightful attendant rewards, but rather the soul rotting pessimism of injustice in the workplace, progress by seniority regardless of merit, and bitter resentment of wealth since they have learned it is somehow always come by through some sort of theft.)   Of course, the union workers feel the  rise in costs (that they have caused) slightly less because of their forced higher wages.   Those not in a union end up paying for the 'advantages' the union workers have forced, via the higher prices now necessary for their lives.  (Non-union Bob pays the higher prices for his car, that then are used to cover the greater number of inefficient union John, Joe, and Larry's who work at forced higher salaries.)  The  higher union wages themselves are initially just another cost of doing business to the employer, initially just passed on to consumers, but the drop in his ability to maintain the highest quality (efficient) workforce is very damaging.   As the labor laws, minimum wage laws, insurance and benefit requirements, and taxes expand, the employer's profit (the wealth created by any endeavor - think: the # of potatoes grown above the # planted) shrinks, as does his ability to improve, grow, expand, research, compete, and, eventually his reason to stay in business.  There is a french word for this process, it's called  "DETROIT"  (day'-twa)......   
Once we are all in such a pickle, the Unions of course can't let avoiding the union be attractive in any way.  So they've managed to, by pull, get laws that enforce fees on non-union employees, such that the heavy dues they charge their members (so as to have a $ war chest for political pull) are not viewed by their members as an avoidable burden.  Heaven forbid that a worker see and be able to enter into a free, mutual contract with an employer!  

Then, for the govt to pay for all the handout programs to assist those in need during the resultant dreadful economic state of affairs, what do they do - Raise taxes, of course -- on whom most - on the rich, the producers, the businesses.  In the context of their businesses, though - they don't pay taxes - they just collect them for the state.  Those taxes are simply added to the price of the products sold to cover the new cost of doing businesses.  This is why it is so silly when 'right-wingers' grumble about the "50% who pay no taxes" -- Oh no -- they pay taxes.  It's just that most of them don't know it.  They pay them, and at a MUCH higher percentage of income rate - in the form of higher prices for consumable goods.   The irony is fantastic!  The liberals who really understand must have a hard time not blowing their soup out their noses every time they hear a poor constituent cry to raise taxes on 'the business or the wealthy.'    Short of shooting a poor person in the leg, NOTHING could better keep them down.  
So in the end, we all suffer -- all except the moocher type of union employee who does as little as possible and counts on the law given power of his union to keep the feed bag (paid for by all others) in front of him -- and the mass of union organizers and govt bureaucrats who live and breathe and make their ill gotten living from this rotten structure.   The rest of us -- we pay for it -- higher prices and taxes for worse and less stuff, for their retirements, for those bureaucrats' schmancy dinners, for the expense of the legislators who keep it in place, for the courts to settle disputes arising over which pressure group should win any particular non objective legal battle over which group of individuals' rights should be breached and how much,  for enormous bailouts when the irrationality of it comes crumpling down every decade or so, for the unemployment benefits when the businesses flee overseas, and on and on and on....  
When will we learn:   The rights of the individual are NOT ever to be breached in the name of the group, the tribe, the class, the 'society,' etc. without great injury to some men (usually many) for the unjust gain of others (usually few.)      We did not intend to trade the tyranny of the king for the tyranny of the majority.... We intended real individual freedom.   Europe never has realized this.   It is a shame that we have forgotten it, or, in some cases, willfully distorted or hidden it....  
Yes - Indiana did something good.   Baby steps, I guess,  Baby steps....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Greed

The term 'greed' is commonly tossed out as an explanation for this country's economic woes.  This is broadly understood as the "evil" desire of those in business, especially "big" business, to make a profit.  The following clarifies where this intellectual laziness or intellectual dishonesty leads:


Often, the term "greed" is used negatively to refer to a desire to make a profit. This is wrong however, because a profit is the measure of value that has been created by a man-- a value that did not exist before. If a man makes no profit - he planted four potatoes and harvested four potatoes. To seek to produce new value, by thought and effort and time to create a product or provide a service of quality by the most efficient means -- this is the very definition of GOOD. But for this desire, and the (shrinking) freedom that makes it possible, we could not produce and then trade for the ability to feed our family, shelter ourselves, obtain the materials with which to make our finished product, or invest to do it better, bigger, or in an entirely new way. Put the label 'greed' on that - and you damn yourself as a parasite - the sort that does deserve the invective "greedy." Greed is the combination of two things - the desire to possess value without creating or earning an objective value of the exact amount for which others are willing to freely trade, and, especially to possess so that others can not. The man who produces his best as efficiently as he can to trade his values for the values that others produce - he exhibits neither of these flaws. He is neither a looter nor a moocher. You can identify countless looters and moochers throughout our local state and federal governments, and in many of our unions.