Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Money in Politics

Again campaign finance issues are being bandied about.   The solutions forwarded are all of the kind that proposes some new method of corralling the horses after they're out of the barn.   This is typical of horse thieves who hope to nudge the corrective process to favor their own thieving ways, but put the clamp on the competition rustlers.   This means, how can we write legislation to shut up the opposition and prevent financial support from going to our competition in the political arena.   This means, a directed attack on free speech.   
The solution is much more simple.  If you really truly want to stop money from influencing the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, then separate, as much as humanly possible, the government from economics.   Money in politics is buying MUCH MUCH more money for those choosing to "invest" this way. The 'earmarks,' and all the rest are simply paybacks for bribe money. We must stop government from being able to simply steal our money and hand it to whoever knows how to work the channels and networks, or regulate for the interests of those who pay them best, or take over entire industries then choose the favored few who can even enter the game (medicine.) When the politicians can no longer sell our lives to those who are buying them at bargain prices, then there will be NO issues with too much money in political donations.   When the government is prevented from regulating or nudging the markets, or from earmarking money or giving loans with undisclosed details, there will be nothing for anyone to buy from the government.  Outlaw government cookies, and there will be no government money cookie monsters.    
Because our government schools have been specifically designed to destroy the intellectual capacity of our children, most can no longer see that our lobby-government-earmark or regulation system is just a more abstract level of a man in chains being whipped to produce for his master.
This has to be spoken. Often.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Self Interest

The disingenuous or mentally lazy immediately suggest that self interest means just whacking everyone else over the head and taking their stuff. That is one absurd extreme. Just a consideration of my personal interest in the division of labor shows how asinine that view is.
Once you agree that your life is your own, meaning your time, your thought, your effort, and the products thereof, then you are done with the political or governmental question. The government, group, tribe, nation, state, whatever, does NOT have any right to the products of your life effort.
That leaves the second question. Morally, what ought you do for the total stranger in need. It is easy to see the rightful self interest in helping a friend or family member return to his/her own self sufficiency. Of course, there too, enabling them to become dependent moochers is NOT helping them. So you have to be careful in discerning what effect your 'help' is having, in every case.
So. The stranger in need -- there can be no other agency to FORCE you to help this person. Morally, his/her life is not 'superior' to your own. The only 'ought' help him/her I can see, is in the value you personally hold for individuals in general - for other human beings in general. Value to YOU. This requires your own personal assessment of what that other person's life, productiveness or no, 'usefulness' or no, has for you. Certainly you ought not be compelled to sacrifice for that person. I think the value of that stranger in need, say an 80 yr old man with no remaining family and no likelihood of returning to any sort of 'productive' enterprise, his value for you is a personal question. Assuming your assistance is carefully considered to not harm him by encouraging a dependency that otherwise would not be necessary, I think your assistance must be voluntary, and should be done. I do not think you should believe you 'owe' that person a part of your life. I think your motivation, if it is there, should still be born out of the idea that you are supporting a value to your self. Yes, it would be the abstract value of a human life, of a world in which the old and incompetent are cared for by people who look and think - you, you are like me, but age or illness or harm has come to you and you can not care for yourself -- you, you are like me, and I will help. This is entirely different than feeling guilt and a sense of owing or obligation.
I think Ayn Rand was right  about self interest, but you have to be very careful to think very clearly and effectively whenever you think self interest means skipping past some other human's need. Rational self interest ceases to be self interest when it isn't rational, and that rationality can be defeated by too quick selfish (pejorative sense) whim preoccupation, or lack of information, or lack of insight into the full consequences of the potential actions available, etc.