Hear Alex Marchak's views on and solutions to some of the nation's hottest
issues- with an interesting twist!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
3:08 pm edt
The Paradox of Americans: Moral Hazard or Responsibilty?
Continuing with the concept of paradoxes,
let's examine the third one: the call for smaller government mixed with the desire for government benefits. The danger of
this paradox was foreseen by our founding fathers. They understood the danger people's wants and desires posed to the stability
of a limited government based on the principles set forth in the Constitution. James Madison predicted these factions of desires
would largely keep each other in check, preventing any interest from overtaking the legislator and expanding government in
their direction. This principle largely held throughout the first hundred years of our country- until the advent and
substantial use of the specialization of congressional labor in the sub-committee system. This system of course gave way to
the modern day ability of Congressman to attach all sorts of parts to legislation, which have been lobbied for by Madison's
factions - aka interests groups!
It has become quite clear that Madison's original intent, of clashing factions resulting in only the common good,
as been abolished by the sub-committee system. As interest groups have attained their desires and needs in the form of legislation,
the size of government as grown more and more. But not only has the size and scope of government's reach expanded, in addition
new groups throughout the country have realized the ability exists to implement their respective interests. As a result more
groups will form and lobby Congress- leading to a larger more intrusive federal government. So as you can see while most Americans
call for a small government as one of our most basic values, all of us have some interest so vital to our life that we are
willing to break are own rule of limited government. Once everyone experiences this thought process we have an exploding government
trying fulfill the needs of every citizen.
What it comes down to is this: the sub-committee system has implemented a specialization
of labor in Congress, by splitting tasks on almost every aspect of Americans’ lives into small groups of representatives
to deal with. Therefore this has created an ability of Congressman to fulfill every constituent’s interests by tacking
on some small interest onto a giant bill- which may have nothing to do with the special interest being inserting during committee. In doing so this system has created a moral hazard, in that every constituent
sees the ability to get their respective interest achieved while not realizing the impact thier interest as had on the expansion
of government. Multiply that moral hazard by the millions of Americans that have pursued implementing legislation to address
their respective interests throughout the past decades, and you have the current deficit.
So how could we possible reverse this moral hazard or at least make it sustainable?
Aristotle said the government should be a reflection of our values, since we have elected people to rule over us with them.
Given that we must change our lives and thought processes, from the current growing conception of going to the government
to solve a problem, to self reliance to solve one's problems. If we make it our values to be fiscally responsible and forward
looking, rather than only thinking for the moment, then those values will eventually make their way to become the law of the
Monday, March 26, 2012
11:19 pm edt
The Paradox of Americans: Are
we Indivdualists, Communitarians, or One in the Same?
Previously, I introduced the concept of four paradoxes
that define Americans. Lets talk about the second paradox: Individualism versus a call to community action and patriotism.
As a tribute to the two year anniversary of the beginning of the end of our healthcare system and the coming much awaited
ruling by the Supreme Court, I thought it would be interesting to examine how this paradox relates to possibly the most heated
issue of this election cycle: Obamacare.
Now, this second paradox is truly at the heart of all the others, as it is a bit more philosophical in nature.
After all, most arguments today center around whether or not the individual is best served by being left alone, since on one's
own one will automatically assist others while assisting one's self, or is best served by being forced to help others, which
in effect help one's self by creating a better community? I want to first make clear that there is nothing wrong with self-interest-
it has feed more people than government welfare. Self Interest isn't selfishness. Selfishness implies one has no care for
someone else's feelings or well being, while self interest merely implies individuals are concentrating on pursuing their
own goals. That certainly doesn't mean a self-interested person is uncaring to others' well being, rather one must focus on
building one's own life so one day that individual can use it for the betterment of society. It's like young Americans going
to college. They are self-interested at the moment, working to get good grades and job for themselves. That doesn't mean they
hope their fellow classmates fail! Too many people today equate self-interest with selfishness. Clearly the two are far apart,
and self-interest is vital to any communitarian or patriot.
But of coarse, we Americans have a strong
sense of patriotism and care for our fellow man. Or is it just that we make ourselves feel good by helping others? Maybe.
But either way I see individualism feeding the determination to improve one's life and therefore others' well being. Therefore,
communitarianism and patriotism would not exist if not for individualism. Why? Well, we are largely defined by our country's
traditions and community’s values. Consequently, we have
an incentive to uphold both by either proving our commitment to our nation by showing off national pride or donating to charitable
contributions to support our respective communities. If they fall apart, where are we to live and what are we to define ourselves
this heading you ask? Well these two contradictory aspects of American culture have been at the center of many political and
ethical debates. For instance: should taxpayers be forced to pay for everyone's healthcare or simply continue to look out
for our own interest in affordable healthcare? Of coarse that's the selfish sounding question many want people to ask- no
one wants to answer the latter and sound like a heartless uncaring individualist! But if you dig deeper, the correct question
is: do you want to make Americans think their selfish by forcing them to look out for the community or allow us to continue
to secure our own individual futures, which we all know will have a beneficial impact on the community? Applying this paradox
to the healthcare debate is quite fitting, because these are the questions at the heart of the debate. The simply fact is
if the federal government would put policies-such as tort reform and across state competition for purchasing insurance- in
place, individuals would all act in self interest to find the cheapest rate possible. Insurance companies would also act in
self Interest, lowering their rates so they don't lose business to competitors. Common sense tells you what happens from here!
Lower premiums across the country equals more people able to afford health insurance. Clearly these self-interested individualist
actions would led to a much improved community- which in turn leads to a strengthen patriotism from which we identify with.
This of coarse strenghtens the indivdual, and the cycle continues from there!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
6:07 pm edt
Paradox of Americans: What do we Want from our Government, Security or Liberty?
America is a country misunderstood by many. We are a country made up of many paradoxes- which I will spend my next few blogs
discussing. These paradoxes include: the expectation that government's utmost responsibility is to protect our lives and property
mixed with our fears of a government too intrusive into our liberties, an individualist spirit mixed with the patriotism and
communitarianism we Americans feel devoted to deep in our hearts, a desire for a small federal government mixed with the feeling
of entitlement for government benefits whenever possible, and the respect we have for the system of checks and balances to
curb the power of each branch of government mixed with the desire for one election of a President to change the course of
the entire country in an instant.
To fully understand how it is these paradoxes have shaped ourselves and our country as a whole, we must understand
how each relates to specific examples and events that we Americans encounter or deal with all the time. Let's start by examining
the first paradox through an issue which depicts this two sided nature of Americans perfectly: the debate over airport body
scans protecting us versus intruding into our personal liberties.
Just to briefly remind you, the first
paradox is: the expectation that government's utmost responsibility is to protect our lives and property mixed with our fears
of a government too intrusive on our liberties. I can't think of a better issue than the body scan debate that exemplifies
this paradox! We Americans have always understood the government's primary responsibility to be the protection of it's citizens.
However, over the past decades an increasing amount of Americans have begun to view the government as not a protector of liberty
but a provider of liberty. And of course, since the dawn of the revolution, Americans have always been skeptical of the government's
actions- no matter what they are. Therefore, when the TSA instructs us to step into a body scan for our safety, our desire
for a government to protect us clashes with the moment of annoyance- many interpret to be an intrusion into our liberties.
Of course, if only one part of the paradox existed unopposed, America would never remain in existence. It is the balance
that comes from these two sides opposing each other that makes the rest of the world look at America and say: how as a country
with so many points of view managed to stay in existence? Well the answer is simply we have allowed all points of view to
be expressed rather than repressed. Clearly if nobody spoke up or were allowed to speak up regarding their feelings of government
infringement of our liberty by using body scans, who knows how far the TSA would go to keep us safe. And the same goes for
the other side. If the fears of a government infringing upon our liberties were allowed to overtake the responsibility government
has to protect us- the government wouldn't be able to implement any securities at airports or anywhere else because of the
Now, I try to understand both parts of this paradoxical conception of security versus liberty. However, the body scans
do not show vivid images of people's private areas, as the media has led us to believe. Rather, they are standard figures
on which any hazardous materials on the body show up. To say that our liberty is somehow being destroyed by safety measures
is ridiculous. You know what really destroys liberty? Being killed! And that's exactly what body scans as well as some other
precautionary security measures prevent.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
3:47 pm est
Romney's Divided Path
With Super Tuesday here and the Republican primary
revving up into the major contests, I figured it was time I give some primary predictions as well as my hopes for the outcomes.
This has been the most volatile primary of any in recent American History. If you look at a chart of polling data over the
past seven months, it actually resembles a roller coaster. It seems every time one candidate rises from nowhere, they fall
about two weeks to a month later. Why is this occurring? Well the main stream media is claiming it's solely because every
candidate the Republicans can put up is horrible and once Americans take a good look at them they crumble. Of course, the
way the media rips Republican candidates to shreds whenever one gains traction, anyone would think they're a terrible person
and leader. Now, to some extent the media is correct. Every time a candidate surges into the spot light, Republicans get nervous
as they take a closer look at that candidate. But it's not because every candidate is unfit to command, rather it's because
this is such a crucial election- our last opportunity to fix certain aspects of our government- and conservatives, Republicans,
and independents alike want to insure we pick the best man not only to beat the President but to create real solutions to
While the media harps on the horse
race and roller coaster ride, it is often overlooked that the candidates bring much to the table. Romney has his business
experience and moderate appeal, Santorum has his social conservatism and family values, Paul has his constitutional rights
and liberty agenda, and Gingrich has the experience along with the bold ideas and solutions. They, along with candidates who
have already dropped out, have contributed to and commenced nation wide discussions on issues such as tax reform by Herman
Cain, judicial reform by Newt Gingrich, and government intrusion into religion by Rick Santorum. And of course there's Ron
Paul whose libertarian views and anti war rhetoric is quite attractive to young Americans- a group the Republican party is
currently very weak with. It's clear that the views of all these candidates must be included into the party platform in Tampa,
in order to not only unite the party, but grow it.
people believe the predictions of a brokered convention, but given the current divisions it is a possibility. With support
flowing between Gingrich and Santorum, each keeps the other from gaining enough delegates that would otherwise make them the
nominee. But what they could potentially do is siphon off enough delegates, particularly from the south, that Romney never
quite reaches that magic number of 1144. And of course, don't forget about Ron Paul. While the focus is on Romney verses non-
Romney (Gingrich or Santorum), Ron Paul flys in stealth, slyly accumulating delegates. While it's inconceivable that
any individual candidate, other than Romney, will reach 1144 delegates, collectively the three can. The south alone has a
little under 600 delegates, and that's far from a stronghold for Romney. Then there's the Midwest and west, which appear to
be split between Santorum and Romney. That's another 150 or 200 delegates that can be siphoned off from Romney! But don't
forget the Ron Paul factor. He could conceivably draw 200 delegates from all the proportional primaries and caucuses. Clearly
while slim, the possibility does exist for a brokered convention.
As for the upcoming contests and their effect on the nominee, I think it's fair to say that at this point the
whole variability in this race is resulting from Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney has his relatively stable 30%
and Ron Paul has his slightly greater than 10% support, the rest is either undecided or constantly switching support from
Gingrich to Santorum, than back again! As a result, they are constantly splitting the conservative vote, allowing Governor
Romney to win with only around 40% of the vote in each state. Therefore, on Super Tuesday Romney is poised to win a majority
of the states and delegates, with Gingrich winning Georgia and Santorum or Gingrich winning Oklahoma and Tennessee. Idaho,
Alaska, and North Dakota are also possibilities for Santorum or Gingrich. The ballot situation in Virginia opens up an opportunity
of 50 delegates for Romney- which other wise would have most likely gone to Gingrich. And in this primary that could make
all the difference. But even though Romney will win a majority of the states and delegates on Tuesday, the proportional nature
of the primaries will allow the other candidates to prevent Romney from absolutely sweeping the delegates and using Super
Tuesday to secure the nomination. Romney will still be at least 700 delegates away from the magic number. And with the volatility
of this race and proportionality of the primaries (for the rest of March) it will be interesting to see how close Romney comes
to 1144- whether it be below or above it.
the end Romney will be the nominee because even if a brokered convention occurs, he is the only candidate who can muster up
enough back room deals to secure the remaining delegates. Of course I would rather see a bold ideas candidate like Newt Gingrich
get the nomination- but I do realize the danger certain events in his past pose to the stability to the ticket. The one scenario
in which I can see Romeny not winning the nomination is if Gingrich or Santorum where to drop out of the race within the next
few weeks. That way the not-Romeny vote would acculmulate around either Santorum or Gingrich- resulting is losses for Romney
in most remaining states. (Cleary in the previous states Romney has won- if you were to add Gingrich's and Santorum's votes
they would either have greater than Romney's share or almost equal.) But will it truly matter which candidate faces the President
in the end? Well most seem to think Romney is the only candidate who can compete in the crucial battleground states of Florida,
Ohio, and Virginia. And while financially and organizationally their probably right, I wouldn't discount Gingrich's
or Santorum's ability to raise enthusiasm on the right to a level not seen since the 80s. Remember, the President has over
a billion dollars behind him. Even Romney can't muster up that much cash (ironic isn't it since the media tells us the Democrats
are supposed to be the party of the poor working class Americans fighting the dirty rich class). So the only way to truly
defeat The President and his distructive agenda is not with cash but with solutions.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
11:24 am est
The General Motor Bailout: Just or Unjust?
How can the market and the existence of private property provide that essential check to
centralized power of not only those in the state but those powerful few in the market, if certain economic units of the market
become so powerful they in effect create a market which threatens rather than preserves political freedom? My position is
corporate welfare does just that- creates a market failure in which the centralized authority of the resulting monopolies
threatens individuals' freedom to make choices. Having this ability is essential to the preservation of one's economic and
political freedom vital to a sustainable economy and society. Therefore, the question to which I will provide an answer from
both sides and explain why my view is proven by Friedman’s theory is this: Are we destroying the political freedom of
all by demonstrating that certain market units are so powerful they have no freedom too fail- thus they can and will infringe
on the economic freedom to choose and therefore suppress the political freedom of all by effectively having a monopoly on
the market? In answering this question, it is interesting to apply Milton Friedman's theory- of economic and political freedom
being intertwined and depended on the ability of individuals to make choices- specifically to the 2008 government bailout
of General Motors. This will demonstrate how the bailout was a violation of the freedom of economic choice, Friedman understood
to be vital to political freedom, by the government's impeding of those exchanges creating a market failure detrimental to
The pro- bailout
side of the aisle’s major justification surrounds the point that: thousands of workers would have lost their jobs resulting
in the economy spiraling out of control had the government not taken action. They can be justified by Friedman’s focus
on individual freedom being dependent upon a person’s ability to make economic choices. Obviously, if the person has
no income and is no longer receiving any share of the market power, they don’t have the ability to defend their ability
to make choices and therefore have political freedom. Therefore in the eyes of bailout supporters, Friedman could justify
this action in stating: “The need for government arises, since absolute freedom is impossible." Of coarse there’s
a flaw in the this logic, and as the opposition of the bailout will tell you, the economic and political freedom the government
was so desperately trying to save was in fact destroyed by the mere act of forbidding the ability to companies to fail. Friedman
would agree that the creation of a “too big to fail” mentality strips the company of any freedom to act responsibility
knowing that the government is there to correct its greedy and irresponsible behavior. This claim can be supported by Friedman’s
statement: “Central economic planning has indeed interfered with individual freedom." Opponents of the bailout
therefore say a more efficient solution to the General Motors crisis would have been a managed bankruptcy to actually
redesign the company in a way that would make it economically viable. This would have secured those thousands of jobs in the
twenty first century instead of simply subsidizing faulting management styles and poor decision making- leaving thousands
of employees at substantial future risk of losing their jobs.
Of course Friedman understood that voluntary market exchanges are the key starting point for an economy
supportive of economic freedom to choice and political freedom to be protected from abuse of centralized power. He explains
how: “Both parties benefit from an economic transaction provided the transaction is bi-lateral, voluntary, and informed."
Now I of course see Friedman’s interpretation of free exchange as not to include the government giving money earned
by the taxpayers to General Motors, which made poor choices.
But defenders of the bailout would appear justified by Friedman’s statement of: “One
man’s freedom must be limited to preserve another’s." They see it as just in Freidman’s eyes that in
order to preserve the economic freedom of employees of GM; some money must be taken from taxpayers. But of course those defending
the government bailout will also feel justified by Friedman’s idea that: “It is clearly possible to have economic
arrangements that are fundamentally capitalist and political arrangements that are not free." In other words, defenders
of the bailout see this as Friedman’s way of justifying political arrangements which serve to spread market power and
defend the free market and economic freedom of all, by trampoline effect which bounces the failing General Motors back into
the market- so it can make the choice to use this second chance responsibly or throw it away with the same old greedy behavior.
Of course this logic is flawed as well,
because as the opposition of the bailout will tell you, the government does not exist to take freedom from the taxpayers to
provide freedom of choices for GM who failed to earn a profit, and are undeserving of it. As Friedman says: “A citizen
of the United States who is compelled by law to devote something like ten percent of his income, is being deprived of a corresponding
part of his freedom." Therefore according to opponents of the bailout, free market exchanges were in fact inhibited by
this course of action and market power was in fact transferred and accumulated in one entity, GM, resulting in a further imbalance
of market power than had existed before.
theory went on to underscore the importance these free market exchanges had in preventing market failures. Now it’s
crucial to understand that the failing of a business is not a market failure. Businesses fail consistently, because they have
the economic freedom to make choices, or in this cause make the wrong ones leading to an unprofitable business. Friedman understood
that ability to fail to be a crucial part of economic freedom. He understood the term market failure to mean: “The creation
of a monopoly which impedes market competition and the free choice of individual economic units throughout the economy."
I of course am inclined to view Friedman’s theory as describing the GM bailout as a creation of such a market failure.
Friedman said: “ The existence of
the free market does not of course eliminate the need for government. On the contrary, government is essential both as a forum
for determining the rules of the game and as an umpire to interrupt and enforce the rules decided on." Defenders of the
bailout can be view as justified in their opinion by citing this quote. They feel the government did not cause a market failure
by stabilizing an unstable corporation. Rather defenders feel the government prevented the market failure of poverty by preventing
thousands of General Motor employees from losing their jobs as a consequence of reckless decisions made on the part of the
management and the CEOs.
these defenders fail to over look is how can the government “determine the rules of the game,", as Friedman said,
if it is part of the game? It can’t because it is merging with the monopoly, resulting in increased power to both. But
a larger flaw in their logic is the definition of a market failure as endorsed by Friedman: not a failure of a business but
an over accumulation of power in one economic unit- a monopoly. That’s where opponents to the bailout claim the bailout
did this that: it caused General Motors to become even more of a monopoly that it already had been. The bailout did this by
not only arming it with the mentality of “too big to fail”, and thus absolving it on any economic freedom to choice
whether to go out of business or not, but also by turning General Motors into an operation of the state limiting the political
freedom of individuals, since now all consumers and employees are at the mercy of the power of the state and market unit combined.
For example now consumers face the chevy volt as one of their consumption options. This analysis is in accordance with Friedman’s
statement: “By removing the organization of economic activity from the political authority, the market eliminates this
source of coercive power. It enables economic strength to be a check to political power rather than a reinforcement."
With the economic and political powers, General Motors and the federal government respectively, enforcing one another’s
power in stead of providing a check to each’s power- the way Friedman say they should- individuals in the market are
limited in their freedom to choice and thus lose their economic freedom and political freedom- as a result of being vulnerable
to coercion by both centralized powers.
then went on to conclude this theory by explaining how that preservation of market competition, and protection from monopolies’
enhanced by state power and state power itself, is what ultimately preserves economic freedom of choice and political freedom
of protection from abuse by any potential centralized powers. He exemplifies this in saying: “An impersonal market separates
economic activities from political views and protects men from being discriminated against in their economic activities for
reasons that are irrelevant to their productivity." Clearly, according to Friedman, this type of government centralization
of power in General Motors provides the risk for such types of infringement of political freedom, such as expression of political
views. Friedman’s staunchly outlines such danger of this action in stating: “Central planning as failed at least
in some measure do to the political implications of central planning and to an unwillingness to follow out its logic when
doing so requires trampling on treasured rights." I interrupt this culminating market competition aspect of Friedman’s
theory to absolutely not include the bailout of General Motors. How could it? The resulting concentration of power is not
simply that power in the government and General Motors, but in the perception that the two are not connected. Therefore, market
competition is destroyed because no other economic unit can compete with the power of the state and a monopoly. This market
competition is what provides the check to the centralized power of the state and monopolies, such as GM- a concept that ran
throughout Friedman’s theory. As Friedman so often stated: “ Capitalism and the existence of private property
provide some check to the centralized power of the state."
Monday, February 20, 2012
3:01 pm est
a Little Here, Tax a Little There
Spend a little here, collect some more money there.
Seems to be the way Washington works, or would like to work, now a days. Of course, maybe it's the best way to get elected
and then, once elected, made more powerful. After all, the more money the government collects, the more powerful it becomes.
But also, the more expenditures the government allocates for spending projects throughout the country, the more gratitude
it receives for having revived otherwise dying programs and companies- and well you guessed it, the more powerful it becomes!
It's a game that's all about power, a game that takes our money, which we worked hard for, and allocates it toward anything.
Many times, anything turns out to be a wasteful project earning either no return or a negative return on the investment. That's
what happens when the government suddenly tries to make business decisions-not because they are necessarily indecisive (although
the bureaucracy does make it quite inefficient) but because they operate under the assumption that it's their money their
dolling out so graciously- when in fact its the American people's.
Which brings me to my point: Has the government forgotten they're
not running on their own money but ours? I think it's clear to any rational person that the government has indeed forgotten
it's the people's money that has grown them into an untamed beast, accountable to no one. The deficit is the product of this
beast, and now members of Congress, the White House, and the agencies of government want to use a formula to solve it which
could have only been dreamed up by Disney imagineers: spend more money on nice projects which earn the gratitude of voters
while raising taxes on the wealthy and claiming they're the only ones who will be affected by this increase.
Now, this may sound like a good idea to many of you, and I'm pleased to tell you that if you think this is a
good idea you're smart enough to run for Congress. But of course, when we leave fantasyland and enter the real world of financial
problems, it becomes clear that this formula is not only what caused the deficit, it's what will tie a boulder to our economy
and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Why? Let me attack this in three parts.
it is truly common sense that when you raise taxes on the wealthy, it's not the wealthy who end up paying for it, it's the
poor and middle class Americans who get the raw deal in what I'd like to call: trickle down taxation. Think about it, when
you raise taxes on a wealthy CEO or a corporation, the taxes don't come out of profits or bonuses. Rather, they are paid for
by lowering wages of or laying off middle and lower income workers and raising the price of goods in the market. And of course,
who pays for those higher prices? Well, you an me of coarse!
Second, let me dispel the myth that
raising taxes on the wealthy would raise enough revenue to put a dent in the deficit. Common sense also tells you that when
taxes are raised on the very wealthy, they will hide their money in offshore accounts, resulting in less money flowing throughout
the American economy and therefore less revenue. The only true way to raise enough revenue to put a sizable dent in the deficit
would be through real tax reform- such as the fair tax. But that's another subject for another article!
and what I hope is very obvious to all Americans, the only way a true balanced budget will come about is from spending cuts.
Not just trimmings from pork barrel spending but also actual cuts in the major expenditures of the federal government by way
of actual reform. The majority of the federal budget goes to fund Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, and Defense and
the Military. Just a few ways to reform these aspects of the government in order to cut spending are: means testing for Medicare
and Medicaid, raising the retirement age by just two years, and closing down certain unnecessary military bases around the
world and here in the US. But again, these are subjects for another article!
Sunday, February 12, 2012
10:14 pm est
Revitalizing America's Youth
It's fascinating how stereotypes and misconceptions shape
the way we not only envision society but the way we envision ourselves. I am specifically referring to the notion of young
Americans being either liberal or apolitical. This notion has been planted in the minds of Americans. But why and is it really
true? Well anyone attending CPAC this weekend was surprised by the tremendous amount of young college students- fascinated
by the political process- in attendance. In fact, not only did students and young Americans dominate the scene, but much of
the staff and volunteers were also college students! Forty-four percent of the CPAC straw poll voters were students! Now of
course these students don't disprove the notion that most young Americans are in fact liberal or just plain apolitical, but
it doesn't mean it's always been that way nor does it mean it started that way. Basically, my theory is that young Americans
have effectively become liberal or apolitical as a direct result of the creation of the stereotype. The power of perception
is a powerful thing. Most young Americans feel they are almost doing something wrong- or worse they're weird- if they don't
conform to the liberal ideology or even have an ideology for that matter!
how exactly has this stereotype been cemented in place? Basically, the culture change throughout the previous half-century,
caused by population growth and the advent of mass media, has had a tremendous impact on the minds of young Americans. As
the population has grown, more and more young Americans had not only fewer job opportunities but also larger groups of fellow
young Americans to associate with. The two combined have led us to a culture where teens, especially, view school work or
other responsibilities as "uncool" and unimportant. Remember, most young Americans- specifically teenagers- are
followers not leaders and will do what the masses do or tell them is normal to do. And with the advent of mass media, and
in recent times reality television shows, this misconception of hard work being unimportant has been secured in place. More
importantly, following my original idea of perception controlling the minds of America's youth, as the media and television
stars became increasingly liberal- and told America that our youth was also liberal- the youth listened and followed.
Many of you say: this sounds natural though, young people should be liberal or not care- it's normal. But this is simply
wrong! So why is it that young people should be conservatives and responsible or at least make an effort to learn about government?
Well, what's important- or should be important- to a young person? The future and working to make oneself more independent
and ready to handle the responsibilities life hands you. Well, how is one to do that if one has no concern for the institutions
and people that govern society and determine the future environment in which to work, live, and have a family? That is why
our county is in so much trouble: America's youth has been uncaring as to what American landscape they will inherit. As for
the previous generation, by the time they woke up it was too late.
So how do we make young Americans conservative
again? The most important thing is to impact young minds before they are corrupted by the culture of media, television, and
college environments. Young Americans have to be taught to research, read books, and attend speaking events from both sides
of the aisle. In this way, the future of America can be taught to make up their own minds and therefore not be susceptible
to the sort of brain washing by such college environments or media outlets of either side. The only way to advance society
is to energize the youth to open their eyes to America's problems and be more forward looking instead of constantly living
for the moment. A moment is just that: a moment. The future is what matters, because it will determine everything.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
2:54 pm est
Welfare State: Just and Effective?
True freedom comes from the opportunity to make your own
choices. When given the opportunity to make those choices in the market, one has economic freedom. That economic freedom is
essential to achieving political freedom- in the sense that once one has a say in the market, the power of those at the top
(both in the government and market) can be checked. Thus, securing one's own freedom from abuse. As Noble Prize winning economist
and author of Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman said: "Capitalism and the existence of private property
provide some check to the centralized power of the state." Thus, demonstrating how when individuals are given freedom,
or opportunity to make their own choices, they will in fact arrive at more opportunities which enable them to expand their
potential and wealth- leading to a rising of all classes and a distribution of power in society.
However, for this efficient distribution of power to occur, individuals must desire the opportunity to make their own
choices- and therefore have freedom. Unfortunately, the modern day welfare state in America destroys that desire to use freedom
to make individual choices, which would expand one's potential to succeed and accumulate wealth. It is therefore clear that
the welfare state is proven unjust by not only it's ineffectiveness but it's dire consequences of stripping individuals of
their desire for freedom- or as Friedman put it: "Suppression of freedom." As a result of these consequences, I
am defining the Welfare State as the favored instrument of collectivization by which economic freedom is confiscated from
all classes, by the confiscation of property and self-reliance, resulting in the destruction of political freedom and thus
the desire to make choices. I'm going about this by showing two aspects of the unjust and ineffective welfare state Friedman
disapproved of and would continue to disapprove of today, and the rationale for why he would do so.
of all, welfare prevents the normal voluntary market exchanges which spread prosperity and Friedman says are essential for
a free market to continue to protect political freedom. The result is not a safety net that provides a bounce, allowing the
poor to rebound and reenter the market, but a net which traps the poor in a state of dependency. For example, the progressive
income tax and welfare payments- not voluntary exchanges through the market, but an exchange based on coercion. Where is the
justification in saying to a poverty stricken individual: you are now under the care of the government? In the same way, where
is the justification in saying to someone: the more successful you become, and the more you put into the economy, the more
of your earnings- which according to Locke are a part of you since they are the product of your labor- the government will
take from you? Some of the opposing argument would say there's nothing wrong with these aspects of the welfare state, but
they are wrong. Why? Well, the free market has removed the economic and social conditions that have made class conflicts possible,
these types of class struggles have destroyed countries in the past. The welfare state only serves to strengthen this class
war by it's portrayal of the poor as unincentivised individuals, with no care to improve their position in this world and
the rich as greedy individuals who will only help their fellow man when forced. As a result, not only does each class think
of the other in terms of these stereotypes, but also they begin to think of themselves and therefore act according to them.
This outcome of the welfare state is clearly unjust in Friedman's view, as he explained how the welfare state has: "Introduced
essentially arbitrary inequalities of comparable magnitude between persons within various income classes."
Secondly, Friedman also understood the ineffectiveness of such a progressive income tax in saying: "The tax
measures give an incentive to avoid risk." Risk taking is what grows a market, with no obligation for the market to result
in success. If the risk is no longer profitable or worse the freedom to take such measures is suppressed, all are held hostage.
Friedman outlines an example of such dire consequences of both the progressive tax and welfare payments as he discusses the
European countries digression toward collectivism after World War II. He concludes, "Collectivist economic planning has
indeed interfered with individual freedom." Thus proving the detrimental obstruction to voluntary market exchanges the
progressive tax causes, in addition to its promotion of such harmful, class warfare promoting stereotypes.
But most importantly, the most dangerous aspect of the Welfare State is this: it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It sounds
great- helping the poor, everyone wants to do that and everyone accuses those against such government policies as being uncaring
of human welfare- playing into the stereotype discussed earlier. The simple fact is, by the time the beneficiaries of welfare
become the victims- as they are now beholden to such policies- it's too late. Friedman would agree that as a result, the state
is able to treat its citizens as wards in a state of dependency, and therefore grant itself unlimited power. The more and
more individuals grow dependent on government, the fewer individuals there are in the market or even desire to be in the market.
Therefore, the less power the free market holds to check the power of not only the state but also the wealthy monopolies within
the market itself. The final result: the economic and therefore political freedom of all abused and destroyed in the hands
of the powerful and wealthy few.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
11:09 pm est
The Wrong Choice
Energy makes the world go round. Whether it be gas, solar, wind, or
oil, our future depends on some kind of energy source to drive innovation and prosperity. But what will become of that prosperity
and innovation if we continue our reliance on foreign energy, from people who truly hate us? The answer: they will cease to
exist! But there's a way to stop this path of destruction: American energy. We can usher in an entirely new age of American
prosperity if we change our policies of forbidding drilling in certain parts of the country. The most recent example of such outrageous energy
policy, which truly makes you wonder whose side President Obama is on, is the President's decision to stop the Keystone pipeline.
Common sense tells you that the President wishes for continued reliance on such a volatile region of the world for energy.
So, why exactly was this such a disastrous decision? Well think about it. First of all, this project would create
about two hundred thousand jobs. Obviously, with the economy in the shape it's in, an extension of the Keystone pipeline would
not only bring energy but jobs. Now to those who say: these would be temporary jobs- like those of the stimulus plan- I ask
you, who will maintain the pipeline once it is is built and, most importantly, what happens when energy becomes cheaper because
of this new pipeline? Well, when you add the two together, the original two hundred thousand job estimate vastly dwarfs the
long-term economic growth and therefore job creation- as a result of a decrease in dependency on the Middle East for oil!
This leads to the second reason the President's decision was such a disastrous one: the extension would expand our access
to oil from our continent. We cannot continue our reliance on foreign oil; It's one of the main factors threatening our country's
freedom, both personal and economic. It's time to switch our source of energy from foreign to domestic and Canadian oil. Not
only would it create jobs but it would be more secure, because we are in control of how much we get and for what price we
get it at! If we don't see this pipeline through, the Canadian Prime Minister has already said the pipeline will be rerouted
to the Pacific where a Chinese tanker will be waiting for the oil.
Given these implications,
why exactly did The President make this decision? Was it because he likes bowing to Saudi Kings? Maybe, but the predominately
accepted reason is: the pipeline would leave destruction to the environment in it's path. But if you think about it, what's
the alternative? Shipping oil in tankers from the Middle East. Well, the damage caused to the environment is far greater from
the tankers' CO2 emissions and any possible spills in the oceans- such as Exon Valdez- than the pipeline would be. The pipeline
extracts oil from the oil sands of Canada's boreal forest. This oil extraction accounts for only .1% of greenhouse gas emissions
and only .1% of the boreal forest is harmed in the process. Finally, one of the major environmental concerns of the pipeline
was the Ogallala Aquifer- which stretches across eight states and provides drinking water to millions of Americans. The original
plan for the pipeline extension, passed directly over the aquifer. Notice I said original. That's right, a compromise was
made, the the new path takes the pipeline around the Aquifer, but does that make a difference to the President's decision.
Obviously not! Which takes me back to the question: why exactly did the President ban construction of this pipeline? If environmental
protection was the reason- clearly he made the wrong choice! You'll have to ask President Obama, my best guess is politics.
Meaning, he doesn't want to anger his extreme- environmentalist base. Why he would make that choice, when the right choice
is truly common sense- is completely beyond me!
We have a chance to change this course
of action, among many others, with the up coming election. No one is disputing the fact that we should develop clean energy
for the future. But in the mean time are we going to continue an unacceptable reliance on foreign dictators to power our every
day lives, or while we're developing cleaner energy for the future will we use American energy to power that development.
The choice is ours!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
3:47 pm est
Voter ID: This is Truly Common Sense!
How can we Americans trust our government, if we can't trust the process that put it in place? That's a question
not many people seem to be concerned with. I'm referring to the current debate over whether people should be required to show
photo ID to vote. Think about it. How can we trust the members of our government if we don't know whether the voters, who
put those members in office, were legal residences or voted multiple times? Well the simple answer is we can't. We can't trust
that the government effectively represents the will of the people if certain voters either shouldn't have voted or voted multiple
times. That is truly common sense!
most states, a person goes to vote and all they need to do is sign their name in a box and a person checks to see if the signatures
look somewhat like the one they have on record. Really! This is how we ensure that our most precious right is not abused!
No wonder the former organization, ACORN, was able to register so many Americans multiple times under names such as Mickey
Mouse. With a little practice, I could even get Mickey's signature correct!
It's not like photo ID is a new concept,
we need it to function and go about our lives in modern day America. Think about all the things we use it for: getting
on planes, driving, and even taking the SATs! So why exactly shouldn't government issued photo ID be required to vote? Well
many liberals love to use the excuse they use for everything: it hurts Americans living below the poverty line. Of course,
we know that these liberals should be ashamed of themselves for constantly insulting the intelligence of under privileged
Americans by spreading the fallacy that liberals big government policies look out for and help poor Americans. And they
know it's just as ridiculous to use that false argument now. For one thing most poor Americans already have some sort
of government photo ID, and if it is truly too expensive for certain Americans, the ID can be provided at the state
level. Therefore, a requirement for photo ID is hardly a poll tax, and is not meant to be a poll tax, as some liberals so
wrongly accuse it of being. And of course there's the argument that states: ID requirement is the right's way of preventing
certain people from voting. Well their correct. However, it's not the poor and minorities that the right is trying to prevent
from voting, it's people who are not citizens or don't exist that the right, and most Americans want to prevent from voting.
Is there something wrong with that!
So if this argument against photo ID is simply rhetoric, then why exactly is it that the
left doesn't want this simple solution to voter fraud to become law? Simply look at past elections, such as 2008, when Democratic
candidates, especially President Obama, were helped by fraudulent voting. Using common sense, it becomes pretty clear why
the left opposes efforts to reduce fraudulent voting. Why would they want to lose votes?
This type of selfish partisan reasoning for opposing a common sense solution to secure our
most important right is despicable. This should not be a partisan issue. Americans govern themselves by reflecting their values
throughout the laws of the government. How are we supposed to have a government which does just that- reflect our values-
if we can't trust the process which put our government in place?
Saturday, January 14, 2012
8:51 pm est
Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street: Same Goal Just Don't Know it!
The founding fathers could never have imagined the world in which we live today. However,
the motivations behind people and their actions have undoubtedly remained as they were in their times. Greed and individual
self-interest are still those primary motives and Madison’s idea of setting those greedy passions against
each other remains, though less effective then he imagined. Why is this so? Two of the things Madison could never have imagined
about today’s world, are the population growth we have experienced in the last two centuries, and the extent
to which both big businesses and governments have become largely connected with one another. It is those
changes that have led to the movements of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street . While these two groups are known to
be on opposite sides of the political spectrum, when one uses common sense to understand the respective group's goals it becomes
apparent that the two movements are really more similar than people realize. One is simply partially misdirecting it's anger.
Before understanding how it is the two movements have the same goal, first lets examine why the Occupy Wall Street Movement
has developed a reputation of disorderly conduct resulting in nothing but chaos, rather than the Tea Party's reputation of
orderly protest resulting in effective representation of the movement in Congress.
The size of population and number of members in the
group relates directly to its effectiveness in achieving its goal. Essentially, OWS is plagued with the free- rider problem
when members of a large group benefit from, but don’t contribute anything to the goal. Consequently, to
solve the free-rider problem of Occupy Wall Street the group must: either form into smaller groups, made up of the few individuals
who have the resources and organizational ability to form the faction into one which can effectively elect members to government
and balance the Wall Street faction, or provide certain incentives to its members to work on projects, such as forming political
action committees and holding speaking events where the faction can sensibly communicate its goals and platform. The former
seems most advantageous because the group must be small enough that each member's action or lack of action to obtain the collective
good brings about noticeable difference in the progress in achievement of the group's goal.
Tea Party Movement is an example of a group, which largely solved its free-rider problem by organizing into smaller centrally
organized groups, governing over the entire group. Each state and many towns and cities have Tea Party boards and weekly meetings
in which they discuss their platform and vet candidates to hold office. As the 2010 midterm elections demonstrated, the Tea
Party is an example of a large grass-roots organization that did an effective job of organizing and electing members to the
government to fight for its goals.
Now its important to understand why it is OWS has misdirected
its anger at capitalism instead of the government as the Tea Party has. The Wall Street faction hasn’t
had a substantial free-rider problem. After all it is ninety-nine percent versus one percent of the population, so following
this logic Wall Street is a small group with an easier ability to organize. But more importantly, there’s
a reason Wall Street and CEOs have had no difficulty getting their way from the government: big government and big business
are allies. Many don’t realize this but large corporations actually want regulations, those same regulations
that big government always says will help the average American, or the ninny-nine percent faction. In reality the government
wants power and the companies want profit- both of which are attained from regulations. Regulations are very expensive to
comply with, so expensive that only large companies can afford to pay them, forcing small businesses and average Americans
out of business.
All this has the effect of suppressing the ninety-nine percent, by creating monopolies out
of corporations resulting in more profit for CEOs and more power for the government. This creates the illusion of capitalism
and business being the enemy of the people, when really it's the big government liberals. This is something the Occupy Movement
simply doesn't understand! However, even if they did understand this simple fact, the Occupy Movement doesn’t have the
organization to break the ties between Washington and Wall Street, and allow Main Street to prosper. They are also a large
faction, and it is improbable that they will be able to rid themselves of their free-rider problem. Ironically, maybe they
should combine forces with the Tea Party Movement, since both really do have the same goal: restore power and financial accountability
to the average American people. Even though the movement would be even larger, if that were to happen, then its possible the
two movements combined would have both enough support and established members in the government to curb the dangerous effects
of Wall Street and CEOs, as well as preventing the movements themselves from becoming dangerous. But even if this sort of
balance were to be achieved between the ninety-nine percent and the one percent, James Madison would say: a new group
will most likely emerge posing the same threat to our liberty. So the question remains, how long can liberty survive the freedom
it has created?
Saturday, January 7, 2012
1:42 pm est
The Deviation of the Modern Congress
Do you think our founding fathers would approve of the way our modern Congress functions?
Well when you examine their work, common sense tells you how far the modern Congress as strayed from its original intended
function. Let me explain by demonstrating how President James Madison, one of our founding fathers, imagined Congress to keep
the country in order. Madison saw liberty starting and ending with the individuals in society, guarding their property and
liberty by electing their respective representatives to Congress with the sole purpose of having these men look out for the
interests of the district’s individuals. This is congruent with Madison’s idea that land doesn’t vote, rather
interests do. For example a community of fisherman would elect a man to Congress whose sole intention it was to defend the
interests of fishermen. Another group of farmers would elect a farmer to the legislator to defend their farming interest.
But once in Congress, neither would get their way, and instead the Congress’s lack of action to help either the fisher
or the farmer, would result in only laws that protect the common good- for instance defending private property. Therefore
Congress passes laws on the universal good and doesn’t pass laws on any particular benefits, having the effect of defending
private property, so the farmer may farm and the fisher may keep his fish.
But if we were to examine
this same example in modern day society, would Congress take the same action or inaction, due to the clashing of interests
Madison spoke of? Not a chance! Congress has become an exclusive group, acting with every behavior possible to attain electoral
success. In modern day America, if a district of farmers elects someone to Congress to fight for there interests, that representative
will participate in the electoral-focused behaviors, such as credit claiming on farming legislation in committee and position
taking on bills which his constituency approve of. At the same time, a community of fisherman will elect someone who will
fight for their interests, and that congressman will participate in those very same electoral-focused activities. Then, each
of the members of Congress will assist the other in those activities, so both constituencies are pleased and both congressmen
are reelected, to the detriment of universal legislation that is in the interest of the national good. These representatives
have no interest in promoting legislation that doesn’t benefit their electorate and therefore is of no help to their
quest for reelection. So how exactly do these modern day observations differ from Madison’s vision for the functioning
The major difference between the modern Congress and
Madison’s envisioned one, centers around ambition. Madison argued ambition would counteract ambition. “Ambition
must be made to counteract ambition. The interests of man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place”
(Federalist Paper 10). Meaning, the ambition of one congressman’s interests would cancel the ambition of another representative’s
interests, resulting in no particular legislation being passed to the detriment of the national interest. The only legislation
that would pass would be only those bills that preserve the national and universal good, such as protecting private property.
As an observation of Congress will show, this sort of congressional inaction regarding particular interests is a thing of
the past. In the modern Congress, ambition gratifies ambition. Basically, congressman will assist other’s in achieving
their electoral goals, by helping their colleges to appear truly considerate of their specific electorate’s interests,
so they may win reelection. What are some examples of this?
To start with, Madison
thought congressmen would actually care for the interests of their constituents, instead of just seeking electoral success.
He saw representatives as holding the same interests of the community not just working to promote their “Congressional
Career.” The "Congressional Career" has been invented since the our founders formed this great nation, and
is most likely here to stay. To achieve this career, congressmen must convince their electorate that they are sincere in their
care for the interests for the community. Even the party leaders ensure their members vote along with their electorate, in
order to secure electoral success and have their ambition gratified. An example of this effort- to secure reelection of members
by party leaders- can be seen from the healthcare vote that occurred in late 2009. Democratic leaders realized there were
certain congressman and women who needed to vote no in order to win reelection in the 2010 midterms. Therefore, once they
received enough yea votes, or a minimum winning coalition to secure passage of the bill, the remaining Democrats were pursued
by their leaders to vote nay- in order to follow the interests of their constituents and secure their ambition of reelection.
Madison saw congressmen to clash over their particular interests, resulting in no legislation
which benefits one group’s interest, only legislation which serves the common good. But all we see is members of Congress
pursuing particular legislation serving those individual interests, congressmen need to serve in order to win reelection.
Therefore, it becomes difficult to mobilize congressman to legislate on the universal legislation, in favor of the common
good, without providing particularized benefits. This is perfectly exemplified when pork barrel spending and earmarks are
added into bills in order to gain member’s support by providing benefits to their constituency. One
specific example of these particularized benefits was a deal called “The Corn Husker Kickback,” offered to Senator
Ben Nelson of Nebraska. The deal gave Nelson's home state of Nebraska a permanent exemption from the state share of Medicaid
expansion; meaning federal taxpayers would have to pay an additional $45 million in the first decade.
is clear that congressional activity does not result in legislation of universal importance to the country; rather the electoral
incentive causes representatives to assist each other in passing laws particular to the interests of their respective communities.
This is something Madison never anticipated as he expected these various interests to cancel one another out, resulting in
only legislation protecting national interests such as the protection of property. Is there a way for congressional activity
to ever make it’s way back to Madison’s original intent? For that to occur we would need to elect congressmen
and women who have a true passion for the interests of the community and will stay true to them rather than their electoral
goals of success. But is that a realistic possibility?
Saturday, December 31, 2011
4:14 pm est
Giant Leap Backwards
small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." That was the phrase uttered by Neil Armstrong in 1969 as he became the
first person to step foot on the moon. He was the product of an America with the determination to explore and pioneer the
final frontier: outer space. But what happened to that final frontier? It now appears that America has abandoned that dream
of exploring and utilizing space, and is now taking one giant leap backwards! By that I mean relying on Russia to transport
our astronauts and supplies into space. But wait a second, didn't our space program commence as a race against the very country
we now rely on to connect us to the final frontier? To top that, the technology of Russia's space shuttles is from the 1980s!
Common Sense tells you that we have indeed taken one giant leap backwards!
why is space exploration even significant and how do we correct this giant leap backwards? Lets start with the first question.
America was built off the prospect of Manifest Destiny and creating potential where their seemingly is none. That sentiment
continued into space when technology allowed exploration of this new frontier to be conceivable. And there are many valid
reasons for this interest in space exploration. Obviously it's crucial to have access to space for the purpose of satellites,
used for anything from weather forecasts to GPS, we all rely on every day of our lives. Of course, there are other implications
of space exploration not many focus on. For instance, what if we had the ability to extract minerals and resources from space,;
whether it be the moon, Mars, or asteroids, for the purpose of energy here on earth. Sounds far fetched, but who knows what
could come from continued exploration! Finally, we cant forget national security implications, which of course relates back
to satellites. But how are we to continue with these benefits space offers if we are piggy backing on the Russian's thirty
year out-dated technology into space? The answer is: we cannot.
So what's the solution to this giant leap backwards you ask? Well it's obvious to anyone, with an ounce of common sense, that
the government cannot propel America into continued exploration of space and produce the innovation necessary to do so. The
bureaucracy of the federal government has trapped the once space race in the stone age. If NASA was to be privatized the ingenuity
of America's engineers, sciences, and innovators would create the innovation needed for continued success in space. And how
many jobs would this create? Well to start with, a privatized American space program would surely result in new air craft
and transportation into the final frontier. That of course would restore the hundreds of jobs lost when the space shuttles
went out of commission earlier this year. But employment from a more efficient privatized space program would not be the only
benefit. It would be off the government budget and based on the private incentive of the free market. Even though NASA
is a small part of the federal government's budget, it's a start towards a balanced one! Also, the benefits of a NASA without
the bureaucratic red tape, would result in a NASA with the opportunity to expand and take America to places it's never been
before. Remember, it wasn't because of the government that humanity first learned to fly, it was because of the free market
providing incentives to succeed and the freedom to innovate. The same holds true for further success in space.
Friday, December 30, 2011
6:26 pm est
Save America: REAL Tax Reform
Small businesses are the heart of America, but if the knowledge of higher taxes
looms, as they become more successful, the incentive to succeed is diminished. After all, corporations were once small businesses
too. America needs to realize that their is no such thing as a corporate tax. Any tax on a corporation is just a way for the
government to disguise a tax on the average American people behind those famous private jet owners. To pay for that tax, the
corporation will simply raise the price of the consumer goods sold in the market, lessen the amount of dividends received
by stockholders, and cut back on employees and employee benefits. Taxes shouldn't be raised on anyone. While corporations
provide many of the jobs in America, they do also ship jobs oversees. That does need to be stopped, but it won't be stopped
by higher taxes and more regulation, in fact it will be encouraged and worsened by just that expansion of government. Companies
will seek refuge from the government and ship business over seas. The bottom line is, to balance the budget, we need cuts
to everything- including some military involvement in other countries, domestic spending, and mostly waste. But most
importantly, if the economy grows more revenue will come in without raising taxes, and less entitlement spending will
be made since less people will be less dependent on programs such as unemployment and welfare.
This growth can commence with real
tax reform, which should come in the form of abolishing the current class warfare system, and replacing it with something
called the fair tax. The fair tax is basically a national 23% sales tax, instead of, not in addition to, all of our current
federal taxes. Much more revenue would be brought in by establishing a national sale tax, or consumption tax and abolishing
the income tax for everyone. But most importantly, Americans would actually end up with more money! I know it sounds like
just another idea to rip off the American people and make the government even more powerful, but honestly it's exactly the
opposite. If you let me explain it to you, I know you will understand why it is so crucial that this change be made!
Currently 51% of households don't
pay taxes. Many of those are paid underground, with cash unable to be monitored by the federal government. A flat sales tax,
also called the fair tax, would make those people contribute to the government as well as making illegal immigrants and even
tourists pay. There's a trillion dollars in this underground economy, and the current income tax code doesn't tap into any
of that money. That means drug dealers and buyers aren't even paying taxes. The fair tax would bring in billions more dollars
in revenue and make everyone pay a fair amount.
Now your probably asking yourself: how would everyone be paying their fair share, when a
federal sales tax would make the poor pay a tax on everything they buy? That's a valid question and an important one to ask.
First of all, the rich would still pay more because they buy more extravagant things, such as the famous private jets. Those
less fortunate only buy the necessities so they would still pay much less than the wealthy. But there's another aspect of
this proposal which I call the key to fairness! It is called the Prebate, and it's basically a tax rebate given to families
at the start of each month. This prebate covers the tax on all necessities of life (such as food, clothing, and medicine)
and is determined by a family's number of children. Why not just not tax those items? For one thing it's much easier to just
levy the tax on all new goods and services produced in the nations borders, then give some money back to cover the tax of
these necessities. But more importantly, the government should not be treating any one market of person more special than
another. That's what we have right now, with the current tax code! We have the government giving tax breaks to oil companies
and loop holes to billionaires. That's not what America is supposed to be about! This fair national sales tax insures that
all are paying their fair share, and the poor will not be paying the more or all of tax. Then when they get a job, they can
climb their way out of poverty faster, since they are now keeping 100% of their income! Once they have more money to pay other
types of goods, they'll start paying more taxes. Therefore the fair tax is truley a progessive national sales tax. So to anyone
who says the fair tax is not fair, I ask you to explain that reasoning to me, I'd like to understand how you reached that
course many attack the fair tax, saying it would destroy consumption and therefore the economy. Those people haven't done
their research. There's something called an embedded tax. It's basically the income tax paid by each person along the line
of production for a specific product. That embedded tax is estimated to be about 22%, more for services such as medical procedures.
So once competition drives down the prices by that 22% or more, and you had the 23% federal sales tax, you will actual
be paying the same or less for all goods and services, and you'll be keeping your entire pay check! So how exactly would this
tax destroy consumption and the market? What it will do is give people their entire pay checks to save and spend, therefore
making people buy more product, which are now cheaper or the same price with the new fair tax included. This increased demand
for products, leads to businesses supplying more goods and services. To supply more goods and services, more people are employed!
It truly is basic economics, and leads to all classes getting richer!
Many also attack the fair tax as being the value added
tax (VAT), which is one of many policies destroying Europe's economy. Once again, I ask those people to do their research.
This national fair tax, or consumption tax, has never been tried before in recent times, only those value added taxes, which
tax at each level of production, have been tried while still keeping the income tax in place. The fair tax is not a VAT, it
is levied once on all new goods and services produced in America's borders. If you think about it, our current tax code is
basically a VAT. I explained the embedded tax before. It is essentially an income tax at each level of production. Interesting,
sounds like the VAT! Maybe that's why our economy is headed down the same path Europe's has taken! So as you can see, this
complete replacement of the federal income tax has never been tried in recent times. The only time replacing a nation wide
income tax with a nation wide sales tax has been tried was in England- in the early 1800s. That led to the longest and fastest
economic boom in it's history, which was ended by switching the policy back to income taxes. I have been stressing that this
switch in tax codes has never been tried, recently, to distinguish the fair tax from the VAT, but there is a state wide basis
for this in America. Just look at Texas, which has no state income tax. There is a great migration of businesses to Texas
partly because of this tax policy.
Another aspect critics love to attack the fair tax about is: tax fraud and evasion will skyrocket under this
proposal. If you want to talk about tax evasion look at our current system. The IRS estimates that 40% of tax payers, participate
in tax evasion due to the complexity and high rates of our tax code. Now, just to give you an idea of how complex and ridiculous
it is to file taxes, take a look at this. Americans spend about 500 billion dollars annually to simply pay their taxes. That
includes the cost to hire an accountant to fill out the forms and the deductions Americans miss out on because it's just so
complex to fill the paper work out! The result is 40% of only the 49% of Americans that actually pay income taxes to the federal
government, committing tax fraud! No wonder we have such a debt crisis on our hands. Honestly you can raise the tax rates
on corporations all you want, the smart ones will probably find away to evade it- resulting in less revenue for the government.
That's just one of the problems with the income tax. With the fair tax there is significantly less evasion since it's a much
simpler process and lower rate. The trouble and cost of evasion is much greater than just paying the taxes, and a sales tax
is much more visible to the public- very hard to make any loopholes. It's made even more fair by the prebates I discussed
I said the fair tax will tap into parts of the economy that the current tax code as no way of doing. That combined with the
economic growth (an estimated 9% GDP growth in the first year of the fair tax being law) since income, investments, and savings
will not be taxed will bring in even more revenue once this takes affect. Also, the cost of borrowing will decrease since
there will be so much more savings and invested money flowing throughout banks and other linkage institutions. There are so
many ways a progressive national sales tax will benefit the country, that I can't possibly discuss them! Because of
these unbelievable results, states will follow through and change their individual tax codes to conform with the fair tax!
So to those who say this change would bring disaster, I say put ideology aside and use your common sense- it is the current
tax code that is disastrous!
6:17 pm est
The Media's Mirage: Creating Disagreement
where there is None!
Turn on the TV and watch how the media spins the current debate over the payroll tax, or any other congressional
debate for that matter! Well, any rational and informed person can see what's happening here. Certain aspects of the story
are being reported to fool the American people into believing one version of reality- the fictional one. I'll tell you what
I mean. Earlier this month, the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed a year extension of the payroll tax
cut. Now this is exactly what President Obama and the Congressional Democrats wanted. But instead of excepting this proposal,
which they all agreed on, the Democratic controlled Senate passed only a two month long extension of the payroll tax. Now
we have the media saying the House is holding America hostage with their failure to pass the Senate's bill. Well why didn't
the Senate pass the House's year extension instead of ignoring it and coming up with their own two month extension? The answer
is clear to everyone who wants to know the truth about what's happening here: the media is highjacking the legislative process.
By that I mean Congressional Democrats are insisting on just a pathetic two month extension, because they know the media will
create the illusion of Republicans preventing tax increases necessary for the middle class. Is that really how Congress
is supposed to function? If James Madison were alive today he'd give the media something to report on: an explanation of how
Congress is supposed to work for the common good, not reelection campaigns or special interests.
Why did so many Republican Senators vote for this pathetic two month
extension? Because the Democratic leadership of the Senate caved on a provision that forces President Obama to make a decision
about the Keystone Pipeline. I don't know what the Republican Senators who voted for this were thinking! Sure we want the
President to sign on to the pipeline, but only a two month extension of the payroll tax is ridiculous.
Use your common sense America and open your eyes! Remember, the House
passed a bipartisan one year extension and the Senate ignored it and only passed a two month extension. Why is the year extension
better? Well again I ask you to use your common sense, how can a two month tax cut have any effect or even be implemented
for that matter. Two months go by in the blink of an eye, and before you know it we'll be going through this entire debate
again. Also, businesses and consumers need a reliable message from the government, on which to base their plans for the year
ahead. How can businesses or average Americans plan what their going to sell or if their going to expand their business, if
they don't know if their taxes will be increased in just two months? If this cut is extended for a year, the issue won't arise
during the election- during which time nothing will get done and the tax will most certainly increase.
How do we avoid this entire debate and have Congress do something
that would actually make a positive difference in America? Not tax cuts or credits, but real tax reform. Because let's face
reality, payroll tax cut or no tax cut, either way our country's financial situation is a mess!
6:04 pm est
Who's the Enemy?
every election we Americans are told: this one will be the most important of our lives! Now we all know that this is a phrase
used by the media and campaigns to liven up enthusiasm for ratings or support, respectively. But this year it's obvious that
Americans' frustration with the government has soared to a new level. This frustration was building in 2008, but since has
been enhanced by the policies and lack of leadership of President Obama and Congress. Common sense tells us this!
America has an opportunity to commence
the process of getting back on track, and the Republicans Presidential candidates should be providing hope for America's resurgence.
2012 should be the year for this to occur, but when I look at the Republican Field viscously attacking one another, I see
President Obama emerging unscathed and armed with new attack ideas, given to him by his political enemies. The establishment
GOP is not innocent either. They are so worried about the politics, who can beat Obama, and who has less "baggage,"
that they are missing the point. The point of elections is not who can survive the attacks and rumors only to crawl across
the finish line, the point of elections, especially this one, should be the ideas and solutions that can once again create
an environment in America where jobs can be created and people can prosper. Establishment Republicans are so convinced that
Mitt Romney is the only one who can beat Obama, that they have created this attitude of: destroy all other candidates, so
no one can hear all their ideas and possibly like them. I hear many pundits say: that's what a primary is for. Throw pointless
attacks at all the candidates and see which one can take it, and therefore emerge stronger to challenge the President. Wrong!
That is not what a primary is for. The goal of a primary should be: which candidate has the most innovative solutions and
proven ability to work with both sides to actually get legislation passed that will improve, not harm, the country as a whole. If
Republicans want to expand the party and make more Americans understand conservative solutions and how affective they are,
then this primary season must be one in which candidates draw off one another's ideas and have substantive debates, where
new solutions are brought to the table. This way the people can see which candidate has better ideas and each candidate
can even gain insight from their opponents. That's how a candidate emerges stronger from a primary to challenge and defeat
But with the establishment Republicans thinking their own candidates are the enemy and each candidate throwing attack
ads at each other, the race completely loses it's focus on actual issues that make a difference in our lives. Of coarse the
candidates are all trying to prove they're the best man or woman to beat the President, but they need to keep their focus
on attacking the final opponent: President Obama. The voters will then determine which candidate has the best and most innovative
solutions to debate the President in the fall. But so far, nothing productive, in terms of new and bold solutions, has come
out of this primary season- with the exception of Newt Gingrich's immigration, judicial, and other ideas outlined in the 21st
Century Contract with America and Herman Cain's commencing of a dialogue on tax reform. We need more candidates with the courage
to talk about issues, even when they're controversial to the conservative base, and avoid the horse race the media reports
on all the time. That brings
me to the topic: Who is the political enemy of the Republican Party. If it's President Obama, there certainly not acting like
it. In fact Republicans are helping keep him and his disastrous agenda in office for four more years by their focus on the
politics of this primary instead of talking about ideas that the American people would surely get on board with, if they were
to have the candidates explain them, instead demolishing their fellow conservatives. The only way I see President Obama being
beaten, is if Conservatives and Republicans nominate a candidate who will speak to the people's concerns and provide them
with solutions for the future. That's a campaign based on Hope and Change- not one based on attack ads that tear candidates
with good ideas down. It's common sense! If Republicans do chose to continue to focus on the attack and negative campaign
style, Obama will be reelected, because there's simply no one better at dirty, viscous, and negative politics than President
Obama. After all, it was his Chicago style politics that put him in the White House.