A thought for the New Year

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by Winston1, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. Winston1

    Winston1 Veteran Member

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    As we enter into an election year we need to remember and consider why we have the government and society we do. No matter whether you’re Republican or Democrat we were founded on principles of limited government and these limits are important to our success. This article by John Stossel is a thoughtful discussion. I hope you all take the time to read it and consider what he says.

    Give, Don't Govern
    By John Stossel

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    This week, children may learn about that greedy man, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge is selfish until ghosts scare him into thinking about others' well-being, not just his own.

    Good for the ghosts.

    But the way Scrooge addresses others' needs matters.

    Today's advocates of equality, compassion, increased spending on education, health care, etc., say "we care" but demand that government do the work.

    Controlling other people with the power of government doesn't prove you care.

    If you want to help the poor, clean the environment, improve the arts. Great! Please do.

    But if you are compassionate, then you'll spend your own money on your vision. You will volunteer your work and encourage others to volunteer theirs, by charity or commerce. You don't force others to do what you think is best.

    But government is not voluntary.

    Government has no money of its own. Whatever it gives away, it first must take from others through taxes.

    If you vote for redistribution of wealth, welfare benefits, new Medicare spending, or free education, you can tell yourself you're "generous."

    But you're not. You're just forcing others to pay for programs you think might help.

    That's not generosity. That's control. The more programs you demand, the more controlling you are.

    In fact, you are worse than greedy old Ebenezer Scrooge.

    With Scrooge, people have a choice. They can work for Scrooge or quit. They can do business with someone else.

    Governments don't offer us choice. Governments say: "Comply or we will lock you up. Pay taxes and we will decide whom to help. No one may escape the master plan."

    Why, then, do people react to big government ideas as if they're generous instead of scary?

    Because most people don't think clearly about what it means to tell government to use force against their fellow citizens. They think about society the way their ancestors did.

    "Our minds evolved tens of thousands of years ago, when we lived in small groups of 50-200 people," says HumanProgress.org editor Marian Tupy. "We would kill game, bring it back, share it."

    The idea of everyone getting an equal share still makes us feel warm and cozy.

    Some of you may feel that coziness this week, sharing a Christmas meal. Great. But remember that if you decide that society's resources should be redistributed, that's much more complex than passing meat around a family table.

    Seizing control of a big society's resources has unforeseen consequences – ripple effects that are hard to predict.

    Back in the cave, you stood a pretty good chance of noticing which hungry relative needed a bigger share of meat. In the tribe, that sort of central planning worked well enough.

    It doesn't work as well once the tribe numbers thousands or millions of people. No tribal elder knows enough to plan so many different people's lives.

    Today's politicians, for instance, don't know how many workers will be laid off if they raise taxes on Walmart.

    They don't know what innovation will never happen if they cap CEOs' salaries.

    They don't know how much wealth creation will be lost if they tax investors' money in order to fund another government program.

    Government's built-in ignorance explains how it can spend trillions on failed poverty programs, and then respond to the failure by demanding more funds to continue the same programs.

    You stand a better chance of getting good results if you do real charity, close to home, where you can keep an eye on it – and without coercing anyone else to do things your way.

    We can invent new ways to give to each other. Philanthropy evolves, much the way markets do, harnessing new technologies and social networks that span the globe.

    Innovative ideas, like microlending, start in one kitchen. If they work, they grow.

    By contrast, government grows even when it doesn't work. It bosses people around even when it's not really helping them.

    Big hearts are a good thing. Big government is no substitute for them
     
    Frogleg, el005639 and KyleK like this.
  2. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    All good for some inspirational words yada, yada, yada but there isn't much an average person can do except to vote. Want to improve education? How many of us have the wherewithal to fund even one scholarship. Americans give billions to charities. Maybe some help something a bit, I don't know. Most of the organized charities spend 90% or salaries, office space and raising more money. The only organized charity I give to is St. Jude because they have a hospital to care for very sick children.

    I used to give to the Cat Haven in Baton Rouge. I thought I was helping to find homes for home;less cats and saving them from being gassed. Then a homeless tiny kitten wandered onto my property and started begging me for food. I fed her and would have kept her but my almost grown cat at the time starting batting the kitten in the head with his paws and I was afraid he would injure or kill the kitten,

    So I called the Cat Haven first, Got a recording saying they weren't taking any cats in at the time,. There was no option to talk to a human. Just a recording. I was lucky enough to find a neighbor lady who took the kitten and gave her a good home. I knew she would because her wifi is named Crazy Cat Lady.

    I don't give to the Cat Haven any more. I'd rather give it to some homeless guy.

    I will not vote or donate to the campaign of any politician who touts more gun laws. That decision is irrevocable. I do sometimes donate to the NRA even though they spend most of it printing and mailing me their literature. With a serial killer targeting the homeless now somebody should start a fund to buy guns for the homeless.
     
  3. Winston1

    Winston1 Veteran Member

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    You’re already defeated with that negative attitude.
    However the main point of the article is that it’s individuals and private groups NOT government that create and institute changes for the better. Government create bureaucracy that gets in the way and robs us of freedom. That is why you need to participate in the public sphere and demand better. You and I and everyone on this board may be a ‘more in God’s eye’ but as a group bringing others along we can move worlds.
     
  4. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

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    And here I am thinking about how much I can drink and still have my dick still work tonight.
     
  5. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    Young guys like you and I have a different thought process than @Winston1 :D
     
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  6. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    So what do you do to effect change in the direction you want other than vote and post on TF?
     
  7. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    A worthy goal. I'll make a donation by buying you a beer.
     
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  8. Winston1

    Winston1 Veteran Member

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    I think about how much I can drink and still get my dick wet. :). Unfortunately it’s not nearly as much as it used to be.
     
  9. el005639

    el005639 Founding Member

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    It's only wet because you pissed in your pants trying to pull the little mofo out at the urinal.
     
  10. Winston1

    Winston1 Veteran Member

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    Seriously I attend meetings with my representatives and lobby them. If there’s an issue before the parish council I oppose I try to gather other grass roots support. I engage as many as I can and discuss reasons to make decisions. Yes it’s not much and I doubt I move the meter much as an individual BUT I’ve been part of local groups that have been successful in both BR and Covington. Also as I said if you don’t try you fail automatically and it’s worth the effort to defend your freedom and beliefs.
     

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