forkstyle

forkstyle

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17 comments posted · 3 followers · following 0

653 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 4/9/09 - 4/13/09 · 0 replies · +2 points

I agree with your initial statements. The government imposes taxes on us that effectively curtail the efficiency of the economy and, in turn, our prosperity as a nation. We've lost our code of ethics and morality, believing that nothing we do matters.

However, I have to disagree with the statement made about Obama -- he is my president, whether I like it or not. I didn't vote for him, nor do I support his policies. In fact, I think, given his current policies and desired national direction, that he will do more harm than good. Why, though, should I want him to fail? Why should anyone want him to fail, for that matter? For the next four years, he's the leader of our country. Plenty of us here don't appreciate that fact. The best that we can do is work our hardest to push the country in the direction that we feel is best, though -- small government, low taxes, free market, and a citizenry with great integrity and brotherly love. One could argue that to desire Obama's failure is to desire America's failure; this is more than party politics.

654 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 4/2/09 - 4/9/09 · 0 replies · +2 points

I agree. I never said anything to the contrary. Rather, I was giving a secular point of view to an inherently religious standpoint that people who lack belief in Deity can relate to. Ideally, everyone will come to know God. However, things being as they are now, we must make concession for those who don't in an effort to create unity rather than division in our efforts to bring our country back to its roots.

654 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 4/2/09 - 4/9/09 · 2 replies · +1 points

I agree, though many will argue the point that there is no God. An easier, less confrontational way to put it is to say that there are higher physical and moral laws of nature that are eternal and unchanging. From F.A. Harper's "Liberty Defined" speech in 1957:

"If one starts with the premise of an ordered universe, it follows that he accepts the existence of eternal truths and unchanging principles, universally. This does not necessitate the arrogant assumption that we know all these truths with final or full certainty; it means only the assumption that they exist to be found — that known or unknown to us, we are powerless to change them either individually or collectively, bending or altering them at will.

If there are these eternal truths and unchanging principles, then one may assume the existence, as a part of the universe in which we live, of moral truths — moral law, if one wishes to speak of them that way, ruling over and above our social, statutory laws of society, or custom, or tradition. These moral laws are then assumed to be the code of conduct by which to abide, if one is to be "good," just as we assume that we must abide by physical laws if we are to be safe. Violation of either is an option under choice, or under liberty, but the consequences prevail in spite of our ignorance or our wishing that things were different in the universe.

If, on the other hand, one assumes the alternative of an unordered universe, his course of derived assumptions are these: atheism; events occurring at random; lack of any precise cause and consequence to be discovered; lack of eternal truths and unchanging principles; no moral law or physical law to rule affairs; no science to be pursued in the spirit that identical conditions will lead to consequences repeating themselves. It presumes, I suppose, that we can change the universe any way we want to, at will — but also, it seems to me, it assumes that no change will remain even for an instant. This whole concept seems to me to be a blind path to a dead end. I do not see how one can live under any such assumption. Study of science or of any past experiences of any sort would be a pure waste of time. One might as well jump off the cliff, if he were to assume that past events, involving untold numbers of deaths of persons who did likewise, prescribe no pattern for the present or the future.

So my assumption is an ordered universe, with moral law beyond the power of man to alter. We may not know what these moral laws are with certainty, but even so we must, under this assumption, proceed with the best guess we can make as to what they are. We would deny as moral truths any prescription by majority decision, or kingly decree, or the like — we would deny all these as invalid sources per se. We would reject the definition of morality given in a book by a Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern California, who has said: "Morality is the quality of behaving in the way society approves…"[8] Instead, we would accept morality as the quality of behavior by which an individual should abide, by a source of truth above the crowd."

654 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 4/2/09 - 4/9/09 · 0 replies · +2 points

While I agree that smoking is, indeed, deadly, please stop and consider this: do you, as an individual, have the right to increase taxes on cigarettes? I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that doing so on an individual level is akin unto theft. In essence, it's raising taxes on a specific group to help pay for other things.

This can be applied to anything, really, when it comes to what the government can and cannot do. If you don't have the right, as an individual, to do that thing, then you can't delegate that power to the government. The Bush Tax Cuts, for example, weren't one-sided; the rich are charged exorbitant amounts of money annually on the basis that they make a lot of money and should therefore pay "their fair share." They are, in fact, paying far greater than their fair share. I'd go as far as to say that Bush didn't cut their taxes enough.

Along that line, the estate tax. Because we have the right to earn and keep whatever we like for however long we want (or, in other words, because we have the right to private property), what gives you the right, as an individual, to take 50% of someone's estate? Would that not be grand theft larceny? Why, then, do we think that the government should be able to do so? Indeed, is it not the same principle, only on a larger scale? It's nothing less than legalized plunder.

I want President Obama to succeed. To say anything to the contrary is petty, shortsighted, and unAmerican. It's political gaming, rather than a real desire to see America pull through yet another self-inflicted economic crisis. However, I believe, as do many here, that Obama is going about this the wrong way. Looking to history, FDR did many of the same things during the Great Depression that Obama is doing today; raising taxes, increasing the size of government through "necessary" social programs, etc. While many idolize FDR for ending the Great Depression, they fail to realize that his policies, in fact, prolonged the Great Depression. According to the Cato Institute, FDR's taxing policies ("tripling excise taxes, personal income taxes, inheritance taxes, corporate income taxes, holding company taxes and so-called "excess profits" taxes...") made it more expensive to hire workers, which put the average unemployment rate at 17% throughout his tenure in office.

"How FDR's New Deal Harmed Millions of Poor People"
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3357

657 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 3/13/09 - 3/19/09 · 0 replies · +1 points

Welfare-reform is a tough issue and I'm not entirely sure what should be done. The only thing I know is that, whether or not you like them, or their beliefs, the LDS church has probably the best, most efficient welfare program in the world and it's based almost solely on volunteerism. Unfortunately, it seems that volunteers are a dying breed in America, but what if we were to make one aspect of Social Security long-term volunteering in the welfare program? Retired professionals (doctors, lawyers, contractors, etc.) working for free (in order to keep getting Social Security... so, not really free, but they're not getting paid) to provide welfare for those in need. Contractors building offices and clinics, doctors performing medical examinations, lawyers representing divorcees in court, or creating wills, etc. Even better, remove the requirement and replace it with incentive.

Either way, what needs to happen is for the government to stop pouring money into it. If these services are provided pro bono by retired professionals, then there's almost no need for funding, whatsoever.

657 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 3/13/09 - 3/19/09 · 0 replies · +1 points

What? This seems very self-contradictory. I'm not sure I understand the dentist chair analogy.

Belief in God isn't necessarily requisite to believe these things. Instead of eternal laws of God, one of atheistic nature could believe in eternal laws of nature - an organized universe. If we assume the opposite - that the universe isn't organized, but is, rather, an unending mass of random coincidences, collisions, and occurrences - then there would be no reason for anyone to study any area of science, or history. Why should they? If, for instance, an individual who didn't believe in the existence of any unchanging physical laws of nature, they could easily jump off a cliff believing that no harm would come to them despite the thousands of people who have died as a result of the same action previously. After all, in an unorganized, arbitrary universe where nothing happens for any particular reason, no events in history provide a basis for the events of the present.

Of course, we all realize that this isn't so, regardless of our belief in God, or lack thereof.

Then again, maybe not all of us.

657 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 3/13/09 - 3/19/09 · 0 replies · +1 points

I've read excerpts from that book. It's amazing. That man was truly inspired. You should check out his speech on the proper role of government.

http://members.tripod.com/~runwin/prg.html

657 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 3/13/09 - 3/19/09 · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, because the government is so large and inefficient, it limits the real growth and potential growth of the free market (bigger government = higher taxes = fewer dollars to create and purchase capital with). Given that understanding, I think it's safe to say that, in the event of a dramatically shrunken government, the free market will not only create new jobs for those lost by government employees, but also bring home jobs that have been shipped over seas. Besides, with no more taxes on any sector of business, private or public, people will be more inclined to become entrepreneurs and begin their own small business.

657 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 3/13/09 - 3/19/09 · 0 replies · +1 points

I love the Mises Institute. I read one or two articles a day, on average. I love the articles on capital theory and the definition of liberty. Of course, the one that debunks the myth that the free market is responsible for the economic downfall is excellent, as well.

657 weeks ago @ Glenn Beck - The 912 P... - 3/13/09 - 3/19/09 · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm not a big fan of the moderation lag, either. It makes posting to comments in real time a pain.