to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
No. 74 9/19/2016
Once in awhile, it dawns on a person that a certain topic has been
literally "beaten to death." Common sense says it's time to move on to
something different! But before that, it seems fitting that we review some
of the major issues discussed over the past year!
The topic? The direction our country seems to be on, as one suspects
is the reason for the daily clash that occurs between our current candidates
for president! A bit simplified admittedly, but adequate proof exists that
one candidate leans towards the older notion of capitalism and free enterprise,
while the other candidate clings to the more socialistic conviction that
our problems require more government involvement, taxes, and regulation.
With this clash in mind, from the beginning here, topics have been
discussed that have a bearing on this difference of opinion. Recall, for
example, back in RNR #10, the true story of Congressman Davy Crockett being
lectured by a constituent that a government's money is "Not yours to give."
Voter Horatio Bunce, eloquently argued that tax money, given away in charity,
often leads to a REVERSE ROBIN HOOD effect, in that it is first taken from
people less well off, then finds its way to wealthy individuals (or companies)
that are financially better well off. If you recall, a financial gift of
money was given by the Congress to a burned out family in Washington D.C.,
voted by the same individuals who refused a donation of their own! Crockett
noted that tax money normally is not given for homes burned far away from
Congress! One needs to think about "grants" here!!
Also recall from RNR #14, Frederik Bastiat's argument in his book THE
LAW, circa 1850, that government gifts to voters involved LEGAL PLUNDER!
PLUNDER, or theft we would call it, because it involved taking by force
from someone who earned it, then giving it to someone who did not. And
LEGAL, only because government was doing it, when the law prohibits individuals
from doing the same. Bastiat argued that in the beginning, little was taken
from a lot of people and given to a favored few, but soon it became necessary
to take more from more people because more people demanded to be on the
receiving end. Ultimately he argued, the gift giving government would have
to resort to debt to keep up the policy it allowed to begin, big debt passed
on to tomorrow's citizens, our grandkids!!
Then in review #16, Scottish historian Alexander Tyler, circa 1787,
said this about the fall of Athens, Greece, noted for its democracy: "A
democracy is always temporary in nature: it simply cannot exist as a permanent
form of government." He added: "A democracy will continue to exist up until
the time that voters discover they can vote for themselves generous gifts
from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote
for candidates who promise the most benefits from the treasury, the result
being that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy,
which is followed by a dictatorship." Continuing, he claimed that the average
age of history's great civilizations was about 200 years. That during that
time, would follow a path from bondage->spiritual faith->courage->liberty->to
abundance->complacency->dependency-> back to bondage! Hey! How old is our
A recent example, socialism in Venezuela now for only some 50 years!
I quote from Shaun Bradley from Investment Rarities Market Update: "Life
in Venezuela now consists of empty grocery stores, record rates of crime,
widespread shortages of almost everything. Recent news from there is astonishing!
Bars have run out of beer. The average person spends 35 hours a month waiting
in line for their rationed goods, even like toilet paper and toothpaste."
The history of past socialist states is much the same! So...do we really
want it here???
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