Saturday, January 31, 2009

Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater

I don't expect the economic stimulus package, in any form, to save the economy. In fact, I expect the financial situation in this country to get worse; much worse. This is when we find out who we really are. Take away all of our goodies, our easy money, our leisurely comforts and what do you have left? What does it mean to be an American?

I submit that the thing that most ties us together is our Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights. It is the Covenant we have made with each other; our Ten Commandments.

The first thing we have to realize is that we absolutely can survive incompetence in government and even the total collapse of our financial and monetary system. It's okay to get angry, but don't panic. Our principals have not failed us. Our representatives have. We can replace our representatives without abandoning our principals. If we have to start from square one with our financial/monetary structure, we can do that too, but let's not tear up the foundation.

There is a fundamental battle going on between those who believe government's role is to enable opportunity and those who believe government's role is to direct the allocation of resources and provide for the basic needs of the people. The latter sounds more compassionate and has also been proven time and time again to be an abysmal failure. You can't redistribute wealth if you destroy the incentive to create wealth.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were designed to ensure that we never lose focus of the fact that the individual is the driver of economic success. Society is our servant, not our master. We engage it when and if it suits us, not because we are compelled to by a central authority. Government's job is to take the use or threat of force out of individual interactions, not to micro-manage those interactions.

We are at a turning point in history. We can make yet another amazing comeback or we can dive into the abyss. It's time to go back to the basics. A clear understanding of the ideals that made this the greatest country on Earth to date is essential to keeping it that way.

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