Archive for February, 2013

Guns… Lots of guns.

Let’s rise above the fog of the Gun Debate and bring clarity to the discussion. Have you ever considered what the essential players and principles involved in the Gun Debate are? As far as players, you have the federal government, the state and local government, and the conglomeration of individuals making up the people of this great nation. The principles involved are highlighted in one of our nation’s oldest documents — The Declaration of Independence; it has outlined the proper relationship the people are to have with their government. Essentially, if men are to coexist peacefully (i.e., without tyranny) rights will need to be secured and the government is the institution charged with securing them.

Government secures rights and prohibits tyranny by making laws against the initiation of force, and utilizes the police, military and courts to enforce said laws. Government violates rights by instituting laws that initiate force and institutionalize tyranny. Today people seem to form interest groups to not only prevent their group from being taken advantage of, but also to seek special favors (via laws) that may initiate force against others. The right answer is not to form or join the most influential group, but to abolish the entire practice and not to initiate force against anybody.

Now, if the government is to secure your rights those rights must have solid roots; the connection must be proved without contradiction. Have you ever considered what our right to keep and bear arms is rooted in? Assuming you agree with me that rights are short for a right to action, needing no permission from any authority; and assuming you agree that the basic right of individuals is a right to act in their self-interest, and to take actions that sustain their life — also known as the right to life — then you might be able to make the connection between a right to life and a right to bear arms.

Your right to life means your life is an end in itself and needs no justification to exist; the fact that you’re alive, that you’re the only one in conscious control of your life, and that you’re able to sustain it by your own effort is sufficient to establish your existence as a right. Your right to life does not guarantee that you live without risk or without threats. By deduction this means if anything threatens your life, which can only exist in physical form via force, then you have a right to take actions to neutralize the threat (meaning to stop it) in order to secure your life — also know as the right to self-defense. By deduction this means if you are to have a right to take actions to neutralize threats, then you require a right to the means (or tools) to neutralize them — also known as a right to bear arms (a means of offense or defense). Your right to life is the root of your right to (acquire) keep and bear arms, and your right to life precedes the Constitution, which means your right to bear arms precedes the Constitution.

Let’s work this problem in reverse by reduction instead of deduction. Let’s assume for a moment that you don’t have a right to acquire, keep, and bear arms. By reduction this means if you have no right to arms, then you have no right to a means of offense or defense — the tools needed to neutralize threats. By reduction this means if you have no right to the means of neutralizing threats, then you have no right to neutralize threats. By reduction this means if you have no right to neutralize threats to your life, then you have no right to secure your life. By reduction this means if you have no right to secure your life, then you have no right to life. If you have no right to life, then you can only secure your life by permission, which is exactly the situation in which we find ourselves as Americans in the land of the “free” when we seek permits (tools signifying permission of the State) to purchase the tools of our self-defense.

Since governments are instituted among men to secure their rights, for men to seek the permission from their government to act on their rights is completely foreign to me. When did the roles reverse? The government needed permission from the people to take certain actions as granted by the US Constitution; and now the people need permission from their government. Given this backward relationship, and regardless of what professors may tell you, who do you think works for whom in this case?


This Could Be Us

At what point, or what is it going to take to get the uninformed (cons, libs, reps, dems, et al.) to see the gravity of our current trajectory as a nation. Our spending exceeds our revenue, which means we currently barrow money to function. It is difficult to visualize the amount of all three (our nation’s revenue, spending, and borrowing) without a visual aide.

The total debt our borrowing creates is so high that it’s difficult to visualize without the visual aide of skyscrapers.

The law of non-contradictions dictates that we cannot have our cake and eat it too. That means we cannot borrow money to spend it, and also have that money to pay back the debt. This also means there is a limit to how much our government can take from the economy (in the form of taxes) to optimize revenue and any more beyond that point reduces the revenue — we are likely beyond that point. People are hoping we haven’t reached that point and an increase in revenue — by 100% if we want to break even — will solve the issue. There are other options available beside everyone paying double in taxes across the board in return for nothing.

Assuming we want to pay down the debt, the options are as follows: spend less, print money, some combination of the first two which I will not discuss for brevity sake, or continue to do nothing.

If we go with option one, at some point our borrowing must stop and we must pay back our debt. That means our government will need to spend nearly half — if not more– of what it currently spends just to slowly (centuriesish) pay off the debt.

The alternative is to destroy our currency by printing money to pay off the debt. That means money would be worth practically zero, which will make everyone who doesn’t own objectively valued items (like a car, or gold, or a house, etc.) penniless, while the prices for services go through the roof. I’m talking people can’t even guarantee when their going to get their next meal. Any cash left in your hands would have more value as toilet paper or scrap metal than it would as currency — that’s why our government stopped minting silver dimes and quarters in 1974.  Who knows what would happen to our government, but the last time this type of inflation occurred in Germany, they found themselves ruled by the Nazi.  Who could blame them for wanting order from the mass chaos that ensued from a debauched currency?

The alternative to either of the first two choices, which are at least attempts to solve the problem, is to CONTINUE to do nothing. We will reach a point where we cannot physically meet all of the payments on our debt. When that happens our credit plummets like any other person who fails to make payment. That means the chances of someone lending us money at current interest rates drops to zero, if we can find a lender willing to lend us money at all. If we can’t barrow money, forget about it. We will be forced to cut our spending or print money (the first two options). If we continue to borrow at higher rates, this only delays the next time we fail to make payment… again. So if we haven’t lost the option to borrow before now, then the chances just went up — forcing us to options one or two. This process of borrowing and defaulting repeats until we proceed with options one or two or we have no more lenders left to borrow from and we are forced to options one or two.

Now if we have no intention to pay off the debt, we will still need to spend less since it’s safe to say no one will lend us money, or we need to print more money to keep up with spending. The first option will result in a similar outcome as option one above.  The second option will result in a similar outcome as option two above.  The only difference is that certain countries we owe money to may be required to go to war with us due to the impossible situation our permanent default puts them in (survival-wise). It won’t be too difficult to demonize us so that their populous wants our heads on a platter — their government will be all too happy to direct the angry attention of their masses away from themselves and use us as a scapegoat. I cannot guarantee we make it out of such a war since our permanent default will likely cripple both of our economies, and shear masses will mean everything in such a war.

So there you have it.  Without the ability of raising revenue, our choices ultimately are: we pay off the debt by spending less or printing money, or we permanently default and still spend less or print money. Out of the four, three will likely produce an outcome that will lead to our demise, which leaves us with one option that gives us a chance for a future — spending less money in order to pay down the debt.

I’ve suggested as convincingly as I can, for a couple of years now, that we need to limit government to its proper role of securing rights — and that’s it! This limitation is cheap and affordable. If we stayed at that limitation since 1776, the chances of such a state as we currently find ourselves in reduces to near zero — securing rights just ain’t that expensive. This limitation also gives us a decent out of our current situation — it allows us to pay down the debt by spending less money.

If not limiting government to an affordable size, then what is it that you would suggest? And remember, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Before you respond I have something I want some of you to consider. If you’re set on raising revenue, what if raising revenue isn’t possible over the long-run? Wouldn’t you want to know that bit of information? If you are wrong, and revenue cannot be raised to sufficient levels for the reason I stated, then you are essentially choosing the do nothing option, which will eventually force your hand anyway.