The Government, Tax Hikes, and Public Virtue (Part 2)


In our economic collapse, we must find a solution that gets us on the right track. This stands true for economies around the world and not just the American economy. Yet, in many ways, we are responsible for our own state of being; in our support and promotion of hedonistic ethics, or “do whatever feels right,” we’ve created a climate that produces the kind of government corruption that we see. In short, no economic system will work until we have a consistent, virtue-based ethical system; ethics comes before economics, ethics dictates economics.

Consider the corruption within the government. During any sex scandal for a politician, someone generally raises the point that what a politician does behind closed doors doesn’t matter. So long as a politician does a good job in office, who cares what he does in the bedroom? But such a sentiment ignores several things.

For one, if a politician is willing to break a vow with his spouse, a covenant with the one that he loves, how more likely is he to break his vow to his constituents? After all, his spouse is the one he’s come to love, the one he’s been intimate with (in more than a physical way), the one he’s spent quite a bit of his life with, and so on. If he is willing to cast her aside for something a bit better, then why would he remain faithful to his constituency, who are nothing more to him than a voting base? In other words, not only should we pay attention to what a public leader does in the bedroom, we should care quite a bit that he’s upholding vows in his private life so we have some assurance he will uphold the vows in his public life.

Or we can consider a multi-million dollar CEO and how he only gives a tiny fraction of his income to the poor. He is simply doing what feels right, or following his own ethic. If we each decide what is true for us, then he has decided what is true for him and there is nothing anyone can do about it, at least not without upholding some absolute moral standard. Yet, we’ve been told for so long that absolute morality is passé, out of date, oppressive, tyrannical, and so on. Yet, when it comes to the rich exploiting the poor, we quickly want to create an absolute standard!

If we truly want to save our government from corruption and save our economy from the elite (whether that elite be in our government via socialism or in the private sector via an oligarchic capitalism), then we must begin to promote an ethical way of life for all, and then shame public officials who consistently refuse to live up to that ethical standard.

Whether we like it or not, the only solution to our woes is to embrace an absolute ethic, something that all humans at all times in all places can follow. The solution isn’t smaller government, more regulation, bigger government, a freer market, or so on; in all of these instances, if we have men who love vice setting the rules, then the rules will ultimately be subverted. If we have men who love virtue setting the rules, however, then at some point there is no need for rules, because they wouldn’t dare shame themselves by showing themselves to love vice.

When people aren’t interested in doing the right thing, or are only interested in what’s good for them, then a society cannot last. When elected officials put regulations on businesses in order to secure a vote, then they don’t really intent to stick by those regulations, especially if it’ll cost them campaign donations. Rather, the regulations become lip-service. Or, worse, what if the government officials do exert their power and regulate a business, but they exert the power in order to demonstrate their authority? Then we have traded in one form of tyranny (an oligarchy) for another (an authoritarian government). In both, powerful and rich individuals do what makes them feel right and do what is in their own interests.

We must move back to some form of moral absolutism, to some moral standard where the rich and powerful realize they have an obligation to others. We must move to a place where men are valued not by what they own or by their vocations, but by what they do in virtue. If we cannot reform our ethics, then we will never reform our economics.

 

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Spending isn’t our government’s biggest problem


All the predictions are that the Republicans will win a majority in the House and Senate this coming November or at least will get very close to a majority. The biggest reason is that government spending is simply out of control and has been for over a decade now. With government spending comes government intrusion – more government programs means more accountability to the Federal Government required from the average citizen, while less accountability from the government to the people. Thus, multiple people are starting to feel “conservative” and are deciding to vote for people they believe will cut spending.

But is spending the biggest problem facing our nation right now? Should we “guard the change” as our President has asked, or should we change the guard? The problem is, no matter who you elect into office, while the problem of spending might subside, the problems of our government will only continue perpetually.

The reason is our government would lack a moral base for their claims. Right now, the call against spending is that it leads to debt, which cripples the nation’s economy. In other words, we’re against spending because we’re pragmatic; we want to protect our self-interest and care nothing for others. But the failure on the right to recognize that spending is a moral problem and that poverty is a symptom of the moral problem indicates that the right doesn’t truly understand the biggest problem facing our nation; we are a society without morals.

In the recent health care debate the left wanted to place everyone under healthcare, whether they could afford it or not, so everyone would be equal in their treatment. Of course, as other nations have shown us, while such a system makes us equal, that equality is generally a lowered version of what is available. At the same time, the people on the right showed little to no regard to those who worked 50 hours a week, but still couldn’t afford healthcare. “Get a better job” was the battle-cry of conservatives. Morally, neither side made sense. On the left, it is unethical to take away a person’s freedom to earn income or his ability to gain better healthcare. In our society, capital is a way to experience your freedom, so when capital is limited due to excess taxes you are in essence limiting a person’s freedom. On the right, it is unethical to simply cast the poor aside and let the best rise to the top. While the conservative movement is composed of many Christians, many of them have adopted a Darwinian view of society, claiming that only the fittest (the richest) get the best healthcare. From a moralist perspective, it would have made far more sense to reform healthcare to make private healthcare cheaper and also offered a public grant fund for those who could not afford healthcare; a person would pay what he could afford and public funds would cover the rest (which would also encourage a reduction in the cost of medical equipment, one would hope).

Notice how the rallying cry of conservatives isn’t rally all that conservative. Few of them want to deal with abortion. Few of them want to correct the social problems plaguing the US. Rather, they fall in step along party lines and unfortunately the same can be said for liberals. On the immigration issue conservatives want to put up a wall while liberals want open borders; neither side can reach a compromise because there’s a distinct lack of thinking in our government today. But the lack of thinking stems from a lack of morals; we do what is pragmatic and what helps us achieve our goals, but we never check to see if our ends and means to those ends are moral. Mostly because we don’t care.

We may elect people who can curb the spending of the federal government, but this won’t solve much in American society or in our government. Until our society and government align their ends and goals with virtue, there will be little to no positive change. Until we ask, “Is this the right thing to do?” rather than, “Will this help in my election/re-election,” our government will remain corrupt and bankrupt. They might turn the economy around, but they still still be bankrupt in morals, which only bankrupts a society and leads to its destruction.

Charlie Crist may want to rethink that statement…


Charlie Crist, the current governor of Florida vetoed a bill that would require women seeking an abortion in their first trimester to have an ultrasound prior to the abortion. The quote of interest to me is where Crist says,

Individuals hold strong personal views on the issue of life, as do I,” Crist wrote. “However, personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary.

The problem with Crist’s view is that it contradicts all laws on murder. Crist says that our personal views of [human] life should not influence how the government protects human life.

What Crist is trying to say is that even though he and others might personally view human life as beginning at conception, it’s not our duty to create laws that enforce those views upon others. Based on one of my previous entries (A Logical Look at Legalized Abortions), Crist is faced with a few problems. Namely, he must explain first whether or not the government has the duty to protect any and all innocent human life within its jurisdiction. If the government lacks that ability, then we must ask him to begin submitting laws to reflect that belief. If the government does have a duty to protect innocent human life within its jurisdiction, then we must ask him what he views a fetus to be.

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Random thoughts of the day.


– Are economic hardships always bad? So long as a person is able to feed his family, clothe his family, and provide adequate shelter for his family (even if it’s a temporary apartment), isn’t he living a good life?

– The abortion issue isn’t about women and their rights. It is about if the fetus growing in her is a human being. If it were about what right she has to do with her own body, why aren’t there “pro-plain nail” groups? Why aren’t there groups protesting women who get piercing, tattoos, or adorn make up? If those who are pro-life actually hate women and don’t want women to control their bodies, why aren’t these other issues…issues? Rather, the entirety of the issue is about the life of the fetus; if the fetus is human, then he has rights from the moment of his conception. If he isn’t human, then he can be removed from his mother for the same reason his mother can remove her nail polish.

– We live in a materialistic pagan society, not a secular society. We still worship gods and goddesses, just in a different way. We call them celebrities, sports players, and musicians. They lead us in our sexual orgies, debauchery, child sacrifice (via abortion or the neglect of those born), and many other vices.

– I figured it would take six months for the public to begin turning against Obama. Unfortunately, I forgot how powerful delusion is. Granted, his approval rating is dropping daily, but many natural skeptics are still blaming everyone except Obama. It would seem narcissism and the desire to be right and not admit that one was wrong is greater than one’s own skepticism.

– In a materialistic society an economic depression is the worst thing that can happen – due to financial constraints, we cannot define who we are because we cannot purchase the material items we want. In a virtuous society an economic depression is, at most, a nuisance (so long as basic necessities are still available).

– If people support those in the “LGBT” society so long as they’re in a monogamous relationship, what do they do with the “B” (bi-sexual) part of that society?

– American Christians have become apathetic to the direction of their culture because they’ve become apathetic to their Savior. He is no more than the man they talk about in Sunday School and hear about from the pulpit, but no less than what they read in the Bible. He is safe and knowable. But the words “safe” and “knowable” are not the terms the contemporaries of Jesus would have used to describe Him; after all, they didn’t crucify Him because He handed out hugs and kisses.

– The pagans of old were far more astute than the modern pagans; the ancient pagans at least recognized there was a supernatural element to the world. The neo-pagans are too blind to see even that.

– The average modern American; skeptical about everything – except himself.

What?


After looking through the news this week, I came across this comment from a casual observer that the media decided to interview.

“[Universal Health Care is] about human rights. It’s about morality. And denying people health care ranks right up there with genocide.”

This is one of those quotes that you read and start laughing, then blurt out, “What the heck,” and then get a very sick feeling in your stomach because the person believes this tripe without ever thinking about it.

Genocide is the act of intentionally killing off a people group because of that group’s race. It is the government (or para-military) sanctioned eradication of an ethnicity. Denying universal health care is the government saying, “Individuals have the right to choose their own health care” and/or “We don’t have the money to pay for it.” There’s a night and day difference. So that last sentence is just plain stupidity and underscores how many on the Left don’t know the first thing about moral equivalency.

Is it immoral for the government to refuse to pay for a person’s health care? It does depend on the situation. If the person put his life in harm’s way for the service of his country, or was injured while defending his country or doing a service for his country, then it is highly immoral for the government to refuse free health care (or even the best health care available). If, however, the person blew his hand up while holding onto a firework to see what would happen, it is actually immoral for the government to take other people’s money to pay for this man’s mistake.

But what about neutral parties? What about a person who has cancer, but can’t afford health insurance? It still isn’t moral for the government to use other people’s money to pay for this one person’s ailment. The reason is that by doing so (because there is always more than one person suffering), others are inevitably harmed. Thus, instead of a few people suffering, multiple people suffer. Rather, the moral thing to do is for the government to offer incentives to individuals who willingly give their money to funds and charities that help those who don’t have health care.

Either way, aside from being stupid, is just sick. The government refusing to have a universal health care system is very different from what Hitler did to the Jews or what the Hutu did to the Tutsi.

Taxes 101


What’s more effective and moral:

A parent who uses negative reinforcement to stop his child from acting out, or a parent who attempts to use positive reinforcement (though negative reinforcement will be needed at times)?

A boss who puts restrictions on his employees and adds rules, or a boss who gives bonuses and raises for employees who do more than is required of them?

A teacher who consistently marks down the grades of students for the smallest mishaps, or a teacher who adds points when the student does more than expected of him?

In most cases, though negative reinforcement is needed to “motivate” those who just don’t care, positive reinforcement works far better. When people realize they can get a deal for doing something, they’ll almost always do that “something.” So when it comes to health care, under a capitalistic system, doesn’t it make far more sense to offer substantial tax breaks to employers who offer health care for full time employees?

Doesn’t it make far more sense to offer even bigger tax breaks to those who give health insurance to part-time employees? Doesn’t it make sense to offer tax breaks to people who pay for their own insurance (which, by the way, contributes to the economy)? Doesn’t it make more sense to offer even bigger tax breaks for those who add supplemental insurance? Doesn’t it make more sense to offer a tax break to employers who pay double the minimum wage for their employees (and make sure the tax break supplements the money lost on payroll)?

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More Fun with Modern Sayings


I went over three modern sayings in a previous post that are popular to say, but just don’t make any sense. After writing it, a few more have come to mind.

1)   “What someone does in his/her personal life doesn’t affect me.”

To a certain extent, such libertine sentiment is true. What type of food a person chooses to eat doesn’t affect me. What kind of drapes a person puts up in his home doesn’t affect me. But often times so-called private actions can lead to public consequences, which does affect me.

This whole privacy matter generally deals with privacy in the bedroom. For instance, how many liberal protestors who advocate homosexual rights based on “My personal life isn’t the government’s business,” but quickly turn around and want to place limits on how big my “carbon footprint” is, or dictate if I can smoke or not, or even dictate how much electricity I can use? There’s a double-standard – they’re willing to let the government intervene on those issues, but not on sexual issues.

Regardless, what goes on in the bedroom can affect me by affecting society. What we do is often reflected upon our children. As I pointed out in a previous post, sexual immorality tends to go hand-in-hand with other forms of immorality. Thus, if one is engaging in sexually immoral acts in the bedroom, then one is more apt to perform immoral acts in public.

The connection to public corruption, however, is almost irrelevant. Though it may not be the government’s business what goes on in the bedroom or in a person’s personal life, as a human being I have an obligation to point out immorality when I see it. I have an obligation to point out what is wrong (in a loving way) in the way someone is acting. By being human, a person’s personal life is my business.

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