Like Reading Blogs Like This One?

The big ISP providers want content producers to pay the ISP providers a yet unknown sum of money so that they will continue to have broadband access to you. Otherwise whenever you visit a site that hasn’t paid off your ISP, you will find that the site will load quite slowly because the transmission will be “throttled down”. In effect the same sort of “monopoly” that I’ve been writing about on this blog since the start if the FCC allows this to happen…

So let your representatives know that you do not approve of this sort of “censorship”!  If necessary use Google to learn who your federal representative is and who your senators are. Send them an email letting them know what you think about this idea!

Jerome Bigge

“muskegonlibertarian.wordpress.com”

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How Americans Are Becoming Less Free…

Got an old VCR around? The kind anyone could hook up with a length of coax to your TV? Watch one show, record another? Those were the days, weren’t they? The consumer was in charge, made the decision what to watch on TV and when. Slip in a VHS tape and record up to 8 hours of shows. Simple enough that a kid still in kindergarten could do it! Compare that to what you’d have to go through today with one of our “new” and inferior VCR’s…

Buy a VCR today and the first thing you will notice is that there are no coaxial connectors on the back. Instead there are a bunch of different colored connectors you plug wires into. These come in difference colors and you have to match the color of the wire to the color of the connector. You will need two sets of these. One set goes to the TV (hope your TV is a more modern kind that can accept these). The other goes to your converter box (digital to analog, cable or satellite box). Here you have to plug in the second set of RCA wires into the correct connections. You’re going to have a problem however if you have one of those adapters that only has coaxial connections on it. Then you need to buy what is called an “RF Modulator” into which you have to connect both the coaxial connections and also the connections with the RCA connectors. You will need two sets of these, one for your VCR and the other to your TV (hopefully supplied with the proper connectors here).  Then you can start setting up the VCR, which is pretty much the same as it used to be. There will be one problem however. You have to set your TV to “source” (differs with different makes). This allows you to switch your view from the TV to the VCR which you have to do in order to set the clock, set the program, etc. Once you have done this, you have to change your TV back to its regular channels. If you don’t, you may or may not get a picture, but most likely it won’t be of the quality you get with your TV set to its usual channels.

If you have had experience with the old style VCR’s, you’ll wonder “why” all of this is even necessary? Prior to these “new type” VCR’s, you might have to had to set your VCR and TV on either channel 3 or 4, but otherwise than this, along with the loss of the ability to watch one show while recording another. Setting up your VCR was no more trouble than before.

So how did this state of affairs come about? Those corporations that supply entertainment saw a golden opportunity with the switch from analog to digital to put an end to people recording their product. This is also where the cable and satellite companies come into the picture. Supply people with a device that allows them to “time shift” entertainment, but not permanently record it. Thus the “DVR”. Uses a hard drive (like a computer), but does not offer any means (except to perhaps real skillful computer geeks) to actually save their recordings to something that allows the use of a removable storage media. There is one exception to this, and that is the Magnavox DVR/DVD recorder. This also has a “tuner” in it so it can tune different channels (if you use an old fashioned antenna). However, this recorder has been “castrated” by not being able to send its data stream by “rf coaxial” to your TV (or any other storage device). You can however “burn” a DVD with it that may be “read” by your computer or another TV with a DVD player. Thus if you want to use the hard drive to record a show to watch later, in order to do so you have to change your TV to “source” in order to see what you have recorded.

All of this added complication has obviously been “designed in” to the system in order to make it as difficult as possible for people to record TV shows. When you compare even the Magnavox device to what exited a decade ago, you will see that “SOMEONE” has had a “hand” in all this… The makers of consumer products would not make things this difficult unless the federal government, acting on behalf of the major donors to political campaigns now has effectively been acting not in behalf of the American people, but instead in the behalf of the infamous “1%” whose wealth has already now corrupted our political system!

One reason “why” our political system is so incredibly “easy” to corrupt is due to the nature of our elective political process. Unless you are a multi-millionaire, you cannot personally finance a successful political campaign today for Congress, let alone the Presidency. The last person to actually “create waves” was Ross Perot, and he was a billionaire. He did manage to divide the electorate to the point that sufficient right of center voters went for Perot instead of Bush. Which in turn elected Bill Clinton with a minority of the actual popular vote. Here locally a libertarian candidate did draw enough votes from a Republican to elect a Democrat in her place. Which was actually a good thing since the Democrat was actually the better of the two state house candidates to start with!

The problem is that it is becoming increasingly expensive to run for political office today. This in turn along with recent decisions by the Supreme Court to remove all limits on political donations to someone’s political campaign. The Court claimed this was to preserve the right of free speech. The effect however is to make it impossible for those candidates with lesser funding to ever have much of a chance to win over the voters… Naturally the “special interests” can now afford to sway the political process in their favor. Which is “why” the VCR you buy today is inferior to the one you could buy a decade or so ago. It may still “work”, but you will have more difficulty with it, and the entire process is one that likely will “encourage” a lot of people to “give up” and let the cable or satellite company provide you with a DVR on which you can “time shift”, but can’t “save” anything. Naturally this delights the content providers, who are now pushing for scrambling “over the air” TV so that there will no longer be any “free TV” any more. You will have to pay monthly for the “descrambler” or simply give up and let the cable guy fix things up for you. The fact that you now have to pay for something that was “free” since the beginning of TV broadcasts is again proof that we no longer have control over what government does today!

 

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The Free Market… What It Is, What It Is Not!

People often confuse the free market with economic systems. The free market is “not” the same thing as “free enterprise (capitalism)”, “group enterprise (technically syndicalism)” or “socialism (government owned and controlled enterprise)”. These are just means to the production of goods and services for sale. The free market is the sale of goods and services to consumers in return for money (or what passes for money). A true free market is devoid of regulation except to control fraud or attempts to “deceive” the consumer which itself is a form of fraud. Any additional regulation makes the market less “free” than what it would be otherwise. Reduces the freedom of the consumer to make economic decisions that are freely based upon what they consider best for themselves. Once regulation is introduced, the freedom of the consumer is reduced accordingly. This is true even if the regulation in question is thought to be of benefit to the consumer. What is forgotten here is that the consumer may sometimes find it necessary to expose themselves to some risk. This is especially true when it comes to their own health care. Medicines do have “side effects” that have to be taken into consideration. However one might “tolerate” certain side effects in order to gain the greater benefit from taking the medicine. For this reason the FDA should not be the final arbiter as to what medicines people are allowed to buy and use. Naturally drug company that conceals adverse side effects is legally liable for what does happen to those consumers who use the product in question.

It will be argued here that “regulation” is necessary because otherwise the producers of goods and services will defraud the consumer with inferior and sometimes hazardous goods. That without the FDA we will go back to the “snake oil” medicines of the past, our food will be unsafe to eat, and no one will know whether or not the products they buy are in fact safe to use. We’ll have environmental pollution, poisoned land, much as can be found there where the Soviet Union once ruled. The Communists having had little if any concern of the long term consequences of their industrial policies. Or the low quality of the items produced, “worse” some will say than what will be now found anywhere else.*

*As we had to rely upon the Russians for transport to the Space Station, one wonders…

Oddly enough, even with the regulation we have, we still get sick at times from food that is contaminated with disease producing bacteria or viruses. Our automobiles despite all the government regulation still have manufacturing defects that sometimes kill people. Doesn’t really look like all this regulation has really done all that much good, does it? It does add additional cost, however. However most businesses are deterred from selling known harmful products because of legal liability. Because of this, most businesses do actually take precautions against possibly harming those who consume their products.

Another issue here with “government regulation” is that a government agency decides for itself what is to be produced and what is not to be produced. It appears that sometimes corporate interests are able to “covert” government agencies into a method of keeping any who might compete with them from being able to do so. Ever notice that today you cannot buy a VCR with a tuner capable of converting digital to analog so that you can record the TV shows you might like to record? If you will check eBay, you will see that people are in fact selling used machines for more than what these sold for brand new! So why isn’t anyone today building new VCR’s capable of recording TV shows. Nor for that matter do you see DVD recorders that could do the same thing? Yes, you can buy an (expensive) DVR-DVD recorder ($300 at Amazon) to do this. Or “rent” such a device from your cable or satellite provider. Curious isn’t it how something once popular no longer exists. You can buy a VCR-DVD machine without a tuner, but it is designed to require that you use the more expensive converter box to connect it up. Obviously the “demand” is there, but it appears that something has happened to make it increasingly difficult/expensive to record TV shows. It’s not a matter of copyright either, as the cable companies and the satellite companies will “rent” you a DVR. Obviously political “pressure” has been applied…

This sort of problems comes about once we started allowing the government to decide what we are allowed to buy and what we are not allowed to buy. This goes back a century or more when the American people allowed the government to pass laws regarding what you could buy and what you could not buy. Note these laws were not about fraud or any sort of action that harmed people. As first the laws applied to certain drugs, mostly those in the narcotics family. Then marijuana (a product of a certain type of hemp plant) was outlawed despite the fact that it did not appear to cause harm. This was followed by the idea of the prohibition of the drinking of alcoholic beverages. Then in 1938 the AMA got the FDA to grant doctors a monopoly over access to medical drugs. Of course this did create problems as it increased the cost of health care. But for doctors, it was effectively about as close as a “license to print money” as anything. Just as government regulation gave the legal profession monopoly status over legal matters. For a minority of people, government is a benefactor, but for the rest of us, not so much…*

* In a previous post I have shown that the same amount of money that is collected by the payroll tax would actually create greater benefits if it was allowed to be invested instead. The same thing is true in health care. Better service for less money without “government”.

BTW my email address is “jerbigge@toast.net” for those who wish to write me.

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The “Shareholder” economy versus the “Stakeholder” economy…

Many people mistakenly believe that only a “capitalist” (shareholder) economic system allows for the maximum level of personal individual freedom. They also now mistakenly believe that the only choice is between the private ownership (shareholder) of the means of production of goods and services or that of the government now owning the means of production as was practiced in the USSR. (supposedly in the name of the people) Also some believe that once the government starts providing “welfare” in the form of services (and goods through public assistance) that economic freedom is diminished and those who are “productive” are excessively burdened by taxes to pay for the welfare of those who are not (workers). Question any of today’s Republicans, Tea Party member, or many libertarians and you will see in fact that the great majority of them will agree with what I’ve just written. That the capitalist (shareholder) economy is superior to any other…

There is, however a superior form of economic organization that historically has done far better. That survives economic downturns much better, that resolves the growing “gulf” between the increasingly wealthy shareholder class and the increasing poverty of those who do the actual work. One reason for this is that the shareholding class’ major concern is “Return On Investment”. Seeking the highest ROI is the major reason that the share holding class has created the sort of society in which we find ourselves today. If nothing else counts but the highest possible ROI, then the ruling shareholder class through their control over elective governments will do what is necessary to produce the maximum ROI’s.*

* Return on investment in the form of interest, dividends, or increasing value.

The economic interests of the shareholding class is opposite that of the “worker class” (stakeholders). Improvements in the quality of life for the stakeholders means a lower ROI for the shareholder class. Free trade as practiced today among economic unequals means that obtaining maximum production at the lowest possible cost while beneficial to the consumer, is even more so to the shareholders. However, most consumers are of the stakeholder class, not the shareholder class. What “savings” they receive through being able to purchase consumer goods at lower cost hardly make up for their loss of income caused by free trade with countries with much lower costs of production. The decline in unionization also means less income and job security. So while the shareholders have in fact gained better returns on investment via “Right To Work” legislation, their gains have been actually in truth at the cost of lower incomes and job security for the stakeholders…

The book “Capital and The Debt Trap” goes into detail about “stakeholder controlled enterprises” and is well worth seeking out through your public library system. The fact that “stakeholder controlled enterprises” actually did do much better than “share holder controlled enterprises” leaves little doubt as to the superior of the stakeholder controlled enterprise as compared to the shareholder controlled enterprise as a basis for an “free enterprise” economic system. Perhaps for the major reason that the stakeholder has a vested interest in the enterprise where he or she works while the shareholder can easily sell their investment on the stock market and seek out other investments that might provide a better rate of return on the investment. Especially since the shareholder’s interest in any form of enterprise is mainly one of obtaining the best possible return.

This also appears to have been one of the driving forces that was behind the “sub prime mortgage” crisis of recent times. “Profit at all costs” created the system of “fraud” that underlaid the securitization of mortgages that were known to be likely to soon default. The idea was to make a quick profit and then bail out just before everything collapsed. The fact that these actions were (at least in the moral sense) “criminal” meant next to nothing to those seeking the maximum profit. Nor did the government even attempt to prosecute those responsible. Some relatively meaningless fines were handed down, but as these fines were “tax deductible”, they amounted to a “slap on the wrist” if even that! It appears likely that if organized crime could offer stock on the stock market, that there would be ample numbers of investors who would buy in, despite the actual nature of the “business” involved! Just as German corporations (and some American owned) provided the necessary means to the Nazis to kill millions of innocent people. Our own “military-industrial complex” is also in the business of “killing people” when it comes down to it. Profiting off the misery of others has been going on for a long time, unfortunately…

There is an unfortunate worship of “profit about all” that infects our modern capitalist society. An idea of “business before people” that has grown with time. Aided no doubt by the power of massive corporations to propagandize the voters into believing that there is “no alternative” but to accept the nature of share holder controlled business as the only “way” to organize an economy. Unfortunately too many “libertarians” have accepted this idea as being right and proper. That in a libertarian society it is “sink or swim”. No doubt a part of this is due to the thinking and writings of Ayn Rand, who virtually worshipped a sort of self centered individualism over everything else. The fact that no society has ever been successfully organized on those principles in all of human history going back to the hunter-gatherer cultures of the Stone Age is the best refutation of such ideas. Nor can we ever have any effective political role to play when we simply repeat these kind of ideas. For libertarianism to be accepted by a majority of the people, it must offer the hope of a better life than that offered by conservatives or liberals. To do this, we have to offer “more” than they can offer. Less government, work for everyone, greater freedom.

 

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“Facts” that don’t really hold true…

You’ve probably heard that health care costs are “less” in (insert name of country) than in the US. That their “vital statistics” are “better” than ours. Supposedly proving that government run health care delivers better results at lower cost than does our own.

So, is any of this really true? Most people would compare the difference in cost and say that it is. And it does appear to be true at first glance. They do pay “less” and do “better”.

However, there are reasons why. Under a single payer health care systems doctors are effectively employees in that they have little choice but to accept what the system has agreed to pay. Additionally the the doctor in most of these countries has his or her own education paid for by the government. This means either much less money out of their pocket or student loans. Plus the government sets what the rate of pay will be for the educational system so that too is more like working for an employer. Organizations like our AMA are either not allowed or become more “company unions”. The idea of being a self employed health care provider as exists here in the USA doesn’t exist in the same form there. In effect while the pay is fairly good (middle class level), they don’t make in fact the same level (relative to everyone else) that doctors can earn today in the USA.  It compares in some ways to what working for the VA was like before the Republicans got the idea of cutting payments which then resulted in veterans not getting the care they deserved. (there was also now apparently a certain level of “fraud” going on there too) The quality of service was generally good, but not as outstanding as could be found in some centers of medical excellence where the best medical providers preferred to work. The VA did make some “advances” that exceeded the general level of health care, but in ways that were more possible for a government agency (use of computers for one) where a level of standardization could be established over the entire system. Something in fact far more difficult when dealing with thousands of private independent establishments.

If you spend enough time studying these issues, you will also note that the US is where a lot of advanced medical innovations start. The same is true of medical drugs, although in some cases other countries will “OK” a new and still rather experimental drug before the US FDA does. Obviously we could do the same thing (and we should) giving people the choice of trying new drugs and/or treatments before they get a final clearance. The main reason we don’t has more to do with our legal system and resulting concepts of liability culture than anything else. However this could be easily changed by granting patients an enforceable legal right to use the treatment and drugs they felt best fit their situation… Something more likely to be supported by libertarians than by today’s Democrats or Republicans. Both of whom have drunk deep of the sweet seeming poison of statism.

We could easily reduce the cost of US health care by a large percentage simply by now removing the statist laws and regulations that make US health care so expensive.  The elimination of prescription laws alone would reduce health care costs by hundreds of billions of dollars. The elimination of medical licensing (replaced by certification) also would reduce health care costs by comparable amounts. The “replacement” of health insurance by medical savings accounts that can be “invested” at good rates of interest effectively decrease costs by 20 to 25% compared to private health insurance.  All told, we could drop US health care costs to levels as low if not even lower than what the other developed countries are paying for health care. It hardly makes sense to copy them when we can obtain equal savings by simple elimination of all the “waste” built into our health care system. We do need to also look at reforming patent and copyright to control the monopolistic aspects, but that is a part too of getting rid of “Too Big” government….

On another topic, I have argued that religious freedom is an “individual right”, but that no one has the right to force their religious views upon others. Unfortunately, at least two of the major religions don’t agree with this. At the current time the Supreme Court has decided on a 5 to 4 decision that employers don’t have to pay for insurance that covers certain reproductive issues if it happens to violate their religious beliefs. The problem here is that an insurance policy that does not cover these things is no longer “legal” under the rules of Obamacare. As a matter of fact, as a private individual, you cannot buy a private policy under Obamacare that does not meet the standards set up under the Obamacare law. So even if you object to the policy having coverage for those reproductive issues that are against your religious beliefs, you cannot use “freedom of religion” to refuse to purchase a health insurance policy under Obamacare except under certain circumstances where you do not rely upon medical means for health care or are a member of a “health sharing ministry” where the cost of health care coverage is shared by the group in question.* There is also an exemption for religious groups themselves.

*Here on WordPress there is a “blog” about paying cash instead of using health insurance with doctors willing to discount their services if paid in cash instead of having to bill an insurance company. Google for “selfpaypatient.com” for more information. Apparently you can qualify under Obamacare for “coverage” by joining one of the health care sharing ministries. Which would likely result in savings for those of higher income.

This creates a very “interesting” issue in that private individuals cannot use “religious freedom” to exempt themselves from the purchase of an insurance policy that meets the requirements set out under the law. So a man who buys a health insurance policy also has to pay for childbirth costs even if he will never have any children. Apparently this was done since otherwise women will have to pay higher premiums than men would!

I have suggested that a much better solution to all this would be to use “Health Savings Accounts” where the money that is not used for immediate care can be invested. It is not that difficult to obtain a return of at least 5% on the money invested*. Effectively the money in a health savings account has no actual “overhead”, and with a return of 5%, actually gains 25% over premiums paid to health insurance companies.  This could also be “backed up” by a major med policy that has a very large deductible. These policies at the current time are far less expensive than a general full coverage type of insurance.

* Vanguard index funds invested 50/50 in stocks and bonds.

 

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Medical Freedom… More Money In Your Pocket!

One thing that most people don’t understand is that part of the reason our present health care system costs so much is because we lack the freedom to make choices for ourselves. Doubt this?  “Google” GoodRx. GoodRx gives you the prices charged by drugstores for various medications. You will note that these prices vary both by the drugstore and according to the type of medicine you are purchasing with your doctor’s prescription. Take for example of the cost of insulin for diabetics. The cost effectively varies from about $1000 a year (Novolin 70-30 at $25 a vial) to about twelve times ($12,000 for 40 vials of Humalog or Lantus). There is some variation among insulins, but they all reduce blood sugar for diabetics. Of course for those with health insurance, the insurance company will “pick up” some of the cost, with the rest being up to you to pay. Obviously controlling your blood sugar can result in considerable savings, especially for those dependent upon insulin. As diabetes is caused (type two) by excessive consumption of carbohydrates, it makes sense to do what you can to avoid becoming diabetic in the first place…  At least dependent upon insulin to control excess blood sugar.

The type of insulin the doctor will prescribe for you of course makes a big difference in costs. Unfortunately doctors do not usually consider “cost” as their first priority, and getting a doctor to start with the lowest cost and work up from there can be a problem. Part of the problem here is that the drug companies would “prefer” that your doctor only prescribe “brand name” medicines since these are what the drug companies make the most profit off. The doctor may “justify” to himself (or herself) that the drug prescribed is “better” than any of the lower cost generics available. Or simply figure you can “afford” it.

The real problem here is prescription laws that give your doctor a legal government enforced monopoly over access to medical drugs. Without these laws patients would likely decide for themselves how much they feel is worthwhile to pay more for medicine. This is one of the major advantages of life in a libertarian society over the “statist” society we now live in. Effectively, when you are allowed to make these decisions, your own decisions will be different in many cases from what your doctor is likely to suggest. It should be understood that with few exceptions, people generally prefer to make more than less money, even if the individual seeking their services would prefer to spend as little as possible. Of course someone with “first rate” employer paid health insurance is less likely to care because the cost of the more expensive medicine is coming out of his employer’s pocket, not his. Such a person is also much more likely to “go along” with whatever his or her doctor recommends than someone who has to watch every penny!

What about the insurance company? Do they care what the doctor prescribes? Not all that likely as they can “recover” the additional cost through higher premiums in most cases. So insurance companies really don’t worry that much about the cost of medical care. This is especially true today with Obamacare where people are forced to purchase health insurance (from a private provider in most cases) or pay a “fine” to the IRS.  Too, as with prescription laws you are “stuck” with what the doctor prescribes, you really do not have that much of a choice in the matter. You may be able to switch doctors, but for the most part, thanks to their professional organization, the AMA, you are dealing with people who for all practical purposes are as “unionized” as any labor union member is!*

*This is why the members of the “licensed professions and occupations” earn the money that they do. They have the power of “government” standing behind them, which gives them the power to extort more money from people than they could without government.

This is why as I have pointed out in previous posts, that “breaking the power” of the organized licensed professions and occupations would result in savings of over a trillion dollars a year if not more. Without the power of government behind them, they would have to “compete” in the free market like anyone else, which historically has always been one of the best ways to hold down the cost of goods and services to the general public. It would be necessary that people “educate” themselves about these things, but this isn’t all that difficult to anyone who is willing to take the time to “educate” themselves about these issues. Not much different than educating yourself to obtain a better position and income. Yes, it would take “time”, but the money you could save would certainly be worth it…

You will note in all this that neither of our two major political parties is willing to support anything like this. Most likely because a large number of elected officials are in fact members of the licensed professions and occupations.  Who naturally watch out for the interests of their own group. And oppose any idea that might reduce the incomes of their “group”. So we have a group of people, generally upper middle class and above, who are the ones regulating what we do. The laws that we are forced to obey. Unfortunately many of our own libertarian candidates have come from these groups, which is one very good reason (as I’ve discovered) that libertarian organization appear to have little if any interest in resolving these problems. One group which I corresponded with considered the “legalization” of marijuana to be of greater benefit than the repeal of prescription laws! So we have libertarians who believe it is more important that people are allowed to smoke or otherwise consume marijuana than it is to repeal laws that add hundreds of billions of dollars to our health care costs!

 

 

 

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What if there was no government regulation of people’s lives?

Let’s assume that we live in a society without a  government that is allowed to pass laws that favor some people over others…  There are no copyright or patent laws. Early in our history we didn’t pay attention to such things.  No licensing, regulation of business as now. Anyone is free to offer whatever services they feel able to provide. No drug laws, no prescription laws, no laws against importing things from other countries. No zoning laws that limit what people can do with their own property. “Minding your own business” is the rule of the day. There are traffic laws, but the only law is regarding harming others. There is a strong prohibition against the passage of any law where there is no “victim”. People are free to make their living any way that they wish, as long as they do not use force or fraud. Violence against others is prohibited except in cases of self defense.

Much of the legal system we have today dates back in history to when monarchs had the authority to grant legal rights to certain people regarding what could and what could not be done. Copyright and patent date from this era. The king (or queen) could give you a “royal monopoly” to do certain things that were denied to everyone else. Groups of skilled artisans would form a “guild” (like a professional organization) to prevent others from providing the same goods or services. The guild effectively reduced the supply of goods and services which allowed its members to earn higher incomes than before. The first labor unions were limited to skilled workers (craft unions) as “bargaining units”. Again the idea was to obtain a higher income through reduction of those allowed to provide the goods or services. Restriction of supply has always been a method to gain higher incomes, a policy that appears to go back some thousands of years with the formation of cartels, trusts, various economic monopolies over some needed substance.

All of these sort of things require the use of “force” in one way or another to function. One method is to hire “thugs” to beat up (or even kill) those who refuse to “go along”. Anti-union actions by business in the 19th Century sometimes even went to this point. Another “tactic” was to use law enforcement or if necessary the military to “break” the attempts to form labor unions. The owners of the big corporations of the era were often ruthless men willing to do whatever was necessary to prevent the unionization of their workers. It was a considerable “help” to have a national government that would agree to do most anything that “big business” of the day wanted done. This is also why there was a sometimes violent “anarchist” movement in reply, as many people understood that it was the combination of “big business with big government” that was the “problem”… In effect, it was understood that without the armed force of government, big business was limited in what it could do to prevent the organization of workers for an improvement in their pay and working conditions. As a matter of fact, throughout our national history, the US government has been more often on the side of business than the people. It has also been “on the side” of certain groups, assisting them through law and regulation to earn higher incomes than what they could ever earn without the power of government behind them. So reducing the power of government is one way to “balance the scales”.

The claim will be made that “government makes life better” for most people. The idea being that without government regulation, we would suffer from unsafe food, drugs, unlicensed medical providers, and every other problem government supposedly solves. The major problem with this is that government does a poor job of seeing to our safety. Also it creates more problems than it solves. It increases the cost of living by as much as $6,000 a year per capita. People are prohibited from using their skills and talents to employ themselves and serve their willing customers because of government laws and regulation. All in the name of “public safety”, where it fails more often than it succeeds. It deprives the sick of medicines proven safe in other countries. Our government has also made enemies out of those who were “collateral damage” from our drone attacks. Then there are laws like “civil forfeiture” where you have to “prove” your innocence of a crime instead of the other way around which is the way it should be in a free society. Our drug laws have given us the world’s largest prison population both in absolute numbers and upon a per capita basis. We have the world’s most expensive health care, but despite the fact we pay “more”, our health statistics hardly qualify us as a “first world nation”. As for “food safety”, we allow things that the rest of the developed world doesn’t allow in theirs. Which may be one reason that our health statistics are as bad they are today.

In conclusion, it appears that we are losing more than we gain by allowing government to rule our lives as it does. And what applies to the federal government also applies to state and local government. The “harm” done seems to be greater than the “good” that it does. Part of the problem of course is politicians who fail to serve those who elected them to office. Many of them appear instead to serve those who financed their expensive political campaigns instead of the American people. We also have seen the consequences of the “cuts” in services to our veterans, some of whom have died waiting for medical treatment because Congress decided to cut the amount of money that was allocated to the VA for health care. Proof, I suppose, of the low value placed upon their lives by our politicians. Who live like the aristocrats of another era rather then serving the American people.

 

 

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