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Walter Williams
Walter E. Williams
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Spending and Morality

Comment

During last year's budget negotiation meetings, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner, "We don't have a spending problem." When Boehner responded with "But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem," Obama replied, "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that." In one sense, the president is right. What's being called a spending problem is really a symptom of an unappreciated deep-seated national moral rot. Let's examine it with a few questions.

Is it moral for Congress to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another? I believe that most Americans would pretend that to do so is offensive. Think about it this way. Suppose I saw a homeless, hungry elderly woman huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. To help the woman, I ask somebody for a $200 donation to help her out. If the person refuses, I then use intimidation, threats and coercion to take the person's money. I then purchase food and shelter for the needy woman. My question to you: Have I committed a crime? I hope that most people would answer yes. It's theft to take the property of one person to give to another.

Now comes the hard part. Would it be theft if I managed to get three people to agree that I should take the person's money to help the woman? What if I got 100, 1 million or 300 million people to agree to take the person's $200? Would it be theft then? What if instead of personally taking the person's $200, I got together with other Americans and asked Congress to use Internal Revenue Service agents to take the person's $200? The bottom-line question is: Does an act that's clearly immoral when done privately become moral when it is done collectively and under the color of law? Put another way, does legality establish morality?

For most of our history, Congress did a far better job of limiting its activities to what was both moral and constitutional. As a result, federal spending was only 3 to 5 percent of the gross domestic product from our founding until the 1920s, in contrast with today's 25 percent.

Close to three-quarters of today's federal spending can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another through thousands of handout programs, such as farm subsidies, business bailouts and welfare.

During earlier times, such spending was deemed unconstitutional and immoral. James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, Madison stood on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." Today's Americans would crucify a politician expressing similar statements.

There may be nitwits out there who'd assert, "That James Madison guy forgot about the Constitution's general welfare clause." Madison had that covered, explaining in a letter, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one." Thomas Jefferson agreed, writing: Members of Congress "are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare. ... It would reduce the (Constitution) to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."

The bottom line is that spending is not our basic problem. We've become an immoral people demanding that Congress forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another. Deficits and runaway national debt are merely symptoms of that larger problem.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

34 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... You say you are an economist... I say I am a moralist... I have no credentials, and neither do you when it comes to morals; but I will tell you one thing you refuse to get: You cannot conceive of morals, certainly not by means of numbers... Number is a perfect concept, and as concepts go, moral forms and concepts are not forms and concepts at all...
Let us say, instead of congress, society... Is it fair for society to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another... It has happened from time immemorial... If parents who are distinct individuals did no serve the next generation there would be no next generation... If society did not support all its distinct individuals and demand their support in turn there would be no society... In denying the obligation to mutual support you deny every facet of society right down to the most basic unit of the family...And society is a moral organization founded upon the most moral of principals that do not even need to be expressed to be understood...
You on the right want to cut every person off from his community; and in what sense is that person moral, because morality is a form of relationship with ones community... You say: You have no obligation to support others, to care for their welfare, to demand justice on their behalf... Since when do you have morality or society without this caring and obligation... Not one individual can be shown who has not benefitted from his society and his culture, and yet you deny his just return of the good he recieved to society....
In reality you have society... It is the egg before the chick; but your hypothetical individual which can never be considered as a moral being is only a hypothetical... The society can be considered as a reality with each person playing a role, at times recieving good and support, and other times delivering support... No hypothetical individual can be shown, but in our culture our greatest individual heroes were also our greatest outlaws, criminals who turned their backs on society and turned against society...We are not those haters of humanity, those killers, those thieves... We buy off the rack... The greatest expression of individuality might be a choice of automobile, and it has thousands like it in every detail...Look at how often art dwells today and for the last hundred years upon criminality, insanity, and vice... It would hardly be of interest to people who did not hate the social bonds and dream of escape the reach of civility... And to these people you make your immoral appeal of morality...
What a fool you are... Do you not understand that even when people recognize that it is every man for himself that each will be torn??? Do you not get that when people break the bonds of society they must instantly forge new bonds... You make the case for outlaw individuality, and you make the case for criminal revolution... We may yet deny the poor their sustenance, but to do so puts the wealth of the wealthy more in jeapardy... Look at the rat race dog eat dog world capitalism has delivered to us... Is it any wonder people live in a criminal fantasy of instinct, will, and self gratification???
Try to consider how much law and civility leaves the little man defenseless against the powerful, and you would not be trying to break down that restraint without have something to replace it with...
I would be with you if I were mentally stuck in the Narsissism of childhood... Adults seek to bring everyone along into the sunshine of a new day... The inhuman revolution you propose where people must surrender their humanity to have their money will rob them of both... Quit talking of morality... You have no idea of it...Without those bonds of caring for the welfare of others, you have no social control or restraint short of a cruel coercion you refuse to pay for, and your society cannot afford...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Jul 7, 2014 7:55 AM
Narcissism
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Jul 7, 2014 7:58 AM
Yes, it is immoral to force a member of a criminal cartel to give a single penny to a starving baby. How dare we even *think* about stealing money from a "job creator" in order to keep that infant moocher alive.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Geoffrey James
Mon Jul 7, 2014 1:12 PM
Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was a spokesman for democracy, embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual with worldwide influence. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia. Just after the war ended, from mid-1784 Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris. In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France. Jefferson was the first United States Secretary of State serving under President George Washington. In opposition to Alexander Hamilton's Federalism, Jefferson and his close friend, James Madison, organized the Democratic-Republican Party, and later resigned from Washington's cabinet. Elected Vice President when he came in second to President John Adams of the Federalists, Jefferson opposed Adams and with Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Thomas Jefferson left an America a land full of promise and hope, full of fertile fields, clean water, game and wildlife, and as much land and work as you could want to serve as a diplomat in Paris, France. A country like many in Europe old and failing.
These are from the writings of Thomas Jefferson while he was in France that are very pertinent to our present day concerns ......

"Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682

"[The] unequal division of property... occasions the numberless instances of wretchedness which... is to be observed all over Europe." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:17, Papers 8:681

"I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:17, Papers 8:682


"....Wishing to know the condition of the labouring poor I entered into conversation with her, which I began by enquiries for the path which would lead me into the mountain: and thence proceeded to enquiries into her vocation, condition and circumstance. She told me she was a day labourer, at 8. sous or 4 d. sterling the day; that she had two children to maintain, and to pay a rent of 30 livres for her house (which would consume the hire of 75 days), that often she could get no emploiment, and of course was without bread. As we had walked together near a mile and she had so far served me as a guide, I gave her, on parting 24 sous. She burst into tears of a gratitude which I could perceive was unfeigned, because she was unable to utter a word. She had probably never before received so great an aid. This little attendrissement, with the solitude of my walk led me into a train of reflections on that unequal division of property which occasions the numberless instances of wretchedness which I had observed in this country and is to be observed all over Europe. The property of this country is absolutely concentered in a very few hands, having revenues of from half a million of guineas a year downwards. These employ the flower of the country as servants, some of them having as many as 200 domestics, not labouring. They employ also a great number of manufacturers, and tradesmen, and lastly the class of labouring husbandmen. But after all these comes the most numerous of all the classes, that is, the poor who cannot find work.

I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? These lands are kept idle mostly for the aske of game. It should seem then that it must be because of the enormous wealth of the proprietors which places them above attention to the increase of their revenues by permitting these lands to be laboured.

I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree is a politic measure, and a practicable one.

Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right.

The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent.

But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison
28 Oct. 1785 Papers 8:681--82
Comment: #4
Posted by: steveM
Mon Jul 7, 2014 5:51 PM
What if I said that I wanted to bomb another country because I thought it should be bombed, even though that country had not attacked us and was not a threat to us? What if the primary reason for the bombing was political or personal? And then I asked another person for $200 to pay for the bomb? If the person refuses, I then use intimidation, threats and coercion to take the person's money. I then purchase and use the bomb. My question to you: Have I committed a crime? After all, it's theft to take the property of one person to serve the purposes of another.
How about having money taken from a childless person to educate other peoples kids?
How about having money taken from a person who never sets foot on an airliner to pay for the FAA?
How about having money taken from a person who believes that drugs laws are immoral to be used to fund the DEA?
.
Does the fact that many other people think that these things are good things to fund make it moral to take money from those that don't in order to fund these items? Aren't these all examples of theft? Why stop with social welfare?
.
Simplistic models are usually poor devices for understanding complex issues.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Mark
Mon Jul 7, 2014 9:26 PM
Mark..nailed it.

Walter,
You are a typical immoral Randian economist who believes that the few can take what the whole has created, use it and then not have to support the Institutions that enabled their wealth. Do we want to remain in Walter's beloved economy in which men and women of privilege will spend hundreds of millions trying to block the Obama administration but will not allow even a small proportion of their millions and billions to be taxed to finance better schooling, health cover for more Americans, investments in roads, research and new forms of energy?
It is basic anti-democratic Randian thought. You don't like our Democratic Republic and want to live in a corporate run state.
You love to talk about limited government but use the protections, benefits and accomplishments of our government and its people to fight your wars, create your fortunes, while pompously declaring you did it all on your own.

Abraham Lincoln wrote - "The money power preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed. " - Abraham Lincoln



Comment: #6
Posted by: steveM
Mon Jul 7, 2014 11:49 PM
Maybe author can tell everyone why in economy he love.....
Crooked capitalists get bonus and bail out when sink economy lose our retirement, pension, homes, jobs.
Why our money given to free market to stay in business and why free market dump all their debt on taxpayers? Why rich capitalist free market not responsible for theyre debt but free market middle class and poor must pay? ?
Why is it free market isn't held financially responsible for their financial misdeeds and mistakes and crimes the same way the general public is?

Seem to me only one have any freedom or profit from Walter's free market is rich.

You barely regulated free market collapsed global economy due to greed and corrupt practises and getting around the few regulations in place. Free Market is owned by morally corrupt Corporaticians for put profit and power above and before people. Benefit only those at very top.

We have just lived through a generation of business deregulation -- and seen what it has generated. Do we really want to go back to a world dominated by unregulated Wall Street Masters of the Universe? Do we really want to go back to a world in which environmental degradation can go unchallenged? Do we want to go back to a world where one American in seven has no regular access to health care? Where all local businesses are sucked up and pushed out of business by the oligarth monopolies?

Do we want to remain in Walter's beloved economy in which men and women of privilege will spend hundreds of millions trying to block the Obama administration but will not allow even a small proportion of their millions and billions to be taxed to finance better schooling, health cover for more Americans, investments in roads, research and new forms of energy?

With free market, wealth is concentrated at the very top.
If our Democracy was working as it should our elected representatives, agency heads, and courts would be making the rules roughly according to what most of us want the rules to be. The economy would be working for us; we wouldn't be working for the economy.


“A rather vicious cycle has been at work for years. Reduced taxes on the rich leave them with more money to influence politicians and politics. Their influence wins them further tax reductions, which gives them still more money to put to political use. When the loss of tax revenue from the rich worsens already strained government budgets, the rich press politicians to cut public services and government jobs and not even debate a return to the higher taxes the rich used to pay. So it goes – from Washington, to Wisconsin, to New York City.”

― Richard Wolff How the rich soaked the rest of us




Comment: #7
Posted by: steveM
Tue Jul 8, 2014 12:04 AM
Mr. Williams never said to deprive the truly needy of any assistance. It's an article about how we have gone way too far. Man do I hate your lib comments and how you always twist everything.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Lheben
Tue Jul 8, 2014 5:11 AM
Re: steveM;... They do not simply take wealth from this people here, but they deny to them the means of production which is their only hope of self support, and private wealth... It is the commonwealth in private hands that makes the wealthy wealthy, and it also makes the poor poor... Do these rich people who with their privilages deny us both wealth and access to government rule our world better than we might do outselves??? Hardly... The more they control this country the more we must compete with slaves abroad, and considering that was the point of fighting our Civil War, and that the revolution was fought by people determined to end this tyranny throughout the world- we must pronounce this government and this nation a failure... The object was always to end tyranny and slavery and not to allow these economic tyrannts to do what hereditary potentates did freely before... We pay the price of privilages such as property rights when their necessity is long passed, and their injury is ever present... Look at how your supreme court rules, ever on the basis of property rights and against human rights... We have no democracy, and never had too much... Resist and revolt should be our demand of each other, and we should cheer no one into the equasion of human life and profound misery with money... People are real... Money is only a meaning, paper without our faith in it... My faith is in life... My faith is in real democracy...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #9
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Jul 8, 2014 7:44 AM
Re: Lheben... Ho Chi Minh once said that Vietnam was fighting for materialistic values while America was fighting for spiritual values, and though I paraphrase, that is to say our thinking of the west as material, and the east as spiritual was wrong... But then, he did not note the extent to which what people fight for is not their reason for going to war... Some one in the west was looking for material gain, and the only way they could lure other westerners into the fight was to make it about age old moral forms for which we have always fought, like democracy, freedom, and religious liberty... The rich have their reasons, and then their excuses...
For what did those people die??? You know that some people eat today the meat cut off all those corpses... The lives lost to find their fortunes trouble them not a bit; and these ghouls and psychopaths live among us still...People can learn something of the physical world through numbers, and from that we have much good... To turn numbers against humanity because it suits you is to try to paint the air... If the value of life is invisible to you, how can you splash color on it, and with what brush???
When you cannot define morality you have no business measuring it with money... Money is an invention much as math which helps us to measure the physical world... The spiritual world is plumbed by moral forms, ideas without definition- with infinite examples, and no finite form...Money and math are mere abstractions, but as elusive as morals are, they are as much the cause of our lives as the physical conditions and genetic material of life... You might as well kill me were that suddenly your desire if moral restraints were not considered... And moral restraint stated as law more often tells us thou shall not... When people do moral it is because they are moral, and most people are moral or there would be too few to give law might...And since we cannot understand morals by what they is, it is only possible to grasp morals by what they do... A healthy and happy person like his society is a product of morals, and demoralized societies are always unhealthy and unhappy... Something or some one is always consciously acting against morality, or it could be repaired by all the healthy and happy people remaining...Such abstractions as money, or property, or religion, or numbers can act against morality even while helping to make for powerful societies...
These abstraction like money and number are manipulated every single day before our eyes, and they stand as so many meaning much as our morals are meanings but these abstraction used against us are more real... You can point to a dollar, but you cannot point to a moral truth... Yet, what is the dollar that it should command such immoralty??? It is nothing but a good quality paper debased by the printing on it... For this will I give my life, or deny some one else their own??? How does that improve our moral fiber???
Money stands for something and so it is like numbers the perfect abstraction, but are the physical values relatable to money relatable to moral values??? People like Mr. Williams who can equate the slightest human suffering to numerical values are not only criminal, and insensitive; but also insane...
We could not have lost this land to the rich and could not have been run into poverty if our morals were really moral... This is our commonwealth, and in our hands or not can easily feed us all and clothe us all...Our commonwealth has been taken from us by an abstraction of value called money, and though we have been used and cheated while all the time restrained by law and religion, now we are asked to judge the morality of taxes where taxes are the only means of feeding the poor off of their own commonwealth... People have not simply been denied their commonwealth, but control over their own capital that grew out of their sweat... We see government hand money to capital and banks robbed out of our future poverty when they could us it to empower the people for their own production of necessities... No choice is allowed people in their lives who must then be condemned as paupers and bankrupts... These people have it all with the moral right to assert their ownership over what is theirs... Our immorality is our poverty... Our demoralization is our hopelessness... It does not matter that our demoralization was lorded over by institutions like church and law making a great show of their morality... The life of our poor man is as much his wealth as your life is to you- is the only moral truth visible in such situations and times as these... My life is meaning... His life is meaning, and that meaning transcends gold or estate...
This is a verdict cast by Mr. Williams who is an old and dying man made vicious by seeing the only value, the meaning of meanings, his life- slipping away for nothing, and then denying the value of all life... You can measure your life by moments, by mountains, or marbles; but when it is gone it is gone, and with it all meaning... We can find better abstractions with which to measure the value of our lives than dollars, but to be moral means an understanding that moral forms are meanings without being, and the necessity of life for each of us is their meaning of meaning, the meaning behind all values...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #10
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Jul 8, 2014 9:19 AM
Re: James A, Sweeney
Could you comment as lucidly and singularly focused as Walter Williams' writes his essays? Your ranting contributes nothing to knowledge and wisdom.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Larry Gies
Tue Jul 8, 2014 9:35 AM
Re: Larry Gies;... If you want me to simplify a lesson on morality for you, perhaps you should tell me how simple you are for a starting point... I could say: Money bad; people good... Many already consider money the root of all evil; and compared to what, since everything has that potential... I resist the ignorance of trying to consider what is moral in money terms... How is that possible without considering the meaning of morality and money???...
I think people are real, and I think money is an abstraction... Those who think money is real and people are the abstraction can trace their roots back to Pythagorus, and who am I to argue with math... I only state the obvious, that life is our sole source, cause, and reason for meaning, and the meaning I take for granted for my own life I must take for granted for other lives unless by some device, like money, I can demean them, and give that meaning to the stuff that dreams are made of...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #12
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Jul 8, 2014 1:10 PM
Re: James A, Sweeney
Re: James A, Sweeney
James -- Your "society" has succeeded in transforming the former land-of-the-free into the world's leading police-prison state with a greater percentage of its population in prison than every other country.
In your "society" military-style assaults against peaceful people are now taking place in every city and town across this once-free country. There are now thousands of heavily armed government gangs that specialize in using Gestapo tactics against peaceful humans. They break down doors, invade and ransack homes, terrorize families, and murder anyone who resists. They attack suspects, throw them to the ground, push faces into the pavement, point guns at heads, and even blow heads off in the name of fighting drugs. By the way, your "war on drugs" is a lie. In fact, it is a war being waged against human beings. Humans, not drugs, are being murdered, assaulted robbed and arrested. Your society routinely treats honest, decent human beings like they are worse than murderers.
Your "society" slaughters poor people who live in foreign countries by the thousands if their government does not obey your government. Your "society" bombs and invades other countries in order to control natural resources like oil. In fact, the stated policy of your society is "Full Spectrum Dominance".
In Your society, prosecutors joke among themselves that they can indict and convict a ham sandwich. They can choose from thousands of pages of laws, rules, regulations, taxes, licences, permits, and mandates. In the words of Lavrenti Beria, Stalin's chief of secret police: “Show me the man, and I will find you the crime.”
Your society is controlled by liars, thieves, psychopaths, sociopaths, and mass murderers. You do not see this evil because you have been blinded by your addiction to power and control.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Rick
Tue Jul 8, 2014 3:30 PM
Re: Rick;... I agree; but it is still home to me.... I would only like it better if you cleaned out all the trash in positions of power, but my theory is, since people are very frustrated with the goveconomy, it is only a matter of time before folks burn the rat nest down around the rats... No reason to act rashly, even if action is over due... There is every reason to be suspicious of the state, and no reason to get excited...Revolutions are like earth quakes, and going on all the time; and if ain't shaking, forces are working at making it shake...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #14
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jul 9, 2014 9:26 AM
Re: Rick;... BTW.. I have no addiction to power and control... That is one of the reason I make such a God Awful parent... I have no desire to even control my own children beyond a minimum, and only hoped to raise them to that point were reason could rule us both.. Americans should heed the conclusion reached by Dr. Johnson that there is a remedy in human nature that will keep us safe under any form of government... So what if we have to be more careful... So what if our caution creeps occasionally into paranoia... Dying governments are like great beasts that even in dying are dangerous... But do not forget that the asset to the government today, that everyone thinks themselves free will be a curse to the government when people begin to conceive of freedom as essential to their wellbeing, and demand it...We have learned to consider freedom our natural condition though we have disagreed as to the limits... It is only natural for people to take all they need, and resist giving any of it back...Freedom is self control, and self control multiplied is democracy... For this reason I am a libertine..
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #15
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jul 9, 2014 10:11 AM
James Sweeney, I really don't have time to read your incesssant ranting, but I did catch the part about "Money bad - people good" and "many people consider money to be the root of all evil." That would be because "many people" are ignorant. The ancient saying is "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil" - and there's a huge difference.

Dr. Williams is right about coercion as an immoral position for politicians to take - particularly because the coercion can generally be traced to their desire to be reelected by a constituency that is greedy enough to WANT to see the government tax one group of people for the benefit of themselves.

BTW, do you honestly think Dr. Williams hasn't anything better to do than to read the diatribes that appear on this site?
Comment: #16
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Wed Jul 9, 2014 11:00 AM
Re: Maggie Lawrence;... I am not making any sort of argument for money or anything else being evil... I am instead trying to make the argument of the reality of human life, your reality, my reality as opposed to an abstraction, as money is -having all value..
Coercion, gentle or not so gentle will always be present in any society... The more you have real democracy the more people are forced to figure things out and suffer the finding of consensus... You cannot dictate morality, and clearly, if you do not take control or have control in your life you are demoralized, and it is because we are so demoralized that we count pennies over the welfare of our neighbors... I do not want to force you to act as a moral person and care for your fellow Americans... We are no nation if you do not, and we should admit we are no nation and start fresh...But again, demoralized we are denied the moral restraint and supports of society, and can be preyed upon by the rich to the point where we live like animals incapable of caring for each other... I think we are there, but there is no defense of any part of the morality of this situation...
This is simply the strong justifying their turning away from the suffering they have too often caused...Look at the figures; from 5% or the gnp to 25% of gnp in a hundred years to support government??? How much of empire and senseless war is included in that price???... How much of interest to people who cannot afford taxes, but can afford to loan the government money??? In that period of time the income tax which the poor pay which has made more and more poor has boosted that same gnp, and productivity, forcing people to work harder and longer for less, and all the while our industry and capital have left us for greener pastures... The cost of the failures of society, those trashed and left by the wayside will continue to grow, and make demands for support from their commonwealth...
I challenge your morals, and I challenge you to show your morals- which are, if you are like many folks, only so much trash...People are basically moral, but without the courage to demand and seize justice, they must suffer this eternal justification of immorality until they do not know what is or is not -moral... I think that is you all the way, because without morality we have no society, and we clearly have no society if we cannot care for the discarded, the old, the infirm, the insane, the young... Why are we making heroic choices regarding our neighbors??? Is it because there is not enough of wealth??? There is the whole commonwealth and it belongs to each of us, and if in the hands of the rich it will not support us, it needs to be taken from the rich and redistributed... The only reason so many of us are dependent upon the government and still living like animals is because we allow some to live like gods on the commonwealth of this people..
When you give people help and call it charity even when only giving them what is theirs, you give them nothing... If you want to help them, help them take their commonwealth back from those who would measure it back to its true owners in teaspoons...
I am serious... I have read ethics, and I trust what I write is no more difficult to read than what I have read on the subject... Try Kant... Try Schopenhaur... Try Nietzshe, or Plato... My difference with these people is that I do not believe morals can be taught... Morality is learned pre-rationally, and while there is a logic to morals it is to be discovered after the fact... The moral act is seldom the rational act...And yet there is a reason moral societies succeed, even if they become immoral societies that fail... It is easier for a scared man to justify running from his post in battle than for you to deny others in your society your help... There is no threat of death facing your front, but only sacrifice; and what relationship does not demand sacrifice???
There is no reason for doing what is right other than that justice -being what you do as a moral person... You will not argue a coward into a brave man, or a dishonorable person into an honorable one... When your whole society is geared to feeding off immorality, and creating more immorality to feed off of, the only solution is to trash the society before it turns everyone to trash...Look at every society that was ever over run and winked out... All lost their morality, and so lost their community, and lost their meaning until nothing made sense, especially self sacrifice...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #17
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jul 9, 2014 1:45 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence... BTW... I honestly do not believe Mr. Williams has anything better to do than learn and think about ethics, and of what we think of morality... His equating of a quality he cannot define with an abstraction like money shows he should not even broach the subject unless his aim is to look idiotic...
Just between you and me; every question is a moral question... Nothing we do is outside of moral consideration; but if you do not know, and have not given the subject any deep or insightful thought, you should just keep shut about it...Most people raised in a loving and nurturing environment have some sense of morality even if unconsciously... To make the unconscious conscious, to make people accept what they too often deny in their relationships with others is the job of the moralist...Mr. Williams is a hack economist who does not believe in economy... Will I let this man tell me what is moral when I have seen moral all of my life??? NO.
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #18
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jul 9, 2014 1:53 PM
James-- I also live in the US which is why I choose to stand and fight here. I see the government and country as two completely different things. The government with all its wars, laws, and taxes is evil and needs to be opposed. I support the principle that ths country was founded on, the principle of individual freedom and personal responsibility. In fact, I believe that the Declaration of Independence is the greatest political document that was ever written. You seem to equate society with government and political power which I oppose. I see society as all the voluntary and peaceful relationships between individuals. I see charity as something good that benefits both the giver and the reciever, when it is voluntary and based on love. Forcing some to provide for others is slavery, not charity.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Rick
Wed Jul 9, 2014 5:38 PM
Re: James A, Sweeney
James -- You are addicted to power and control. You want to force people against their will. You want to force them
to pay taxes. You do not respect the right of others to live their own lives according to their own values. You want
to threaten them with violence (the law) and punish them (beat them into submission) if they do not do as you want.
You are committing the same crimes as a rapist. You think that you have the right to force your will onto your victims
and punish them if they do not submit to your control.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Rick
Wed Jul 9, 2014 6:02 PM
Re: Rick... Sir, I do not want to force anyone; but people consent to taxation everytime the make use of taxes, as when they drive on a street, or cross a bridge...People consent to going along with the majority so that in the majority the minority will go along with them... If those rules seem to be breaking down, it is because our society is breaking down, and instead of making people better, our form of government has made us worse...
If the right can freely deny its moral obligations to its community on the charge of coercion, certainly the left which sees itself dragged into wars and international injustice by the right has grounds for objection.. The equasion of taxes with theft is like the equasion of profits with theft, and it is easier said than proved...In fact; short of removing the individuals from the commonwealth and giving it wholesale to the poor, the only just way for the people to have a fair return on the country that is theirs is through taxes...Property as we know it has not been around very long; but no definition of property could last without the support of the people... The right thinks of property as free and clear... No such beast exists... Some one, mainly and fairly those with the use and usefruct of property should pay for the social defense of it... Now people with no property and little hope of having property are asked to risk life and go to war in defense of this land, this commonwealth, and property when those with the property refuse even to pay their wages...No taxes means no legitimate or legal defense of proerty rights... How can a fraction in control of the vast majority of our wealth defend it against us or others??? Do they believe they can cut the vast majority of people off from their commonwealth and still have the people's support for property that takes their lives and gives them nothing...
These moral munchkins should read their bible, the OT Prophets, and the parable of the good Samaritan... When the two priests passed by the injured and robbed man they stepped around him for a reason...The price of touching the blood of that injured man was a long period of cleansing that would cut a priest out of his earnings... These priest were not just callous, but calculating...
These modern day moralists of the right tailor their morality to fit their money... Morality is a form of relationship between the individual and his society...Where does money fit in that relationship???... Morality comes with a cost... But we are far removed from honor societies, and now we live in a money society... The difference is that honor is always moral and money almost never is... Even giving to the poor, and calling it charity is bogus... We give these people only what is theirs as Americans, and there is nothing moral about denying to them what is theirs... To give some one who owns the same world as you a handout when what they really need is justice is theft...
Let me suggest that taxing wealth- is to make it serve society while it is owned privately, and is supposed to pressure the return of wealth to the commonwealth where it does not make enough to pay its own way...The income tax which was introduced to tax wealth has been used to tax people into poverty... I do not blame a desparate people for wanting to hang onto as much wealth as possible, but if all taxation is empoverishing the poor to lift the poor not an inch out of poverty, then clearly the tax structure is unfair...
One must ask of the poor: What do they defend when they go to war??? When the Romans had nothing left to defend, and the barbarians were at the gate, they cut off their thumbs so the army could not use them, and they ran away... Why should anyone die for a land not theirs, for property not theirs, for wealth not theirs??? You see the value of political equality when economic equality has been lost... More than ever, the rich of America are conceived of as having special rights... How long will it be before only the rights of the rich mean anything??? Okay; so they could not hold their great wealth without the privilages granted by the state... Does that mean they shall be free of taxation and must agree with every detail of the tax structure??? Let them go to hell... Let them pay their way... Let them pay for their privilages... Let them afford their own defense.. Many rich have more than they will ever need, more than they can spend; and if the government is going broke supporting the obvious failure of capitalism, the rich can decide to pay their share, or leave this land and our wealth behind...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #21
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jul 9, 2014 10:15 PM
Re: Rick;... I think you might want to consider how much of the messes we are in today which are very serious and international would stand before us if democracy were our form of government... We elect corruptable people and never get a chance to pass on the laws they pass... Think of all the mistakes government finds impossible to correct if we had a chance to express our opinions on the matter... I am happy to limit democracy to power over ones own affairs as long as it is liberally defined... I believe in consensus, in everyone being brought along from end to end in the resolution of their problems and in the government of their affairs...Government is a dynamic process for a living people or is a static problem for dead people... I trust people... I trust their ability to change their minds when wrong or carry on when they are right...The contempt of people for the education and intelligence of others allows for all of our intelligence and knowledge to be insulted constantly by government... I trust you to know best what is good for you as long as you have the ability to correct yourself in a mistake...I am not so vain as to believe I can judge better for you than you can judge for you; but if an issue affects us both, I demand consensus...The idea that some guy from Alaska having no knowledge of my condition can determine my fate and deny me the power to resist is criminal, even if constitutional... The constitution is crap, and suffering it is making this people crappy...
Other than that; every form of relationship demands a sacrifice, and why should a form of government be any different... My church demands money and devotion...The Y sends me a bill, and so does every club, association or union I may join... I certainly object to violent coercion, but coercion is commonplace... Even in the family there is coercion, and it is often quite gentle... I would as likely ban coercion as ban politics because every form of relationship has coercion and politics, even the marriage bed...People cut deals all the time... There is give and take... There is coercion and politics, conflict and concession, consensus, and when the relationship is healthy there is love..
Where is the love??? Divide et empera has been our downfall... At the end of a long line of on going injustice squats a poor person in the dust...If justice is not at hand, outrage must be my response... That is my countryman, and if I do not resist the wrong done to them, that is my future...So I do not cry about taxes except to note their unfairness, and their immorality when buying injustice...I have enough guilt issues without my government loading more upon my suffocated soul...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #22
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:08 AM
Re: steveM If you dispute the common sense of Mr. Williams' words and the proof of its practice in the transactions of day-to-day life, then you either lack education or pay no attention to your own exchanges with people in your life. If it is the former, you are either an idiot or stupid. If the latter, start paying better attention. The problem with most every failed endeavor of the interactions day-to-day in the United States and wherever the USG seeks to influence is the fact that there exists too much government involvement. Veritas Vitae.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Dan Curtis
Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:02 AM
James -- You say that you do not want to force anyone but that is a lie. You are deluding yourself. Do you want to force everyone to pay taxes or not? It is a simple question. Please answer yes or no without your endless rambling. By the way, taking a persons money against their will is the definition of theft, no matter what you say.

You say that government is necessary to defend property rights. Nonsense, my government is the biggest violator of property rights. It steals property by taxation and numerous other ways.

Now, to be perfectly clear, I do NOT consent "to going along with the majority..". According to your logic, the Jews consented to Hitler's policies because his government was approved by a majority.

I also do NOT consent to spending trillions of dollars in order to slaughter poor people who live in foreign countries. I do NOT consent to stealing natural resources that are located in foreign countries. I do NOT consent to the police arresting millions of innocent Americans who have not committed any real crime. I do NOT consent to the welfare-warfare state. I do NOT consent to the thousands of laws, regulations, and taxes that violate basic human rights. I do NOT consent to paying for armies of government bureaucrats and enforcement goons(parasites). I do NOT consent to government-owned bridges or government-owned anything. I do NOT consent to 99% of what is being done by the U.S. government. Your arrogance is astounding. You tell me that I consent to things when I do NOT consent. It is you who consents to all the evil that is being funded by U.S. taxpayers because you want to force everyone to pay for all this evil.

For your information, this country was founded as a Republic, NOT a democracy. The founders described a democracy and majority rule as three wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch and a Republic as a well-armed lamb contesting that vote.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Rick
Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:47 PM
Re: Rick;...People agree to taxes everytime they use services... If they wanted to employ a whole lot of accountants they could pick and choose, and everyone needs a vote on taxes, services, and everything in between; but EVERY FORM OF RELATIONSHIP comes with a cost, and a whole bunch of free loaders saying the services should be there for them free, and a lot of people without hope or opportunity should not have help are just barking like the dogs they are... Without people like Mr. Williams encouraging this stupidity it would not even be noticed... Everyone pays, and if you don't like what you are paying for and the government that demands the pay; replace it...
Honestly; national bankruptcy is a certain lead up to revolution... The English were Broke, the French were Broke, the Russians were Broke, and in relation to us after the French Indian war, the Seven Years War in Europe; Britain was broke and trying to collect from us... Being broke means you make demands that are not just on the people, and being broke means you cannot defend yourself from the people... Bingo: Revolution time...
Our government is broke, bankrupt morally and financially and they have done the same thing to this whole people... To deny people in this land, our countrymen our help means we have no nation, and yet we need a nation, and that is the same thing as an extended family... Families help one another, and they can even make demands on their members to help those with special needs... What destroys our morals destroys our nation, and we have already seen too much of that... So; every legitimate government has the right to tax, and the people consent to it by the demands they make on it... Has anyone bothered to ask if our government is legitimate or if the people are still consenting???
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #25
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:18 PM
Re: Rick;...People agree to taxes everytime they use services... If they wanted to employ a whole lot of accountants they could pick and choose, and everyone needs a vote on taxes, services, and everything in between; but EVERY FORM OF RELATIONSHIP comes with a cost, and a whole bunch of free loaders saying the services should be there for them free, and a lot of people without hope or opportunity should not have help are just barking like the dogs they are... Without people like Mr. Williams encouraging this stupidity it would not even be noticed... Everyone pays, and if you don't like what you are paying for and the government that demands the pay; replace it...
Honestly; national bankruptcy is a certain lead up to revolution... The English were Broke, the French were Broke, the Russians were Broke, and in relation to us after the French Indian war, the Seven Years War in Europe; Britain was broke and trying to collect from us... Being broke means you make demands that are not just on the people, and being broke means you cannot defend yourself from the people... Bingo: Revolution time...
Our government is broke, bankrupt morally and financially and they have done the same thing to this whole people... To deny people in this land, our countrymen our help means we have no nation, and yet we need a nation, and that is the same thing as an extended family... Families help one another, and they can even make demands on their members to help those with special needs... What destroys our morals destroys our nation, and we have already seen too much of that... So; every legitimate government has the right to tax, and the people consent to it by the demands they make on it... Has anyone bothered to ask if our government is legitimate or if the people are still consenting???
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #26
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:19 PM
Re: Rick;...People agree to taxes everytime they use services... If they wanted to employ a whole lot of accountants they could pick and choose, and everyone needs a vote on taxes, services, and everything in between; but EVERY FORM OF RELATIONSHIP comes with a cost, and a whole bunch of free loaders saying the services should be there for them free, and a lot of people without hope or opportunity should not have help are just barking like the dogs they are... Without people like Mr. Williams encouraging this stupidity it would not even be noticed... Everyone pays, and if you don't like what you are paying for and the government that demands the pay; replace it...
Honestly; national bankruptcy is a certain lead up to revolution... The English were Broke, the French were Broke, the Russians were Broke, and in relation to us after the French Indian war, the Seven Years War in Europe; Britain was broke and trying to collect from us... Being broke means you make demands that are not just on the people, and being broke means you cannot defend yourself from the people... Bingo: Revolution time...
Our government is broke, bankrupt morally and financially and they have done the same thing to this whole people... To deny people in this land, our countrymen our help means we have no nation, and yet we need a nation, and that is the same thing as an extended family... Families help one another, and they can even make demands on their members to help those with special needs... What destroys our morals destroys our nation, and we have already seen too much of that... So; every legitimate government has the right to tax, and the people consent to it by the demands they make on it... Has anyone bothered to ask if our government is legitimate or if the people are still consenting???
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #27
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:20 PM
James -- You are being dishonest.

"People agree to taxes every time they use services.."

Nonsense -- I want NO government services and have never consented to any of them. The only government services that I have used are those that are mandatory where I was not allowed to choose otherwise. For example, I do not want the "service" of putting millions of innocent Americans in prison or the "service" of slaughtering foreigners but I am forced to pay for them. Being forced is the OPPOSITE of voluntary agreement.

According to your logic, the individuals who founded this country were all liars and frauds when they objected to unjust taxes and rebelled against them because, according to to you, "they agree to taxes every time they use services".

You don't answer my simple question directly because it demonstrates the fact that taxes are mandatory, not voluntary as you claim. You cannot face the truth that you want to FORCE your will onto your fellow human beings. Like a rapist, you do not respect the right of your victims to say "NO, I do NOT want your services."

The truth is that you are a violent predator who gladly authorizes the use of violence and the threat of violence against millions of peaceful humans in order to get them to do what you want.

You do not object to forcing your fellow humans to pay trillions of dollars to finance a death machine that kills, maims, and destroys millions of humans as long as it throws some crumbs to some poor people.

You are the perfect Orwellian citizen who believes that slavery is freedom, government theft is charity, and government murder is collateral damage. Obomba, Hitlery, Bush, Cheney, etc. all love you for parroting their lies but none of them would ever socialize with you because you are so dumb that you honestly believe those lies. I sincerely hope that someday you find the courage to face the truth about your violence, false pride, and inhumanity.
Comment: #28
Posted by: Rick
Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:10 PM
Re: Rick;... You obviously want to live here and that takes police and military defense... If you say you would rather go without we will both know who is being dishonest... You have some education, and you likely use the roads, and if the government does anything to keep the air clean you can have the breath to thank them, or rather, thank us who make it possible...People say they do not want the roads, the health care, the police... The bells of hell, is my answer... No one believe the bridge will fall down with them on it; but some day it will fall with some one on it...If you think it possible to have the good part of society without the bad, then join the crowd... If you think you should have a say, you should... Ricardo, in England proved that no number of individuals can provide the same quality and kind of service out of their own pockets for themselves as government could for all... As inefficient as it is, and is made to be, it is still more effecient and more effective than people...At the heart of the discontent with taxes is their use to help people many have been raised to hate, belittle, and demean... We blame people with broken legs for their broken legs... That is: We think that God acts in tangible fashion to punish sin, and reward virtue, and it is bunk... Still; sympathy is hard to find... People fail; lots of people fail; and it must be their own fault... Some times it is, but the big fish eating the little fish is not unnatural... Failure is built in, and the desire for success often lands people in the most desparate poverty... Sure; finish the work of a just God, and let them starve to death... No!!!
If we are so far gone that we cannot see how close is capitalism to its end, how little of the support it demands can be paid for out of its taxes, then there may be no hope for us... If all the profit made on the back of labor cannot support the government, then that too is the action of a great and just God too, and it should fail...What then... Do you have a constitution in your pocket ready to sign and go??? People want to dump the old society with good reason... Very often it is those who benefit most from the money they pay who most object to paying...It would be better than seeing the old government fall to have a new baby government in the uterus of the old government much as the constitution was put together inside the confederation... That is the only kind of revolution to have... In a country where information spies are almost as numerous as secret police how is any new governmen possible...Those sorts of government are the ones most likely in need of revolt...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #29
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:38 PM
James -- I am opposed to all tax-funded police because 99% of what they do is a violation of basic human rights. They and the elite they serve are the worst criminals in the country because they commit the most crimes and the worst crimes. Look at their wars on drug owners and gun owners. It looks like the nazis attacking Jews. The nazis only illegalized eleven million innocent humans. Our criminal government has illegalized just about everyone on the planet. They can arrest and convict anyone they choose. They even joke about it. Obomba now claims the right to kill anyone in the world he wants with no judge, jury, or trial. They have destroyed the Second and Fourth Amendments the heart and soul of this former Republic. It is essential that all tax funded police be abolished and replaced by private security who are only authorized to arrest real criminals such as murderers, rapists, and thieves. That would reduce the current cost of criminal justice by 99%.

Like the patriots who founded this country, I also oppose a standing military. Our military does not defend our freedoms. In fact, there is practically no freedom left. We are now the world's leading police-prison state which you refuse to acknowledge. Slaughtering poor people in foreign countries that are no threat to anyone is not defending freedom. Was Vietnam a threat to any American before our military began to kill a few million of those "gooks". Now, the targets are ragheads. Our government has a million times more fire power than the scores of countries they have bombed and invaded. All these wars are war crimes according to the principle established at the Nuremberg trials about aggressive wars.

All roads, bridges, and everything else should be privatized. Try to forget all the crap that you were fed in mandatory government schools ( government indoctrination centers). You probably call them, "educational services".
Comment: #30
Posted by: Rick
Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:43 PM
Re: Rick;... With the government surveilance programs, the spy satalites and drones flying over head, I think it is hard to avoid paranoia... If you do not worry about the problem you imagine and concentrate on the problems you know are real, I think you would be further ahead...If the government is as bad as you imagine why are you not up in arms??? Do you need a leader that will double as a human shield??? Don't look at me for that job... I am resisting on the best information I have...And resistence is legal... So I must ask: Who do you trust... If you can't trust the teachers how do you trust the books... If you can't trust the preacher how do you trust his Bible...Societies survive on truth as much as trust, and without enough of truth, trust withers and dies...I am not even considering how to survive post apocolypse... I am trying to bring down the government/economy so that no one gets hurt in the fall...
With that said: I trust you more than the government; but you illustrate the problem only too well... If we do not have the truth we must guess the truth, and the chances of guessing correctly are slim to none.. When people have to act on their best guesses, they can be extremely dangerous depending upon their level of paranoia...The more government tries to ensure its security by concealing the facts, distorting the facts, or fabricating facts as situations demand them; the more insecure their situation become... Many people right and left are incredibly frustrated with the course of government and with its evident failures...We may only be one national disaster short of spontanious revolution... I would like to think you would be helpful in such a situation, but paranoids always seem to be paranoid...And that does not mean there is no cause... That does not mean they are not out to get you...It does not mean there are no conspiracies...We simply have to be able to rise above our fear and anger if we are going to do each other any good...Not trusting the government is one thing... Realizing they are broke and idealogically stuck in the mud is the other... On the one hand, the great crimes of the of the last century were bureaucratic crimes, but they required both money and will to make them deadly...Without the will to kill they could have been passing love notes instead of instructions to murder... Our military and police are special forms of bureacracy, but what keeps them from absolute evil is the fact that they can barely scratch their collective butts with both hands..I am not saying they could not be worse... I am not saying they are not bad; but without a lot more money they cannot afford to hurt to many people...Listen to me... I am emotional enough for both of us, and it is my connection to humanity... In any situation involving two or more, the advantage rests with the most logical person... I know you are upset... You must learn in order to know, and then think rationally about our situation and society... Don't go off half cocked... Resist as an individual... Does that make sense to you???
Sir; we may some day have to sit in judgement of our fellow Americans; but that is a situation only to prone to abuse... We want to be different from those people on the right who judge everyone except themselves, and we certainly do not want to be both judge and executioner... I am not political, but do follow Lincoln who was a master of politics... He would not quarrel, and advised the same... He said judge not lest we be judged... And he also said that when some one leaves off of him, he leaves off of them... It is enough to get those people here treating Americans like animals, slaves, and enemies to leave off doing so... What is the point of going on past the point of solution, and yet; we do need solutions.. Just as Lincoln was always prepared to let states back in the union as though they had never left, we have to open the door and let our American Enemies back into humanity, if they will but join us...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #31
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:59 PM
Re: Rick;... With the government surveilance programs, the spy satalites and drones flying over head, I think it is hard to avoid paranoia... If you do not worry about the problem you imagine and concentrate on the problems you know are real, I think you would be further ahead...If the government is as bad as you imagine why are you not up in arms??? Do you need a leader that will double as a human shield??? Don't look at me for that job... I am resisting on the best information I have...And resistence is legal... So I must ask: Who do you trust... If you can't trust the teachers how do you trust the books... If you can't trust the preacher how do you trust his Bible...Societies survive on truth as much as trust, and without enough of truth, trust withers and dies...I am not even considering how to survive post apocolypse... I am trying to bring down the government/economy so that no one gets hurt in the fall...
With that said: I trust you more than the government; but you illustrate the problem only too well... If we do not have the truth we must guess the truth, and the chances of guessing correctly are slim to none.. When people have to act on their best guesses, they can be extremely dangerous depending upon their level of paranoia...The more government tries to ensure its security by concealing the facts, distorting the facts, or fabricating facts as situations demand them; the more insecure their situation become... Many people right and left are incredibly frustrated with the course of government and with its evident failures...We may only be one national disaster short of spontanious revolution... I would like to think you would be helpful in such a situation, but paranoids always seem to be paranoid...And that does not mean there is no cause... That does not mean they are not out to get you...It does not mean there are no conspiracies...We simply have to be able to rise above our fear and anger if we are going to do each other any good...Not trusting the government is one thing... Realizing they are broke and idealogically stuck in the mud is the other... On the one hand, the great crimes of the of the last century were bureaucratic crimes, but they required both money and will to make them deadly...Without the will to kill they could have been passing love notes instead of instructions to murder... Our military and police are special forms of bureacracy, but what keeps them from absolute evil is the fact that they can barely scratch their collective butts with both hands..I am not saying they could not be worse... I am not saying they are not bad; but without a lot more money they cannot afford to hurt to many people...Listen to me... I am emotional enough for both of us, and it is my connection to humanity... In any situation involving two or more, the advantage rests with the most logical person... I know you are upset... You must learn in order to know, and then think rationally about our situation and society... Don't go off half cocked... Resist as an individual... Does that make sense to you???
Sir; we may some day have to sit in judgement of our fellow Americans; but that is a situation only to prone to abuse... We want to be different from those people on the right who judge everyone except themselves, and we certainly do not want to be both judge and executioner... I am not political, but do follow Lincoln who was a master of politics... He would not quarrel, and advised the same... He said judge not lest we be judged... And he also said that when some one leaves off of him, he leaves off of them... It is enough to get those people here treating Americans like animals, slaves, and enemies to leave off doing so... What is the point of going on past the point of solution, and yet; we do need solutions.. Just as Lincoln was always prepared to let states back in the union as though they had never left, we have to open the door and let our American Enemies back into humanity, if they will but join us...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #32
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:00 PM
Sweeney, you are going to have to learn how to use paragraphs if you want people to read your posts. I refuse to even attempt to read a one page sentence/paragraph. All you have to do is press the enter key a few times and add extra spaces between paragraphs.


"Does the fact that many other people think that these things are good things to fund make it moral to take money from those that don't in order to fund these items? Aren't these all examples of theft? Why stop with social welfare?


Simplistic models are usually poor devices for understanding complex issues."


Accurate Simplistic models are the cleverest ones. Williams is correct from my point of view.


You see, we Americans are NOT supposed to be living in an environment where the biggest bully wins (i.e. the largest group of voters). Our collective powers to control others via "government" are supposed to be limited by the constitution for the very purpose of preventing tyranny of the majority. Democracy is "mob rule". We are supposed to have a "constitutional republic" - a republic where what government goons can do is limited by the constitution regardless of what the majority of the republic wants. If the republic wants something to change bad enough, they band together and change the constitution - which is and is supposed to be hard.


Unfortunately, today, the 9 lawyers in black robes (the Supreme Court) amend the constitution at will. How? They claim the constitution is a "living document" where the meanings of the "words" change over time. So all these 9 lawyers have to do to amend the constitution is to redefine the meaning of the words used in the constitution and, Voilà, instant amendment.


The way the 9 lawyers interpret the constitution today effectively reduce the constitution to no more than two clauses:


(1) the United States Congress shall have power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."


(2) The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.


According to the Supreme Court, the above two powers make the remainder of the US Constitution superfluous. Actually, the way the 9 lawyers in black robes interpret the constitution, power (1) above gives Congress the power to do anything it wishes. The 9 lawyers will deny such but they cannot deny the results.


So now we have a constitution that can be amended at will and has been amended to the point that people whom wish to work and pay their way are a variation of indentured servants to those who will not work.


First, there is no doubt that taxes are collected at the point of a gun. If a citizen does not pay his taxes a government goon with a gun will eventually show up at such citizen's door and take the money and/or shot the citizen.


Second, the government then hands this money to people who do not work. Granted, the government also buys things like roads, buildings, and provides public services such as police, FAA, etc.


Here is the problem:
Taking one's property at the point of a gun to build roads, buildings, and funding government agencies for the general public is within the spirit upon which the constitution was founded if done fairly. In contrast, taking (at the point of a gun) property from person-X to give to person-Y is immoral.
Such is immoral regardless WHO takes the money or how many people say such is OK. Such actions were immoral the day the universe was created, such actions are immoral now and they will be immoral the day the universe ends.


What liberals and the 9 lawyers in black robes clearly fail to appreciate is that morality is not dependent on a majority vote. Actions that are moral today were moral the moment the universe was created and they will be moral the day the universe ends. The 9 lawyers in black robes, with all their power and arrogance, can only change what is legal . . . they cannot change what is moral.

As it turns out, the more a people's legal system aligns with universal morality, the more such people prosper. Our founding fathers gave use a "legal system" (constitution) that was more "moral" than had been seen throughout human history (for a country). Such is what allowed American to amass more power and growth in 200 years than other societies had amassed in over 2000 years.


As our legal system drifts away from universal morality so will our prosperity fade - or at least the rate of prosperity.


All that said, freedom on this planet is doomed – thus, the issue is really a moot point. The question is not if the Government will take all freedom from the people, the question is how long will it take.


It is just a matter to time before a one or two governments are in complete control of everyone one this planet. You see, I have noted at least one constant human behavior throughout human history - one person's desire to control another. And, ironically, we freedom loving Americans love to control each other and we often resort to government goons to get the job done. And government goons are more than happy to abuse their power if enough voters support them.


But here is why freedom is doomed on this planet: advances in technology. People like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Obama wish to dominate and control every action of its citizens. Mao, for example, was a dictator who oversaw systematic human rights abuses, and whose rule is estimated to have contributed to the deaths of 40–70 million people (1/3 of its population) through starvation, forced labor and executions.
How does a person with the power to kill 70 million people fail?


Such rulers fail because they did not have the ability to monitor and punish the masses in real time. Unfortunately for the rules of the past, the people had the ability to have clandestine meetings and organize. Advances in technology will change all that. Soon (perhaps decades) every child, at birth, will be fitted with an electronic device. The device will transmit vital signs and location data. This is how the device will be sold to the masses – a safety device – that can monitor your health and get emergency aid to you when you vital signs show distress.


Later the modules will be upgraded to have the ability to inflict pleasure, pain, and even kill the person associated with such device.


Those in power will monitor every move of a citizen and such electronic device will assure total allegiance.


We humans should enjoy what freedoms we have remaining. Our progeny are doomed.


Comment: #33
Posted by: SusansMirror
Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:02 AM
"I think it is hard to avoid paranoia... If the government is as bad as you imagine why are you not up in arms???"

James -- What have I imagined? Did I imagine that Obomba has claimed the right to kill anyone without a trial as long as he labels the suspect as a "terrorist" ?

Did I imagine that the U.S.G (U.S. government) can arrest and convict anyone they want? Did I imagine that the U.S. is now the world's leading police-prison state with the world's highest rate of incarceration?

Did I imagine that American taxpayers were used to finance the slaughter of a few million poor people aka "gooks" in southeast Asia?

Did I imagine that U.S. Taxes are currently financing the slaughter of poor people aka "ragheads" in the mid east.

Did I imagine the phrase, "collateral damage"?

Did I imagine the policy of torture? You probably call it "enhanced interrogation", like you have been taught.

Did I imagine the fact that the U.S.G has dropped several hundred million tons of bombs and bullets on impoverished countries since the end of World War Two, all paid for by American taxpayers?

Did I imagine that military-style assaults against peaceful Americans are now taking place in every city and town across this country? Did I imagine all those thug-scum SWAT goons? Since there are thousands of videos and news reports that document these facts, You could be the only person on the planet who is unaware of these facts.
Comment: #34
Posted by: Rick
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:34 AM
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