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Examining the fundamental problems of human existence — The Origin of Life, Ethics, Health, Governance — and the rational means for their solution. Without an understanding of where we came from, we cannot know where we are going. Without ethics, there is no hope for peace and security. Without health, a full life is not possible. Without liberty, human potential is but a wish.
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blog Dr. Wysong's Blog - 3/4/2011

ECONOMIC MELTDOWN

Government is spending outrageous amounts of tax, borrowed, and fiat printed money. In large part this is done to support new government hires and social programs. The end result is increasing numbers of people dependent on government and of the belief that they are entitled to a life of milk and honey regardless of what they do.

But that is a false reality. It is also unethical. If, in our personal lives we consider it theft to take what is not ours, and immoral to receive such stolen property, why on earth do we blink at government doing this very thing? America is about individual opportunity, not an open license for larceny.

Any fair minded and rational person knows this, even if they are on the receiving end of government handouts of stolen property. Lincoln once said, "To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, 'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.'"

Cicero, in 55 BC, said, "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled… People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." Clearly, the rush toward socialism we now see around the world is nothing new. It is as old as laziness itself. Who wouldn't like free stuff and no pressure to perform?

We would not even be talking about socialism if there were no money in the coffers to support it. That money has come from the prosperity created by entrepreneurship and business, the antithesis of socialism. The hard work and sacrifice of our ancestors, up until about 1920 when there was no public assistance and government only took about 3% of the gross national product, built the wealthiest country the world has ever known. Government has burnt through that wealth with handouts. Today, in spite of taking some 25% of GDP, government is, for all practical purposes, bankrupt. Governments create no wealth, they only take. The only money they make is with a printing press.

The chickens are coming home to roost and the eggs they are laying are increasingly empty as printed money inflation destroys savings and purchasing power. As I write this, the cost of basic commodities needed for survival, such as energy, food, and clothing are exploding. Agriculture futures today (March, 2011) portend the dire circumstances: wheat gaining 52%, cotton gaining 177%, corn gaining 72%, soybeans gaining 49%, coffee gaining 86%, orange juice gaining 37%, and sugar gaining 86%.

This will percolate down into finished goods and people will soon begin to realize their paper money is becoming more and more worthless. (Don't be misled by the falling prices of nonessential trinkets and toys, or the liquidation sales at closing businesses.)

When it is considered that most people in the world are living on less than three dollars per day, the majority of which goes for food, the danger of escalating food prices becomes apparent. When their food is priced out of reach what will happen? When our food is priced out of reach what will happen? The unrest here and around the world we are now seeing is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Note the recent rioting in Greece at the prospect of social programs being cut. When the French are asked to work to age 62, instead of 60, before they retire with generous pay, they revolt. (Nobody has the right to retire on the labors of others, anymore than I have a right to take a vacation and send you the bill.) Public employees in Wisconsin, rather than be insulted as they should be, by someone else paying for their health care, demonstrate for days when they are asked to pitch in. They all sound like spoiled brats. Robbing Peter to pay Paul always has the vigorous support of Paul.

The only solution is to stop the false economy created by governments and socialism. To do that requires a readjustment in our thinking about work, business, government, taxes, and individual responsibility.

Think about how the common view of business and employees has become skewed. Lost in all the talk of workers' rights, taxation, and government handouts, is the plight of the businesses that create the wealth and jobs society and government depend upon. This is in large part because "workers" (a communistic term that implies that business owners who work endless hours aren't "workers") are always cast as oppressed; business owners are portrayed as rich and privileged. (Profit is now demonized as a vice, when the real vice is creating losses.) Given that over 95% of all businesses fail in the first three years, and there are no "business owner rights," as there are "workers' rights," painting all businesses as rich and privileged falls far from the truth.

Casting employees as victims denies some basic realities. No person who is free to leave a job and find another can rightly be called oppressed, underpaid, or victimized. An employee-employer relationship should be no different than any sell-buy transaction. Workers are selling their services. Employers are buying them. Each should have a right to charge for and buy these services like any other commodity in a free market.

If you were to ask just about anyone who has worked both as an employee and as a business owner, which is easier, they would say being an employee. An employee takes no risks, makes no investment, and is profitable from day one. Most get paid vacation, sick leave, medical insurance, worker's compensation, are given retirement plans, and unemployment pay. Some belong to unions that can dictate wages and benefits that are completely out of tune with economic reality. The present situation in Wisconsin illustrates this. Protestors there attempting to thwart the state's attempt to balance the budget, are public sector union people. However, they are not trying to right an injustice, they're rioting to maintain it.

Business owners get only what they can pay for themselves, which includes no unemployment should their business fail. What's more, they are forced into an outrageously unfair alliance with a government that seems bent on doing all it can to interfere with and burden them. Few, other than the entrepreneurs that ultimately drive the entire economy, understand how much government interferes with and impedes the economic engine that has led to America's greatness.

For purposes of illustration, I'll call the government me, and businesses you. I (government) won't give you any capital or labor – you have to come up with that on your own. What I will do, however, is demand that you follow all sorts of rules about what products and services you can offer and how you make, label, and deliver them. I'll mandate what signs you must have in and on your buildings and every manner of "safety," "health," and "environmental" measure no matter how ridiculous or picayune.

Granted some control is essential. Otherwise factories would be erected in the middle of neighborhoods, we would be blinded by neon billboards stacked along every road, pollution would go unimpeded, and an amoral profit motive would otherwise ruin our existence. But it is the excess of regulation, fueled by a bloated government looking for things to do to justify itself and expand its power that is the impediment to economic health.

If anyone chooses to be employed by you, I will dictate a minimum you will have to pay them. You will also have to provide for their sustenance while they take a few weeks off to recover if they stub their toe or are insulted by a fellow employee with a politically incorrect word. If they don't do what they're paid to do (steal wages), cause costly damage, sleep on the job, watch Internet pornography, or steal you blind, without proof that they "intended" (the word unemployment agencies use) to do these acts as solid as needed to put someone in the gas chamber, you can't fire them without having to pay unemployment benefits.

That's my role in the partnership. I'll tell you what to do and how to look out after my voting block, the employees. You, on the other hand, will get no such support or looking out after. That's because, as a business owner, you are now in a different class than the "workers." You are now considered to be unjustly "rich" and privileged whether or not it is true. You get no minimum wage, no insurance, no paid vacation, and no retirement other than what you create.

In return for my rules, I'm going to take roughly half of whatever you make in the business. You're also going to have to pay me about 12% of whatever you decide to pay your employees because you've got to cover my expenses for promulgating all of the rules about covering employees when you fire them for being drunk on the job or high from drugs, and about paying for their medical no matter how they live their lives and abuse their health. I need you to do this so all your employees will be happy with me and keep voting me into office. You see, I like my position because of the prestige and power. I also get all kinds of perks that the rest of the public doesn't get to have, such as voting to give myself a raise. I also keep my full salary and benefits when I decide to quit.

All in all, if you're a very successful entrepreneur... if you're one of the rare, lucky, and dedicated people who can create a new company, take on the liability, work and worry 24-7, employ lots of people, and satisfy a public with your products and services, a public I have convinced that you are just a business owner fat cat, you'll end up paying me more than 75% of your income over your life. What could be more fair?

One more thing, you better hire a fleet of attorneys, accountants, and MBAs since you will need them to understand my rules. Because if you ever try to stiff me – or cheat on any of my rules and the forms you need to keep filling out – I will prosecute you and shut you down. If you don't comply and fork over whatever it is I assess you with, I have the power to break down your door in the middle of the night, threaten you and your family with heavy, automatic weapons, seize your assets and throw you in jail.

That's how government now partners with business. All of this is done under the specious socialistic logic that a poor citizen can be made strong by making a strong creative one weak. It is little wonder why businesses are failing, bankruptcy and office foreclosures are at record levels, and jobs and people with means are leaving the country at an alarming clip. An economy cannot survive when the Constitution has been perverted to read: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

Until we come to understand that individual initiative, hard and honest work, and entrepreneurship, not government, are the heroes of this country, our economy will continue to melt down. When it collapses, the stage is set for the loss of freedom and security we all need in order to live a full, happy, and healthy life.


Word Word: entrepreneurword - \,änn-trə-p(r)ə-'nər, -'n(y)ur\ (click for pronunciation) noun: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise



Thought Thought: According to the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, the federal government has the very limited purposes of handling foreign affairs, commerce among the states and common defense.



Video Videos and Links

1. Next Amendment to the Constitution




2. The Pink Dance Bus




3. Giggling Swiss Politician




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Pondering The Economy Part I, II

 

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