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Old 09-10-2011, 10:22 AM   #31
scottw
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Originally Posted by spence
the individual is today somewhat limited on how free they really could be


"positive vision of freedom"...... individuals can only be really free if a nanny state government is providing their needs and directing their actions

I guess real freedom would be the "negative vision of freedom"...in lib speak
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:22 PM   #32
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How does the consolidation of wealth and the influence of industry on our governments behavior today limit how free individuals really could be? Wealth has always been "consolidated" and our government has always been influenced by "industry." So have all governments. Great wealth was consolidated in the hands of a few when the Constitution was written. The Revolution, to a great degree was financed by the manipulations and even by the personal fortune of one of the richest Americans at the time, Robert Morris. Many of the founders were quite wealthy. The life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness the Constitution garanteed to individuals was not anti-wealth consolidation. Property and the right to it was one of, if not the most important, reason for the Revolution. The right to have it and dispose of it as wished. The Constitution and the form of government therein attempted to garantee individuals the freedom to pursue that which they were capable of, and even that which they weren't. But it didn't garantee the outcome. You have the right to fail. But there was no obligation on other individuals to rescue you from your failure. It is obvious that most do not have the ability, nor the desire to be filthy rich.

And material wealth does not simply exist. It has to be created. There have been extremely wealthy and powerful corporations in the past. What's considered the first major corporation, the British East India Company, was wealthier than the British Government and ruled India for 100 years. The so-called Robber Barrons in our history had great concentrated wealth and power. They also expanded American wealth and power. Some modern governments (i.e. Marxist) have attemped to create wealth in the form of jobs, income, economies, but haven't been good at it. Maybe it's in the genes. Maybe there is DNA for busines and DNA for politics. Wealth creators distribute wealth in ways that allow individuals in our Constitutional system to empower themselves. Government's redistribution of that wealth seems to nurture more dependence than independence. Our government is wealthier and more powerful than any corporation or industry. It has more influence on business than business does on it. Our system requires virtue as much as industriousness, and the lack of virtue in our politics is not fostered by the Constitution. Rather the Constitution and its form of government is weakened by lack of virtue. The freedom the Constitution garantees to individuals does not garantee equal outcomes, nor equal wealth, nor does it deny great wealth, nor does great wealth of a few deny others the right to pursue that of which they are capable. Most of us, in the "spectrum" of possibilites, do not have the "genes" to accomplish great things on the extremes of the spectrum. There are a few that can. They also are garanteed the right of that pursuit. If we are virtuous, we need not fear the rich . . . or the government. Without virtue, the latter is the most dangerous.

If the obstacle to the government of, by, and for the people is the consolidation of wealth and its influence, what is most curious, is the fear of the Tea Party. What consolidation of wealth does the Tea Party have? It's motivation is the restoration of that Constitutional government of, by, and for the people. And it strives against loss of individual freedom imposed not only by the power of money, but especially that imposed by the power of government.
Sorry, I've been on the road a lot and focused on pithy responses.

Continued consolidation of wealth drives more consolidation of power. If the elected officials are overly influenced by the powerful rather than leading in the interests of their constituents - which is what we've seen by both parties - then the system will get out of whack...which it clearly is. Perhaps it's always been out of whack but it's not often you hear someone remark that if only it was left to the States we'd be rid of this issue. Same play...different venue.

Government may hold more net influence over business, but only as much as what influence government holds is largely a product of business in the first place. The relationship between regulators and lobbyists today is like that of matter and energy. It's just a succession of manipulators working to rig the game in their favor.

To this end I don't think the Tea Party influence on the Republican party is pushing reform, rather, they appear to be promoting destruction of historic institutions (SS: Perry=ponsi / Romney=institution) that are relied upon day to day (i.e. government is the problem). Absurdly rigid calls to minimize taxation (cutting taxes under a deficit is still spending mind you) and regulation during a time of large deficits and continued corporate abuse doesn't seem to be in line with what the people want...quite simply, I just think people want an effective and responsible Federal government...not the removal of government. People want an environment where business can grow, but not one where businesses are free to pollute and strong arm the consumer in the name of freedom.

We've entered a period where wealth isn't just being created (to be distributed)... increasingly it is being siphoned off and concentrated through an economy driven by speculation which favors the wealthy. The recent numbers on poverty right here at home are a stark reminder.

Wealth doesn't just trickle down (voodoo economics), those on the lower rungs of the ladder have to be able to reach for it. Do we rely on individual states alone to provide for education or infrastructure when the talent and resources of the entire nation need to be harnessed to compete in a global marketplace?

Perhaps it's precisely because the Federal Government has overstepped it's strict Constitutional mandate that has allowed us to become what we have. The most powerful nation in the world and one also with substantial problems.

So much of how we live today the general public has accepted as the norm. Has this not become part of the fabric of mundane knowledge that conservatism is woven from or does everyone need to be "reeducated"? That sounds like progressive thinking to me...

-spence
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:49 PM   #33
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Sorry, I've been on the road a lot and focused on pithy responses.

Continued consolidation of wealth drives more consolidation of power.

How much more power do the wealthy have now than in the past? Isn't there a point of diminishing returns of power when you reach a certain level of wealth?

If the elected officials are overly influenced by the powerful rather than leading in the interests of their constituents - which is what we've seen by both parties - then the system will get out of whack...which it clearly is. Perhaps it's always been out of whack but it's not often you hear someone remark that if only it was left to the States we'd be rid of this issue. Same play...different venue.

If elected officials are overly influenced it's because they are corrupt, it's not because the sytem is "out of whack." That the system is "out of whack" is not because of influence, but because it has been, to a great degree, abandoned. As I said above, our Constitutional system, as do most others, requires virtue. Not only do "officials" lack virtue when they are "overly influenced," but they are corrupt when they subvert the Constitution--the law by which they are granted authority. And the corruption of influence far more easily reaches ALL when it reaches us through an overly powerful Central Government rather than having to go through 50 sovereign States where it may well not be the same play.

Government may hold more net influence over business, but only as much as what influence government holds is largely a product of business in the first place.

Were that it were so. The Federal govt. has, through its false "interpretations" of the Constitution, garnered the power to dictate to business in ways never intended and ways that are not a product of business, but of ideology.

The relationship between regulators and lobbyists today is like that of
matter and energy. It's just a succession of manipulators working to rig the game in their favor.

Always was and will be. Virtue and Constitutional governance will not belay this process, nor will unconstitutional Centralized governance which, actually, makes this corruption more far reaching and effective.

To this end I don't think the Tea Party influence on the Republican party is pushing reform, rather, they appear to be promoting destruction of historic institutions (SS: Perry=ponsi / Romney=institution) that are relied upon day to day (i.e. government is the problem). Absurdly rigid calls to minimize taxation (cutting taxes under a deficit is still spending mind you) and regulation during a time of large deficits and continued corporate abuse doesn't seem to be in line with what the people want...quite simply, I just think people want an effective and responsible Federal government...not the removal of government. People want an environment where business can grow, but not one where businesses are free to pollute and strong arm the consumer in the name of freedom.


The Tea Party does want to reform our unconstitutional mode and devolve power back to the States and the people. I don't know of a Tea Party push to "destroy" Social Security. Reforming it is not destroying it. Those who have it now will have it. For the rest, if it is not reformed to a self-sustaining insurance program, it will self-destruct under its own impossible weight. Tea Partiers are not against effective and responsible Federal govt. They believe it is most effectively responsible when it acts within its granted powers, and that it is illegally irresponsible when it governs outside those powers. That is not destructive or radical, it is responsible and legal. All this blather about deficits and taxes to pay for them is giving power to illegal confiscation to pay for illegal debts. An excuse for the expansion of government thievery. And the notion that only the Federal govt. can stop pollution is absurd. It is the Federal govt. that is strong-arming the consumer with its illegal regulations and mandates (e.g. health care mandate).

We've entered a period where wealth isn't just being created (to be distributed)... increasingly it is being siphoned off and concentrated through an economy driven by speculation which favors the wealthy. The recent numbers on poverty right here at home are a stark reminder.


The Federal govt. has been an intrinsic part of this mix with its regulations and mandates. It certainly has fostered greater numbers on poverty with those regs and mandates.

Wealth doesn't just trickle down (voodoo economics), those on the lower rungs of the ladder have to be able to reach for it.

Reaching for it and creating it are not the same. It must be created before it can be reached for, you can't reach for something that doesn't exist. How you reach for it depends on you and your ability. Most are able to get a job within a wealth structure, which redistributes some of that wealth. Some can create collateral entities that tap into that wealth structure. These create needs for infrastructure, expansion of services--more gas stations, food marts, housing, etc. The lower rungs generally not only have the ability to "reach for it," but are a necessary adjunct to the process.

Do we rely on individual states alone to provide for education or infrastructure when the talent and resources of the entire nation need to be harnessed to compete in a global marketplace?

The individual States provide for 90 percent of the cost of education. The portion that the Federal govt. provides is not for education as much as it is for the opportunity to mandate and regulate. The States, without the Central interference, could create a more diverse array of systems that could influence each other. If the idea that "the talent and resources of the entire nation need to be harnessed" by a Central power is not frightening, it is certainly restrictive. The "marketplace" needs to be unleashed, for good or ill, to most effectively create and distribute wealth.


Perhaps it's precisely because the Federal Government has overstepped it's strict Constitutional mandate that has allowed us to become what we have. The most powerful nation in the world and one also with substantial problems.

We were well on the way to becoming the most powerful nation before the Constitution was corrupted. It is not "precisely" because of that corruption, but because the Constitution assured the individual freedom to create that power.


So much of how we live today the general public has accepted as the norm. Has this not become part of the fabric of mundane knowledge that conservatism is woven from or does everyone need to be "reeducated"? That sounds like progressive thinking to me...

-spence
I thought that so much of how we live today was a system "out of whack" which is not the "fabric of mundane knowledge that conservatlsm is woven from." Education is not outside the thought of conservatism. Where did you get such an idea?

Last edited by detbuch; 09-16-2011 at 08:45 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:23 AM   #34
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I have no idea why you keep mentioning the Constitution
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #35
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I have no idea why you keep mentioning the Constitution
Maybe I have Constitution Tourrettes.

On the other hand, I have this stubborn idea that governments to be "official," to be recognized by its citizens, need a plan, a set of principles by which they will function. Government by osmosis or whim, by spur of the moment confection, on the run, or with the runs, may have appeal to some, but such forms just don't seem "fair" or right or even workable to me. In my backward view, I don't understand how giving a few men with agendas carte blanche to decide what is "responsible" will create legislation suitable to a diverse population of free individuals. What is the principle behind respecting one man's idea of responsible versus that of another. The Constitution does give a detailed definition of powers within the government and the ruling procedures work regardless of personal agendas. It limits the "governers" to certain duties and powers which protect us individuals from aspiring dictators or public moods and trends of the moment. It protects us from the tyranny of the majority. It is a system of limited government, not a codex of law, so is not dependant on the advancement of time and technology. That is, it is not subject to being dated--old, worn out, not relevant to "today." It is not living, breathing. If it were, it would be subject to the limit of time and death. No one has come up with a better, more relevant to today plan, or one that has worked as well or better,so I keep mentioning it.

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Old 09-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #36
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Maybe I have Constitution Tourrettes.
maybe....seems that many today view the Constitution in much the same way that a criminal views the law(s)....
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:56 PM   #37
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How much more power do the wealthy have now than in the past? Isn't there a point of diminishing returns of power when you reach a certain level of wealth?
I think you'd have to look at historical situations and not just one measurement. Today, I see the numbers showing dramatic wealth growth in the past three decades among only the top 4% and ask why and what's the impact?

Quote:
If elected officials are overly influenced it's because they are corrupt, it's not because the sytem is "out of whack." That the system is "out of whack" is not because of influence, but because it has been, to a great degree, abandoned. As I said above, our Constitutional system, as do most others, requires virtue. Not only do "officials" lack virtue when they are "overly influenced," but they are corrupt when they subvert the Constitution--the law by which they are granted authority. And the corruption of influence far more easily reaches ALL when it reaches us through an overly powerful Central Government rather than having to go through 50 sovereign States where it may well not be the same play.
I'm sure a lot of bad decisions are made with plenty of virtue. Is a Republican representative from Ohio who advocates spending for jet engines the military says they don't need lacking virtue? Perhaps they're just trying to create jobs for their constituents.

While I'd agree that breaking up influence among the states has merit, I'd also think the influence of large multi-national corporations -- who's revenues exceed many state governments -- could potentially be worse at the state level.

Quote:
Were that it were so. The Federal govt. has, through its false "interpretations" of the Constitution, garnered the power to dictate to business in ways never intended and ways that are not a product of business, but of ideology.
...or observation. Many regulations are a response to abuses of the public trust.

Quote:
Always was and will be. Virtue and Constitutional governance will not belay this process, nor will unconstitutional Centralized governance which, actually, makes this corruption more far reaching and effective.
And why I usually advocate a balanced approach.

Quote:
The Tea Party does want to reform our unconstitutional mode and devolve power back to the States and the people. I don't know of a Tea Party push to "destroy" Social Security. Reforming it is not destroying it. Those who have it now will have it. For the rest, if it is not reformed to a self-sustaining insurance program, it will self-destruct under its own impossible weight. Tea Partiers are not against effective and responsible Federal govt. They believe it is most effectively responsible when it acts within its granted powers, and that it is illegally irresponsible when it governs outside those powers. That is not destructive or radical, it is responsible and legal. All this blather about deficits and taxes to pay for them is giving power to illegal confiscation to pay for illegal debts. An excuse for the expansion of government thievery. And the notion that only the Federal govt. can stop pollution is absurd. It is the Federal govt. that is strong-arming the consumer with its illegal regulations and mandates (e.g. health care mandate).
My assertion is that an overly aggressive move to limit the Federal government (ideologically) given how our current Government operates will serve to further concentrate power and wealth resulting in less power for the people.

Quote:
The Federal govt. has been an intrinsic part of this mix with its regulations and mandates. It certainly has fostered greater numbers on poverty with those regs and mandates.
Certainly?

Quote:
Reaching for it and creating it are not the same. It must be created before it can be reached for, you can't reach for something that doesn't exist. How you reach for it depends on you and your ability. Most are able to get a job within a wealth structure, which redistributes some of that wealth. Some can create collateral entities that tap into that wealth structure. These create needs for infrastructure, expansion of services--more gas stations, food marts, housing, etc. The lower rungs generally not only have the ability to "reach for it," but are a necessary adjunct to the process.
I'd argue it's the "action of reaching" that actually creates the real wealth. Recently India and China are perfect examples, although in both instances their governments provide heavy subsidies. The US certainly has had this spirit...

Quote:
The individual States provide for 90 percent of the cost of education. The portion that the Federal govt. provides is not for education as much as it is for the opportunity to mandate and regulate. The States, without the Central interference, could create a more diverse array of systems that could influence each other. If the idea that "the talent and resources of the entire nation need to be harnessed" by a Central power is not frightening, it is certainly restrictive. The "marketplace" needs to be unleashed, for good or ill, to most effectively create and distribute wealth.
Most of the Federal spending towards education goes to the underprivileged...precisely because the states weren't taking care of their own poor...if we could have only let them fail we'd probably all be a lot better off.

Quote:
We were well on the way to becoming the most powerful nation before the Constitution was corrupted. It is not "precisely" because of that corruption, but because the Constitution assured the individual freedom to create that power.
You really don't know that...what I do know is that the choices that have been made have worked out pretty well overall considering all the issues we do currently face.

Quote:
I thought that so much of how we live today was a system "out of whack" which is not the "fabric of mundane knowledge that conservatlsm is woven from." Education is not outside the thought of conservatism. Where did you get such an idea?
Perhaps conservatism needs to be updated? I'd call it neo-conservatism but that name is taken.

-spence
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:54 PM   #38
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let's update liberalism and progressivism as well...how about Counter-American
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:59 PM   #39
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I think you'd have to look at historical situations and not just one measurement. Today, I see the numbers showing dramatic wealth growth in the past three decades among only the top 4% and ask why and what's the impact?

What does this have to do with "the continued consolidation of wealth drives more consolidation of power"? What is the impact? Is there more "power" after a certain amount of wealth is achieved? Does limitless wealth achieve limitless power? Are the super wealthy responsible for the National debt and budget deficits? Are they bribing "officials" to go into debt? Don't super wealthy people and politicians get convicted and jailed on such counts of collusion? And how has the Federal Government's unconstitutional grab of power stopped this? Hasn't this dramatic wealth growth occurred during the Federal Government expansion?

I'm sure a lot of bad decisions are made with plenty of virtue. Is a Republican representative from Ohio who advocates spending for jet engines the military says they don't need lacking virtue? Perhaps they're just trying to create jobs for their constituents.

Yes, a lot of "bad decisions" were made because Congressmen and Presidents and Supreme Court Justices thought they were acting "responsibly." Or because they were looking out for the interests of their constituents. Yet, rather than being restricted by Constitutional limits, you prefer that the Congress and the Executive are allowed to do whatever they deem "responsible." If they act Constitutionally, they are limited in power to act and, for the most part, the electorate has the power to remove them. When the Central Government assumes powers Constitutionally delegated to the States and the People, it is not possible for States in the minority to avoid the illegal imposition cast on them by Representatives of States with the majority of electoral votes. Often the majority of States are ruled by a minority against rights granted to them by the Constitution. Even more egregious is the unconstitutional creation of regulatory agencies that have plenary power to create de facto legislation against which none of the people have the power to reject. All in the name of acting "responsibly."

While I'd agree that breaking up influence among the states has merit, I'd also think the influence of large multi-national corporations -- who's revenues exceed many state governments -- could potentially be worse at the state level.

Again, the equation of money and power. Actually, it is the States that are granted police power by the Constitution. That power and the power granted to individuals by the Constitution can combine to allow such corporations to operate beneficially to the State--far more so than the Federal Government dictating where and how they can operate.

...or observation. Many regulations are a response to abuses of the public trust.

Again, the States are closer to the public trust in their communities than the Federal Government. The powers reserved to the States by the Constitution better serve them in responding to their public trust than the Federal Government dictating to their local publlic from afar and with differing agendas and interests.

And why I usually advocate a balanced approach.

How does a nebulous, non-existing balanced approach make it harder for lobbyists to approach the Central government than it would be for them to approach all the individual States and their communities? It seems that it would be easier to bribe or influence a few than many.

My assertion is that an overly aggressive move to limit the Federal government (ideologically) given how our current Government operates will serve to further concentrate power and wealth resulting in less power for the people.

Again you refer to Constitutional governance as "ideological." You'll have to explain that concept. The unconstitutional way our current Government operates does serve to further concentrate power and wealth. Such power and wealth concentration furthering has occurred during expanded Federal power. And the concept that greater government power results in greater power for the people also needs to be explained.

Certainly?

Yes.

I'd argue it's the "action of reaching" that actually creates the real wealth. Recently India and China are perfect examples, although in both instances their governments provide heavy subsidies. The US certainly has had this spirit...

Yes, but most are not capable of or not interested in reaching for real wealth. Those that are create the wealth that others tap into. Come on Spence, India and China! We were blessed with a tradition of English law and a culture that fostered business. But we also were born as a country into individual freedom and responsibility and a culture of business and free enterprise. And we rejected Britain's protection and defunct government subsidized colonial companies. India and China have much culturally and pollitically to overcome in order for their people to produce individual wealth. And China is funding its economic growth on its hugely imbalanced trade with us and by inviting corporations to set up shop there under its conditions including a majority of Chinese managers to run the operations and the transfer of technology to those managers. If China grants the individual freedoms we originally had to its citizens, it might economically swamp us, especially if we continue to overregulate and control our population.

Most of the Federal spending towards education goes to the underprivileged...precisely because the states weren't taking care of their own poor...if we could have only let them fail we'd probably all be a lot better of

Any change in attitude toward "their own poor" has mostly occurred as a result in overall societal change. Progress does occur. Federal politicians aren't more humane that State pols. The Feds did come from the States. See Scott's comment below for how better off Fed spending has made the poor.

You really don't know that...what I do know is that the choices that have been made have worked out pretty well overall considering all the issues we do currently face.

I know it as well as you don't. Besides, being the strongest nation in the world is not the point of Constitutional Governance. At the time of the Revolution, Britain was the strongest nation in the world. We preferred our freedom and our Constitution to Britain's strength.

Perhaps conservatism needs to be updated? I'd call it neo-conservatism but that name is taken.

-spence
Labels can be pointless. Your "so much of how we live today the general public has accepted as the norm. Has this not become part of the fabric of mundane knowledge that conservatism is woven from" is mysterious if not pointless. Is neo-conservatism that mundane fabric? Didn't you say in another thread that conservatism meant to conserve? How does accepting a current norm become conserving? Don't norms change? I would think that a conservative, one who conserves, would conserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and its form of government.

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Old 09-19-2011, 08:10 PM   #40
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[QUOTE=spence;888127
Most of the Federal spending towards education goes to the underprivileged...precisely because the states weren't taking care of their own poor...if we could have only let them fail we'd probably all be a lot better off.

-spence[/QUOTE]

no, I'm pretty sure it goes mostly to teachers and unions, those "underpriviledged" areas have some of the highest per student costs as well as the poorest results....they are failing...

but at least the feds have taken on the responsibility of feeding ALL students in these "underprivledged" districts...otherwise we might have massive student starvation on our hands

For Immediate Release
June 22, 2011

Illinois selected to Expand Access to Free School Meals for Children in Need
Community Eligibility Option provides free lunch and eliminates household eligibility applications in high poverty schools
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that Illinois was one of the first three states, along with Kentucky and Tennessee, selected for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s launch of a universal free meal option that promises to expand access to free breakfast and lunch to all students in schools with high percentages of low-income children. Preliminary estimates show that more than 1,200 public schools in Illinois could be eligible to participate and provide free meals to more than 500,000 students across the state at the onset of the 2011-12 school year.

“This option eliminates some of the paperwork for schools with a high percentage of students from low income families and ensures that all students have access to the nutrition they need to concentrate and learn in the classroom,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Parents will not have to fill out duplicative forms and children in need will have access to healthy school meals without being singled out for receiving a free lunch.”
..................

"It's great that President Obama cares so much about us and our children that he has taken on his shoulders our most daunting tasks as parents which include such difficult and tiresome responsibilities like filling out forms and feeding our children, God Bless Obama....Hope and Change is real, and it is happening!!!" Anonymous Obamoron

"4 More Years....4 More years!!!!!"

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Old 09-20-2011, 08:30 AM   #41
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Perhaps conservatism needs to be updated?

-spence
No need to update as it always means the same, "keep what's good."

" Choose Life "
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:50 AM   #42
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I'd argue it's the "action of reaching" that actually creates the real wealth. Recently India and China are perfect examples, although in both instances their governments provide heavy subsidies. The US certainly has had this spirit...

Choosing China as a perfect example of wealth creation may explain why you seem to prefer large centralized government to a federally dispersed republic in which government is by consent of the people and in which individual freedom is the source and object of power. China may be trying to mimic capitalistic free market methods to raise standards of living, but it is doing so in a very top down controlled way. If we in the US were "allowed" to "reach" for wealth via the Chinese government's method, it would not only quash consolidation of wealth, but severly limit the distribution of wealth to "the people." And if the "spirit" of America was government subsidy, we may well have never got to a point where the government was wealthy enough to distribute subsidization. And now that it is, I suppose you think it would be wise to mimic the Chinese method.

You really don't know that...what I do know is that the choices that have been made have worked out pretty well overall considering all the issues we do currently face.


-spence
Yes, I believe rather than know that individual freedom is the driving force of our power. I believe that power derived from government control creates strong governments, not strong people. Our Revolution broke from the history of government over people to government by the people. I believe that is what catapulted America to superior economic power. We could have comfortably remained within the monarchy, but we preferred freedom, and that changed the world. And the true strength of our system is not merely economic, but our greater control of our own lives, which makes us, of necessity, a stronger people. And as long as we are jealous of that freedom, we will willingly band together to protect it. But as we gradually give over our individual power to the collective power of government, we become individually weaker and the government becomes stronger over a weaker country. And the weaker we become as individuals, the greater becomes the siren call of that stronger government to "subsidize" us. Maybe we can become more like China.
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