Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

My Top Seven Wishes for what Congress can do for our Country

Introduction

I tend not to think of politics in terms of political parties, because most politicians that are Republicans or Democrats have as their main priority getting elected or getting re-elected. They do this by voting for legislation that they know is bad for the country, but good for keeping them and their party in office. How else do you explain a budget deficit of $13.6 trillion, or over $40 trillion in unfunded liabilities, or having military bases that even the military doesn't want?

So what should Congress do that would put the country before their own interests? Here is my Top Seven List of what Congress should do to improve our country and keep it as the best country in the world. How did I come up with number seven? I could come up with 100, but that would be overwhelming. But these seven are the most important. Besides, I like the number seven.

1) Pass a balanced-budget amendment

Year after year of budget deficits tells us that Congress cannot balance a budget. The $1…

Cuba has Finally Read 'Atlas Shrugged'

What does that mean?

It means that Cuba, one of the few remaining Communist countries, has finally begun to allow free enterprise.

What was the economic situation in Cuba?

Their economy has been about ready to collapse. Many workers in Cuba barely show up and they do little productive work when they do. In government offices in Havana, coffee and cigarette breaks last for hours. It's not that they are lazy, it's that they get paid about $20 per month, and have no motivation to work hard.

What specifically have they done to more toward freer markets?

Cuba has recently allowed beauticians and barbers to work for themselves. Drivers can operate their own taxis. Even some farmers have been allowed to own their own land. Of course, these are the people who are making a reasonable living. Also, Cuba just let go of 500,000 government workers, 10% of its government workforce.

Is this really a free market economy?

Certainly not, but it is a step closer. That seems to be the way it starts in a…

Government Based Upon Natural Law - (Part 7) - Economic Policy

What economic system should the United States have?

Really, the answer is none. The Constitution does not directly specify a particular economic system, although, as I’ll show below, it implies that the government cannot interfere with economic transactions. Two common terms are used to describe economies in which people are free to engage in whatever economic transactions they choose: “free enterprise” and “free-market economics”.

It is common to refer to our economy as a “free-market system”, even though it is not a system, because it is not defined or controlled by anyone, nor by the government. It’s just another aspect of freedom. That said, I won’t quibble with those words, and I’ll even use them.

Having free-market economies essentially means that the means of production are privately owned, and that buyers and sellers of goods and services can freely interact, as long as the interaction is voluntary and informed i.e. not coerced or fraudulent.

What about the term “capitalism”?

That …

Global Warming Alarmists Struck Down but They Won't Admit It

So what happened that struck down the global warming alarmists?

Much more than I can give here. But since I wrote my last blog entry on why the war on global warming is a war on the poor, new information has come to light that. Just today (07/30/2010) a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came out about the best evidence so far about global warming. It drew on research from 48 countries. The article came from Bloomberg News, and was entitled, Report: Warming is unmistakable. It starts with the usual alarmism about global warming. It’s not until the end of the article that we get the actual facts. After all, why let the facts get in the way?

I’ve written previously that the best evidence shows that the Earth is heating at the rate of about 3 degrees Fahrenheit (F) per century. And I’ve also said that it is possible that this may have a net positive value for humanity.

So what does the NOAA conclude from its most recent data? The Earth warmed about 1 degr…

Why the “War on Global Warming” is a “War on the Poor”

Haven’t you written about global warming before?

Yes. Click here for a link to that post, which contains more details than are given here, and would be a good background for this post.

The reason for this new post is that Congress is currently considering what is called a “cap-and-trade” tax. This is a form of a carbon tax that taxes industries that emit CO2. The purpose of this post is to show that any such tax will make everything more expensive, and yet do nothing to prevent global warming. So the poor will be harmed, and it will be for nothing.

Why will such a tax make everything more expensive?

Whenever we burn oil, natural gas, or coal to obtain energy, CO2 is given off. So any sort of carbon tax would increase the cost of energy since we obtain most of our energy from these sources. We frequently think of energy in terms of gasoline and electricity, and the price of those will certainly increase. But keep in mind that the chair you’re sitting on took energy to make. So the price of…

Separation of Education and State

Don’t you mean, “Separation of Church and State?”

No, although they are related more closely than one might think. Here’s a quotation from the First Amendment of the Constitution with respect to religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This amendment prohibited Congress from creating a national religion, such as “The Church of the United States.” It also prohibited Congress from passing laws restricting the free exercise of religion.

Was this done because the Founding Fathers didn’t feel that religion was important?

Actually, it was just the opposite. The Founding Fathers felt that our country could not survive without strong religious and moral principles. But they felt that such personal beliefs about one’s faith should be up to the individual, and not dictated by the government. Additionally, they wanted to avoid infighting caused by differences in people’s beliefs, which would only be exacerbated by havi…

Government Based Upon Natural Law - (Part 12) - Education and Government

What is this post not about?

Because this is a part of my series on good government, my purpose here is not to discuss my ideas about the best way to educate children and adults. Posts about that will be given separately, and will not be part of my government series. My purpose here is to show what the relationship between government and education should be.

So what should the role for government in education be?

My long-term preference is that government not be involved at all in education. One of my core beliefs is that parents are responsible for their children.  Therefore, a child's education should be determined by his or her parents.  Most parents would choose a school that they believe would be best suited to their child.  Some would choose home schooling using the various resources that are available to them.

Not having the government involved in education may sound extreme to you, and you might be thinking, "Education is too important for the government not to be involve…

Government Based Upon Natural Law - (Part 11) - Global Warming

What is global warming, anyway?

It is the warming of the lower atmosphere over the entire Earth, averaged over a long period – at least a few decades. The Earth always warms in some areas and cools in others, even when no global warming or cooling is occurring. Thus it is important to realize that to say that global warming is occurring, it must be a warming of the entire Earth.

What are the causes of global warming or global cooling?

There are many factors that can cause the Earth to warm or cool, and it has done so throughout its history. From the amount of radiation given off by the Sun (which can vary) to volcanoes, to cloud cover, to eccentricities in Earth's rotation and orbit, many factors contribute to the Earth's temperature.

There are gasses called greenhouse gasses because they keep some of the Sun's energy from leaving the Earth. These can cause global warming. The main greenhouse gas is water vapor (the invisible water in the Earth's atmosphere). It has been e…