Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Importance of Property Rights

Why do you think John Adams would make such a statement:

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."

-- John Adams, Works 6:9

Friday, June 25, 2010

We Got Something Really Good! ...just not sure how it works.

House and Senate lawmakers approved new financial rules this morning. About how the rules will work, Senator Chris Dodd said, "No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we've done something that has been needed for a long time."

I wonder if it was a representative I liked, would I be okay with just trusting him/her and whoever else will be implementing the bill, if it gets passed, to do a good, fair, and honest job?

Or would I be as skeptical of the bill as I am now?

What do you think?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I want to know what makes you tick

The reason I decided to create this blog was because I was tired of the discussion (or lack thereof) that is done throughout the political scene. Whether it is the political ranting, name calling, exaggerations, or finger pointing that you often find political commentators such as Sean Hannity, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Glenn Beck and the whole slew of them doing, or just politicians in general that you feel you can't trust because they seem to say one thing and then do another, there seems to be a soul missing from what we should really be discussing about government and politics.

Don't get me wrong – I enjoy listening to political commentators. But I have yet to find one that I always agree with. They are usually too sensational or too opinionated for me to feel like they are always giving a fair analysis. But I do think they can often add value to political thought, sometimes providing legitimate points for thought and even action.

However, I'm tired of having to listen to a bunch of fuzz to pick out bits and pieces of truths that can really help this country as well as any other society in this world. I believe there are truths out there that don't change, and if we understand those truths, we can then reap the benefits that come with living by those truths.

I also believe that people are not as divided on what they want for this country as is often portrayed or felt among Americans. There are differences in opinion and even strong disagreements as to what is true or not true. In some of those cases there can only be one side that is right, but in many cases there is also the chance that we haven't yet dug deep enough to understand the underlying truth that everyone is trying to adhere to.

If it isn't already apparent, I lean a little toward what we in America call the Right. Yet I have a hard time labeling myself as a "conservative." Words can change meaning. A conservative in the United States today means something different than what it did a hundred or two hundred years ago. Even across the ocean you find groups labeling themselves as conservative who adhere to different principles.

I don't care about political labels.

I don't want to know what you label yourself as or what you label others as. I want to know what principles guide your thoughts and actions. I want to know why you think certain political actions are important and others not.

So if you are a "liberal" then why are you a "liberal?" If you are a "conservative," why do you classify yourself as such? Even if you don't classify yourself as either, what principles guide your current political leanings and vision for our country?

I want to know what makes you tick when making decisions or opinions on what the government should or should not do.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Why are we a Republic?

If you would have asked me in sixth grade what type of government we have I would have said a democracy. Heck, you could have probably asked me that in high school and I would have said the same thing. We usually call ourselves a democracy, and in a way we are but not in the true sense of the word.

A full-fledged democracy would not have representatives to act on our behalf. Each individual given voter rights would vote on each issue that affected them.

We are more of a hybrid democracy. We vote for our representation on the federal level and often even on the state level. Those representatives then make and/or enforce our laws. It usually isn't until we get to the city or county level where a full on democracy begins to take shape, but even then we often have council members to represent us and create our laws albeit usually on a limited basis.

So why did the founders of this great nation choose a republic over a democracy? Was it because it would have been too hard to get the states to allow a straight democracy? Was it because those in charge didn't want to share power with every citizen? Was it because up to that point every democracy ended in bloodshed and corruption using the ignorance of the masses to fuel the fires created through politics? Or was it for some other reason?

As far as I can tell from my understanding of history the idea that our country is more of a democracy than a republic wasn't something that was portrayed until the early twentieth century. Before that, you would be hard pressed to find the word 'democracy' in the speeches of the leaders and thinkers at the level you find it today.

Today the word 'democracy' is a buzzword that is used and abused. Even communist dictatorships can use 'democracy' to describe their country's government without much question by the international community on the use of that word.

I think that we most certainly need democratic means to create and run our republic. But I also think there was some wisdom in the founders for making this nation a republic instead of using any of the other choices for a government structure.

What do you think? Why are we a republic and not a democracy? Was it wise for the founders of this country to chose a form of republicanism as the government of this country, or should they have chosen a different form of government?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Is Government Intervention Better Than Nothing?

Is government intervention to provide welfare services and other needed services better than nothing?

This was a response to a friend who made a suggestion that perhaps the answer to the above question is yes:

I wonder if gov't intervention is better than nothing. When the government intervenes it seems that people begin to always expect that intervention. We stop relying on charity or developing other solutions because we have a solution that somewhat works. That, I think, handicaps us and prevents us from completely obliterating the problems that immoral uses of capitalism or immorality in general breeds.

I might also argue that charity can't really exist in a closed system, but that charity has the greatest power to do good in an open free system like capitalism.

But the the opposite is also true, the lack of charity can do the most damage in an open system like capitalism.

Maybe we aren't mature enough yet as a society to help our neighbor except by force.