Where did I go wrong as a parent? We keep hoping he’ll outgrow this thinking the same way he outgrew his Rush Limbaugh phase. But he’s 36 now so we’re losing hope.
Actually, our spirited discussions about economic and political issues have forced me to carefully examine my beliefs. Our political system is broken and has gotten so murky that it’s easy to get confused. Consequently, I’ve arrived at a couple of core values to help evaluate politicians and legislation.
Core Value 1: Protection of Individual economic freedom.
Historically, America is the place where dreams come true. A country where a person of humble means can achieve success through hard work, resourcefulness, diligence and ingenuity. This made our country great by keeping us hungry and rewarding those who aggressively pushed our economy forward. Our country is best served when entrepreneurial individuals, using resourcefulness, hard work, motivation, and ingenuity, are rewarded with success and wealth creation.
Core Value 2: Limitation on the role of government.
Limit the federal government to very specific areas (eg national defense, international monetary policy) that clearly requires national policy. Our continued expansion of the role of government is a bad idea for the following reasons:
1. In general, government is a large waste of resources. As Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is like a big baby – an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.”
2. The efficiency of any organization is in indirect proportion to size. Even with the best intentions, the Federal government is so bottled up in layers of bureaucracy and regulations, they can’t go to the bathroom without peeing on their own shoes.
3. Because government produces very little of actual value (excepting defense and infrastructure), the drag on the economy (currently around 40% of GDP) is substantial.
4. Not only do government expenditures reduce resources available to private enterprise, the government is busily erecting regulatory barriers to entrepreneurs.
At one time I thought the Republican party subscribed to the above but alas, they seem to have lost their way.
Comments, criticism, and enlightenment is certainly welcome.
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