December 9, 2011
Marie Lozito is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, wife, mother, grandmother and life-long conservative. She wrote a text on medical massage and taught at New York College of Health Professions.
Interested in, and observing politics since 1960, she
ran for elected office in 2010.
Repeating The Mistakes of History
Quick quiz: Who said the following statement and what country was he referring to?
“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest _______ become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”
This statement could be made about most countries today, most especially the ones following the path of democratic socialism like Europe or America, but it wasn't. This statement was made by Cicero about Rome in 55BC as he watched the Roman Republic's decline. It's been over 2100 years since he wrote that statement. There is a saying that if you do not know history, you are doomed to repeat it. You see, human nature hasn't changed and neither has the way republics are destroyed.
After the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a woman asked Ben Franklin what type of government they had given us. He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” The Founders knew history and developed a document that addressed the weaknesses that had caused prior republics to deteriorate and fail. They also understood human nature. They knew that no plan they could devise would stop the United States' republic government from failing unless the people themselves remained educated and diligent in both defending their rights and honoring their responsibilities. Thomas Jefferson said that the Constitution was totally inadequate for ruling a people unless they were educated and moral.
The Constitution created a centralized government that had more power than before (under the Articles of Confederation) but carefully tried to control that government. The Founders understood that power tends to accumulate and a centralized government with too much power would erode the people's rights.
"Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions."
- James Madison.
One of the essentials needed for us to exercise our rights is economic freedom. Without the freedom to accumulate or disperse our personal property as we so desire, without the ability to keep the “fruits of our labors” (monetary or material), we do not have economic freedom. Without economic freedom our God given rights are impaired and can not be fully enjoyed or exercised.
Economically free countries have lower taxes, lower government spending, less regulation, and most importantly – a higher quality of life. This is no coincidence. The free market has provided more wealth and spurred more innovation than any other system in history. The free market requires capitalism to exist.
Capitalism, by which is meant nothing more or less than respect for private ownership and the freedom to exchange with other human beings, has provided more opportunity, increases in living standards, and overall well-being for the greatest number of human beings than any other system ever devised. It depends on freedom and in turn generates more freedom.
"When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation. Make no mistake about it, inflation is a tax and not by accident."
- Ronald Reagan.
Inflation is a way for government to borrow money at one value and repay it at a later time with less valuable money. Only the government benefits - inflation robs the people. The people see whatever money they have been able to save or invest become less and less valuable. They need to use larger and larger amounts of it to provide their needs or wants. (Just look at how much you have to spend on groceries or gasoline now and compare that to
two years ago.)
Occupy Wall Street protesters are advocating the rejection of capitalism. This won't make the economy any better. In fact, many of the protesters' “demands” would worsen not improve their stated goal of improving economic conditions for the so called “99 percent.” Capital is the lifeblood of job creation.
Starting viable new businesses or expanding existing employment opportunities is impossible without a thriving financial sector. Income inequity will always be a part of the capitalist system. As Winston Churchill said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
“Tax the rich” and “The rich should pay their fair share” are both statements that encourage class warfare and show that the person saying them doesn't understand the economics involved. America's millionaires and billionaires could have all of their wealth taken by the government and that would not be enough to satisfy the federal government's money problems. As the
Wall Street Journal observes, “Mr. Obama could tax every billionaire in America at a 100% rate and still wouldn't make a dent in the federal government deficit.” And while the tax system is not fair, the majority of “wealthy” pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the middle class. (I know there are exceptions and I agree that we need to fix the tax system - for many reasons.)
The answer to our problems is not to accelerate the present course of government – more taxes, more regulations and less freedom. Instead we need to free ourselves from this overly intrusive government and trust the “99 percent” to make their own decisions in a free marketplace. The government should stop harming the economy, get out of the way, and let private, free enterprise work. Simplify the tax code. Deregulate. Make it easy for entrepreneurs to get started. Reduce the nanny-state, not expand it.
“The economic welfare of all our people must ultimately stem not from government programs, but from the wealth created by a vigorous private sector.”
- Ronald Reagan.