Is today’s government dysfunctional? Of course. But not because it can’t get things done. The problem is that it does so many things that it shouldn’t.
Happiness, prosperity and innovation aren’t gifts from politicians.They are achievements of the free human mind. We need government to protect that freedom. When it instead tramples on individual rights in pursuit of whatever politicians feel is in the public interest, it abandons defined limits and becomes an enemy of freedom and progress.
The op-ed then goes on to list a plethora of government interventions which have nothing to do with protecting individual rights.
The question we need to ask, however, is not whether the government should do more or less, but what should it do.
For our money, that answer has already been supplied by thinkers such as Ayn Rand and the Founding Fathers.
“The sum of good government,” said Thomas Jefferson, is “a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”
I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. [Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?]
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” ― James Madison, Federalist Papers
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
“Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
The dirty open secret is that a certain category of public figures has been routinely mocked, savaged and reviled for being partners in interracial marriages or part of loving interracial families (for a refresher, see the video clip of MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and friends cackling at the holiday photo of Mitt Romney holding his black adopted grandson in his lap).
And the dirty double standard is that selectively compassionate journalists and pundits have routinely looked the other way — or participate directly in heaping on the hate.
Have you forgotten? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was excoriated by black liberals for being married to wife Virginia, who happens to be white. The critics weren’t anonymous trolls on the Internet. They worked for major media outlets and institutions of higher learning. USA Today columnist Barbara Reynolds slammed Thomas and his wife for their colorblind union: “It may sound bigoted; well, this is a bigoted world and why can’t black people be allowed a little Archie Bunker mentality? … Here’s a man who’s going to decide crucial issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already said if he can’t paint himself white he’ll think white and marry a white woman.”
Howard University’s Afro-American Studies Chair Russell Adams accused Thomas of racism against all blacks for falling in love with someone outside his race. “His marrying a white woman is a sign of his rejection of the black community,” Adams told The Washington Post. “Great justices have had community roots that served as a basis for understanding the Constitution. Clarence’s lack of a sense of community makes his nomination troubling.”
California state Senate Democrat Diane Watson taunted former University of California regent Ward Connerly after a public hearing, spitting: “He’s married a white woman. He wants to be white. He wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn’t want to be black.”
So much for Martin Luther King’s Dream of a “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
A study just published in the prestigious journal Science reveals that new Medicaid patients in Oregon were 40% more likely to use the emergency room than the uninsured were. This finding is not a surprise to me or most physicians — we have known that truth for years.
But it does undermine one of the basic philosophical and practical underpinnings of Obamacare: the notion that expanding insurance will invariably unclog ERs, improve primary and preventive care, prevent diseases and lower costs.
The study underlines the findings of a prior survey by the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm that indicated that Medicaid patients are 35% more likely to use the ER unnecessarily than are the uninsured.
The reason for ER overuse is simple: Medicaid patients (like all insured patients) feel that their insurance card entitles them to health care anytime they want it. When office doctors aren’t available to provide it, they go to the hospital to get it.
Black History month is intended to counteract the historical bias against blacks. The Tulane University Black History Month Web site reads, “Obviously, a White History Month is not needed because the contributions of whites are already acknowledged by society. Black History Month is meant to remedy this inequity of representation.” According to Jacquelyn West-Ford, Drexel’s senior associate dean of students, “Black History Month is simply a time to bring attention to the achievements that black Americans have made to education and society.”
But Black History Month is not meant to remedy inequity of recognition as such — merely inequity of recognition for those who are black. The holiday discriminates against other unrecognized achievers — as if black achievers were the only ones who have been treated unfairly by history. If remedying inequity of recognition were the true purpose of the holiday, it would be called “Month of Unrecognized Achievers.” It would celebrate people like Nikola Tesla, the father of modern electricity, and not just people like Martin Luther King Jr., whose achievements are already more widely recognized than Tesla’s.
Amazon reacted with satisfaction. Mary Osako, an Amazon spokesperson, said, “With today’s vote against third-party representation, our employees have made it clear that they prefer a direct connection with Amazon. This direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the wants and needs of our employees. Amazon’s culture and business model are based on rapid innovation, flexibility, and open lines of direct communication between managers and associates.”
Private sector union representation has dropped precipitously in the United States, and now stands at just 6.6 percent.
Amazon has consistently argued against any sort of union representation for employees.
“We respect the individual rights of our associates and have an open-door policy that allows and encourages associates to bring their comments, questions and concerns directly to their management teams,” said Mary Osako, an Amazon spokeswoman, in an emailed statement.
“We firmly believe this direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the needs of our workforce and do not believe there is a need for third-party representation.”
[…] Ayn Rand removes your insecurity about whether your choices are right and unavoidable or just random and fickle. She provides a philosophical foundation for what most other commentators only present as a utilitarian argument — individualism and capitalism simply work better than collectivism and socialism. Very few advance the moral argument, but that is ultimately the real argument.
That is a very important distinction that has profound consequences. And that begins to reach out for an explanation of The Big Disconnect — why is it that in spite of socialism failing so completely again and again, why is it that in spite of capitalism and freedom improving people’s lives and creating wealth and welfare wherever it is applied, even with that knowledge and experience — we have to fight new attacks on freedom, year after year, decade after decade? The attacks come in different disguises, but always with a moral root — capitalism is evil, it is destructive, it is egoistic, it is anti-nature. We ourselves, on the other hand, fail to advance the moral argument, but the opponents of capitalism always sell their rotten philosophical goods by claiming a higher moral ground, altruism and the need for control of human freedom to protect man against himself by handing over responsibility to collectivists and anti-individualist leaders who know so much better than the rest of us. With enough moral high ground claimed, there is no need for any clear explanation as to why or how they would know better and there is no questioning of why the leadership should necessarily fall to them.
This is an ancient problem and has recurred in different ways throughout the centuries. Right now, we are seeing a solid revival, a significant pushback against all the advances that were made when the Iron Curtain came down and the despotic leaders of the Soviet Union and their satellites were overturned. Some of us foolishly though that this was the final victory for capitalism and freedom and that surely the world would move quickly in a better direction, while the remaining dictatorships would collapse before too long.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Republicans to stop reading Ayn Rand books and help Democrats pass legislation aimed to give struggling Americans a hand.
“I say to my conservative friends, put down those Ayn Rand books for a minute and take a look at the real world,” Durbin said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “If we can’t stand behind those who are struggling in life, who are we; what are we?”