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The Proper Role of Government

Posted on May 8, 2006
Filed Under Uncategorized |

What do we need government for anyway? Judging from the last thread, there seems to be a consensus that our government is corrupt and self-serving, bent on plunder and empire building. The nation has been looted, all of our tax dollars and more — $8 trillion more – spent on who knows what? Weapons, wars, corruption, foreign aid, foreign intervention, a LOT of interest payments – who truly knows what else — and for what?

Look at the state of our education system, the state of our public infrastructure, our social infrastructure. Money has been diverted away from these projects for decades. It has all been gutted so that a select few could profit from the hard work of the many. Where has the money gone?

Hey – here is a great idea – why don’t we govern ourselves!

Oops, I guess we tried that, and this is what we ended up with.

The questions at hand is then:

What is the proper role for government? If we had to do it all again, what power should individuals cede to the government? How could we as a people ensure that our rights are not encroached upon and abused? How do we prevent the problem of the tyranny of the masses?

The wisdom of the Founding Fathers is becoming increasingly clear – that the role of government should be limited – extremely limited. But in the ideal world, what services / goods should a government provide, if any at all? A set of laws and courts? Schools? Roads? Unemployment Insurance? Healthcare? Or nothing at all? Or more?

Without concern for how to achieve it, what would the ideal state look like, in your opinion?

Think of this not as merely an intellectual exercise, but as preparation for a future that may not be far off…

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Comments

43 Comments so far
  1. Marc Authier May 8, 2006 7:56 pm

    But before all this, there will be in the US and the West in general, an economic crisis that will surpass anything seen. I saw and experienced what happened in the USSR. The path that has been adopted by the Bush administration is almost the same of all empires at the end of their lifes. Overbloathed military bureaucracy eats all the resources of the government and the country. At the end nothing is left except a big war industry. The manufacturing dissapears or goes bankrupt. Under the weight of debt, social programs are eliminated almost overnight. This is what happened in Eastern Europe. Don’t believe it? It is exactly the way it will also happen in the US and Europe. The government will have to be dramatically downsized and the result will be disfunctional government or even worse, lack of law and order like in a banana republic. Bush will be leaving to the rest of the West a poisoned legacy that we from the West, will have to live with for the next 50 years.

  2. 'Kiwi' from N.Z. May 9, 2006 12:41 am

    IN my humble opinion, the only essential and realistic requirement for Government, is to operate efficiently (a) an independent Justice system that protects the rights of the people, and the Property rights of both individuals and Companies, and (b) broadly defines long term plans and goals and objectives for the Country, in consultation with the requirements and ambitions of the majority of the population.

    There is no need or logical economic justification for Governments to be running and administrating : Hospitals, Schools, Roading systems, Water supply systems, Social Welfare systems, etc. etc.. Nearly every function that Governments perform today, can be done by either private Companies or non-profit organizations.

    Governments are truly ‘wealth destroyers’ and their propensity for performing this role well, is getting better due to the change in culture and attitudes of Government Departments. In days gone by, Govt. employees were known as ‘Civil servants’, to serve and help the people. But today the same Govt. employees have determined a higher and more important role for themselves, and it is the people who are there to serve them.!! It is this attitude by these self-serving Bureaucrats that has been the main cause and reason for the increasing curruption and incompetance that prevails most Government Agencies. Their greed and selfishness is the reson our societies and becoming disfunctional and destructive.

    Democracy has failed, but only because we have allowed the political ruling class to increase taxes to an unrealistic and sustainable level, and that these taxes are being squandered and wasted on political self-serving interest and incompetance.

    Yes, it has all happened before; As Rome burned, Nero fiddled.!!

  3. Nostradumass May 9, 2006 3:25 am

    I think you can boil it down to what government should not be. It shouldn’t be the safety net for retirees, slackers, the hungry, etc. It shouldn’t legislate morals imposed on all by the “majority” or loudest/richest special interest groups. It shouldn’t feel a need to play “Robin Hood” between rich and poor (that’s just theft from one and gift to another). It shouldn’t have power to interfere in currencies and “free” markets. It shouldn’t have the power to tax based upon a myriad of special incentives and opaque agendas. It shouldn’t be able to conduct it’s “business” out of the public eye. It shouldn’t ever be able to operate in a continual financial deficit.

    Individuals and communities should be responsible for themselves. If everyone took an honorable approach to minding their own business, the world could only be a better place. Ditto for governments. They should do what’s right and needed instead of what’s easy and popular.

  4. Carol May 9, 2006 3:25 am

    Governments’ ONLY purpose in a free society is to protect the rights and property of the people.

    To that end, I guess we need an independent and an accountable judiciary, which includes access to juries who’s duty includes nullifing bad laws. This means juries that are required to judge both the facts and law in every case.

    Of course, no free people may remain free very long if they relinquish their duties to stay informed and keep their public servants in their limited authority boxes.

    Finally, governments should have the duty to MINT the coin of the people and regulate its weights and measures but should never have the authority to create money out of thin air by emitting bills of credit. This is the crux of the problem in todays societies.

  5. khill May 9, 2006 5:29 am

    Germ warfare will be the true test of governments.So far they are failing.READ: North Korea trying to weaponize bird flu
    Bio-warfare experts call it potentially ‘greatest threat al-Qaida could unleash’

    ——————————————————————————–
    Posted: May 8, 2006
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    Editor’s note: The following story is adapted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence newsletter published by the founder of WND. Annual subscriptions are available now for the discounted price of $99 a year, which includes a free copy of Farah’s latest book, “Taking America Back.” Monthly subscriptions are also available to credit card users for just $9.95.
    By Gordon Thomas
    © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

    LONDON – The pariah state of North Korea is trying to weaponize the bird flu virus, making it the ideal threat for al-Qaida, the British intelligence agency MI6 has learned.

    The Bush administration has given briefings classified “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” to members of Congress and the Senate on the threat.

    In aerosol form it would be undetectable at all border crossings and virologists at Porton Down – Britain’s research center responsible for developing antidotes against biological attacks – fear that a genetically engineered version of the virus would be far more lethal than any current threat from the virus.

    World ranking experts have said that it would be “the greatest threat al-Qaida could unleash.”

    In an exclusive interview, Dr. Ken Allibek, the former director of the Soviet Union’s biowarfare program, Biopreperat, who is now a senior adviser to the Bush administration on bio-defense, said: “The threat of a weaponized bird flu virus cannot be over emphasised. It would be the most terrible weapon in the hands of a terrorist. The advantage for al-Qaida is that an aerosolized weapon would be impossible to detect from one spread naturally by birds. But a lab-produced virus would be far more lethal.”

    Professor Peter Openshaw, a leading virologist at Imperial College, London, called it: “more terrifying than engineered smallpox. That would be relatively easy to contain because there is a vaccine. But with improvements in laboratory technology, it’s becoming much easier to engineer these viruses. It’s becoming a terrible concern.”

    A CIA document presented by Goss showed that the World Health Organization has warned the virus would affect one-fifth of the world’s population “with 30 million requiring hospitalisation and at least 2 million people could die.”

    The decision to keep the briefing secret has led to fierce criticism from public health officials in the United States.

    Dr. Irwin Redlener, a director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness in Washington, said: “This is Cold War secrecy being applied to a public health issue. The truth is that the United States is seriously unprepared to cope with an avian flu outbreak – the more so if it is terrorist inspired.”

    Professor Hugh Pennington, a leading microbiologist at Aberdeen University, Scotland, said: “A clever molecular biologist could also try to mix the virus with other viruses so that it could spread person to person, which would be the greatest threat.”

    Scientists in America have recently recreated the Spanish flu virus that killed 50 million people in 1918. The full genetic sequence was published in specialist magazines earlier this year and is available via the Internet.

    Openshaw said: “The sequence of the 1918 strain has just been published and there are obvious security concerns. There are many labs around the world that would be capable of recreating the same virus.”

    North Korea’s biological warfare program is now the largest in the world. Among its 300,000 scientists, technicians and laboratory assistants are some 800 scientists who worked on the Russian bio-warfare program, Biopreperat. Some of them had been trying to exploit the 1918 Spanish flu virus as a potential weapon.

    When Biopreperat collapsed with the end of the Soviet Union, a number of its staff were recruited by North Korea. In return for huge salaries they were given a comfortable lifestyle and unlimited research facilities to continue their work.

    A high-ranking defector from North Korea’s Academy of Sciences has told intelligence officers that the research to weaponize the virus is now a priority. The project is under the control of the country’s top geneticist and head of its biological warfare program.

    Dr. Yi Yong Su, 54, is known to have a close relationship with Kim Jong II, the country’s supreme leader. A CIA profile describes her as conducting terminal experiments with anthrax on prisoners.

    She has assigned eight research centers to work on various aspects of successfully weaponizing the bird flu virus.

    One center is concerned with researching cereal rust spores, a disease which attacks crops. The spores are dusted on to the feathers of homing pigeons. When they return to their coops, they are checked to see how long the spores remain on their feathers.

    But the sophisticated research on bird flu is being conducted at Institute 398 at Singam-Ri, south of the capital Pyongyang.

    U.S. satellite images show the area is ring-fenced by three battalions of soldiers. Only visible above ground are a cluster of concrete-block buildings and fuel storage tanks.

    The defector has said the laboratories, including two dealing with the latest molecular biological technology, are hidden far below ground.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Gordon Thomas is an Irish journalist specializing in international intelligence matters and a regular contributor to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

    http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50093 Got gold?

  6. ronandreas May 9, 2006 6:18 am

    What is this warmongering filth! Can you find one international media source that will confirm this propaganda? Of course not. Fear is easily manipulated. Why would you want to give your money to be terrorized by un verifiable nonsense? Please let’s stick with the real world.

  7. Mike May 9, 2006 6:49 am

    Carol,

    I couldn’t have said it better except that I would not allow the government to have anything at all to do with the money unless they compete on a level playing field with the private sector. The cream will rise to the top. The people can then choose what is acceptable to them, individually, as money that they are willing to accept for their goods and services.

    Mike

    >Carol Says:
    >May 9th, 2006 at 3:25 am

    >Governments’ ONLY purpose in a free society is to protect >the rights and property of the people.

    >To that end, I guess we need an independent and an >accountable judiciary, which includes access to juries >who’s duty includes nullifing bad laws. This means juries >that are required to judge both the facts and law in every >case.

    >Of course, no free people may remain free very long if >they relinquish their duties to stay informed and keep >their public servants in their limited authority boxes.

    >Finally, governments should have the duty to MINT the coin >of the people and regulate its weights and measures but >should never have the authority to create money out of >thin air by emitting bills of credit. This is the crux of >the problem in todays societies.

  8. cornhusker May 9, 2006 7:06 am

    Personally, I think things are pretty good right now. I live in Omaha, NE…and I’ve got to say, the local economy is EXTREMELY strong. Housing is still humming right along, most of our local, large corporations are aggressively hiring and have an international footprint. Sure, war sucks, but come on…recognize life in America today for what it is…VERY prosperous. These doom ‘n gloom websites are myopic by their very nature…this Nystrom guy strikes me as being negative to the core, wishing for bad things to happen, so that his views could finally come to fruition. I’ve got news for all of you…ain’t gonna’ happen.

    Terrorism is being kept at bay BECAUSE of our Prez…he’s serious about keeping our economy strong and protecting our country from the bad guys.

    LIFE IN AMERICA TODAY IS WONDERFUL! WHY DON’T YOU DOOM ‘N GLOOMERS STEP OUTSIDE AND THANK GOD THAT YOU LIVE HERE INSTEAD OF ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!

    I’m am truly thankful for what God has given me…health, a decent living, and an absolutely wonderful family. Thank you Lord! Thank you Jesus!

  9. Turk May 9, 2006 7:44 am

    What is the role of government? Hmmm, a great and important question often asked but rarely answered without a great deal of emotional response. I guess you could say the number one role of a federal government is to protect a nations soveriegnty. Lines of soveriegnty are becoming blurred due to the global unification via business, internet, satellite communications for the public, global transportation, etc. I would say that the role of government in general is to control the behavior of the masses. Would anarchy be better? Depends on how heavily armed and supplied one is. Maybe Utopia only really existed in the minds of philosophers and religous fanatics.

  10. Ron May 9, 2006 7:46 am

    Is that a fiddle I hear?

  11. Brian Farmer May 9, 2006 8:05 am

    The proper role of government is to protect us from the harmful actions of others. That’s why we grant it the monopoly use of force.
    Taking money from people who have earned it and giving it away to people who haven’t earned it is NOT a proper role of government, because that amounts to nothing less than theft by government.

  12. ronandreas May 9, 2006 10:55 am

    Cornhusker, Are you a paid propagandist? I know our government is spending huge sums now to pay bloggers, what a stupid and un-constitutional way to spend public funds.
    Real household incomes are steadily declining as true inflation is taking off. To you this is prosperity.

  13. Scott May 9, 2006 11:27 am

    Government is indeed meant to protect us. Which is VERY broad in scope. As an example, this forum had discussed food issues a couple of months ago. One function of government is to protect us from harmful ingredients in our foods. That’s just one very small facet of protecting people. A strong national defense, fire, and police is another example. I know in a UTOPIA, there would be no need for a strong defense, but I doubt that world will ever exist. There’s just too many selfish people in this world. People can’t even create peace in the smallest social unit the family, how those same people create it globally? Just look at the divorce rate. But protecting people cannot be the only purpose of government. For instance, I have no idea how a commercialized road network would work. It seems to be a necessary government function. I would not want to lose our library system. I know, I know.. most everyone is wealthy enough these days to go to Barnes and Noble and get their own copy of anything, but IF you’re only going to read it once, I’d say that is wasteful.

    What I think is interesting in the comment that government is meant to protect us is… Who are they really protecting us from? from other people. The founders understood this and realized that we also needed to be protected from government (comprised of… other people). Therefore, Check and Balances, Term limits, Lifetime tenure for supreme court justices, etc, etc,. Can government be oppressive? I think that’s been well proven.

    I don’t think there’s value in a culture of doom and gloom, but I do think there’s something to be said for being prepared.

    Scott

  14. Scott May 9, 2006 12:32 pm

    To the very first post,
    “Overbloathed military bureaucracy eats all the resources of the government and the country. At the end nothing is left except a big war industry.”

    I would have to say that government spending on the military is not exactly what you say it is. I will agree that it is out of control along with the rest of the budget, but I think this poster, like many Americans, are pre-conditioned with a set of assumptions that are not valid. For example, for the 2006 budget the military was 417 Billion dollars. That’s a lot I understand, but at 15.5% of total expenditures, it’s nowhere near the social security, Medicare, and Medicaid/SCHIP combined total of 42.4% of all government outlays(from the summary tables from the Federal 2006 budget). Maybe this country is drowning in a sea of government handouts, and devalueing its currency to do so. I think that affects me, your average middle class American.

  15. An Employee May 9, 2006 12:41 pm

    Try reading “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat

  16. An Employee May 9, 2006 12:48 pm
  17. ronandreas May 9, 2006 1:19 pm

    Scott, add interest from debt on prior military spending,secret services spending,military “aid”, university research grants,veterans benefits,recruiting, etc.. and you get close to 50% war spending.A far higher ratio than other countries. We spend as much on aggression as the next 20+ nations added together.
    Meanwhile social “outlays” are financed wholly from payroll deductions.
    There is no cunundrum in the correlation between military spending and the current account deficit.

  18. Turk May 9, 2006 2:00 pm

    Thats no fiddle Ron, unlike Johnny Rotten, I aint no anarchist. I hold out hope that somewhere in the underpinnings of our national government, there exists a real purpose to take us all in a better direction. I always was a closet philosopher. Maybe the plan is to let the dollar fall off the cliff, print enough of the worthless stuff to send to all the countries we owe, then debut a new currency based on the precious metals our government has been secretly stockpiling. Then we would of course have to let the missles fly and move underground. Heck the strategic oil reserve is almost full, the first step in the plan in order to have a guaranteed supply for critical transportation needs until the dust settles.

  19. Mike May 9, 2006 3:19 pm

    Cornhusker,

    Are you putting your life on the line for our failing fiat currency? How about the life of your progeny? Nothing that has been accomplished or that can be accomplished in Iraq is worth the life of my child or grandchild. Therefore, by extension, it is not worth the life of anyone’s child. Killing innocent people is about the only thing most governments are effective at doing better than the private sector. You will notice, I did not say efficient.

    Mike

    Mike

  20. Scott May 9, 2006 5:52 pm

    Ron, that’s just not right.

    “Meanwhile social “outlays” are financed wholly from payroll deductions.” -I just don’t know where you are coming from on this one. Come on, it’s not like social programs can be paid for with only payroll taxes.

    Listen, how can we have a conversation with just the same old rhetoric here? The military is not for global aggression, so put a sock in it already.
    Scott

  21. ronandreas May 9, 2006 6:13 pm

    Scott,The U.S. has “forward” bases all over the world. In most countries actually.If our military is for defense why did our government have to stage 9/11 to create a pretext for aggression?
    Do you really believe social security is financed from the general fund? Where do you get that? Social security has been running a surplus for decades. These are the funds our government borrows to pay for military adventures. Thats where your payroll taxes go (fica medicare etc…).If we aren’t aggressors why have we made war in other nations dozens of times in the past century? Somehow little Uruguay hasn’t had to fight a war since becoming independent almost 200 years ago. Whats thier war budget?

  22. the stranger May 9, 2006 7:47 pm

    Scott - you made me go back and read the first post; what was wrong with it?

    Cornhusker - of course things are pretty good right now; but then right now is myopic, isn’t it? The proper role of government wouldn’t be much of a topic if there weren’t so many major problems. Our large corporations are circling the drain. Terrorism is blow-back, pure and simple. Weaponised bird flu is an interesting story (read it this morning) and I thought it important even if it was propaganda; propaganda in what direction and to what end? For the record, this Nystrom guy strikes me as being positive, even optimistic (compared to me).

    What do we need government for anyway? That’s interesting by it self. I always wondered if Murder were not illegal, would there be more or less murder? Law, of course, would not be a deterrent, but payback might be inescapable. We’re certainly used to government; so far it seems, its part of the civilization package.

    What is the proper role for government during major supply disruptions, of say energy or food? or economic collapse? or pandemic? How much of a role can it play?

    The doom and gloom thermometer hit 700 degrees today.

  23. rolf rogde May 9, 2006 8:31 pm

    at present any governments’s main function is to make life difficult for the people, and any government’s main purpose is extortion.

  24. larry ross May 9, 2006 9:55 pm

    Government begins as a special interest group.Usually alpha males with some intellectual types.Then they sieze upon the current most populist tormentor.Next they wage a policy of propaganda and insite patriotism in the masses.War follows so that said alphas and intellectuals may defeat said perpatraters of mass unhappiness.Following the war all animal spirits are exhausted in the masses and peace is celebrated.The alphas are now the new next future source of mass unhappiness.Governments are in the political buisness of staying in control of their gained power and distracting the masses continually to maintain sufficient chaos and fear to remain in power…..GOVERNMENT is FATE crossing circumstace and no more!UNTIL the next crossing!

  25. barter this May 10, 2006 6:09 am

    The great Thomas Jefferson asked:

    Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but
    with his wrath? (Works 8:404; P.P.N.S. p. 141.)

    Because men created governments (and not vice versa), the rights of government are based on the God-given rights of the individual. An individual has the right to defend his life, liberty, and property; therefore, he also has the right to join with others and form a government to protect his rights. An individual does not have the right to violate the rights of another, and neither does government.

    Government should be large enough to secure our God-given rights but not large enough to violate these rights. Anyone who understands this comprehends the proper role of government.

    If there were no government whatsoever, our rights would not be secure. Individuals acting alone would be unable to protect their liberty against the criminal acts of unjust men. In the absence of any organized government, anarchy would prevail. Ultimately, the criminals would take control and enslave their fellow citizens.

    Our rights also would not be secure under a system of total governmental control. Such a government might grant its citizens privileges from time to time, but it could also take away those privileges on a whim. Whenever government has total power, individuals have none. Remember, the root of the word totalitarian is total!

    Communism and Nazism are not at opposite ends of the political spectrum as the public has been led to believe. They are ideological twins! Both are totalitarian, and both are examples of 100 percent governmental control. Our rights can only be secure under limited government.

    Liberty is a way station between anarchy (no government) on one end of the political spectrum and totalitarianism (total government) on the other end.

    Preserving liberty for ourselves and future generations is no easy task. As George Washington warned, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Because our Founding Fathers realized that government, like fire, had to be contained, they gave us a government of laws and not of men. They created a republic and not a democracy.

    A democracy is majority rule and is destructive of liberty because there is no law to prevent the majority from trampling on individual rights. Whatever the majority says goes! A lynch mob is an example of pure democracy in action. There is only one dissenting vote, and that is cast by the person at the end of the rope.

    A republic is a government of law under a Constitution. The Constitution holds the government in check and prevents the majority (acting through their government) from violating the rights of the individual. Under this system of government a lynch mob is illegal. The suspected criminal cannot be denied his right to a fair trial even if a majority of the citzenry demands otherwise.

    We will either be governed by laws or ruled by men. Because of man’s nature, rule by men has always ended in tyranny. Only under a government of laws will our God-given rights be secure.

    Starting at the foundation of the pyramid, let us first consider theorigin of those freedoms we have come to know as human rights. There are only two possible sources.

    Rights are either God-given as part of the Divine Plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must bewilling to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise.
    As the French political economist, Frederick-Bastiat, phrased it so succinctly, “Life, liberty, and property do
    not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

    Here is something of interest. http://www.neualtenburg.org/prospectus/government/
    Barter This

  26. Scott May 10, 2006 8:29 am

    “Please let’s stick with the real world.” -these were your words not mine.

    “why did our government have to stage 9/11″ -this is NOT the real world, period.

    “U.S. has “forward” bases all over the world. In most countries actually” - Most countries? Really? Not true. In several countries? yes. In most countries? no.

    No more rhetoric, Please.

    Social security has run a surplus from social security payrol taxes, but it is not as if that money is not already spent and GONE. It’s spent. It’s not sitting in a big bank account somewhere. There is no social security lock box. A trust fund that is filled with IOUs really isn’t a trust fund. And, there won’t be a surplus by 2018. But, this money wasn’t spent just to finance the military, it was spent on the rest of the budget altogether. I’m being honest, I would ask you to do the same.

    The term aggressor is an insult. I would ask, is it ever ok for the government to go to war? Or should the United States be isolationist? Should the United States ever help secure freedom to oppressed peoples? There are and have been oppressive regimes around the globe. Communists being one of them. You want to be communist?, fine. Just don’t force it on everyone. There are groups of people killing other people all over the place. Should we always just let this happen, when we have the means to help stop it? We don’t want to be involved in other countries issues because people will hate us? Who will hate us?, the people initiating all of the murder and mayhem? But what’s the right thing to do?

    To stranger, I was referring to the quote about the bloated military that eats all of the country’s resources. I think such a statement totally ignores the incredible level of social program spending.- something that amounts to little more than robin hood politics. That’s why I looked up the percentages of spending.

    DOD military 16.5%
    Social Security 21.2%
    Medicare 13.4%
    Medicaid/SCHIP 7.8%
    Homeland Sec 1.2%

    Scott

  27. KTM May 10, 2006 8:42 am

    Jefferson said something like: The government that governs best is the one that governs least. Politicians and their paid voter/accomplices seem to have strayed from that ideal here in the U.S. Whiney liberals cry for more “social justice” — aka freebies, while stern conservatives demand special breaks for their buddies. It’s a sad state of affairs that’s devolved to the point where the only solution I can see is a revolt that completely breaks the system.

    Although our Declaration of Independence specifically envisions such a remedy, historically governments haven’t been too keen about revolutions when they are the target. It will be an ugly fight before free men regain their liberties and clean up the mess.

  28. ron May 10, 2006 9:48 am

    Scott, OK, I looked it up. While the U.S. does have a military presence in most countries, it only has bases in 60, thats sixty not several as you state.
    If roughly half of Federal spending is war related(the DOD figures you present don’t even include the hundreds of billions appropriated for Iraq) then roughly half of the money borrowed from social security went to wars.
    As to sticking with reality, do you truely believe the official explanation of 9/11?

  29. Scott May 10, 2006 10:01 am

    Post 25 is excellent.

  30. Mike May 10, 2006 11:48 am

    25 was good, but I’ve points to make regarding this: “If there were no government whatsoever, our rights would not be secure. Individuals acting alone would be unable to protect their liberty against the criminal acts of unjust men. In the absence of any organized government, anarchy would prevail. Ultimately, the criminals would take control and enslave their fellow citizens.”

    Our rights are no longer secured by our government. Individuals are even moreso unable to protect their liberty against the criminal acts of unjust government. It is worse to be controlled and enslaved by ones government than by their fellow citizens. Every violation of the constitution that is a violation of individual liberty is a form of control. With the total take of government approching 50%, we are slaves.

    Mike

  31. Scott May 10, 2006 12:19 pm

    Mike, I think that it is a hard thing to estimate which can be worse, enslavement by government or fellow citizens. Both are very bad. Look at what happened in Rwanda. The government is made up of fellow citizens, so I think this is a unfruitful comparison.

  32. larry May 10, 2006 5:10 pm

    All power is ultimately concentrated to benefit those with power.Government exists in all human endeavor.Some obvious others not.Medical care is an example of a more subtle yet disasterous success of governing.In medicine doctors benefit while the unempowered masses become premorbidly ill and die unnaturally.Big national government is thought to be less exploitive and more transparent.Yes and no.Public officials are as good at being liers as doctors of medicine.They all wish to influence others in a way that they themselves actually benefit.Period.This culture is no village of connected souls.This is a nation of individuals and it is a hostile place.Your value is in the eye of the exploitor.Government is now in the role of fostering and enabling the power of the exploitors.The role of this government is to thus further concentrate power.Ranchers and cattle.Governments role is to be the ranchers.

  33. Administrator May 10, 2006 8:51 pm

    The President of Iran recently wrote a letter to President Bush that is relevant to this discussion. Interestingly, you will not find the full text of that letter in the NY Times (nor any Mainstream U.S. newspaper, as far as I can tell). Hmmm…”All the news that’s fit to print” - that’s what the NY Times says. This is the first letter from an Iranian leader to a US leader in 27 years. Isn’t that worthy of a little ink?

    Instead what we have is spin and commentary, but no place for Citizens to read it for themselves and make up their own minds.

    The letter is not 18 pages, as is widely reported - it is four web pages, and can be read here in full from LeMonde (France):

    http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-727571,36-769886,0.html

    The letter is well reasoned, respectful and straight forward — not rambling as is also widely reported. Towards the end he states:

    “The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have no faith in international organisations, because their rights are not advocated by these organisations.

    “Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.”

    I am reminded of the collapse of communism - how those on the outside saw it coming much more clearly than those on the inside.

    It is clear that our mainstream news sources serve the government, not the truth. This being the case, we on the inside will be the last to understand just how fragile our place in the world truly is.

    Anyway, don’t take my word for it - read it yourself and see if you (God forbid) agree with anything said by the President of Iran when you hear his words, not the words filtered through the US Administration/Media spin.

    And while you’re at it, an excellent article to put Al Queda into perspective:

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/goldstein.html

    Michael

  34. Michael Goldman May 11, 2006 5:48 am

    Returning America back to its states rights roots is the only way to fix our republic. I am from PA and I am a true supporter of states rights. Our governer has managed to balance our states budget. This will make us much more prosperous because our coffers are full and our state senators actually give a hoot about us, instead of worrying about some larger so called ‘national’ issue. The role of federal governments should be minute. We can bring back the days when there were regiments from each state. Why do we need a bloated constant standing army? Because the fed govt tells us we do! We don’t! Where is the threat? If there is a threat, we call in the divisions from each state, we train, and prepare for war! The fed will only exist to work in international economic relations, if that, and will become what it was after the revolution. Small and unimposing, there for us in times of crisis, unseen in times of prosperity. If PA can balance her budget, than why cant the fed govt do so?!? The war mongering must end and we must get our house in order once again!

  35. ronandreas May 11, 2006 10:42 am

    Great links above, and precient commentary Michael. How have we been convinced that we are threatened by a nation that hasn’t fought a war of aggression for 900 years? IF Iran really is developing nuclear weapons they could only be for defensive purposes since first use would be suicidal. Why have we given over our social security assets to secure Israels nuclear and military monopoly of force? How did our representatives come to support bankrupting our nation and currency for the interests of a different nation?

  36. Doctorwork May 13, 2006 9:36 am

    We need government to:
    -fund teachers who can’t pass real math and science courses, but instead take college of education versions so they can pass, and then purport to teach our kids.
    -fund drug cops who plant evidence to make busts to further their little careers
    -fund expensive SWAT teams to accumulate highly expensive weaponry at tax payers expense, and then run around in mobs of 15-20 shooting at mental patients who have been turned out of inpatient hospitals due to liberals wanting the patients to have the “least restrictive” environment
    -pay the salaries of CONgressmen and women who consider all of us (except of course the lobbiest) to be irritants at best, and enemies to be deceived, at worst;
    -pay for $50 hammers and $20 plastic syringes (I’ve seen both at military hospitals)
    -pay for career military officers to spend their time playing one upmanship games with their competing officers rather than really working for a living.
    -pay for bunkers for the surival of CONgress and other elites in the event of a nuclear attack (e.g. Greenbrier);
    -pay for prostitutes and cocaine for CONgress members and CIA types;
    -pay for Tamiflu for CONgress and the other elites when YOU will not be able to get it once a serious flu epidemic starts.
    –etc, etc, etc.
    The system is broken and needs to be REdone from ground up. The founding fathers are spinning in their graves, as are all of our ancestors who served in WWI and II.

  37. Nish May 14, 2006 2:15 pm

    Governments role should be extremely limited to defence and a justice system of last resort. Everything else, people can take care of by the Adam Smiths Invisible Hand.

    Teachers, Health Care, Roads, everything else thought of as a social service works out automatically in the private sector, if you leave people alone. Social Services are a great Idea, but they are not the responsibility of federal government, but that of the most local governments.

    All problems today are caused by fiat money, which the big bankers implemented throughout the world over a period of 100 years. This robs honest workers of their labor and redistributes wealth to the bankers. Today, the financial sector, “paper pushing” is getting bigger that the real means of production. All governments world wide have been bought into the fiat money system, and all problems in the world are caused by this system.

    I am true believer of mises.org.

    Leave people alone, and they will solve their own problems. But in a system like that, the few can not gt rich, hense the fiat money and consolidation system we live in today.

    I would appreciate investment advise in today’s environment,

    nishg@hotmail.com

    Thanks,
    Nish

  38. ron May 14, 2006 7:33 pm

    Nish, check into PSAFX, the safe haven. Also try PBW the clean energy ETF. Today’s asset bubbles are hard to avoid.

  39. Nish May 16, 2006 5:22 am

    Thanks Ron.

  40. Marty Riske May 16, 2006 8:34 pm

    The first task of government is to support and defend all liberties currently enjoyed by its citizens. The second job of government is to seek improvements to current liberties. The third job of government is to search for and find new liberties. Everything else is after these first three. A great site: http://www.fff.org

    There are two things we could do to change things for the better immediately. First, let’s get back to first deciding what our national parties stand for in their “platforms”, then choose from interested candidates as they show us they can “sell” our platforms to the voters. Second, we can amend the Constitution (a living document by amendment) to force Congress to declare war and take that decision away from the Executive branch through passage of a resolution by Congress.

    Another site which has a list of all the countries the U.S. military has bombed since the end of World War II without declaration of war: http://www.killinghope.com

  41. barter this May 17, 2006 11:42 am

    In 1950 Harry Truman signed the Emergency War Powers Act which put America in purpetual war, so the very first thing we as a free nation HAVE TO DO is amend this 56 year old Act.

    Day light savings time ” Wartime”.
    Income Tax is a war tax “Victory Tax”.
    Flags with a gold trim is a Flag of the Commander-in-Chief “War President”.
    Banks with a gold trim Flags are the Kings Bank.
    Courts with a gold trim Flags are the Kings Bench.

    We are a Republic nation… with a Monarch at its head, (which is the opposite of Republic).
    So until we reform this Act and make America a free nation again, not in perpetual war we will always have a king quided by the Jesuits Of Rome.

  42. cornhusker May 26, 2006 10:22 am

    Wow…read this and tell me if you any similarities between the “Roaring 20’s” and today. It’s coming…

    http://www.gusmorino.com/pag3/greatdepression/

  43. Ron June 7, 2006 7:26 am

    People in Iran get flogged for having a house party. People in America get burned alive in Waco, Texas by its own government. A letter from a lame-brained Iranian president to a hare-brained American president doesn’t say much, but it speaks volumes of how much the civilized world has descended into general chaos, just more foam and froth in a world devoid of diplomacy and filled with finger-pointing.

    Duke Cunningham is sitting in the hoosegow right now, a victim of his own greed and avarice.

    Tell me more about how great the US government is operating and how great the economy is.

    The US government is bombing countries all over the world year-in and year-out. It never stops. That is hardly peace and prosperity.

    Cornhusker has his head in the sand.

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