Thursday, April 15, 2010
The principle of liberty for this Freedom Friday is that governments are to provide equal rights but not equal possessions. This principle of freedom tells us that "the people cannot delegate to the government the power to do anything except that which they have the lawful right to do themselves. "For example, every person is entitled to protection of his life and property. Therefore it is perfectly legitimate to delegate to the government the task of setting up a police force to protect the lives and property of all the people" (W. Cleon Skousen, The 5000 Year Leap, p 87). Skousen further explained that no one has the right to take an extra car from one neighbor who has several vehicles and give it to another neighbor who has no car. We all recognize that this is theft if an individual does it; however, there are many people who consider it to be okay for the government to take wealth from one group of people and redistribute it to another group. There is much talk in the world today about the "haves" and the "have nots." Our current President and Congress seem to be intent on redistributing wealth from the "haves" to the "have nots" - regardless of the fact that this is unconstitutional. This is a principle of Marxism, socialism and communism. The Founders were well aware of ideas being practiced in Europe - and they rejected those ideas. The policy of our Founders was to guarantee equal protection of rights for all the people. Using those rights, the people could use their agency to succeed or to fail, but the government would not penalize anyone for succeeding. The Constitution guaranteed that all people had the freedom to become prosperous; it also guaranteed that no one would be forced to remain in poverty. The Founders understood that some people would become rich and some would be poor, but they hoped that the nation as a whole would prosper by maximizing prosperity and minimizing poverty. Using this principle of freedom, Americans soon became the most prosperous, best educated, and most compassionate nation in the world. This happened because the Founders established a government that protected equal rights and didn't provide equal things. Samuel Adams stated, "The utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of the wealth], and a community of goods [central ownership of all the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional." (Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, 1:154, as quoted in The 5000 Year Leap.) The fact that the Founders guaranteed the freedom to prosper does not mean that they didn't care about the poor. The Founders understood that helping the poor to help themselves was much better than simply giving handouts. They understood that people gain satisfaction by doing what they can for themselves. There is no authority in the Constitution for the federal government to be involved in charity or welfare. From this omission, we can assume that the Founders expected individuals to accept responsibility for their own needs. When help is needed, the next level of responsibility is the family, followed by the church and the local government. Our federal government has gone far beyond the responsibilities delegated to it in the Constitution. Some examples of unconstitutional programs are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and taking over private companies. A breaking news item is that about 50 percent of the people in this nation pay no income tax. In fact, there are examples of people who have received "income tax refunds" larger than the amount of taxes paid. Why would anyone vote to give up free goodies from the government? By usurping authority, the government is turning our country from a nation with the freedom to prosper to one that is dependent on the government. Under federal programs, people no longer feel the responsibility to take care of themselves or the desire to prosper. No one wants to work to achieve and become better when they can obtain money without working. No one wants to achieve just to get slapped down and forced to share their hard-earned wealth. Under the programs of our current President and Congress, all Americans will become poor because there will be no wealth to redistribute. We must stop them from establishing more entitlement programs and insist that they trim or eliminate the ones we already have. The only way that we can achieve this goal is to vote the free-loading progressives out of office and elect people who will legislate and govern according to the Constitution.