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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Liberty in Our Lifetimes?

I must be living in Bizarro World. It seems that anything that I want to happen is exactly the opposite of what actually happens. Taxes are too high and they are getting higher. The schools are populated by teachers who indoctrinate our children with a leftist ideology, much to the chagrin of the spirit of the Constitution. The borders are wide open which has led to a situation of mass immigration. The vast majority of our legislation and taxation comes from a place over a thousand miles away and is left in the hands of a few, barely accountable politicians and several thousand unaccountable bureaucrats. We are taxed, at the federal level, by a direct tax on income; and that tax is based on a 16,000 page tax code. K Street lobbiests have greater access to legislators than 99.9 percent of the populace whom they are supposed to represent. Hell, foreign governments have more influence over our federal government than I do.

I am opposed to all of these things and yet the country is embracing them at an increasing rate. Where can a person go who only wants to be left alone? I can't afford to buy an island. Most other countries are worse than we are. I guess I'm stuck. I guess I have to suck it up and live out the rest of my days in a state of being constantly pissed off.

About ten years ago, I came across an organization that has a unique idea for achieving liberty for those who wish it. Back then, they were asking for a commitment from several thousand freedom-loving to move to a particular state which met certain criteria. The criteria that are taken into account are population size, economic viability, low taxes, a history of classic liberalism, etc.. They had a list of states to choose from, and they listed the advantages and disadvantages of each state on the list. Participants were to choose their top five.

If a state has less than 1.5 million people and meets the criteria, 20,000 freedom-loving people are to move to that state and be a force to influence that states' legislature. Ultimately, that states' legislature would negotiate separately with the federal government, with the goal of reducing the federal influence on that states' inhabitants.

The organization was going to make their decision after they had a firm commitment from 5,000 people to move, and a loose commitment from another 15,000 people to move. Well they met their goals and made their decision. Right now, freedom-loving people are emigrating to the "Live free or die" state, New Hampshire. I am holding my breath.

Ten years ago when I came across their website I was intrigued but entirely unwilling to leave the Rocky Mountains (the only RM state on the list was Wyoming, but the Feds own 70 percent of that state). A lot has changed in the last decade. I have come to realize that the GOP is at least as evil as the Democrats. I had hope for a change when Gingrich and Co. took over the House. Those hopes were dashed after he and other small-government Republicans volunteered to leave Congress. We now have a bigger, more intrusive government than we ever had and the GOP brags about how great it is.

I am thinking more and more about leaving my home. After all, what is the point of life, without the liberty to live it the way I want? I will be going to NH next September to check out the housing, job, and recreation (esp. ski slopes) situation of that state. Who knows? I may have liberty in my lifetime.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:43 AM

 
Blogger Holly said...

Best of luck to you Plumber. If it helps your mood any, we leftists are not very happy either.

I am uncertain how anyone living in this country could find a happy balance when the division between the left and the right is so immense.

I have wondered to myself many times if our country could find happiness by splitting in two (you know, just *daydreaming*). But really, even if we found temporary content, I doubt it would last. It is just part of the many different ideas and priorities the American citizens hold. It has become so clear to me, in seeing that there are many flavors of conservatives - and that clearly not all of them have the same priorities. Same goes for liberals, and most definitely for moderates.

So, yes. You, me and most others are clearly discontent (in the political realm, not with life in general). I wonder though - is ANYBODY in this country truly content anymore? Will we EVER be? Can we ever *truly* find contentment when we have to "play nice" with others who have different personalities, challenges, values and priorities?

10:10 AM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

Holly,

You lend credence to a strict interpretation of the Constitution: a small, weak federal government and powerful state governments. We can more tolerate eachother if our respective political opinions don't affect those who disagree. With an over-powerful federal government, every decision made affects those who disagree.

My analogy is appropriate: I got along with my sisters when we were segregated to our separate rooms. My parents were the ultimate authorities, but what I did was by-and-large my choice.

10:26 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:39 AM

 
Blogger ctindel said...

Holly-

I don't believe that you have to have everything go your way and everybody else agreeing with you to be 'truly content'. Splitting in two won't solve the problem because the exact same problems occur at all levels of government. Unless you have a country whose population is 1, you can be sure that there will be politics and disagreements.

6:25 PM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

ctindel,

You are right about disagreements being a fact of life. The question though is whether or not the govt. should even try to solve a particular problem. This question is not even broached because those who clamor for action always seem to get it, regardless of the efficaciousness of govt. action and in spite of unintended consequences.

Once the govt sets up a new bureaucracy, it never dies.

7:55 AM

 
Blogger Holly said...

Oh, ctindel, I agree. We cannot avoid disagreement. But for me, it is the sheer volume and magnitude of the disagreement in our country today which boggles the mind. There never seems to be any compromise possible anymore - somebody is always pitching a fit. Conservatives hate liberals and vice versa. It sickens me.

Is federal government too large? Yes, I think it is. And this is from a a self-described liberal bias. Should more power be given to the states? Absolutely. I really like plumber's bedroom analogy.

But really, guys - with the power that lobbyists and the rich & powerful constituencies behind politics today at the federal level - how will we ever get back to that? This is not a problem with *only* Democrats or
Republicans - it is an issue with both.

I happen to align with many more ideals of Democrats than Republicans, but that doesn't mean I think the party is perfect, nor does it mean I agree with every position it takes. For example, I am not strictly pro-choice and do not agree with the strict stance Dem's have taken there. And, as you've seen, I like the idea of a smaller Federal Government - as long as the States still have the ability (read: financially) to help the poor & disabled, protect the environment, etc.

The point I am trying to make is that things are a mess. And that people from opposite sides of the political spectrum are so busy tearing each other apart (all you have to do is read some extreme blogs on BOTH sides to see this) - that we are failing to see the many things which we have in common. How long can this go on?

Perhaps, it is possible, I am being too dramatic. I admit, I can be a drama queen from time to time. And while I don't know as much as either of you on many issues - I do see the bitterness on both sides, and it both frustrates and saddens me.

9:03 AM

 
Blogger ctindel said...

Plumber-

Well, like you I had high hopes for Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America. I think he could have done a lot of good there. Unfortunately for some reason people always try to mix religion and politics, and the fiscal conservatives who would rather have a small government always get mired down by the social conservatives that would rather a government that tells everybody what to do.

Holly-

Instant run-off voting for federal elections would go a LONG way towards helping out with the problem, and would probably eliminate the 2-party system of government altogether. This is a good thing. And I think the eliminiation of the electoral college would also be a good thing.

Unfortunately there is no permanent solution to the problem... the best we can do is start over with a clean slate occasionally. At least, that is what all of history teaches us.

11:39 AM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

ctindel, I think that we made a big mistake by taking away the appointment power of state legislatures to pick their senators.

I also disagree with the removal of the Electoral College.

In short,

The masses are asses, and cannot be trusted to rule wisely.

-Plato

1:25 PM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

Holly,

You mention that the government should help the poor. Is this desire altruistic?

1:27 PM

 
Blogger Holly said...

Two reasons. Altruism is definitely one. I am a bleeding heart liberal, you know, and that is not likely to change anytime soon.

Avoidance of revolt is another. Admittedly, we are not anywhere close to a revolt today. That can always change, though. But in the 1930's, it was a recognized risk and this is one reason why many believe the welfare state came about (you won't read this in history books or hear it in econ classes though).

7:37 PM

 
Blogger Holly said...

One more question, Plumber (and ctindel) - have you ever heard of the CFR (council of foreign relations)? Just curious....

7:38 PM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

Holly, can altruism be forced? Or is forced altruism an oxymoron?

I just got an invitation to subscribe to Foreign Affairs, the publication put out by the CFR. I was a member in the mid 90's. If one ever wanted to know about the direction of our foreign policy, or how our domestic policy affects our foreign policy, it all comes out of the CFR. They are mostly comprised of international elitists. I won't ever knowingly give them another dime. Foreign Affairs is recommended reading, but do it online or at the library.

6:40 AM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

Oh yeah, Rousseau believes that revolt is impossible in a country with a large geographic land mass and a large, diverse population. I tend to agree with him.

I find that the advent of the internet however, may make revolt a little easier, though bloodless. Are bloodless revolts less efficient? I guess we'll see what happens to immigration reform during the 2008 election cycle.

6:50 AM

 
Blogger Holly said...

Plumber, some people believe it is the CFR who actually controls our country. I'm not referring to me, because I don't know nearly enough and have never had the time to really research. But I have listened to others who are convinced that the CFR is who really controls what happens in our country, not our elected officials. People like Rockefeller, Mellon, etc. are the true decisions makers, according to this theory.

1:29 PM

 
Blogger The Plumber said...

The CFR is made up of people of wealth and/or means. Those with gold make rules and the Constitution be damned. That said, there are diverse opinions and heated debates within the CFR. Few in the CFR are actually nationalists though.

Our foreign policy DOES seem to be beyond our control. If you were to see a list of influencial policy advisors, most are or were (many drop their membership prior to government service) members of the CFR. Also out of our control: our monetary policy. At one time, only Congress could coin money; that power was turned over to the "Federal" Reserve sans Constitutional Amendment.

Ultimately, we have the vote. We get the government we deserve. The decision really does come down to one between nationalists vs. internationalists. A vote for a mainstream Republican or Democrat all but guarantees an internationalist agenda.

Here is one of my favorite "conspiracy" sites. I found a link for you, but check out the rest of the site carefully. It is actually rather frightening.

2:54 PM

 
Blogger Holly said...

Wow, what a site. It could take me days to sift through it all. But in skimming the surface, it seems to be the stuff I've heard. I guess "conspiracy" site is a good name for it!

8:07 PM

 

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