A few additional comments…

I would like to make a few follow up comments on the last post, on the privatization of education.

Firstly, the reason I advocate this is because it would institute competition among different enterprises, only because this will increase quality and decrease costs – as it does very well on the free market. Find a way that a public government-run education system can do this, and I will listen. Ultimately I want schools to compete on academics as they do athletics – and I don’t believe this is particularly unreasonable.

I proposed privatization because of the competition that goes along with it.

Secondly, I don’t wish to force out the less fortunate. They have just as much right to an education as anyone else does. It would be silly to suggest that the less fortunate would be deprived of an education just because it is no longer in the hands of government. A way could certainly be found; it wouldn’t be right to jump to the conclusion that it won’t be possible without at least thinking about it first.

We tend to put out any possibility of the private sector doing something that the state has done for a very long time. Maybe there are some things that the state can do more efficiently. But it would be absurd to assume that there is no possibility of the private sector doing something well, like education.

There are two options: we continue not questioning mediocrity, or we do something to try and change it for the better.

 

 

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Privatizing the School System…?

One of the many rally cries of the libertarian movement is “Privatize it!” referring to anything being done publicly being switched to private control.

Now I will be (not the first) to admit that there are a few things which are best left to a public government, because of efficiency or other reasons (note the emphasis on FEW.)

And for awhile education for the masses was one of those things – a responsibility best left up to the local district governments. However, it is now clear that local governments no longer capable of handling education.

We can plainly see that there is no comparable competition to the public schools. There are private schools which are generally patronized by the wealthier among us, and home schooling as an option, which can generally be pursued by anyone. But we must consider something else:

A look at the budget here in the Moore Oklahoma School district reveals that the fund for general expenses – not including building or other specialized expenses – amounts to about $137, 788, 183 – all taken – plundered – from the taxpayers.

The average home price here in the area is $132,000, which shows us that $1,698 yearly is taken from the average household’s income – even if the household has no students. If the household has a student going to private school or being home schooled, the tax must still be paid, discouraging explorations into other options.

Now bear in mind, friends, that this is only the seed of a larger idea, and abstract thought that I intend soon to fill in. But I am certain that dissolving the public school system would be the best thing for our students, because it would encourage one thing that is currently lacking in the present system: competition.

In all things, honest and reasonable competition between enterprises not only encourages cheaper prices, but also a better product.

Consider for this scenario: There are three high school institutions in one general area, each run independently of another. Each of them would have to take care to a)keep costs as low as possible b) spend money as efficiently as possible, which means there is little room for waste, and c) the institution, to encourage maximum patronage, would have to provide the highest quality of education possible.

I feel free competition is the thing that can make education better, not the silly laws of politicians and the whims of local governments, marked by corruption, incompetence, and waste.

Your comments will be very much appreciated to help me construct future posts on this highly important matter.

The best politcal doctrine of all…

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The image above is very profound to me. It is meant to sum up contemporary liberalism, but I think it does a swell job in summing up both sides of the mainstream political spectrum, their doctrines summed up below:

DEMOCRATS / POLITICAL LEFT : We want lots of government spending and involvement.

MODERATES / MIDDLE : We don’t care enough to pay attention, so we go with whatever sounds good.

REPUBLICANS / POLITICAL RIGHT : We want government spending and involvement, but not as much as the Democrats.

And each political faction likes certain things and dislikes others (and I will avoid bringing them up here to avoid getting in those senseless political debates) and each political faction wants to impose what it likes on everyone else, and every partisan seems to want something different. Everyone has a different opinion on how much of a role government should play in our society and economy. Which is a good thing, do not misunderstand me, but where is the political harmony to be found?

More and more, this is why I am convinced the doctrine of liberty is the most superior of them all. No, it isn’t perfect, and it cannot solve all of our problems – often we expect all of our social and economic ills to be solved at once.

But one thing is for sure – putting the state in charge of fixing our conundrums will only create more.

Liberty is consistent, it means, basically that the state should stay out of things and limit itself to the things it was instituted to do – guarantee our God given right to Life, liberty, and property. Liberty grants everything that people want, and if they don’t like it – well, they can avoid it in their own life.

So now, I ask you to disregard the redundancy of the mainstream political party, in favor of liberty, because both political parties and the various related factions are speeding away from that very doctrine, no matter what they may say. So-called “Moderate” or compromising will only accelerate this.

And if anyone tells you (as I have been told) that it’s too radical, ask: “What is so radical about freedom?”

War and the Economy…

Continuing with the theme of Economic stimulation (or lack thereof) I hope to combat another well established fallacy:

That war stimulates the economy.

If this is true, then every time our economy is in a slump, let us declare war on somebody, launching the world into conflict and confusion until the second coming…!

But fortunately for us, it isn’t true.

During times of war, we see the employment of thousands of troops, who are paid a salary which will be, spent somewhere else. Not to mention the billions that must be spent equipping them with the necessary items, this brings money to several distinct industries. It’s easy to see this and say, “By George, we can fix our economy!”

However, we must consider that the money must come from somewhere – the taxpayer.

If one hundred billion is spent on soldiers and equipping them, that one hundred billion must be removed – via coercion – from the private market.

The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (according to a CBO report) could cost taxpayers a total of 2.4 TRILLION by 2017 – and this works out to about $6,000 per citizen. Think of what you could do with $6,000 additional dollars in your pocket!

Yes, that 2.4 trillion has gone to stimulate several distinct industries (and I am ignoring the politics of the Iraq/Afghanistan war for the sake of this exercise) but a question is raised: what could it have done had it been left where it was supposed to be, the pocket of the private citizen, who knows best when it comes to his own property?

I contend the money would have gone to very legitimate, peaceful industries in harmony with the natural economic order, instead of the government arbitrarily deciding how it is spent – generally on wasteful purposes.

So maybe War can stimulate a particular industry as compared to others – but looking at the economy as a whole, it just moves money from where it should be, to somewhere else.

The Oklahoma Governor race…and tornado shelters…

I believe, along with many, that the upcoming governor race here in our State of Oklahoma will largely hinge on Tornado Shelters (after all, what else goes on in this state?)

I fully believe every school should have some form of safe room to protect the children from such storms, but funding it will be the central problem of the upcoming election. (Now, even if my reader does not reside in Oklahoma, it is worth looking into)

Read about it here: http://kfor.com/2014/01/31/compare-and-contrast-making-the-right-decision-on-how-to-fund-storm-shelters-in-schools/

And here, an article from the Daily Disappointment : http://newsok.com/oklahoma-governor-endorses-school-shelter-plan/article/3928514

With emotions still raw from the storm of May 20th, rightly so, any candidate that would come out against protecting the children wouldn’t have a chance, also rightly so.

But let us look at the plans of both candidates: Fallin proposes raising property taxes. This would be an added tax to the citizen. Dorman offers a tax on companies in the state. Do not be fooled; any tax on companies would be an added cost to the consumer, who ends up paying for any costs a company may encounter. Simply, either a tax on the CITIZEN, or a tax on the CONSUMER.

Both plans have negative economic implications. Allow me to propose an alternative: the reduction of expenditures. (Gasp…!)

If a household wants to put in a storm shelter, they have to cut expenses somewhere else to make up for it. The household cannot just raise it’s income on a whim to cover such things. So why should the state be able to?

It’s very possible to cut expenditures, but it seems that is out of the question – for both sides of the aisle. Anything to raise taxes, I suppose…

Does Scarcity benifit the economy ?

…No.

Some time ago I encountered a fallacy, (and I have put off discussing it here) which stated simply:

The increased scarcity of goods makes a nation richer.

I think it sounds ridiculous, but believe it or not, the principle has found its way into “legitimate” economic thought and even policy making. For instance, one of the focuses of FDR’s New Deal program was to, in an attempt to help farmers make more money, destroy crops to raise the value of the existing crops, thus allowing the farmers to make more money.

Never mind the multitudes that were unable to afford to eat before this policy was implemented. But at least the farmers were able to make more money, right? Nope, because the money they were suddenly making was not going as far as it was before, rendering the policy useless. Simply, it inflated the currency.

Let’s look at fuel for instance, no matter if its gasoline or coal. Its scarcity, according to those who are a part of the fallacy mentioned, would be a good thing, and the abundance of fuel would be fatal to the economy, because it would be CHEAP, and those producing it would make little money. But anyone who has to fill up their car knows that decreased gas prices are a good thing for the personal pocketbook, and it is the same for everyone (and in this case, other industries benefit from the decreased cost of fuel, pulling down costs universally.)

Let’s look at it at another angle. I am a big fan of Peach Ne Hi Soda. If my refrigerator only has a couple of bottles, it would be dearer to me, more valuable. Now let’s say the refrigerator is the food supply of a nation, and if there is less in it, the producers would be able to make more money, but the consumer would have to pay more, and we all know what happens then.

What good is more dollars in your bank account if you have to spend more of it to obtain scarce goods?

Let us take down the fallacy that states Scarcity is beneficial, because the wealth of a nation is not vested in the value of things, but rather, the existence and utility of goods in abundance.

“None of the Above” At the ballot… ?

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It may not be an original idea of mine – anymore, who can have an original idea? But I got to thinking, at first as a joke, but then began to put serious consideration to this –

What if we put a “none of the above” option on the ballot? And if the total number of votes for none of the above exceed legitimate votes, then would it be reasonable to kick out the candidates and call a new election.

I think this is actually a very good idea because most everyone (not limited to the right wing or the libertarians) has been very dissatisfied with the candidates in the past few elections.

Who with a straight face could actually say they supported Mitt Romney whole heartedly? John McCain? Most everyone supported the candidates because it would be better than the alternative. (Would it have been? We will never know.)

And I think that the democrats were becoming somewhat dissatisfied with Obama in the last election. Not completely, but there was some wiggle room as compared to ’08.

Not just nationally, but in every election. For instance, in the upcoming Oklahoma governor race, a major issue is storm cellars for schools, to prevent the loss of lives during disasters such as the May 20th tornado. Both candidates (and in a future post I hope to put more thoughts on this subject) have a plan to raise funds for them – both of them place an added burden on an already fragile economy. So why not a “none of the above?”

So really, is a “none of the above” option on the ballot that unreasonable? No. But I know better. It’s sensible and there’s a ban on sensibility in this nation.

Communism / Socialism – good on paper…?

Now we all know that communism cannot work, and I hope that we are learning that Socialism doesn’t either (as we see it being implemented in our own United States) but I encounter this sentiment often: that communism and related systems are good in theory and is only not possible because of the human element.

 Now, certainly, there are many people that use such terms incorrectly and I don’t intend to increase their number. So, here is the definition that I will work off of (and also for sake of brevity):

  1. A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.
  2. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.

Now disregarding the dictatorships which are often a result of such systems, let us look at these definitions. First, the collective ownership of property and the organization of labor – who is to organize this? Naturally, the government or legislative body, who is put in charge of the socialistic system, whether they be democratically elected or not, and do not forget: democracy alone cannot prevent tyranny.

Now as for property: a person, as stated in our charter of independence, is entitled to his property. The communists argue that all things come from the Earth, recourses which have been bestowed unto us without charge, so should they not be shared by everyone? However, most things that come from the Earth must be improved upon to be useful or practical to us, and when an individual or group of individuals are willing to do this, through the effort of their labor, it becomes their property. But communism, at least as described above, would allow some to live off the labor of some others, through the communal attitude of property.

Now the communists would respond, every man would, in a perfect world, do a part. Is that not what we have in a free market? In order to live, one must do his part, in order to eat. The advantage of the free market is that they have pure freedom to do as they wish where they wish. Labor, in a free market system, would be organized by default naturally, instead of artificially by a governing body, which seldom, if ever has the ability to see the full picture of the entire market and possible implications of governing decisions. So, then, what is the point?

That is the flaw, but only because the human element is factored. Let us take it out and what do we have left? A perfect system? Certainly not. Let us consider that not all employments are equal.

We see that more effort is put forth in construction than a cashier at a fast food restaurant. Perhaps you disagree, but what you must understand is that different employments require different amounts of effort and – are, in a free market, compensated accordingly.

But in a communist system, everyone is equally compensated for an hour’s work – but not all hours of work are the same.  Yet, all compensation is the same in a communist system. Hardly fair.

Disregard all systems or ideals and systems involving force, and only favor one, either in application or on paper – freedom.