No

by

There comes a point in family finances when you just have to start saying, “No.” The sooner you do so, the quicker you can recover your own financial house.

We are at that point, indeed, have long ago exceeded that point, with our national finances.

From now on, the answer to receiving money from the federal government is, default, “No.”

Do you want unemployment benefits? “No.”

Do you want a medicare coverage? “No.”

Do you want a social security check? “No.”

As we trim down the budget, we need to cut deeper than just a balanced budget. We must somehow reset the budget to “No” and allow the country to have a sane economic policy that involves low or non-existant taxes and no feeding at the federal government’s teats.

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4 Responses to “No”

  1. demo kid Says:

    Do you want your kids to be fed? No.

    Do you want to have a roof over your head if you suddenly become ill? No.

    Do you want to live if you can’t afford healthcare? No.

    Do you want your parents or grandparents to have a pension if their retirement plans are wiped out? No.

    Do you want to have some marginal sense of dignity, instead of begging at the feet of Jonathan if you’re in a rough part of your life? No.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      So… Unless the government feeds your kids, your kids don’t get fed? What does that say of you as a parent? Why are you even having kids if you can’t support them?

      So… unless the government puts a roof over your head, you can’t have a house? Why can’t you provide for yourself even the most basic of living arrangements?

      So… unless the government buys your health care for you you can’t get health care? Who pays for all this anyway? Or do doctors not deserve to be fed?

      So… unless you retire on a government retirement plan you have no retirement?

      I don’t understand people who think like you. We have the most fantastic economy in the world, able to provide the poorest among us with modern luxuries that the greatest emperors in the world couldn’t even imagine, and somehow, we need government to do it all for us?

      Where does government get its money from anyway? If we can’t provide our own shelter, our own food, our own health care, how can government provide those things for us? Government only has what it takes from the people, and if there is nothing to take, there is nothing to give.

      The reality is that we no longer have anything to take or give. We have already bankrupted ourselves. It doesn’t have anything to do with helping the poor anymore, because we have nothing to help the poor with. If you can’t understand this, then you have been shielded from life’s realities.

      When there is no more money, you can’t spend. When there is no more food, you can’t eat. When there are no more hospitals or doctors, you can’t get health care.

      Only by asking people to at least provide for themselves, and then out of the goodness of their hearts, share with their neighbors, can we hope to create the wealth, food, and medical care people need to survive. That is the only way because that is what we have seen historically. These things—this vast wealth, food supply, and medical system—didn’t exist until America and her freedoms were tried. They cannot be sustained without freedom and a free economic system.

  2. demo kid Says:

    You know, time and time again you prove that you are blatantly ignorant, Jonathan.

    So… Unless the government feeds your kids, your kids don’t get fed? What does that say of you as a parent? Why are you even having kids if you can’t support them?

    Stop misrepresenting what I’ve said. What I’m saying is that if unforeseen circumstances mean that you cannot feed your children, you’re arguing that they should starve. Likewise, you’re saying that if parents don’t have the capability to provide for their children, the children should be punished for the failures of their parents.

    So… unless the government puts a roof over your head, you can’t have a house? Why can’t you provide for yourself even the most basic of living arrangements?

    Again, stop misrepresenting what I’ve said. What you’re saying is that if someone suddenly loses their home, they should be cast out into the cold, with no hope of shelter without groveling at someone’s feet.

    So… unless the government buys your health care for you you can’t get health care? Who pays for all this anyway? Or do doctors not deserve to be fed?

    Do you ever get tired of lying about what I’ve said? If people are in need of medical care, they should be able to receive what they need to survive. You believe that they should suffer and die unless they beg at your feet.

    So… unless you retire on a government retirement plan you have no retirement?

    Misrepresentation after misrepresentation. There is an entire horde of folks that work for very low pay and are saving very little for retirement because they have the choice between short-term and long-term survival. Would you advocate that they be left panhandling on the streets to satisfy your need for revenge against the undeserving?

    I don’t understand people who think like you. We have the most fantastic economy in the world, able to provide the poorest among us with modern luxuries that the greatest emperors in the world couldn’t even imagine, and somehow, we need government to do it all for us?

    And you’re suffering from a shocking lack of common sense. We have a good economy, yes… which is built on exploiting the labor of the folks lower on the ladder. In both the short- and the long-term, the poor are receiving less and less of the wealth that this country produces, not because they’re working any less, but because folks with more power can exploit expendable labor.

    The government — as I’ve said MANY times before — should not have a role in producing many things. You are absolutely correct that laptops or espresso or any one of a number of consumer goods should not be produced by government. However, when it comes to providing the necessities of life, where market failures can mean that someone dies or is deprived of their power or rights in society, the government should absolutely be involved. (The government should also be involved with coordinating the basic common infrastructure of society as well, but that’s a separate story.)

    Where does government get its money from anyway? If we can’t provide our own shelter, our own food, our own health care, how can government provide those things for us? Government only has what it takes from the people, and if there is nothing to take, there is nothing to give.

    The government has no role in providing luxury goods, or even making people’s lives comfortable. Providing for basic nutrition for children does not mean that all children need to be fed imported Italian cheeses, and providing for basic shelter does not mean that people need to have spacious, comfortable apartments provided to them for no rent.

    In a “fantastic economy”, no one deserves to die like a dog — even if you think that you can judge who deserves that fate.

    The reality is that we no longer have anything to take or give. We have already bankrupted ourselves. It doesn’t have anything to do with helping the poor anymore, because we have nothing to help the poor with. If you can’t understand this, then you have been shielded from life’s realities.

    And you’ve been shielded from some pretty basic realities yourself. In effect, you’re akin to the old school Marxists that overthrew White Russia… you have idealistic views about a perfect society (and you’re willing to kill people for it), but you’re blind to the idea that the real world doesn’t work like you believe it does.

    However, what’s worse is that we’ve already tried laissez faire economics, and it’s failed miserably. It’s led to the extreme exploitation of the working class, horrible environmental conditions, and benefits to the very few.

    But in any society, someone is going to want more than the bare essentials. Shelters for the homeless don’t mean that people that otherwise

    When there is no more money, you can’t spend. When there is no more food, you can’t eat. When there are no more hospitals or doctors, you can’t get health care.

    Exactly. So when the poor have no money, they can’t spend, they can’t eat, and they have no access to hospitals or doctors. You advocate that they should die as a result.

    Only by asking people to at least provide for themselves, and then out of the goodness of their hearts, share with their neighbors, can we hope to create the wealth, food, and medical care people need to survive. That is the only way because that is what we have seen historically. These things—this vast wealth, food supply, and medical system—didn’t exist until America and her freedoms were tried. They cannot be sustained without freedom and a free economic system.

    The goodness of their hearts? You advocate for an economic system that promotes selfishness above concern for others. Milton Friedman was very specific about this — greed and self-interest are what drives economies, not charity.

    I have no problems with the power of the market being used to benefit society, and I strongly believe that people should be self-sufficient. However, when people need to rely on others for some reason, I don’t believe that they should be killed.

    From experience, I’ve noted that conservatives are those looking for revenge against who they feel are undeserving, and they care little about who is harmed in the process.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      First, let me respond by saying that ad hominem is never a foundation for logical reasoning.

      From experience, I’ve noted that conservatives are those looking for revenge against who they feel are undeserving, and they care little about who is harmed in the process.

      You are either lying or you don’t understand any conservatives. Conservatives, as a group, are far more charitable and giving and loving than liberals. This is a statistical fact.

      All the conservatives I know “give till it hurts”. They aren’t comfortable living in luxury while there are people around them suffering. They are willing to give their own lives if necessary in the service of their country.

      Now, to address your bigger point. You claim that I want to see people who can’t provide for themselves die, or worse “be killed”. This is a gross misrepresentation of my stand, and you can find no part of my life that is in accord with that. How’s that for a misrepresentaton?

      I advocate two things, each relying on the other.

      (1) A free market, governed lightly by limited government. This free market provides all the economic things we need, and even a large part of our security and judicial system, without ever interacting with the government. Government’s role is to find those who are bad actors and take them out of the system, when their abuses are so gross and obvious that they cannot be tolerated.

      (2) A charitable system which demands those who have give to those who don’t as a religious duty. In other words, piety is impossible without charitable donations. A charity system adjudicated with the understanding that giving people things is not how they are helped. While temporary food and shelter and medical care may alleviate the immediate symptoms, the underlying “disease” must be addressed by the charitable system, and so a system of education and employment is part of this.

      Note that “groveling” doesn’t enter into it.

      Personal examples: My dad worked in an industry where there were booms and busts. During the booms, he gave frequently and liberally to his church welfare system. During busts, when his resources were exhausted, he was on the receiving end of it. I remember having cans of food from “Deseret Industries”. There is no shame in this. This is life. Everyone will, at one point or another, find themselves in such pathetic circumstances that they need to reach out.

      Second example: An immigrant comes to the Puget Sound area, lives in poverty with his wife and two kids. He discovers the church, we discover him, and we get him a job training for his machine certificate. Our church pays the salary, the company he works for trains him and employs him. Now he has his certificate, and he can work at Boeing or wherever he wants to. He no longer needs any charity from us. If he plays his cards right, he can be quite wealthy.

      Now, the harsh facts of life are that there is limited resources. There is only so much of everything to go around. As a matter of life and in the course of natural events, those who produce will ALWAYS have more than those who cannot produce. They have first dibs on their resources. We cannot deny that that’s the natural state of the world.

      Such a condition is insufficient to build the world’s greatest economy.

      The second condition is charity. When people who have donate “til it hurts” to help those who do not have to become producers themselves, then both benefit together. Over time, this is multiplied, and eventually you have the modern American economy. You cannot have government direct these charitable contributions, because government, by nature and fact, is corrupt and will always be corrupt. (The argument that government workers are angels is and always has been a bald-faced lie. Government attracts those who do not belong in government.)

      These two conditions existing together, mean the following things:

      (1) With desperate shortages, those who do not produce will not have anything. That’s OK, because it didn’t exist until the producers created it, so those who do not receive have nothing to complain about.

      For instance, let’s suppose a company develops the cure for the common cold. If they only have two doses, they get to choose where those two doses go. They do NO INJURY to anyone by producing something that did not exist before. Those who have colds and could die may be more deserving of it, but they would have died equally without receiving it as without having it produced in the first place.

      (2) When those who produce produce a surplus, then they can start thinking of giving some of it away. Without a surplus, there can be no charity. For instance, if I produce exactly as much food as my family needs, I have nothing to share. If I produce too much food, I can sell some and give some away, or sell it all or give it all away.

      (3) If the surplus is not distributed properly, then people will grow into an “entitlement mentality”, expecting things that are not free for free. So, there has to be some distribution mechanism that will use the charitable contributions to get people into a position where they can produce for themselves, or obtain through economic activity the things they need.

      I don’t know where you come up with the idea that people are being “exploited”. Are the employees at Microsoft slaves on a plantation, with supervisors with chains and whips? No, the vast fortunes created in our economy DO NOT come from exploitation, but voluntary and mutually beneficial interactions. If there is a case of exploitation, let us identify it and punish the criminals.

      I understand these ideas are hard to understand. Liberals like to jump on the simple things and refuse to think more than one or two steps in advance. However, a few moments of clear thinking will help you realize that government is the problem, not the answer, in the vast majority of poverty in America and the world. The solution is less government—budget cuts 50% or more, tax reductions, and regulation elimination.

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