Posts Tagged ‘British Empire’

What is a “fair share?”

“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes non work.”

~ Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize economist

Was Friedman forecasting today’s reality? In one tax year reported in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, millionaires earned 100 times as much as people earning $30,000, but paid 300 times as much tax. The top 20% of wage earners now pay nearly 70% of all income taxes, leaving 80% of Americans to pay the remaining 30%; 46% pay no income tax at all. Is this a progressive “fair share” income tax or is this a redistributive, punitive income tax? Our politicians are finally nearing their ideal of 49% of the voters paying all taxes and 51% paying none, the perfect re-election guarantee.

The Consitution v. the federal government

The Declaration of Independence states, “. . . these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.”  This sentiment was reaffirmed in 1781 in the Articles of Confederation which states, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States . . . .”  

Six years later during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, delegate Luther Martin affirmed states’ rights saying, “At the separation from the British Empire, the people of America preferred the establishment of themselves into thirteen separate sovereignties, instead of incorporating themselves into one.”  

Is it too late?

Is it too late for the United States of America?  Are we doomed to follow the timetable Sir John Glubb outlined in “The Fate of Empires,” surviving about 250 years?  Or, are we different from the failed empires he studied?  The outcome is our choice. 

We are unique among the nations of history.  We designed our own form of government, a government so unique that it was viewed as an experiment. 

Religion, politics, and the First Amendment

How do we reconcile religion, politics and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which says in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…?”  Did they only mean that government cannot get involved in religion or did they also mean that religion cannot get involved in government?  Did they intend we remove our faith and its values from political discussions, from political opinions?  Would this be a reasonable expectation?    

Israel or Palestine?

President Harry Truman said, “No two historians ever agree on what happened, and the damn thing is they both think they’re telling the truth.”

Imagine tracing your ancestry back thousands of years to the land they were driven from, the land you are now asking to have returned to you.  Imagine living on the land your ancestors walked 3000 years ago.  Imagine digging in the soil and finding primitive pottery from generations past.  Imagine. 

Don’t these people deserve that land, regardless of who has inhabited it since they left and regardless of who inhabits it now?  Don’t they have a right to their original homeland?  Don’t they have a right to their own state, their own nation?   

The fraud of socialism

Leicester University in England recently ranked Denmark as the happiest country.  What is their secret?  By their own admission they are a socialist, welfare state providing everything for everyone from birth to death.  And they freely, almost proudly admit they pay for it with the highest income taxes in the world. 

Were we wrong to fight the Revolutionary War with the British Empire to free us from the bonds of a government that decided what was best for us?  Were we wrong to die for freedom and opportunity, rejecting government servitude?  Were we wrong to want the freedom and risk of independence rather than the safety and security of a paternal government?

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms”

The Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

As most of us now know, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the Second Amendment right of an individual to “keep and bear Arms” was separate from, and in addition to, the rights of state militias to “keep and bear Arms.”  Justice Stevens suggested the majority was “making new law.”  Those who disagree with the ruling should read the majority justices’ reasoning of what the founding fathers were trying to safeguard with the Second Amendment.   They should read about our founding fathers’ beliefs, the countries of their origin, and their fears of the very government they were creating.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident” – July 4th

The birth of a nation, the realization of a dream, an eloquently simple statement:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”  During June and July 1776, the Continental Congress was debating the future of the Colonies.  King George III continued his abuse of the Colonies with over a year of armed conflicts between the British army and the Colonists’ militias.  The King seemed deaf to the Colonies’ concerns. For the first time in history a people were considering creating a new nation with the people designing their own form of government.  This new government would get its power from the people, not vice versa.

Civility in presidential politics

Will civility ever return to presidential campaigns?  Is it reasonable to hope for respectful debating?  Or, are we obliged to accept the mudslinging as a given in politics?  What would our founding fathers think if they were to witness one of today’s presidential campaigns?  Would they be impressed or would they be embarrassed?  Can we ever return to the ethical debating they so prized? 

ABC declared 2008 the “dirtiest presidential campaign in history.”  With estimates of the cost of this year’s election exceeding $1 billion, will the candidates see a choice other than negative campaigning?  There is no second place.  “The art is to damage your opponent without getting caught doing it,” said Rob Shealy, a campaign strategist who was convicted for violating campaign laws.