Tag Archives: forefathers

The Won and Done Act

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

If you’ve read any of my posts, you know I love blue sky thinking. Coming up with new and innovative ideas that while may at first seem radical, are founded in logic and reason.

So with that in mind, I propose the Won and Done Act; and no, it’s not a typo.

The Won and Done Act I am proposing is legislation that would force government agencies to decrease in size and scope through time.

One of the problems is that like any group of employees, because they like a steady paycheck, they work hard at justifying remaining on the payroll—sometimes long after they’ve accomplished their mission. As a result, instead of agencies closing down after they’ve succeeded, or at least shrinking into a maintenance role, they continue to expand endlessly; competing for taxpayer dollars instead of showing concern for how that money is spent and what liberties are being taken away from the people paying for it.

EPA-LogoA most egregious example is the EPA. Before you think I am saying we should abolish the EPA altogether, I promise I am not that radical. Our government has a duty to protect us from anyone who threatens our rights. The EPA provides a very valuable service in this vein, because for example, we can’t just allow corporations to dump toxic waste into the river after all.

However, even though the EPA has largely thwarted America’s worst polluters and achieved their goals, they continue to grow like the Blob, and are equally terrifying. For instance, they raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for the automotive industry in an attempt to decrease fossil fuel usage when the free market should be the only thing influencing this—then require components to reduce emissions that negatively impact fuel mileage. On top of that, NHTSA continually adds regulations which require components that also add weight. Physics dictates more weight results in more energy needed to propel it.

So in case you missed that nuance, the EPA mandates greater fuel mileage on new cars, then NHTSA and the EPA mandate weight adding and efficiency reducing components which ultimately reduce the overall fuel mileage. It’s like requiring someone to eat a dozen donuts then requiring they lose more weight. General-Motors_11There is little wonder GM had to be bailed out and file for bankruptcy with Uncle Sam leaning on them like that.

So here’s the concept of my Won and Done Act:

If I begrudgingly accept non life-saving government agencies, all  such government agencies should have a stated and specific goal as well as a time limit to achieve that goal. All such government positions should be temporary whenever possible.

Once an agency’s goal has been achieved or the allotted time has expired, the agency may not reinvent itself, redesign itself, or search for new ways to keep relevant unless otherwise voted and approved by the legislature or the people. If their mission is WON, then they are DONE. If they cannot complete their mission, then the mission is aborted. We must incentivize elected officials to eliminate jobs wherever possible.

No government agency should be allowed to add staff or regulations at their own discretion either. Instead, let’s create incentives for them to literally work themselves out of a job. Here are a couple of ways to accomplish this:

  • Implement a completion bonus for achieving their goal, so that when their job is eliminated, they get a reasonable bonus to allow them time to find new employment, and if they find one quickly, the bonus is just money in the bank.
  • Implement a bonus for self-elimination. If an employee can make a case that his/her job has become unnecessary, they could apply with management to eliminate their own position. We would assume they would already have another job waiting in the wings and just take the bonus.
  • Provide bonuses for management to reduce staff where possible, although this one should also include a bonus for the eliminated.

One shining example of this ideal is the US Military. United States MilitaryYou find that this sentiment is quite prevalent there. In times of conflict, people step up to do their civic duty, then once the mission is accomplished, a few will reenlist to keep the peace, but the rest return to civilian life.

So then why doesn’t the rest of government have that same mindset? There are a number of factors. The military isn’t unionized first and foremost, and the military isn’t notoriously a cushy job either. The military is run quite strictly, it’s full of men and women with courage and conviction, they are very goal oriented, and they generally signed up for the honor of serving, not because it’s a gravy job. When’s the last time you felt that sense of diligence from the people giving you your driver’s license exam?

Government service is supposed to be an honor, not a career you do until you retire. As long as they are unionized, with greater than private sector wages and benefits, they will continue to grow as more and more people fight to take advantage of those massive benefits. These incentives for government to expand must be stopped if we care about liberty and freedom.

So while my Won and Done Act may not be 100% practical, it could at least start a discussion that changes the mentality of government leaders making the decisions about how agencies operate.

Getting rid of labor unions seems like a pipe dream as well, but with successful reforms in Wisconsin, and right-to-work legislation passing in Michigan and elsewhere, we’re at least headed in the right direction. But sadly, there is currently no incentive for government agencies to work themselves out of a job, so they just keep growing. Don’t believe me? The president is touting out job growth, but he’s not so forthcoming about the fact that 73% of that growth is in government.

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More guns equals more crime? If You Don’t Have The Science, Bite Your Tongue

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

 

Blog1
Bob Costas

A recent study in Virginia suggests that an increase in gun sales may result in lower crime rates, not more. How could this be? Bob Costas and others insist it’s the other way around. So who should I trust? Science or a sportscaster?

Of course I’m being facetious, and no doubt Costas means well—but Bob is severely lacking in his scientific acumen on the subject. Instead of speaking from a skeptical point of view, he decided to bloviate from the heart and off the cuff.

I don’t want to begrudge anyone’s opinion of not wanting guns around; it’s a personal choice. But what I have a problem with is people making false or ignorant claims on national TV as if they’re an authority (which he is not), proposing to take away a freedom I enjoy because they don’t enjoy it, exploiting a tragedy to push a political agenda, and quite frankly, advancing that agenda during a venue where it’s inappropriate.

Being a gun owner who loves the stress-relief target shooting can often bring, I was quite annoyed. Had I been NBC’s CEO, Bob would have been shown the door. It was irresponsible and unprofessional to say the least. I’m not calling for him to be fired, that’s for NBC to decide; but I would like to think Bob should have known better and NBC would expect and demand better from its talent.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
Javon Belcher

So let’s start to think logically about what Bob said. He insinuated that but not for the purchase of a hand gun, that Javon Belcher and his wife would be alive today. In theory, Bob is saying that this couple was otherwise happy and harbored no ill will towards each other. But then Belcher bought a gun, and for reasons solely motivated by Belcher owning that gun, he committed murder, then suicide.

Does that seem as ridiculous to you as it does to me? I hope so, because it is. What evidence does Costas have to demonstrate that if Belcher didn’t have a gun, he would not have used a knife? What would have prevented him from bludgeoning her to death with any other random household item?

They had marital issues coupled with what appears to be mental issues with Belcher. He had spent the evening with another woman the night before, after all, yet seemed to have a problem with his wife going out to a concert without him. Then of course he settled the argument by murdering her, then himself. Perfectly stable minds don’t do that. So let’s lay the blame where it belongs, a decline in someone’s state of mind.

The fact is Bob Costas had an opportunity to offer condolences to a grieving family, which to some extent he did. But then he ruined that moment by advancing an agenda and exploiting a tragedy.

Let me give you an example that might explain why this is so irksome. Imagine a wife losing a husband to heart failure. Let’s assume that he wasn’t exactly a health and fitness nut, but instead he just enjoyed life the best he knew how, ate what he wanted, did what he wanted, and lived with the consequences. Then imagine someone coming up to his wife and said, “I’m very sorry for your loss. But you know, if your husband had eaten better and exercised more, he’d still be alive.”

I’d be furious, and I’m sure any one of  you would be equally upset as well. That’s in essence what Bob did. When a tragedy occurs, you just offer condolences, not advice, and you definitely don’t proselytize.

But back to guns. blog3I own guns for two reasons. While I do not hunt, I do love target shooting. But more importantly, if someone enters my house with ill intent, I’m not calling 911 to help me, I’m calling 911 to come pick up the body. Maybe they were there just to steal my TV, but I’m not interested in risking my life by blowing my cover and asking their intent—they’re simply going down.  That’s why we have things like the Castle Doctrine and Stand-Your-Ground legislation. If we are to be a free nation, we can never be expected to cede our life, liberty, and property to anyone who wishes to take it unlawfully.

If we are serious about reducing crime, we need to discuss the reduction of laws that incite violent crime. Here’s a hint: every law that the vice squad enforces is part and parcel for most violent crime. Get rid of those laws, and much like the repeal of prohibition, violent crime goes down. It should come as no surprise that people get violent when you take away their freedom.

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Dr. Michael Shermer

Believe it or not however, as Dr. Michael Shermer suggests, studies show that as mankind evolves, violence continues to decrease all around the world anyway. So while the news leads you to believe things are getting worse, studies show they just aren’t. I believe that this decrease in violence is proportionate to the continued downfalls around the world of tyrannies, theocracies, and any other form of government that doesn’t have freedom at its core.

Let me ask you a theoretical question. You are feeling kind of frisky and you decide you want to pick a fight with someone, so you pick any random guy standing around. Now imagine that guy had a holster with a gun in it, are you feeling just as frisky now? Assuming you’re not suicidal, I imagine not. Therefore, we know that guns often thwart violence, because people rarely mess with someone carrying one—even if they carry one themselves. It’s just the theory of mutually assured destruction on a smaller scale.

The fact is, we will never have all the facts because there are no studies to show all of the crimes that didn’t happen because a would-be-attacker got spooked by the would-be-victim being armed.

Our forefathers were immensely thoughtful when writing the Constitution and there is nothing there by accident. The right to bear arms was very important to them because while “We the people” hire police to protect us, that doesn’t mean that we assign them the authority to be the only ones who can protect us. Our own protection starts with us.US Constitution

So forgive me Mr. Costas, but if you’re not going to think your statements through, do the scientific study, or at least research other science; you might want to learn to bite your tongue before you voice support for infringing upon our Constitutional rights. A majority of us don’t appreciate it.

Government is you. Act like it!

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

One of the things that I find most troubling with the public’s attitude towards government is the misunderstanding of what the government is, what it is for, and how it was designed to be used.

We elect representatives to protect our rights, as enumerated in the Constitution, but that are deemed innate among each of us, simply be virtue of being alive. If we strictly adhered to the Constitution, that’s pretty much all government would do.

Then, for reasons I can find little logic to justify, we let them do other things like carry the mail, administer health care, manage our retirement, and even study the effect of pot on a man’s most prized appendage.

With that in mind, I’d like to remind people what our forefathers intended for government: it is essentially an extension of you. We pay our government officials to do things that we can’t be bothered to do ourselves because we don’t have the individual resources, money, time, or expertise. Everything the government does, is literally done at your behest.

Below are a few glaring examples of where government has overstepped its Constitutionally-defined bounds. But using these examples, I’m sure you can think of many more; which is why I have a “comments” section below this post. Please, spout off at your leisure.

For those of you, like me, that do not use recreational drugs such as marijuana, I have a bit of information that may surprise you: I solemnly swear to you that you have several acquaintances that smoke marijuana. If you’re a realist, you already know this. But if you’re a prude, you’re saying, “I would never be friends with someone like that.” I promise if you are the latter, you are indeed friends with someone like that—they just know you’re a prude and bite their tongue to avoid your reaction.http://localtvkdvr.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/marijuana-joint.jpg?w=400

So imagine that this person happens to be your favorite neighbor, which it probably is, because trust me when I tell you that marijuana users can be quite entertaining. Now imagine if you knew they were smoking it next door. Would you go over, barge in, put a gun to their head, and demand they stop immediately or you’ll use deadly force?

I’m guessing your answer is no.

Conversely, if you knew your favorite neighbor were over there molesting a child or murdering their spouse, unless you’re the most depraved of individuals among us, you would not hesitate to intervene and potentially stop them with deadly force.

So the difference is obvious. One is a personal choice without a victim. One is a blatant infringement on someone’s right to life and liberty.

So if you insist on making something illegal, at least hold yourself to a standard that says you would intervene yourself if there were no such thing as government to do it for you. Because in both the above scenarios, if you call 911, people with guns will shop and potentially use lethal force on your behalf.Utah-DPS-SWAT[1]

The other issue is a little more subtle, yet equally troubling; tolerating things you wouldn’t dream of tolerating if it were done to you personally.

Imagine you had a nice house with an unused extra bedroom. A friend of yours is down on their luck, lost their job, and can’t afford the apartment they’re currently in. So you offer to let them stay at your place rent free because you’re a good person, and you believe that it will be a short-term cohabitation.

The days turn into weeks, then months. You even tell your friend about some job leads you’ve heard of that you know he could do, but your friend’s answer is always the same.

While I’m living here off of you and not paying anything, I’m going to ride it out for my ideal job.  I could take a lesser job for now in order to earn something while looking for a better job during my off time, but I’d rather not.

Is there anyone among you that wouldn’t grab that freeloader by the scruff of their neck, bury your foot in their salad shooter, and tell them never to come back? I’d be furious! Yet we all allow this to happen every single day with unemployment insurance. That’s your money they’re living off of! Many could work and take a less optimal job, but they choose not to while there’s “free money” just lying around.freeloader-beer-2[1]

If you read my previous post about privatizing everything, and you think I’m onto something, then maybe it’s time to do some serious blue sky thinking and look at getting rid of government subsidized unemployment insurance in favor of a private version.

You may point out that no one offers private unemployment insurance. Ss far as I know, you’re likely be right. But that’s only because the government has a monopoly on it; and therefore private insurers aren’t bothering to even try. You’re being pilfered for the government’s unemployment insurance, so why would anyone pay additionally for a private option on top of that since opting out of Uncle Sam’s isn’t allowed? https://logicallibertariandotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/20110316_unclesamgrope.jpg

I propose that we demand the government give people their money back and let them use that money to buy private insurance if they want, or live with the consequences of that risk if they choose not to. Liberty doesn’t just mean you have the right to have fun and enjoy life, it also means you have the right to gamble and fail. I will never acknowledge someone was successful if there was no risk of failure to begin with.

One thing I know about the private sector is this. If there’s a market for something, there’s an entrepreneur willing to provide it for a fee. If you get rid of the government monopoly on such things, private insurers would surely offer unemployment insurance for a nominal fee. Likely for less than the government does, and with far less waste and abuse.

So remember, if you wouldn’t do it yourself if you could, don’t ask government to do it for you.