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Abraham Lincoln Quote

The people—the people—are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts—not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.

ideas > Central planning into economic ruin

Central planning into economic ruin
There is a difference between building a rail system for the purposes of improving traffic and building a rail system to force people to live a certain way or to coerce people into forming communities that are planned by someone else. The government here in Hawaii is engaged in the latter, in remaking and changing the way Oahu and Hawaii is shaped. There are those in government here who believe that they know better than you or I on how to live our lives. They seek to create utopia like communities built around what they think is best. The reason I know this is true is because they tell you this is what they want to do in a myriad of government documents. I will show you this is true by discussing two of these documents. First, the city recently issued a proposal to limit urban development. Second, the state has a sustainability plan where they discuss their plans for the future. My problem with this level of government planning is that it is imposed by a third party and the third party generally has some financial stake in the proposal and they don't have to pay if the thing goes wrong. Also, America was built on the foundation of people choosing their own destiny. The beauty of America is that very little planning every happened. No one knew what America would become. It would become a diverse place. It is ironic that those who push government planning are the same ones who will tell you that diversity is what makes America strong. If the government plans everything then there can be very little if any diversity.

You can't have it both ways. You can't have freedom and security via government planning at the same time. Allowing government planning opens the door to increasing government control. Once government control is allowed to get hold, it grows and grows until the government micromanages every aspect of your life. Take a look around you. Doesn't the government micromanage your life in every way? They regulate who can cut your hair, what you can do with your private property that you own, who can teach your children, and on and on. They usually say they are doing this for your safety and security and generally speaking this is a hard argument to combat initially. But when one takes a closer look at what is behind this type of planning and coercion, one realizes that the results promised are generally never met. Look at our public schools. Most of the kids graduate without the basic skills to compete in a modern world. Yet, politicians cry for more money, just a few more million dollars and we can make it better they say. One can also argue that the security they offer benefits special interest groups who are the real reason behind much of this legislation of security. Licensed professions are generally licensed not for the benefit of the consumers, but for the benefit of those who already have licenses within the profession. They use licensing to keep people out of the profession by creating barriers to entry into the profession. For example, massage professionals in Hawaii need to perform 1500 hours of practice massage before they can become licensed massage therapists. Does it really take 1500 hours to be able to give people massages? Of course not, but the specter of having to work for cheap for roughly a year keeps many people out of this profession and therefore keeps wages high. A contractor friend of mine recently told me that it takes 4 year or more for an individual to become a licensed electrician. Once again, does it really take 4 years of apprenticeship to be competent at working with electricity? Of course not, but this requirement is not put into place for the safety of the consumers. It is there as a barrier to those who want to be electricians, but cannot afford to work for cheap for 4 years while they meet the licensing requirements. This keeps the number of people in the electrician field down and wages high. One has to only look at the amount of micromanagement that government hordes over people's lives to realize that freedom cannot coexist with government meddling and interventionism. The American people and the Hawaiian people must decide what is more important, freedom or government control. Government control will in the end, as it has done in every other great civilization and society, lead to its demise. Freedom and innovation lead to economic growth. Government control leads to economic ruin. Take a look around you. Our federal government is currently pushing a $10 trillion dollar debt and this doesn't include all the debt the government owes because by law the government does not have to keep track of money lent between departments. The reason our economy hasn't collapsed to this point is due to a few reasons. First, the rest of the world was slow to understand that capitalism was superior to government control when it comes to producing wealth. The Chinese and Indians now understand this and are kicking our economic butts right now. Second, the rest of the world has been content to lend us money so that we can consume to our hearts content. They have wanted dollars to buy American goods and property, but we are starting to produce less and less of the things that people want outside of the U.S. Eventually these countries will not be willing to lend us money to splurge beyond our means. They will sell their products elsewhere as Asia continues to develop. Third, World War II destroyed much of the economic productive capabilities of Europe and Asia. America was the sole economic manufacturing power at the time so the government could meddle to a large extent in the economy and tax as it saw fit and spend that money on the war on poverty, for the creation of Medicare, and a million other government programs and edicts designed to combat some form of unfairness or injustice that a politician was willing to peddle to an all too often gullible public. Now the rest of the world has recovered from the effects of World War II, the effects of communism, and are pursuing capitalism and they are kicking our butts. And what policies are we pursuing? The three presidential candidates we have left want to create universal health care coverage. They want to bail out people who made dumb mortgage decisions. They want to give away money for free college. In other words, they want to continue to pursue socialism which will only serve to make us weaker and weaker as our competitors pursue capitalism. When will we learn this lesson, that you cannot have freedom and prosperity at the same time as security? The two are incompatible in this imperfect human world, so why try to pursue them. Let the American people pursue their happiness as they see fit. Quit using the government to plan their lives for them. Central planning has never worked or led to long term prosperity or happiness. The only thing that will lead to long term prosperity or happiness is hard work, not a hand out.
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