Friday, January 27, 2006

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT (part two)

Just because something is the law doesn’t make that something right. People of a country who get together to write a constitution need an objective standard with which to judge the righteousness of laws. No one believes that slavery is moral or that an African American is worth only three-fifths of a full person just because the US Constitution said so in 1787.

That objective standard is individual rights. You own your life and I own mine. What you make is yours and what I make is mine. What you do with your life and your property is your business. I should have the liberty to do the same.

Thus, rights come out of self-ownership. Self-ownership comes from God’s decision to give all of us free will.

God knows no one is as perfect as he is. We can be greedy or charitable, self-centered or selfless; he left that quest up to us as individuals, and he will judge us one by one.

Yet despite the fact that God gave us our “free agency”, many incline not to trust anyone – but themselves - with it.

Freedom is not anarchy. Freedom is the protection of individual rights from government, from foreign invaders and from each other.

Corruption in corporations is no different from corruption in government, but at least the corruption in a corporation is limited to that corporation. Enron played accounting tricks, stockholders found out, and the company folded. Their employees lost their pensions and rightfully sued the executives and other fiduciaries for breach in contract.

The government, on the other hand, plays accounting tricks with our Social Security (locally, with the public employees’ retirement fund), we find out, and there’s still no reform. Instead of reform, government uses its taxing, borrowing and money-printing powers to hold out its Ponzi scheme. Government continues to run fiscal deficits dragging the entire nation’s pension plan into financial insecurity. And when it all comes tumbling down, we can’t sue the government for all the Social Security taxes we paid because the Supreme Court said so in 1960 in Flemming vs. Nestor.

We, as individuals, give up power to the government in order for it to protect our individual rights with an objective standard. Having government use power for anything other than the protection of our rights to life, liberty and property makes for corrupt government.

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