Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who is John Galt?

Then  you will see the rise of the men of the double standard - the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money - the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law - men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims - then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a societies virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being regarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
~Francisco d'Anconia~

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's free money...

In New York, the government shelled out a couple hundred million dollars for people on welfare or food stamps in order to assist with back to school costs - $200 a kid. This is what someone said about it:
"It's free money!" said Alecia Rumph, 26, who waited in a Morris Park, Bronx, line 300 people deep for the cash to buy uniforms and book bags for her two kids. "Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us."
There are nearly as many things wrong in this sentence as there are words. Free money doesn’t exist – someone has to foot the bill. It’s great when the footing is done by people who chose to give of their resources to help a person, but money given by the government is taken by compulsory means. The tax-paying citizens footed the bill, Alecia, it didn’t come from a magic money tree growing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And God has nothing to do with government setting up programs to give you someone else’s money.
I’m not going to talk about food stamps, Medicaid, etc…if anyone isn’t familiar with my thoughts on that, go through the archives in May 2008 and you can catch up. Rather I would just speak from my life experience concerning self-reliance and encourage people to embrace this philosophy over the freeloading mantra that has grown so prevalent.
I grew up in a large family on a small income. Much of our school shopping was from the JC Penney’s reject department – the left foot was a size 8, the right a size 7; one pant leg longer than the other; missing buttons and zippers; faded patches on t-shirts. We had grown a garden to feed ourselves and cold cereal was a stocking stuffer because it was too expensive the rest of the year. My mother had to hot glue her 1980’s classes through the early 90’s because new ones couldn’t be afforded.
This isn’t a pity party, and I won’t lie and say I enjoyed it – I’d of preferred cold cereal to hot.
I started working 40+ hour weeks the summer between my 7th and 8th grade year in killing noxious weeds in the oil fields of Wyoming and had a manual labor job every summer until I graduated from high school to earn money for my school clothes, for college and for missionary service.
This isn’t bragging, and I won’t lie and say I enjoyed it – I’d of preferred to not work.
What I will say is I learned self-reliance.
I learned though all people are born with certain rights, one of them is not getting what you want and sometimes it’s not even getting what you need. I’ve learned it isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to help me buy things or have children or pay for my medicine. I’ve learned that when times get tough and help is needed (we all will need it, in one way or another) parents and family will welcome with open arms if there’s enough humility to ask.
And I’ve learned that God should be thanked for giving us the ability to work, to sacrifice and be self-reliant, not for helping ourselves to other people’s money.