Giving Over Personal Control

It’s true! Bit by bit my incredibly ordinary life is being controlled by forces that have very little compassion for me and my values. What forces? Basically they would be anything and anyone in government that I personally cannot hold accountable for actions that are contrary to my welfare.

The “general welfare” clause in the US Constitution is incredibly important for the individual citizen. General is meant as inclusive rather than exclusive AND very different from “for the public (common) good”.Think of it this way…As one individual in a family, that one person has the same personal rights and responsibilities as every person in that family to keep that family whole. But, not everyone in the family has the same abilities so each individual must learn how to contribute to the family’s overall health and survival. It’s just the same for our nation! We as individuals with our own unique abilities have the rights and responsibilities to keep our country whole. WE do this…We The People. Get it?

Each of us have the self-governing authority to ensure a governance that promotes our general welfare. This means that elected officials and administrative bureaucrats must use BEST PRACTICES to ensure the security of each and every individual who is a citizen of the country that ALL OF US are a part of, a.k.a. the More Perfect Union. Not the “Perfect Union” because we all know nothing and no one is perfect, but we can and must at least strive for a perfection which is God’s will NOT man’s will. As a child of God and as an individual of our human family I honor others of my human family by helping and not hurting our general welfare.

Elected officials and administrative bureaucrats hurt our general welfare by using their will to control the general population. Methods of this control typically come in the form of Congressional overreach. For example: The Democratic Party for years have been wanting single payer health care. To achieve this end they put out the narrative that 30 million people every year go without any health insurance and therefore go into debt trying to pay back bills for their major medical care (we can equate this initiative to the current college debt forgiveness). This narrative is repeated over and over with help from the liberal media in effect drowning out any hard data that shows many of these people are temporarily without insurance because of a job change, a lifestyle interruption, preferring to pay cash, or have no idea they can negotiate their costs and afford a pay back plan. Leaving out this hard data creates the perception of a “crisis”, therefore health insurance for 320 million people must change for the needs of 30 million people who are either in a transition for health insurance or who know how to deal with their health care needs in their own way. Reality could indicate that only 500 thousand people need actual help which could be managed through their representatives directly or through a charity source. Interestingly, much of this debt was directly forgiven anyway by every healthcare user through increased facility costs which you have much more control over rather than your tax dollars going into a federal healthcare fund.

Enter the “care team” of the federal government…Taxpayers across the board foot the bill that bureaucrats implement through laws, regulations and IRS oversight. I don’t know these people! I’ll never meet these people and there is no guarantee I can even talk to them. Yet the money from my paycheck that goes to Washington DC is supposedly working for my benefit. Congressional oversight of the administrative state is currently a lever only pulled by a Democrat majority (with help from a Republican establishment), which is to say that oversight isn’t actually happening for our general welfare. Control is in their hands. Affordability is never a result. My tax dollars are being spent on initiatives that go counter to my values in some cases.

Even “private” industry is tracking our second amendment right. Government along with Big Tech definitely have an interest in this.

In the not too distant future nothing the individual does will be left unchecked which is the complete opposite of the limited government that our forefathers envisioned. Once the federal government has access to your health care practices, education choices, energy usage and banking records you have handed over control of your ability to decide what is best for your general welfare. Your Liberty is not even an option. The only choice you will have is at a federally mandated voting booth (or app lol), but the results will be made by majority rule conditioned by media propaganda. Personal rights and responsibilities become obligations and contrition.

We as individuals, families and communities take care of ourselves. Politicians and bureaucrats do not take care of us, and regulations should be implemented only when clear and scientific data along with bipartisan debate ensures that liberties are minimally encroached. When a federal government works hard to divide people racially, culturally, economically and politically then it becomes harder for us to form bonds to take care of each other and easier for that manipulative government to provide that care by picking winners and losers with our own tax dollars.

Never allow yourself to be guided toward division against your fellow man. Let go and let God as it is said. Pray for more kindness in all of our hearts. And treat your neighbor the way you would want to be treated. Love is a verb, use it.

Is Less Really More?

Empty store shelves, back-ordered web purchases, higher food costs, increasing energy prices, slower services, and hours cut back at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop…How are you adjusting?

I remember several household habits from my childhood quite distinctly:

– Keeping lights off in a room that you were not using;

– Dad cleaning the dishes by hand;

– Mom giving the hair cuts;

– One bathroom for a household of seven people being do-able;

– Cans of vegetables being stored and rotated in the basement;

– Re-using or re-purposing plastic food containers, brown paper grocery bags, wrapping paper, news paper, milk jugs, etc…

I also remember as a family we would go out to eat on rare occasions, get along with one car just fine, and communicate with one home phone. I am a child of parents who grew up during the depression. The 1970’s weren’t the 1930’s, yet hard times did make their appearance none the less. Learning how to adapt to hard times is a skill not easily acquired if you have never been exposed to hard times. Our current inflation is a good reminder that hard times can make an appearance no matter what the circumstances.

Sometimes habits or behaviors from one generation transfer to the next…Obviously all the above household habits are healthy habits and I have used the experiences at times in my own adulthood. Reduce, reuse, recycle therefor comes naturally to me as does planning for one trip to grocery shop for the week and minimizing the stuff I WANT to have as opposed to the stuff that I NEED to have. But I really don’t think that my example has been adopted by my children all that well. My children have not been spoiled, but I think the consumer-driven era that they have grown up with can really spoil the generations of its time.

It’s a Woolworth vs an Amazon mentality. Either you can walk about a mile or so to get your basics or you can sit and have many different boxes and bags delivered on your doorstep. It’s a Main Street vs a Corporate Monstrosity mentality. Either you want to be in person with your community or you want a socially distant social media pseudo relationship. When people need a web device to direct their day to day experiences, then I suppose there may be less aggravation and more time for other experiences. But when people must use a more “hands on” and in-person approach to daily life, then one might find that less consumerism is actually required perhaps because the physical sensations are more satisfying. Sure, there may be more frustrations when you can’t find exactly what you want, but that can happen at Woolworth or Amazon. Some of us are just that picky lol! The ability to curb frustration is a cornerstone of healthy character building.

I believe that the Covid19 pandemic has really shed some light on this topic. Locking people down in their homes has driven the web-based consumer appetite to higher levels. This is obvious given the billions of dollars that the owners of these platforms have amassed. Lock-downs have also reinforced the notion that physically distancing from others is a medical necessity to minimize the spread of germs, but is there more to maintaining a healthy immune system? Of course there is! The average physically fit person on zero medications is a virus’s worst nightmare. Being around people when you are a healthy, fit individual builds immunity for the whole environment…Immunologists have known this for decades if not centuries.

A society that emulates a place of scarcity is similar to putting healthy, fit individuals in hiding from a virus…Wealth (similar to immunity) is not allowed to spread. In fact, hoarding can happen. But when a society embraces abundance, it builds wealth (i.e. immunity) for everyone in the environment and is almost “contagious”, but in a good way…Wealth and giving among and between individuals spreads! An individual in the USA always has the choice in an abundant environment to cut back on their consumption either to save money for the things that they wish to redirect the money for or to maintain a perspective of “reduce, reuse, recycle” (less can become more). However an individual living in an environment of scarcity will never be able to improve the quality of their consumption (less is always less). We should never allow the elitists in government to control our marketplace by imposing their will on our choices and our freedom of movement.

I want my children to live in a country where there is limitless abundance and opportunity for all individuals. A country that uses the framework of God’s Laws to help guide their choices and the Rule of Law to help hold them responsible. LESS control imposed by government IS MORE freedom for we the people!

Shrew U: The Great Society Bust

My last blog post “Progress vs Progressivism” attempted to explain that progress is a condition of our U.S. Constitution and Progressivism is a construct that hinders such progress. I used examples from the Civil War and Reconstruction era to show the difference.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s was also an important time of progress in our history. Not all activists of the 60’s can be considered hero’s for the changes they wished to achieve. I am currently reading Great Society by Amity Shlaes. I would like to relate to you why the details in this book have affirmed my conclusions about why our society’s current focus on Progressivism lead by a “Social Democrat Party” is bad for our culture…But first some historical context:

Since about 1880 Jim Crow Laws were enacted in the southern states by white Democrat-dominated state legislatures. The Supreme Court decision Plessey vs Ferguson (1892) upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. Jim Crow Laws were Progressive actions that resulted in commonplace separate public accommodations based on race (see my blog Progress vs Progressivism for definitions). Today we look back on such laws as absurd, but the governmental leadership at the time and throughout the seven or eight decades since were allowing powerful Democrat political forces to dictate cultural norms. Republican insistence on States’ Rights made this no better…Civil Rights as it pertained to individuals and races were just beginning to be understood.

Timeline of these decades:

1870 to 1914…2nd Industrial Revolution leap forward in technology and society (people lead actions)

1914 to 1918…World War 1 (government lead action)

1920…Congress passes the 19th Amendment – Women’s right to vote (people lead action)

1920 to 1929…The Roaring Twenties time of prosperity (people lead action)

1929 to1933…The Great Depression (spurred on by government greed in the twenties)

1933 to 1939…The New Deal (government intervention)

1939 to 1945…World War 2 (government lead action)

1945 to 1989…Post war economic expansion (people lead action)

1961 to 1975…Vietnam War draft era (government lead action)

What we notice in this timeline is that during the 2nd Industrial Revolution the formation of groups such as the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Suffragettes were instrumental in obtaining crucial reforms to working conditions and the women’s right to vote. These reforms needed to be lead by the critical mass of non-political people lead actions in order for hearts and minds to change and common sense to prevail in Congress. This was progress!

Wars and the Depression however were instigated by government lead actions. The timeline shows an interesting back and forth between non-political action (changes made by people) and political action (initiatives made by governments). By the time of the Post World War 2 economic expansion, the U.S. was ready for another critical mass of non-political people lead activity, namely the Civil Rights Movement. It was helpful that this movement aligned with the Vietnam anti-war people lead activism. Individuals would not be “used” by their government’s activities any longer!

It was Reverend Martin Luther King JR who lead the people toward necessary civil rights changes. Society needed the common place Jim Crow laws to be eliminated, and this could only happen with a ground-swell of people power. Under this pressure, President Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights act that eliminated Jim Crow laws and the 1965 Voting Rights Act that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. Ending our involvement in the Vietnam War would prove to be more difficult.

In Great Society we learn that during the late 50’s and early 60’s companies like General Electric and Ford Motor Company were employing, expanding, and creating with great speed. The AFL which had now become the AFL-CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) along with progressive leaders like Walter Reuther (United Auto Workers) and anti war political activists like Tom Hayden were working their powerful influence on government systems to help President Lyndon Bains Johnson (LBJ) form his anti-poverty programs…After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, LBJ as the new President, began to implement a plan with Reuther and Hayden to end poverty in America. His “Great Society” vision was the center of his 1965 election bid. What I found most interesting about LBJ during this bid for election was that in order to obtain the African American vote he promised them that they could caucus at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) so that they would have delegates appointed for the election process. This did not happen because the (racist) DNC would not allow it. LBJ was courting the African American voters with programs and promises aka “Progressivism”. LBJ managed to retain their votes anyway and won the 1965 Presidency in a landslide.

By this time it was apparent to the Democrat majority that more government programs were the way to maintain leadership power. With the help of Union Leaders and Progressive Activist Leaders the federal government worked to replace the authority of mayors and local leaders…Federal funds flowed to jobs program oriented organizations. Locally elected leaders were instructed to add community activists to these organizational boards. These activists liked to stir up tension on city streets. Eventually the mayors and local leaders caved to federal pressures and ever since then the federal government has procured more authority over social benefit programs at State and Municipal levels.

For example; Federal “experts” redefined eminent domain laws to remove entire neighborhoods where low income families lived and worked in comfort, condemning these areas as “blighted”. The new wisdom was that federally built high rise low income housing projects would be more beneficial. However, there were consequences to these actions, mainly that whites decided to move to the suburbs thus leaving the struggling black population to remain…Struggling because there were few jobs available for black men in these cities due to union bias. Federal welfare programs during this time discouraged fathers to remain in these government subsidized housing projects…Fathers needed to be out of state in order for mothers and children to qualify. We now know the consequences of these “Great Society” actions. This begs the question of why weren’t the Great Society jobs programs helping. Well, they weren’t helping because these funds were pocketed by greedy, prejudiced, progressive union lead program officials…Progress for African American workers and families was stunted by these government actions.

In short, I believe that progress happens best when affected people unite through first understanding how government inspired systems shrink their civil liberties, then changing hearts and minds in the process, and ultimately solving problems in fair and sensible ways. Progressivism lead by government “experts” and corporate or union cronies is infused with unintended consequences…Or are they unintended? My next blog post will focus on this question.