In the middle of one of his columns last week, former congressman Tom Delay made this observation.
That said, it’s instructive but not surprising to contrast the attention given to the House Gruber hearing with the saturation coverage lavished on Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein’s release of the partisan Democratic investigation into the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorists after 9/11. (from here)
When we speak of government, what is the big issue? Is the big issue the CIA waterboarding a few terrorists or should we be more concerned when our leaders trick us into buying “health insurance” we don’t want? How about a runaway Federal Budget? What about amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants? What about leaders who say one thing and do another?
If we don’t want to be led astray, we must look to our true shepherd.
What Are “Social Goods And Services”?
Recently, I decided to investigate a phrase I had just heard, “social goods and services.” When I googled it, I discovered it is often used in context with Social inequality. Here is an example from Wikipedia.
Norms of allocation can also affect the distribution of rights and privileges, social power, access to public goods such as education or the judicial system, adequate housing, transportation, credit and financial services such as banking and other social goods and services. (from here)
Supposedly, government now has the job of ensuring social equality, and that includes ensuring an equal distribution of “social goods and services.” Unfortunately, our government is taking up this “great cause,” transforming our society, and doing it with very little serious discussion.
Why use that phrase, “social goods and services”? It is a euphemism. In the past, when self-styled dogooders used government to redistribute “social goods and services,” they wanted us to know they were giving our money away out of their great love for the poor and disadvantaged. So they called redistributing the wealth charity, but hardly anyone uses the phrase “public charity” anymore. Instead, with even greater hubris, the dogooders call such things entitlements. After all, we don’t want to hurt the self-esteem of the poor and disadvantaged.
We should call our government’s redistribution of “social goods and services” what it is, stealing from from the “rich” and giving to the poor (and the scheming, filthy rich). However, because everyone knows stealing is immoral, the “dogooders” insist we call it something else. Yet no matter what euphemism we want to give it, taxing some people to pay for other people’s “social goods and services” is still stealing.
So how do the “dogooders” get away with redistributing “social goods and services”? Consider what happens when we dare to call redistributing “social goods and services” stealing. Don’t we get called selfish? Could it be that charge is correct? Often it is, possibly most of the time. Nevertheless, if the citizens of a nation are selfish, then their government can only institutionalize their selfishness. That’s why, for example, we call Social Security the third rail of politics. Too many old people want “their” Social Security. So if a politician can convince enough selfish voters that his selfish opponent is going to mess with “their” Social Security that opponent gets electrocuted.
In truth, programs such as Social Security — programs that redistribute “social goods and services” — are cannibalistic. Consider the change that resulted with Social Security. Whereas earlier generations saved and passed on those savings to their children, too many of us now spend every cent we earn. Then, in old age, we feed off the earnings of our children, claiming, because the government — and our parents — did it to us, that we somehow deserve to receive our children’s property.
Does our Constitution even charter the Federal Government to redistribute “social goods and services”? No. Unless some judge bends it like a pretzel, there is no way any politician can justify funding the redistribution of “social goods and services” using the Constitution. So we are debating something that only exists because of bigger and bigger lies, lies more politely called legal sophistry. Thus, the immorality of stealing spins into a web of deceit, ultimately self-deceit, and the checks and balances that once protected us from the wolfish inclinations of our leaders crumble before waves of legal sophistry.
Can Men And Women Do Good?
Can men and women do good? Can we act out of love towards our fellows? Yes, but when we act in love that act is voluntary, not coerced. That’s the power of love. Love causes us of our own volition to do what is right. And love is not something we can replace by enslaving ourselves and others to government bureaucrats.
Consider the words of John Adams.
While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government. — John Adams, Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798, in Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull (New York, 1848), pp 265-6. There are some differences in the version that appeared in The Works of John Adams (Boston, 1854), vol. 9, pp. 228-9, most notably the words “or gallantry” instead of “and licentiousness”. (from here)
That abstraction we call love manifests itself through relationships. We create such relationships by setting a personal example, not through legislation. No government system can teach us how to love and care for each other. Only men and women living as our Lord and Savior taught us to live can show us how to love.
If we want to be altruistic, we must use OUR OWN MONEY. Because it is just a way for selfish politicians to buy the votes of selfish citizens, using someone else’s money to pay for “social goods and services” is without a doubt stealing.
As it is, we have tried to institutionalized love through government, and we have failed miserably. So it is that charlatans lead us and casually lie to us, making promises they have no intention of keeping.