reboot the republic daily July 19, 2010

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Which do you Prefer? Profit-Oriented Business or Tax-Reliant Government?

Posted: 19 Jul 2010 04:42 PM PDT

From The Orange County Register

Orange Punch readers may have a little more time over the weekend, so we offer this slightly-longer-than-usual blog post on a question dear to everyone’s heart:

Which is better, profit-oriented private business or tax-reliant government?

Let’s say you have a business that you run economically, without waste or extravagance, permitting you to employ 10 people and to make a 3-percent profit, after expenses and taxes.

Now let’s say the government decides to increase your corporate tax from 9 percent to 10 percent. Just a little increase.

Where will you get the money to pay that tax?

Unless you want to pay the increased tax out of your savings or by spending less on expenses like employee salaries, 1 percent more in taxes probably means about 1 percent less in profit, give or take a buck. Your 3-percent profit margin becomes 2-percent.

What’s the significance of that?

What is it that you do with your profit, anyway?

Some of your profit you may save, which pays you a little interest income and provides banks money to lend to other businesses that want to use the money to expand. Or the banks may lend it to consumers, who want to use it to buy stuff from companies like yours.

You may spend some of your profit on your own business to expand it, such as buying more equipment from other companies or improving facilities by hiring workmen or by opening another store or factory and employing two or three more people.

You could invest it in stocks or bonds, which would give other companies money to use to expand or to grow while perhaps increasing your initial amount into more over time.

Or you may use some of your profit to increase what you pay to your 10 existing employees, perhaps with a permanent pay raises or a one-time bonus, earning you their gratitude and perhaps motivating them to work even more efficiently and, therefore, profitably. You may spend some of it to pay for research and development of new products or services that you would like to offer, which would be another way for you to expand your business.

Essentially, your profit pays for growth. It expands the economy.

But if the government takes 1 percent more of your profit – remember it already was taking 9 percent – what does it do with the money?

Part of the money the government takes from your profit it gives to someone else who incidentally did nothing to earn it and produced nothing of value to exchange for it. Your money was just transferred from you, who earned it, to someone else, who didn’t, but only after the government took out a handling fee.

In this way, your profit taken in taxes pays for bureaucrats and welfare. And food stamps. Medical bills. Subsidies for housing, electricity, gas or other utilities.

Some of the money from your profit the government will use to pay its own employees, who provide services to you and to others. The fact that you may not want those services doesn’t matter. The fact that the government’s cost to provide those services is almost always higher than you would pay in the private sector for similar services also doesn’t matter. And the fact that the government has no incentive, such as a private company like yours has, to provide those services economically without waste also doesn’t matter.

If the government uses your money to provide services to you that you don’t want and wouldn’t buy if you had the choice, also doesn’t matter. Even if the government provides the services badly, such as being late, careless or rude, you don’t have the same options you would have if a private company were providing the services. With a private company, you would have the option not to pay for them and to shop elsewhere.

In the private sector, you could always shop for a better price. If a private provider delivered the services badly, late, carelessly or rudely, you could stop doing business with that company, which gives the company a great incentive to serve you well.

You don’t have any of those options when the government provides the service.

That means, the government providers with whom you can’t avoid doing business have far less reason to please you than does a private provider, who risks losing your business if you aren’t pleased.

Let’s recap.

When the government takes money from private companies in taxes, it takes away money that can be used to grow the economy.

When the government takes away that money in taxes, it uses it to pay for things you may not want, and cannot avoid paying for even when they are delivered to you badly. It has no competition for the services it provides, therefore it has no incentive to provide them economically and without waste, or to provide them in ways that please you because you are a captive market, unable to opt out of the transaction.

So, which is better, profit-oriented private business or tax-based government services?

Where would you prefer your profit be used?

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Is Personal Privacy a Thing of the Past?

Posted: 19 Jul 2010 11:35 AM PDT

From Human Events

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” — 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

When I started Kindergarten in the 1950s, the administration of public schools was strictly a local matter. Other than a record of my birth five years earlier, little had probably been documented about me at the state or federal level.

A decade later, when I was a sophomore in high school, several key events put me on the government radar screen. Like all 16-year-olds, I got my driver’s license, which was followed shortly thereafter by the purchase of my first car, which, of course, also had to be registered with the state.

That same year, I also secured my first paying job, bagging groceries at the neighborhood supermarket. Of course, this precipitated the issuance of a card from the feds with my very own 9-digit number on it. I was assured at the time that it was not to be used for identification purposes. It even said so right on the card. Soon, another branch of the federal government, the Internal Revenue Service, wanted to know exactly how much money I was making.

Two years later, I graduated from high school and headed off to college, with a federally guaranteed student loan and a Selective Service draft deferment. Two more files with my name on them.

After a couple of years of college, I decided to lay out for a semester to try to figure out what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life. Soon, Uncle Sam chose to help me with that decision. The letter stated that I had to choose a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces or the choice would be made for me. I chose the Air Force, thereby creating another four-year file on myself.

During that time, my wife and I were married. Another file, at all levels. Honorably discharged after four years in the Air Force, I returned to college on the G.I. Bill. Regular checks and another file, this time with the Veterans Administration.

Then came kids, car payments and a mortgage, all recorded in the annals of the government at every level. When we declared our children on our first itemized income tax return, we were required to accept a Social Security number for each of them as well — never to be used for identification purposes, mind you.

As our limited finances became more sophisticated, we had to document all of our expenses for the IRS. The kind of car I drive is known, as well as how many miles I put on it every year for business. Of course, that information was no secret either, since it had to be licensed to be legal.

The government knows more about my property than I do. They have all the information on my home, including its value, in order to charge me a fee for the privilege of living there. They know my race, gender, age, health problems, where I was born, where I live now — and probably where I intend to be buried.

They know which church I attend, how much I donate to it and other charities, and how many credit cards I carry. Several years ago, when Bill Clinton was President and I was a state leader in a pro-family organization considered to be a part of the vast right-wing conspiracy by the felon-in-chief and his bride, I suspect that an FBI file with my name on it was among those illegally stored on White House computers.

As an active, vocal fiscal and social conservative, Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security considers me to be a domestic terrorist. I’m sure there’s a file on me in that bureau somewhere, documenting the videos I rent, the library books I read and how many guns I own.

And soon, a nosy census worker will come to my door demanding to know why I didn’t answer all the questions on that unnecessarily intrusive form the government sent me.

After all the privacy I have forfeited over the years, you wouldn’t think that it would bother me any more, would you? Well, it does.

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Appeal to Authority

Posted: 19 Jul 2010 08:30 AM PDT

By Michael Badnarik

I am often asked what people can do on an individual level to restore Liberty in this country. My recommendation doesn’t cost any money, however it is very difficult for some people to do. My advice is to start thinking for yourself. Stop asking the government for permission to do everything in your life.

We have been programmed all of our lives to be submissive to authority. As children we are “well behaved” when we do what our parents tell us to do. Often the only justification we are given is “because I’m the Mommy, that’s why!” When we’re old enough to attend school, we are instructed to sit quietly; ask for permission to visit the bathroom; and walk quietly down the hall in single file. When we’re old enough to drive we must follow the police officer’s instructions. We learn very quickly that questioning his or her authority always results in negative consequences. We graduate from college and begin our first real job. The department manager assumes vast control over our daytime lives, giving us tasks to accomplish, demanding reports on our progress, and evaluating our performance from time to time. Our financial status is directly related to how well we take orders from authority. We even have to grovel in order to take time off from work, especially if it is unexpected.

It is little wonder therefore, that our politicians and legislators automatically assume the authority to control our lives in countless ways. And it is little wonder that we automatically comply with their demands without question. We take it for granted that we have to get a drivers license, a marriage license, a concealed carry permit, or a building permit. To paraphrase a popular movie, “We don’t need no stinkin’ permits!”

Within the patriot community, this appeal to authority usually manifests itself by looking for proper authority in a piece of paper. The Constitution says this. The Bill of Rights says that. The Fourteenth Amendment says something else, whereas the United States code or some obscure Supreme Court decision contradicts everything. SO WHAT?! Americans need to learn to make decisions for themselves. 23,000 gun laws in this country are unconstitutional. Who says? MICHAEL BADNARIK SAYS! The Second Amendment doesn’t GIVE me that right, it merely enumerates that right. It is completely up to me to understand it – and enforce it. Nobody is going to deprive me of my gun without a bloody fight. I don’t care what some piece of paper says to the contrary.

If you really want to help restore Liberty in this country, you can start by changing your attitude and the way that you think. Don’t just “question authority”… CHALLENGE authority! This may be easier said than done for most people. Familiar excuses I’ve heard are “I’ll pay a big fine if I don’t have a drivers license.” “I’ll go to jail if I don’t have a concealed carry permit.” “Stop paying my taxes?! Are you CRAZY?!” No one ever said Liberty was going to be easy, and freedom (as you know) is not free.

I’ve heard it said that life is like high school all over again. I agree that even adults are unduly influenced by peer pressure, except we call it political correctness, or keeping up with the Joneses. Too many people are worried about what the neighbors will think. To hell with what anyone else thinks! Make up your own mind. Your parents taught you the difference between right and wrong. You’ve had plenty of time to establish a code of ethics. Live up to that code. John Wayne never played hero characters that avoided confrontation by going with the flow. His characters never took a poll to see what course of action was popular. No! His characters are heroes because they always did the right thing IN SPITE of what people thought, or what someone else claimed was an overriding authority.

I’m not asking you to start packing a pistol simply because you have the right to do that. (I will save that for a future newsletter.) I am asking you to stop reacting reflexively to assertions of authority. If you’re not brave enough to challenge the government by yourself, then you need to start participating in, or even organizing, rallies that promote Liberty and challenge conventional authority.

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