NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Choose Your Government Plan: A Plan to Make Almost Everyone Happy

Americans are hopelessly divided over what they want from the federal government. Some want smaller government, lower taxes, and less regulation. Others want bigger government, higher taxes, and more regulation. Can we please almost everyone? Yes, and in the process, we would convincingly prove which way is best.

We could give almost everyone what they want from government by allowing people to choose their government plan similar to how they choose an insurance plan. If you want more bells and whistles, you would pay for it, not your neighbor.

  • If you want your business to be bailed out if it fails, you would pay a bailout tax.
  • If you want unemployment insurance, you would select the amount of the benefit and its time limit: 99 weeks, 5 years, or a lifetime. Pencil-pushing actuaries would set your premium, or tax, according to what you want in benefits.
  • If you want the government to compel you to have health insurance and tell your doctor what he or she can and cannot do for you, you can pay for it and learn that a death panel doesn't need to be labeled as such to pull the plug on you or granny.
  • If you want business or personal subsidies, you would pay for them.
  • If you want armed government agents with a bad attitude to tell you whether you can drink raw milk or grow vegetables in your backyard, you can pay for that loss of liberty.

Is such an ambitious reformation of government possible? Yes.

Would people suffer and die without government help? Is it hence too dangerous to risk such an experiment? No. The experiment has already been implemented and proven to work in the United States.

Huh? How so?

Amish people don't want to receive or pay for Social Security, and they are legally exempted from that entitlement, yet none of their elderly starve to death or are homeless. In fact, their retirement years have been more secure than average Americans and will be even more so in the future. The Amish will still have their marvelous way of caring for old folks, while we will soon have a bankrupt Social Security system that will pay us ten cents for every dollar we contributed—if we're lucky—and tax our benefits. Or the government could maintain current benefits, but make the retirement age greater than the average lifespan, forcing people to choose between working until they drop dead, or becoming homeless and hungry. That's not security; that is exactly what will happen to Americans who are middle-aged or younger when they retire. Or we could give future elderly people a decent retirement by taxing citizens like serfs, but that would cause many of them to stop working, or revolt. That's also not security.

For more proof that we don't need Social Security, look at how people got along without it before it was signed into law. Archaeological evidence suggests that even cavemen cared for people who were old or disabled. Humans did not need a federal law to demonstrate humanity.

I met my neighbor's fifth-grade daughter a few days ago when she stopped by to sell candy for a fundraiser. She impressed me as being precociously intelligent and mature; her parents should be justifiably proud of her. If she were orphaned and had no family to raise her, and if the state didn't put her in foster care, would I let her starve to death? Freeze to death? Be eaten by the local bears? No, I would do what many others have done in the past, before the nanny state: I would take care of her as if she were my daughter.

Our politicians turned Social Security into a Ponzi scheme. Like all Ponzi schemes, it is bound to collapse and do more harm than good. For proof of this, look at the victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme who lost their life savings or committed suicide. The Social Security Ponzi scheme dwarfs Madoff's swindle and will ultimately produce far more harm, yet the government threw Madoff in prison and will do the same to you unless you contribute to their Ponzi scheme. Go figure. If you want such insanity and think it is wise to surrender your money to politicians who will use it to buy votes now while you suffer later, you should have the freedom to select a government plan that robs Peter to pay Paul—not you.

We don't need government entitlements; politicians need them to control us and to make us dependent on them. They need to give us meatloaf instead of steak and lobster because they need to give us something to keep more people from realizing how they are stealing from us and stabbing us in the back.

This “select your plan of government” idea is similar to what our Founding Fathers had in mind for the United States. They never intended for the federal government to become the intrusive monster it has become; they specifically limited its scope and power, giving it just enough authority to deal with matters that only a federal government could perform. The rest of the power—most of the power—remained with state governments, or the people.

The Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Anyone who didn't like the laws in their state was free to move to a different one. This freedom is rapidly being eroded by the federal government as it dictates to states and to us what we can do and must do, creating an oppressive uniformity that is antithetical to freedom.

Instead of safeguarding our freedom, the federal government is decimating our freedom to fuel their endless power grab. If George Washington was forced to choose between fighting the King of Great Britain or our current federal government, he would surely point his musket towards Washington, DC. The only freedom our federal government wants is the freedom for it to do whatever it wants to us. If that's the kind of freedom you want, be my guest.

Who wouldn't like this “choose your government” plan?

While most folks would love to live in a country in which optimizing one's freedom did not penalize others, most politicians would loathe the loss of control. My plan would also not be popular with bloodsucking people, businesses, and organizations who do not live by the sweat of one's brow. They've enjoyed a free ride for too long. If they do not get off our backs now, they will succeed in killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, so the leeches will have no one left to sponge off of when our economy collapses.

The era of freeloading is almost over. Will the ones who feel entitled to the fruits of your labor realize this in time and get to work, or will they insist on taking us down with them?

Related articles:

Not all liberals want more of your money

1. A new way to pay taxes: with a smile
2. How to slash welfare without hurting anyone

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

Comments (1)

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Comment #95 by Anonymous
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January 8 2011 07:20:32 AM

True, Very True

Here in the Philippines, I've never seen a nursing home. Maybe in Manila there are some, but not here in this rural area. Families and neighbors take care of one another and show the utmost respect to elders. It's expected that old folks will live with and be cared for by their children.

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