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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Illegal Immigrants

Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at 2:13 PM

Everyone knows that our country has issues with illegal immigration. Many of the immigrants came here looking for jobs that paid well above what they could make in their own country. A few years ago unemployment was lower and there were more jobs to go around. Today however, unemployment is higher than it has been in several years and millions of people are out of work, so a stronger focus has taken place on those that are here illegally taking those precious jobs. Many people will be quick to blame the employers, stating that we should make tougher laws and stronger penalties for those that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Yes I think that putting these measures into place would help but why do that when we could just give millions of the illegal immigrants work visas? That would help the problem too right? Well apparently that is the way President Obama feels since he has a plan in place to give illegal immigrants that meet certain criteria a two year work visa. So does Obama feel that there is such an abundance of jobs that we need to make it easier for the illegal immigrants to get one? Seems that way, considering they estimate more than one million illegal immigrants will apply for the work visas during the first year! They also plan to charge a fee of $465.00 and claim that the program will be funded by those fees. How many of you have faith in the government when it comes to accurately estimating the cost and funding of a project? Not to mention the fact that they will offer waivers for the processing fee. Janet Napolitano told Congress last week that the government would grant waivers "in very deserving cases." Who and what defines a "very deserving case"?

Depending on how many people pay the fee depends on if the program will be totally funded by these fees or if taxpayer dollars will have to be used. The whole program could cost between $467M and $585M for the first two years and by their figures, depending on how many people pay the fee, the government could either gain $16M or lose more than $100M. That's quite a big difference! It is likely, as with most things the government is involved in, the program will lose money and as with most of the other estimates they give the numbers will be off considerably. I see this program losing money and probably a more accurate estimate would be around $500M. You can read more here.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/U...


Comments
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This just shows what this Presidents priorities really are.I am beginning to believe he only is interested in getting re-elected, and does not give a hoot how he gathers the votes.He also has said he wants to provide amnesty for the children of immigrants, giving them a pathway to citizenship that puts those individuals needs above the needs of those who were born in this country.Then his stance on gay marriage.You would think he could run and win simply on the merits of his first four years, but I think he is getting a little nervous.

-- Posted by mdstover on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 4:24 PM

The world population is about 7 billion. The US population is about 300 million. All we have to do to solve the problem, is bring the remaining 6 billion, and 700 million undocumented Americans to the US. Illegal alien invasion will be stopped.

-- Posted by Grits on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 7:00 PM

for what it is worth, this plan was first proposed by republican senator marco rubio of florida.

-- Posted by lazarus on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 10:02 PM

Obama's first objective is the votes. By promising legal status to those who decided to come here illegally and invade our lands. What about those who went through the proper channels to come here legally? Why punish those who are law-abiding immigrants?

Those who are illegal and come into the US are not actually immigrants. Immigrants are a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence. They are not here to become citizens. They are here illegally to gain money to send back to their Mexican or Central American homes. They are illegal aliens not immigrants.

If ICE would start deporting illegal aliens, then there would be plenty of jobs for the American people. However, the government and a majority of the big name companies rather give the jobs to foreign countries or immigrants. We have seen it happen to many companies including Tyson. Instead of hiring locals, they bus in "refugees" from Nashville and around the US for the jobs.

My ancestors immigrated from Ireland. They worked hard to get what they had. They didn't rely on government hand-outs. They didn't run up to the DHS office to get free healthcare, welfare, food stamps, child care, and whatever else is offered. They worked and took care of their own. They were proud to be considered Americans.

However, the influx of illegal aliens are here to jump on the entitlement bandwagon. They do not have to follow our laws/regulations. The US has bent over backwards to accommodate the illegal aliens while ignoring and failing the American people. Illegal aliens can live 20+ people to an one bedroom apartment. They can commit all of the crimes that they want with no real consequences. ICE is not going to pick them up unless it's a "serious" crime. Isn't being here illegal and invading our country a serious crime?

~America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.~ Abraham Lincoln

-- Posted by -Beth- on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 10:18 PM

Well said Beth! The government should be preventing the Plundering of the people from aliens as well as each other. Instead they use "The Law" to instigate the very thing they should prevent.

Entitlement programs are nothing more than legalized plundering and will be the downfall of this nation.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 6:31 AM

Good to see some lively discussion. Thanks Rodney.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 8:39 AM

A lot of us Americans have become too lazy to work low paying and manual labor jobs. I use to own a small roofing company and finding a legal reliable employee was almost impossible. I grew up ona farm and was taught to work hard and sweat when needed. America has become lazy.

-- Posted by Bill H on Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 9:40 AM

lazarus: Thanks for the correction. I was not aware that it was also quoted by Democrat barack obama of Kenya, or Republican marco rubio of Cuba.

-- Posted by Grits on Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 10:20 AM

Well if you all think illegal alien's should have no rights or jobs in this country you should all pack your bags and move back to Europe & Africa where your ancestors came from.Best I can tell the America Indian and yes the Spanish were here before we were.Now saying that I do believe in immigration laws and they should be followed to the letter.Just pray that there is never a battle fought over the right to be in America because at this time I feel we would loose based on our own legal system.Yes I am a European American born in this country,but somewhere down the line my ancestors were illegal aliens to this land.Just be glad we all have the freedom and right to be in this great country ,and make the best of it.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 12:18 PM

Obama and his reelection team are smart enough to realize that without the votes cast by the illegals and the dead, he can't win.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 8:42 PM

Mytaxesaremine you are comparing apples to oranges. When my ancesters cames here in the 1800,s they came here rented some land and farmed, they raised their own food , made their own clothes and took care of their own children. There was no government programs to help those immigrants. They learned the language worked hard to purchase their own farmes. Todays Illegals come here have as many children as they can, live off what the government gives them for those american children. They don't want to learn our language, they want you to assimilate to their culture. Solution would be to charge a large fine and threat with possible lose of business licence to any one caught hiring an illegal and stop the government assistance, then they will go home on their own.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 8:49 AM

Well Bell Buckle I think you are the one comparing apples to oranges.Now with that being said I do agree with you on the later statement,but our government allows this to go on.Now go back to your first statement and tell me what is different now.They come here to work,provide for there family,rent homes(not take land as the early settlers did),do not speak the same language as the early settlers did.No there is no difference from now and then.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 10:50 AM

I think mytaxesaremines' arguement is self defeating, unless of course you want, or are ready, to accept a complete change in culture and possession of this country.

Assuming that all our ancestors did come in an equitable manner as todays illegal aliens, then why would we expect a differnt outcome? The outcome being displacement and decimation of the native/citizen population with a new foreign entity.

I highly doubt the laws existed in the 1700-1800s regarding immigration as they do today and I am certain the means to enforce those laws was not available to those who were suffering under the invasion.

Today however, is not the same. The laws and means both exist. The question then is whether or not the will to use them is present. If not, then we can expect history to repeat itself with the displacement and decimation of the current natives.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 1:30 PM

Your right.There were no immigration laws.They just jumped on a boat and came across the ocean to America.Now they just cross a river,and they are in America.I would dare say that the ACLU could fight our immigration laws in court and beat them.By the current president doing what he has done,we may just be one step away from this.I think we became comfortable when things were good and now blame the bad economy and job market on illegals.Maybe we should just annex Mexico,tax them to death,steal there oil reserves,make the cost of living go up and drive them to South America.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 3:18 PM

Good thought mytaxesaremine!

-- Posted by bbbluebird on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 4:07 PM

Just try to go to Mexico illegally. See what rights you have and how well you will be treated.

If you have money, you will be tolerated, maybe even welcomed. If you are poor, you will be lucky, if they send you back to the U.S.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 4:29 PM

It would seem then that the will to do something about the illegal invasion is what is missing.

The new world order calls for the elimination of borders and surrender of soveriegnty of all nations. There is already talk of combining all the nations in this hemisphere into a singular unit similar to the European Union.

The Clinton administration brought us NAFTA which was the first step in that direction. So, how is that working out so far?

As mytaxesaremine suggests, the real measure is going to be when taxes can be levied directly through these organizations. Then the term "illegal alien" will be irrelevant,,, and so will "American".

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 9:18 PM

The problem with illegal aliens have been around for quite some time. Even before Obama took office. The reason why we haven't heard that much about it before was because the 1/2 of Mexico's residents were not living in America! The incursion of the illegals have not only affected the economy, but it has affected the morale, property ownership, and safety.

I get your point that some of the illegals come here to provide for a better life for their family. But, why not do it the proper way? Many of them do not care about becoming an American citizen. Why should they? If they did, then they would have to pay their fair share of taxes. They would not be able to get onto the entitlement programs. And they would have to abide by our laws.

Yes, some of my ancestors did hop on a boat to come to America. But, they did not come here to sell, deliver, or make drugs. They did not come here to murder or commit crimes. They did not come here asking for hand-outs. Many of my ancestors were farmers. Even my great-grandfather who was a Native American, was a farmer. They worked hard for everything they had. If they couldn't make it, grow it, or trade for it, then they simply didn't get it.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 9:49 PM

Letting the illegals aliens get away with staying here illegally takes away from the immigrants who follow the rules and come here through the proper channels.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 10:48 AM

All illegals did not come here to commit crimes.Some are hard working people. I have people in my own family to lazy to do jobs they are doing.So they are not taking jobs from us. They do things some of us would not do.We have illegals from Asia also. This is never brought up.The reason our ancestors made it was because they took land from native americans.(the true americans).Our ancestors came here and killed americans and stole land.Then forced Africans to come here and work the land.Seems like history repeating itself.I agree we need some laws but lets not forget what our ancestors did. Where would we be if native americans stood up and shot our ancestors and jailed them for being illegal.Or should we say where would they be now if they did.

I dont think they would be on a reservation now.

-- Posted by lets be real on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 11:01 AM

"The reason our ancestors made it was because they took land from native americans." -- This is true. I am sure that some of my ancestors were slaughtered by christians who came here. But not all of the Europeans who came here committed crimes. They were respectful and joined as one with the Native Americans. Unlike many of the illegals today. Yes, not all of them come here to rape, kill, molest, deliver drugs, etc. There are many families from around the world who come here looking for a better life. I have no problem with that. But, do it the proper way. As for illegal Asians, Russians, and so on. They should be deported just as anyone else should. The difference is, that when these groups of people come to the US, they do not go straight to the DHS to get hand-outs. They do not come straight to the US just to have a child, in order to stay in the US. So, there is a HUGE difference.

"Then forced Africans to come here and work the land" --- No one "forced" them. They were sold by their African Queen for money and products. If someone is to be upset with that, it should be aimed at the country of Africa not America.

I believe that if the Native Americans would have been to stand their ground, the US would have been a lot better off. But it would continue to be invaded due to "religious reasons", which is what killed many of my ancestors.

And though, many of my ancestors were Cherokee, including my great-grandfather who was a chief, they refused to live on reservations. They believed that living on a reservation was giving in to the government. They continued to live in Wilson County.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 2:28 PM

AFRICANS would not have been able to sell if our white ancestors had not been looking to buy.All the africans were not offered by the queen some where captured. Remember The Trail of Tears the indians had no choice. They were drove out west like a herd of cattle.I am sure they would have stayed if they could. Your great-grandfather was lucky my great-grandfather was not. He was also native american. Asians and Russians are not deported because they "dont look like illegals". Their skin is not brown.The white skin illegal aliens are treated better.

-- Posted by lets be real on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 12:06 PM

I really don't see how condemning or condoning what anyones ancestors, (who can no longer defend their actions), has any bearing on how the illegal alien siutation is handled today.

The reality is that an illegal alien who has no regard for the law of the land is not likely to have regard for any of the laws of the land. Either we are willing to do something about that or we are not.

Arizona tried to enforce the Federal law and was told that they can not because it is not in their authority to enforce federal law. This tells me that Obama and the federal government have no intention of enforcing the law and will take action against those who try.

The only solution lies with the people/citizns themselves. As long as business turn their head the other way to get cheap labor, citizens prefer welfare, disability, and entitlement benefits over honest work, and the federal government continues to spend money they don't have and give benefits to illegals, things are not going to get any better.

Illegals come here because they want to "come to where the poor people are fat". Who wouldn't? Until we are willing to face that reality and/or the change required therewith, we will have a progressively worsening, (or improving, depending on your point of view) illegal and economic situation.

The bankruptcy and collapse of a lawless corrupted nation is the only thing parallel to what may have occured in the past. This is in our power to change,,, at THIS time.

Our ancestors built the most prosperous nation on earth, ever!! What will our ancestors have to say about how we behaved when we are no longer here to defend our reputations?

The question should be simply.

Do we need immigration laws?

If there is no will or intention to enforce them, then why have them at all?

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 4:48 PM

Arizona was forbidden from enforcing "federal law". Robbing a US Post Office is a federal crime. Should police refuse to help federal authorities catch, or track down, the perps that violate any federal law??

-- Posted by Grits on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 5:12 PM

http://www.houstonculture.org/hispanic/c...

-- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 7:29 PM

Thank you for the link, Rocket. If everyone read it (all of it) this issue may not be such a polarizing political issue, but just an issue of people.

It does not matter which political candidate we may have voted for, or how many elections that we have lived through. Every major candidate in recent history, on either side, is at least partly responsible for the current situation that makes everyone's lives more difficult. That is the problem.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 9:03 PM

That link is nothing more than a onesided opinionated bashing of Americans in general, whites in particular, and capatilism as a whole.

It repeatedly demonizes all of them while completely ignoring Mexicos' own atrocities, failures, and exploitation of others. The Mexicans were trying to use the Texas settlers as a buffer against the Commanche(the true natives)who were invading and robbing them. Their plans didn't work!! Perhaps if Mexico would have installed a democarcy or republic after their revolution instead of monarchy/dicatatorship things would have turned out differently.

I don't care much for Wikipedia as an info source but this link is at least as reliable, if not more so, than the other link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican%E2%...

The first line of the "houstonculture" article "The production and division of wealth are the cornerstones of every human community"

sounds as if it were taken dircetly from a socialist handbook.

What really amazes me is that through all of the slavery issues, Andrew Jackson, and subsequent invasions of territories , you see one re-occuring constant. Democrats, more specifically Southern Democrats were the driving political force that plundered the people of their wealth and faculties. It was the Republicans under Abraham Lincoln that put an end to slavery. Yet, today, the vast majorities of minorities support the Democrats! Why? If was all about slavery and the other issues wouldn't we see just the opposite?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Republican party is any better or worse than the Dems. I think it all boils down to the same old thing that it always has regardless of race, religion, nationality, etc. MONEY!

The government should only exist to prevent plunder and cause justice to reign. In the frontier there were few people, laws or government.

Here is a link from a dying man who hit the nail one the head about "The Law". The further we get away from these basi principles the worse it gets.

http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 12:18 PM

Of course it is one-sided and opinionated. Every historical narrative is, by its very nature, perspective based. The beauty of this article in particular is that is gives a fact-based perspective that is virtually ignored in the mainstream media, and all but inconsequential within the scope of typical political discourse in the U.S.

If your argument is that the Mexican government is not completely innocent, therefore the points articulated within the article are illegitimate, then I believe that you miss the point entirely.

The importance of wealth and its production/division is a cornerstone to every community, not just a socialist one.

If you want to blame a political party, the southern Democrats are just as good a choice as any other. However, if you ever hope to see the real roots, you have to look beyond that. Cause=Effect If you want to know why we have a lot of illegal aliens, just look at the reasons. There are many, and most people simply do not know what they are. Instead, they assume that the illegals "come to where the poor people are fat" without a care in the world how the international laws, imposed by our representatives, affect other people's lives. If you think NAFTA has hurt the average American, you don't know the half of it.

I do agree with you that it is all about greed, but I am pretty sure the type of greed that Bastiat endorsed is exactly the type of greed that has created the current situation.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 1:08 PM

I don't think illegals come here withour a care in the world. I imagine it takes quite commitment and great deal of despair for someone to leave their home in such a manner.

The production of wealth is dependent upon the person(s) who produces wealth as should be its' distribution. To take it (wealth) from the person who produces it, by either law or manipulation of labor compensation, is to plunder the person of the wealth they have earned by their own sweat. Therein lies the injustice that the law should correct, not perpetuate through confiscation and re-distribution.

Bastiat did not endorse greed, he only points out that we all share a common flaw or attribute. That is, that we all want as much bread as possible with the least amount of sweat. Entering the country illegally is one way of reducing the sweat required to acheive that goal.

Political parties seek to benefit the members and/or constituents of that party to gain power/votes. The willingness to plunder others of there life, liberty, faculties, and possessions through use of the law is a prerequiste to accomplishing that task. The two main parties in the U.S. share this in common and between the two, increase their capability to do so through big government and big business.

As Bastiat points out, people then try to become the legislator in order to secure the biggest slice of bread for the least amount of sweat.

Jealousy is another attribute common to mankind, throught that, the injustice, either real or perceived, suffered by one is used as justification to inflict an injustice on others.

Thus we have class warfare and descrimination allegations. Both, of which, are used by the legislator to tighten his grip through the division in the people that he exploits.

The laws and means to deal with illegals is here. What is missing is the will. The reason there is no will can most certainly be traced to that age old motivator. MONEY!!

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 2:55 PM

The Obama administration declined to try to deport more than 36,000 illegal immigrants that were arrested on other charges between 2008 and 2011, including some who went on to commit 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes, the House Judiciary Committee announced on Tuesday (July 31, 2012).

All told, the administration was alerted to nearly 160,000 immigrants--most of them here legally--who were arrested during the three-year period. They went on to be charged in nearly 60,000 MORE crimes, according to the committee and the Congressional Research Service, which issued a report on the matter.

The findings stem from the Obama administration's Secure Communities program, which was designed to identify immigrants who run afoul of the law.

"The Obama administration could have prevented these senseless crimes by enforcing our immigration laws," committee Chairman Lamar Smith said. "But President Obama continues to further his anti-enforcement agenda while innocent Americans suffer the consequences. His unwillingness to enforce immigration laws puts our communities at risk and costs American lives."

Do we really want another four years of this???

As for immigrants in Mexico, I spent my childhood living in Mexico and was given Mexican citizenship when I was four. Although I only lived there until I was seven years old, I can remember enough to state the following:

* You better learn the language because they do NOT cater to you...you can't press "2" for English, paperwork isn't in English, etc. (I still speak, read and write Spanish fluently).

* 88% of the population is Catholic (down from 96% in 1970), so you better brush up on your Rosary.

* They assume because you're white, you're rich (at least that's how I perceive they treated my mother from memory...who like myself, is Caucasian of Irish/Scottish decent).

* If you applied for work, you were generally overlooked because preference was always given to those in the community who grew up there all/most of their lives, who were related to or knew nearly everyone in town, and/or who spoke the language more fluently. There was no 4/5ths rule governing the hiring process.

...I also remember being ogled a lot simply for being different (white skin, blond hair, green eyes).

My point is that if you go to their country, you are expected to learn their native language or hire an interpreter/translator; you have to comply to their laws, rules and policies...without exception to your religious beliefs, etc., because they do NOT accommodate your religion at work or anyplace else; and you are expected to pay the same taxes and dues as every other resident of the country. Nor will they house you, feed you and clothe you at the expense of their citizens or their government.

Frankly, I think Mexico has the right idea. If you want to live in America, then learn the native language [yes, it is still English...at least for now]. Instead, we provide school forms, welfare forms, government forms, work forms, etc. in several languages besides English (that's a lot of extra paper and resources coming out of someone's pocket).

Further, not only do we offer government programs and hand-outs at the tax-payer's expense, we encourage it. No, it is not offered to the illegal immigrant parent, but instead to their US [citizen] born children. What does that mean...we inadvertently encourage illegal immigrants to have more US born children to increase the amount of aide they qualify for--whether it be TennCare, foodstamps, families first cash welfare assistance, WIC, HUD subsidized housing and rent control, free school and summer lunch programs, Head Start or free childcare resources. That amounts to a LOT of tax dollars.

And after reading the findings reported above, we obviously house, feed and clothe tens of thousands of illegal immigrants in US jails and penitentiaries...again at the tax-payer's expense. And then we let them out of jail, back onto US soil, where the majority go on to commit even more heinous crimes against Americans.

WAKE UP AMERICA!

Just to clarify, I have nothing against Mexicans...I have many family members who are Hispanic mix...and I have nothing against those immigrants already living and working here legally--paying taxes, Social Security and Medicare like the rest of us. But I do have a problem with those popping out of trunks, rafts or whatever and taking advantage of programs put in place to benefit the American citizen, or taking a job that could have been filled by a US citizen (regardless of what nationality).

Tread carefully, or before you know it this will become a "borderless" country. Will you still be "pro-immigration" when you become the minority?

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Sat, Aug 4, 2012, at 3:04 AM

it's not all Mexicans, people are coming across our southern boarder from all over the world including the middle east. If you have been watching the news lately,"I have a GED" thanks OBAMA.

-- Posted by docudrama on Sun, Aug 5, 2012, at 9:56 AM

About three million foreigners legally

immigrated to our country last year and

about 3.5 million illegals. As far as

I'm concerned, we should put out the

welcome mat for all of them.

There are a few problems that we need

to take care of as fast as possible to

make their transition to Americans as

smooth as possible and give them an

opportunity to realize the American

dream. It would be a pity if all they

realized was an American nightmare.

We need to gear up to provide the

following new services and support

for this year and ever year to come:

(The following amounts are approximate

since we do not know how many illegal

or legal immigrants are in the US).

80 billion gals of treated drinking

water. 60 billion gals of additional

raw sewage. Land fill for 500 billion

lbs of garbage. Prison space for 90,000

new inmates. Day care for 375,000 babies.

Class rooms,teachers and administrators

for 1.8 million new students. Cut down

75,000 more trees for their lumber and

paper. Provide 95,000 new language

instructors. 2.5 million additional jobs

or welfare. 600,000 Social Security and

800,000 new medicare recipients. 3.3

million new Medicaid cases. Burn

400,000 tons of coal to provide their

electricity. Import an additional 200

million gallons of gasoline.

Some environmental pressure from

immigration will be offset by the rapid

transfer of all US manufacturing jobs

to foreign countries, followed by white

collar jobs and finally by service jobs.

Hey, with no jobs the only thing we

have to worry about is our welfare check.

If the Chinese will be kind enough to

give us one?

-- Posted by Grits on Sun, Aug 5, 2012, at 8:50 PM

Sorry about the double space lines. I tried everway I could to get rid of the blank lines.

Maybe the Chinese will help me, when they take over, and while I am on my 10 minute break from the sewing machine.

-- Posted by Grits on Sun, Aug 5, 2012, at 8:53 PM

ha, ha Grits...too funny (and sadly, somewhat true)

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Tue, Aug 7, 2012, at 10:40 AM

Livefirlight, I do agree that the production/distribution of wealth is partly dependent upon those who procure it. I, however, cannot overlook the fact that it is also dependent upon the imposed parameters through which it is procured (the law). I have no problem admitting that coercive confiscation and redistribution is a form of injustice, but that does not diminish the injustice of the typical distribution that has been created by the current forces being exerted upon it.

Bastiat was a standard free-trade, globalist, laissez-faire economist who sought to protect his own self interests. His unoriginal, though entertaining, advocacy of unregulated trade, and interest inspired perpetual growth, have come down to us in the form of a neo-liberalism that is the root of almost every contentious issue we face.

I do not believe that either political party in the U.S. panders to anyone, save the accumulated capital that sanctions them. There may be the illusion of pandering, but it is only an illusion.

shawna.jones, I was much more fortunate than you when I was in Mexico. I found the people to be very accommodating--more so than here at home.

I do not know why, but it seems as though we always assume that national borders are fixed once we learn them. Unfortunately, borders are ever changing. The U.S. border has been expanding since its formation. It is not likely to stop just because we are here. It is not only manifest destiny; it is an economic imperative for an imperialistic power driven solely by the power of the exponent.

Docudrama, Is it possibly you have been watching too much news? If you realized how much of it was official press releases and political posturing, you may not be so eager to encourage others to watch.

Grits, Assuming that I take your figures at face value--which I don't--the fact that you discounted any economic, environmental, or political gains that the immigration does provide is telling of your motivation for posting.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Aug 7, 2012, at 2:31 PM

memyselfi: I have researched until I have the research fever, and I cannot find out how many illegal aliens are in the US. NOONE knows how many illegal aliens are here, and NOONE has a clue as to how many legal aliens are here. The only nation in the world that I know of without borders is the US. Perhaps you can list how many economic gains, political gains, cultural gains, production gains, illegal and legal aliens have created. It is sad that the cancer of diversity has destroyed every Protestent cultural advantage that the US maintained for 250 years, over every other nation in the world. Read the death eulogies of ancient Rome, the British Empire, the Spainish Empire, and the French Empire to see the same deadly disease of national suicide killing America. If you don't like to read, then spend a vacation in downtown Detroit, and earn a PhD in "Street Smarts for Dummies".

-- Posted by Grits on Tue, Aug 7, 2012, at 3:27 PM

I do not doubt the difficulty of estimating the size of the immigrant population. I certainly do not have the inclination (or the ability) to quantify their numbers--or even to do an effective cost/benefit analysis of their presence. I am no bean counter--in any sense of the word ;). I can give some broad categories that you neglected to list though. For example, you made no mention of the taxes paid by immigrants to local, state and federal coffers. Moreover, you failed to point out the value that their labor adds to society as a whole, or the added revenues (and jobs) generated by the increased demand for water treatment, energy production, teachers, and yes, even jailers. I am not sure if the benefits outweigh the costs, but I am pretty certain that the exchange is more balanced than you indicated.

Diversity is not a cancer that destroys empires; it is a necessary by-product of empire. I do not know exactly what you mean by "protestant cultural advantage" but I assume that you mean abundant resources and relative geographical isolation, as those have been the most important U.S advantages for 250 years. Any given group of people in similar circumstances could have built an empire--provided they possessed the desire.

I am not sure what you believe is "killing America". Empires fall; that is the way of things. Do you believe history stops here and now, that the U.S. is exceptional, and our status as a singular superpower will be perpetuated indefinitely? I am pretty confident that U.S. hegemony will eventually falter and there will be another power rise to challenge it. They will also eventually be challenged, and so goes human existence. That being said, it is not happening now. The U.S. is likely stronger than it has ever been. You worry about China? It has always been easy to deal with trade deficits to China. What do you think we are going to do with all that opium we are growing in Afghanistan? It may not be original, but it is effective.

Again with Detroit? Perhaps you prefer to only consider the negatives--like your list above. That is okay, but I cant help but to see more. I agree with you that sometimes people are reactionary and violent, particularly when they are faced with few options, but I do not imagine that is the whole story. I picture so many other things happening in Detroit, with much more frequency. I envision kids going to school, meeting their first love, getting married, having their first child, working (if they are fortunate enough to find a job), proudly watching their children grow and learn, mourning while burying their grandparents/parents (or even someone whom they cared for who was a victim of violent crime), spending time with friends (even if its on the curb shooting dice, instead of at the races or on the golf course) and eventually growing old and reflective themselves. That is what people do, even in Detroit. We are not so different--any of us.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Aug 8, 2012, at 1:48 PM

"Read the death eulogies of ancient Rome... to see the same deadly disease of national suicide killing America."

An interesting choice. Do you mean the real cause of the death of the Roman Empire, or the mythical version?

The real Roman Empire reached it's zenith as the most cosmopolitan and tolerant state in history. The population of Italy itself was not large enough to conquer a fraction of the ultimate Empire that lasted for a thousand years. The secret to Rome's success was unprecedented diversity. All religions and races were accepted, and the legions were manned by people from all over the empire. The empire did not conquer so much as it absorbed other nations.

In 64 BC, one of the failed Roman emperors, Nero, blamed Christians for the burning of Rome, followed by the rather unusual persecution of a particular religious group. Altho in the mythological version of Rome's fall, this was one of the last acts, in reality it occurred more than 4 centuries before the empire's ultimate downfall, and the empire was only temporarily damaged.

by the year 300, the Roman Empire had some 60 million citizens, of whom 15 million were christians.

In 312 the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Arguably this was the beginning of the end for the Roman Empire.

By the year 320 Eusebius declared a unified Chritian Empire as a divine goal. Ever greater persecutions of other religions were progressively written into law until in 380 Christianity was declared the *only* religion in the empire.

Completing the bloody extirpation of adherents to other religions, the Christian penchant for violence was turned on each other, as various sects were massacred or forcibly converted as the various Christian factions fought for control of the empire.

By the year 410, nearly a century of Christian terror had so debilitated the empire that the Visigoths were able to sack the great city herself.

Ironically, Rome was never actually occupied by an external power, Altho it was sacked again in 455 by the Vandals. It simply collapsed under the weight of its own religious oppression... Christian oppression.

The last emperor was Romulus Augustulus in 476 who was defeated by the German Goths (led by Odoacer).

Thus the Christians set Western cvilization back a thousand years, and led a fragmented Roman Empire into that period known as the Dark Ages.

And that, folks is what happened to the Roman Empire.

-- Posted by lazarus on Wed, Aug 8, 2012, at 7:45 PM

memyselfi: wrote "I, however, cannot overlook the fact that it is also dependent upon the imposed parameters through which it is procured (the law)."

I agree, and indeed this is the root problem! Those who impose these parameters are the perpetuators of "plundering" which "The Law" should oppose in order to cause justice to reign.

I disagree with your judgement that;

"Bastiat was a standard free-trade, globalist, laissez-faire economist who sought to protect his own self interests. His unoriginal, though entertaining, advocacy of unregulated trade, and interest inspired perpetual growth, have come down to us in the form of a neo-liberalism that is the root of almost every contentious issue we face."

Bastiat was dying, and knew it, when he wrote "The Law". It is unlikely that his motivation was the protection of his own self interest.

He did not promote completely unregulated trade only the idea that regulation and "The Law" should have no more authority than the individual. It would have more power as a collective of individaul authority, but no more authority. It would be used to caused justice to reign wherever plunder reared its' ugly head. It would not be used to perpetuate plunder itself.

There has never been a nation set-up under this idealogy. The U.S. came close, but no cookie. Therefore, we are headed down the same path as countless nations before.

-------------------

Lazarus; your views on Rome are quite narrow or singular just as the article below suggests.

"Why did Rome Fall?

There are adherents to single factors, but more people think a combination of such factors as Christianity, decadence, lead, monetary trouble, and military problems caused the Fall of Rome. Imperial incompetence and chance could be added to the list. Even the rise of Islam is proposed as the reason for Rome's fall, by some who think the Fall of Rome happened at Constantinople in A.D. 1453."

Historian Edward Gibbon on Decay and the Fall of Rome

"But the decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight.... The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, and afterwards violated the majesty of the purple. The emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy; the vigour of the military government was relaxed, and finally dissolved, by the partial institutions of Constantine; and the Roman world was overwhelmed by a deluge of Barbarians."

- Gibbon - Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

--------------------------------------------------The above qoutes taken from here;

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/romef...

There were many factors to the fall of the Roman empire, just as there are many of the same factors present in the U.S. today. We should not expect a different result in the presence of the same factors.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Aug 9, 2012, at 6:53 AM

" Augustus had ended 100 years of civil war and achieved over 40 years of internal peace and prosperity. His vision and power had expanded the Roman Empire to become far more than a collection of countries. Instead, it was a DIVERSE society and enormous marketplace in which people across Europe, north Africa and the Middle East could trade and travel under Rome's protection.

He had won over the Senate and founded a dynasty. But this would feature as many villains as heroes, and would take Rome on a roller-coaster ride into assassination, insanity and terror."

The US of today is galloping into insanity and terror. Even the psychologists of today are insane.

-- Posted by Grits on Thu, Aug 9, 2012, at 10:39 AM

"He had won over the Senate and founded a dynasty. But this would feature as many villains as heroes, and would take Rome on a roller-coaster ride into assassination, insanity and terror."

The US of today is galloping into insanity and terror. Even the psychologists of today are insane."

the julio-claudian dynasty lasted less than 100 years, and ended with the death of nero in 68ad. the roman empire lasted more than 4 centuries longer, and reached its greatest heights *after* this time. so what is your point?

-- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Aug 9, 2012, at 8:37 PM

"Lazarus; your views on Rome are quite narrow or singular just as the article below suggests.

'Why did Rome Fall?

There are adherents to single factors, but more people think a combination of such factors as Christianity, decadence, lead, monetary trouble, and military problems caused the Fall of Rome. Imperial incompetence and chance could be added to the list...'"

I smile and respond that my opinions are often singular. However, they are opinions based on at least some knowledge of the subject, and not mere clippings selected out of context from someone else's opinions.

I will be the first to say that obviously no single factor ever drives major historical events. However, lead pipes and monetary problems were nothing new. Bad to horrible (remember the likes of caligula and nero) leadership had been survived. The dole had gone on for centuries and what society has ever existed without corruption? Decadence? You do know we are talking about the all christian empire. How could it be decadent compared to what had gone on for most of the time of the empire?

No. the only *new* factor was the existence of a single intolerant religion. I am not saying it was due to that religion being christianity. I am saying that tolerance and diversity were the characteristics that had made the empire succeed for all those centuries. Without them it simply became another stifling theocracy.

-- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Aug 9, 2012, at 9:14 PM

You may not be one of the insane psychologist, and not a subject of my point. The main point of my Roman riddle, is in a song from Nero's fiddle. "It's Sunday eve and almost dawn, and how it'll be when the Christians are gone.

-- Posted by Grits on Thu, Aug 9, 2012, at 9:16 PM

Christianity existed in the roman empire from shortlt after Christ was crucified, by the Romans, until 1453. So it would seem that over 1000 yrs of Christianity was not that great of a factor.

As far as your opinion of tolerance. Romans tolerated Christians ny crucifying them, and feeding them to the lions, to the cheer of the crowds. They only tolerated those who bowed to their will and/or submitted to their authority, The rest they slaughtered either through conquest, execution, or for entertainment in the collosium.

Christianity still grew in the face of persecution and intolerance because Christians held fast to God. The people saw this and knew there was something special about Christians, It is little wonder that the nation was brought down that continued to persecute them. This was not done by the Christians themselve, but by God, through the circumstance that the Romans had created for themselves. The same thing is now happening to this nation. God is not mocked. Whatever you sow, you reap.

You think tolerance and diversity made the empire succeed for centuries. I am saying it was their military power that conquered and maintained control that made them such an Empire. That is what they sowed an that is what they reaped.

As far as sources, I am pretty sure that neither of us were there, so we will have to rely on the words of someone else.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 6:22 AM

The only nations in the world with a "middle class population" are the ones created by Protestants". The colonist from England left England because of the power of the Church of England and a Queen/King determined to have a rich and a poor class. The US Constitution was designed to prohibit what the colonist left in England. Mexico and all the naitons south of Mexico were founded by Catholics. None have a middle class, and a person is very rich or very poor. The poor depend on the church and the rich control the church and the government. Today the US is a nation where the people worship the rich, and the rich control the government. The rich created a Ponzi scheme where the industrial jobs went to child labor in other countries, and the once industrious middle class works for the city, state or federal government. Or receive welfare, food stamps, Soc Sec, etc. Or runs a private buisness selling foreign goods to those receivng government money. The value of the American dollar will become worthless in the rest of the world, and then it will be goodby America, hello Zimbabwe.

-- Posted by Grits on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 9:49 AM

"As far as sources, I am pretty sure that neither of us were there, so we will have to rely on the words of someone else."

While I have never witnessed the earth revolving around the sun, I have been able to determine that is indeed what happens. While it takes some trolling thru various sources, there is plenty of information available to develop a realistic picture of christian history (as opposed to the popular mythological one).

Prior to the short-lived purge under Nero in 64ad, the persecution of christians was the province of the jews. Following that, for another couple of centuries persecution was limited to isolated local incidents.

Beginning around 250, during a particularly unstable period in the Empire, with frequent power changes, there were several individual emperors who initiated persecution against the christians. Due to the structure of the Roman legal system, This was carried out by the various governors, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

The major general persecution, by Diocletian, began in 303ad and was terminated by the various parts of the empire beginning in 306 and was done by 313. According to modern estimates, about 3,000 Christians were killed (out of about 15 million). By 312 the emperor of the Western half of the empire was a christian, and by 380 christianity was declared the *only* legal religion.

From that time until the "empire" ceased to exist with the death of the last emperor, more "christians" were persecuted and killed as heretics by other "christians" seeking to control the church and the state than were ever killed by non-christian Rome.

Your date of 1453 relates to the fall of the Byzantine Empire, which had long since separated from the Roman Empire, but was once part of it. It would be equally arguable that the Roman Empire still exists today, in the guise of the Roman Catholic Church whose power originally came from the Empire. Indeed, various European governments continued to be allied with the Catholic church and to claim to be the rightful heir to Rome's power well into the middle ages.

Christianity has undergone incredible changes over time. The Christianity of the immediate post-christ era would have been unrecognizable to the christians of the late roman empire. And neither of them would have been recognizable to the christians of today. But there has always been a peculiar fascination with persecution and martyrdom in particular. This is probably an outgrowth of the central place that the crucifixion plays in the religion. Early christians had an enthusiasm for martyrdom that we would have difficulty understanding. At one point a large group of christians presented themselves to the governor of asia (which one, i regrettably have forgotten) demanding to be executed. He executed a few, thinking the rest would be dissuaded, and go home. When they continued to insist on being executed, he told them (to paraphrase) there are plenty of cliffs to jump from or ropes to hang yourselves, and sent them away. another popular form of martyrdom was to get themselves killed in suicide attacks on pagan temples (sound familiar?). The practice was so widespread that a council was held in Spain at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries to debate the merit of voluntary martyrdom as opposed to that imposed by the authorities (by the way, the suicide attackers were determined not to be worthy of martyrdom.)

Over the following centuries there developed a virtual cult of martyrdom, and the scope of the events were magnified as with any story handed down from generation to generation.

Our fascination with persecution continues to be a trait of christianity to this day. However, our modern american christians have little stomach for the genuine persecutions of the past, much less outright martyrdom, preferring to use mental gymnastics to somehow perceive any thwarting of imposing their beliefs on others as a form of persecution.

-- Posted by lazarus on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 12:46 PM

Give me modern Protestant Christianity like they have in Australia or New Zealand, or give me a million dollars. OK! I would settle for $500,000.

-- Posted by Grits on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 1:38 PM

It seems I remember reading that the early Roman christian priests were appointed by the Emperor. They gained more power and began to undermine the Emperors authority.

The problem with the types of actions you describe as christianity is that Christ did not teach to do those things or command such things to be done. There have been many things done over the years all claiming to be Christian but having no basis in Christ teachings. These are ploys by corrupted leaders to gain more power and/or wealth.

This observation is also as obvious as the Earth rotating around the Sun if one has come to know the truth of it.

We all witness that truth once for each yr we live. The acceptance of that knowledge requires faith that it is, in fact, true. Faith cannot be forced or dictated by a government though many have tried, including the Romans. It can however, be badly placed or misguided in government, religion, secular, political,economic, etc., beliefs. Coming to know Christ creates a faith in him that leads to peace through love, not violence, just as he did.

As to persecution, I would much rather have blessings, however Christ did say we would have both but never said to kill to obtain either. But instead taught to love each other, including enemies, and to bless those who curse you. How that command can be perverted into violence is beyond me.

We each have a choice to place our faith where, or in whomever, we will.

Illegal immigrants,(we are all immigrants) will not exist in the kingdom as Christ is the fulfillment of "The Law".

Be blessed!!

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 9:14 PM

i cant argue with anything you said, live for.

sometimes it is difficult to reconcile the teachings of jesus with what people call christianity.

-- Posted by lazarus on Sat, Aug 11, 2012, at 2:45 PM

I just received a tweet via twitter, from a friend who is in China and getting bitter. "The Chinese are not likely to forget, that their children's tiny little hands are bruised, bloody, sore and aching from making, what America's spoiled brats take pleasure in breaking".

You all have convinced me that Jesus is now watching me, but I already knew that he was watching you.

Most of the commenters on this blog attacking me, sound like American spoiled brats. Better watch out, if Jesus don't get you, then the Chinese will.

-- Posted by Grits on Sat, Aug 11, 2012, at 4:41 PM

Mormon Romney just picked Catholic Ryan for VP. First time in the history of the US where there is not a Protestant on the tickets. The Supreme Court has 6 Catholics and 3 Jews, although originally, it was 9 Protestants. Not complaining, not mad, nothing against Catholics or Jews. But it illustrates the America of today compared to what it was originally.

-- Posted by Grits on Sat, Aug 11, 2012, at 5:43 PM

Illegal immigrants,(we are all immigrants) will not exist in the kingdom as Christ is the fulfillment of "The Law".

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 9:14 PM

I think you have it backwards Liveforlight.

There will ONLY be "illegal" immigrants entering into the kingdom.

Only those who recognize they are "illegal" and have placed their sole trust in the only Legal One will be admitted by Grace through Faith.

I am afraid that that all the "legal" immigrants are destined away from tghe kingdom.

Romans 4:14

For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Just some food for thought.

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Mon, Aug 13, 2012, at 1:19 PM

Hello BA nice to hear from you. I hope you have been doing well.

No, it is not backward, just misunderstood.

The keyword is "illegal". Picture, if you will, a person at a wall or fence wanting to migrate to the other side. Just down the fence a ways is the gate or door to enter through to the other side.

This person is not an "illegal" immigrant so long as they enter through the gate or door and/or the gate keeper as required. If the person climbs over the wall or fence to the other side they are then there "illegally". If they enter through the gate they are just immigrants, not illegal.

Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold *, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way *, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The fence/wall to the kingdom is much more secure than our U.S. borders. Therefore there will be no "illegals" there who did not go through the door "Jesus".

You have actually did a good job explaining the conversion from "Illegal immigrant" to just plain immigrant within your own post.

"Only those who recognize they are "illegal" and have placed their sole trust in the only Legal One will be admitted by Grace through Faith."

Christ takes care of the legalisms.

Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Jesus makes us "legal". Therefore, no "illegals" are there.

Be at peace!

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Aug 13, 2012, at 8:04 PM

Yes Liveforlight, the keyword was "illegal".

I hope you also noticed that I used the words "entering into" in the same sense as you gave the example of the "border/fence".

I actually believe just as you do that only legals will be there in the kingdom. My point was the same as yours in the fact that we will only be there because of an imputed righteousness and not of a righteousness of our own.

Lastly I say I am at Peace and thanks for reminding me. It is one of the blessed fruits of the Spirit that resides within.

May you have as Joyful and Peaceful day as the Spirit gives and bear much fruit.

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Tue, Aug 14, 2012, at 8:36 AM

Liveforlight, I am sorry for not replying sooner. I was enjoying everyone else's comments and did not want to sidetrack anyone. It seems as though everyone else has finished and moved to the other blog, so if you want, we can argue some--unless you are already argued out.

I guess your interpretation of "The Law" is okay, but it is not how I see it at all. The way I see it, he was still advocating the same vision that he always had, but perhaps with a few begrudged concessions. He never once distanced himself from his earlier convictions; he only tried his best to synthesize his principles with what every other reasonable person knew--and pointed out.

When we read writings like this, it is easy to forget that they were, in a sense, much like this forum. The only differences being the length of time between replies and the degree of influence of the writers. "The Law" is only a reply to the criticisms of his previous writings--within which he was protecting his self-interests--and the unrelated works of others--which also threatened his interests.

Although they were not novel to him, the concepts that he promoted throughout his life have shaped the nature of society today. I would suggest that the single largest factor leading to the influx of illegal immigrants has been the effects of the economic policies that he advocated.

I know this is rather nuanced, but if you want to know what he advocated, do not look expressly at the negative properties of what he argues against, but look instead at what is left when those things are removed.

What is left is the protection of personal property. In his estimation, that meant the freedom of capital to do whatever it took to secure its dividends or interest, with the legal system ensuring its continued growth. That may sound good in theory, but it looks somewhat different in practice.

Even a modest 3% growth is not really 3%, but an exponential growth that is seldom duplicated in our environment. There will never be enough gold found to sustain a 3% increase annually. Likewise, land is not multiplying itself. The only things that can be increased at exponential rates (at least in the short run) are populations, fiat currency (debt), and empire. As far as I can tell, the boundaries of all three are currently being pushed.

This lack of sustainability is only the most obvious flaw of this ideal though, and is based upon the assumption that everyone had equal capital which needed protecting. As he knew very well, that was not the case. Alongside the exponential growth of capital are the exponential growth of influence and the ever-growing percentage of the whole. In this regard, it is a zero-sum game whose victors were decided well before it began. Make no mistake, his vision leads inextricably to the corruption of the law. You may be generous and presume him only short-sided, but I believe he knew the outcome--at least as well as his contemporaries who pointed out the same flaws.

The only reason we have such a large immigration problem is that we have turned Mexico's economy upside down in less than a generation. The loss of their small scale farms is directly related to the dumping of heavily subsidized agricultural commodities upon a population who could not compete with huge agri-business. The small retailer could not compete with the large chains. Likewise, the artisan and craftsman have been replaced by imports. Free trade has simply not netted additional jobs in Mexico: it has been detrimental to an already fragile economy. It is primarily the effects of legally-protected growth-seeking capital (which is not contained by borders) that ultimately drives the populations. The Mexican citizens cannot "vote themselves" out of trade agreements any more than they could have prevented them. Therefore, many are left with few options.

To realize that people come here because our standard of living is so much better than their own is only to see a part of what is happening. Of course our standard of living is great, a widely disproportionate percentage of the world's labor and resources are funneled into this country--often through the use of force (direct or proxy) and the economic manipulation of vulnerable governments. The condition of the Mexican economy and our own are causally related, and best explained by greed-- the type of greed that ensues from following free-trade, anti-protectionist, joint stock advocates--like Bastiat.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Mon, Aug 20, 2012, at 12:52 AM

memyselfi, just noticed your post. I really am "argued out" I guess. Seems to be a fruitless waste of time. I will make my last statement here.

You wrote

"I guess your interpretation of "The Law" is okay, but it is not how I see it at all. The way I see it, he was still advocating the same vision that he always had, but perhaps with a few begrudged concessions"

---------------------------------------------

"The Law" is the only writing I have ever read by Bastiat. Apparently you have research him and previous writings and drawn your conclusions of "The Law" based upon your understanding of the man. I merely take "The Law" at face value of the single works.

Perhaps you are right about his "begrudged concessions". Most everyone gains in wisdom as they grow older (or should) and are likly to make concessions, especially when facing death as he was. Be that as it may, his "The Law" nailed it.

I find your comments about "sustainablity" to be reflective of the NWO agenda 21 propaganda that is presumptious and implemented through smoke and mirrors and a plethora of mainstream media outlets.

You wrote,

The condition of the Mexican economy and our own are causally related, and best explained by greed-- the type of greed that ensues from following free-trade, anti-protectionist, joint stock advocates--like Bastiat.

--------------------------------

Greed is universal whether one is rich or poor. We all want the most bread for the least sweat. That is not an attribute of free trade but humanity. Legislation and protectionism also fall prey to this human attribute and have become the tools by which plunder is obtained to satisfy(as if) that greed.

To say that Bastiat is "anti-protectionist" in "The Law" is assinine. The protection he advocates in "The Law" is the prevention of plundering of the individuals life, liberty, or property whether that plundering is inflicted by another individual, group, legislator(s), or nation.

There has never been a nation that has implemented the theology as presented in "The Law" and probably never will be.

For those who may read this and have no idea what "The Law" is, here is a link http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html. Read it for yourself and decide if you agree or disagree with "The Law". Perhaps change can come if we stop trying to plunder each other.

Here is a qoute from "The Law"

The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.--- "The Law", Frederic Bastiat

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Aug 23, 2012, at 10:13 PM

Liveforlight, I hate to read that you are "argued out". We were just about to get somewhere. I am not so convinced that arguing is a complete waste of time. As you pointed out, we do grow and mature--usually within the context of challenge. For example, I will "begrudgingly concede" that The Law as an individual writing is not at all offensive. I guess it is possible that his perspective evolved. Madison's did, and to some extent, Rand's did. To be more modern, even Greenspan admitted some flaws in his ideology.

As far as NWO and Agenda 21, I am not a conspiracy theorist. There are too many conspiracy facts for me to be aggressively seeking out any additional possibilities. Moreover, I am not a tree-hugger or a nature-faker. I guess my choice of words was unfortunate. Sadly, it is the only word that I can use. What I am referring to is not an environmental or political potentiality, but a mathematical and economic certainty.

Let me ask you an extremely difficult ancient question which jumps right to the heart of the issue. "Who gets the best flute?" In any given society, there are many flutes of varying quality. Most everyone who wants a flute can have one, but some will get better flutes, and one person gets the best flute. How do you believe we should determine who will get the best flute, and why?

In other words, what is to be rewarded in society, and what is the moral justification for that course? Forget about redistribution for a second and focus only upon distribution. Imagine that we were living at the time Bastiat wrote The Law, or during the early years of this republic, when the status-quo was not taken for granted.

I realize that it is a tough question (especially if you think it through--which I am hoping you will) and that you are tired of fighting, but if you would oblige me with an answer sometime this coming week, I would be most appreciative.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Fri, Aug 24, 2012, at 2:38 AM

To your question "Who gets the best flute?".

Loaded questions such as this deserve to have each word weighed to determine the overall weight of the question. For example the word "gets" does that equate to "deserves", "needs", "wants" etc. Then "Who" determines the those criteria. The word "best", best for what? Prettiest, most melodious, best craftsmanship? Perhaps the intended use is for a doorstop, in which case strength would be a desirable trait.

My first inclination to this question was "who cares?". A flute is a non-essential item and is not needed or desired by everyone. Can't a person be happy with what they have without needing to compare it to others, which is highly subjective anyway? This is at the root of another human flaw, ENVY.

You did expound on what you meant by "what is to be rewarded in society, and what is the moral justification for that course?"

Why should the reward be expected to come from society? A talented musician can play beatifully on most any instrument especially to, say their mother.

The "best flute" requires judgement to determine what constitutes the best and that will be based on varying criteria depending on "who" you ask.

Moral justification for that course.

Ex 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

The humans are fluid and faulty. Most any power given to them beyond what has already been given by their creator is most likely to result in abuse of that power albeit to varying degrees. "Getting" depends on desire. "Best" depends on perspective. Society cannot determine either for the individual and therefore any reward is likely to be misplaced.

Hope that answers your question.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Aug 24, 2012, at 1:41 PM

Somehow this train derailed off track from the point that Rodney was trying to make.

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Sat, Aug 25, 2012, at 12:34 PM

Thank you for answering me so quickly. Your answer was a good one, but not exactly what I was looking for. My question must have been too vague. I sometimes have difficulty expressing myself in a clear and concise manner. Please be patient with me here and don't get frustrated.

To remove any ambiguity, "get" means just that--receive control over. The questions of "wants, needs, and deserts" are yours to determine. The "best" means simply the best flute available--the ideal of what a flute should represent, based upon its intended function.

You are undeniably accurate in your assessment that a flute is not something worth fighting over anyway. Let's say though, that we were deciding the distribution of land. Who gets the most fertile land? Who gets the most land? Who gets no land? How do you suggest that we distribute the land, and what is the moral motivation?

Assuming a beginning point of an absolute absence of law, it becomes impossible to envy anyone else's property. Without law to define personal property, there is none. One's belongings are simply whatever they possess the inclination and ability to acquire and retain. It is nothing but law that gives us wives, manservants, maidservants, oxen, and asses--okay, we may still have asses without law, but that is about all we would have. Instead, we would experience something akin to a state of nature...perpetual war of every man against every man...nasty, brutish, and short...

Given that there is no society without law (of some sort), and no property without society (of some sort), does it not follow that society must necessarily determine rewards and distribution through the law--even if it is flawed and misplaced? That has always been a basic function of law. Even our own systems of organization provide for distribution. It may not be readily discernible, as we take it for granted, but it is there.

What would your preferred methods of distribution look like, and why? The question has far-reaching implications, but it is fairly straight forward. If, however, the open-ended nature of the question bothers you, you could turn it around a bit and narrow it down by asking: "What is the basis for the system of distribution that we experience, and does it fulfill any moral prerequisite?"

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 5:16 AM

My apologies to Mr. Simmons and the other readers for getting this off track.

memyself: While you may not be a conspiracy theorist (really not a theory) the idea of the elimination of personal property is well documented tenant of Agenda 21 and has apparently beeb well trasplanted into the pyschy of many.

Below are a few qoutes that lay the foundation for what you are asking.

"See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing

a crime."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain Unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men. . . ."

"Life, faculties, production--in other words individuality, liberty, property--that is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it."

"Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws.On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."

"life cannot maintain itself alone.The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this,He has provided

us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our

faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them.This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. To them--the elite--"the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter."

And for people who have this vision, Bastiat displays the only anger I find in The Law when he lashes out at do-gooders and would-be rulers of mankind, "Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great!You who judge humanity to be so small!You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves?

That task would be sufficient enough."

The short answer to your question (Who gets the best flute?) is the one who uses his Life, faculties, production, to obtain it (without plundering someone else of the same) and then believes, once they have obtained, that it is the best.

Your other question;

How do you suggest that we distribute the land, and what is the moral motivation?

I don't suggest that "WE" distribute the land at all!! Distribution has been done by God through the Life, Faculties, and Production that he has given each individual. The law should not be a method of distribution!! The law should only exist to prevent "Plundering" by one individual of anothers "Life, Faculties, or Production.

It is incumbent upon the individual to be satisfied with his own production and not be envious of others. This would not be nearly as difficult if "The Law" followed its proper course by preventing plunder instead of propagating it.

Ok, I am done now! Thanks and blessing to everyone who has endured.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 8:56 AM

Shawna, I think you are right. The immigrant train left the tracks, and now only the caboose is heading for food stamps, welfare, housing, wicky, wacky, wallowing and boondogging at the gringoogie's house of bounty.

-- Posted by Grits on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 6:50 PM

I do not blame you for wanting to be done, but please do not quit just because we are off topic. I hope to tie back into the subject of illegal immigrants in about 4-6 more exchanges--depending upon the degree of your participation and candidness. The blog was dead or dying anyway.

I do appreciate your quotes, but I am truly more interested in what you think, not anything that a third party has said in varying context.

It is true that socialists "look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations". It is equally true, however, that capitalists do the same, albeit under a slightly different guise.

The passionate quote of Bastiat is very good posturing, but it is somewhat thin. All that he is doing is defending the status quo by disparaging any who would question it. It is the same hollow rhetoric that we experience today, and typically emerges from weak positions.

I really like your answer to the first question, but again--either I am not wording the question correctly, or you are not interpreting it correctly, because what you describe is a paradox. Just like Bastait, you presume a neutral starting point, when in reality, the starting point that you presume has already been entirely created by distribution. I do get your point, but I cannot overlook the reality that "lives, faculties, and productions" are all occurring within already fixed parameters. For example, are you suggesting that--based upon your respect of an individual's production--that a worker in a mill is entitled to all that he has produced?

Your second answer is more to the point, but it appears as though it contradicts the first, and even itself. Can you clarify how, if distribution has been ordained by God "through the Life, Faculties, and Production that he has given each individual" that plunder is even possible? It seems as though you hope to preserve a role for social darwinism, yet at the same time, you defer to selective protections of the law--the sole purpose of which is to impede the state of nature that you seem to be advocating.

The fact that you believe that "we should not distribute" anything does not change the fact that "we" do--and always have. Evidence for this is to be found within your Bible. Even 3000 years ago, the first thing the Israelites did was to create a distribution of honorifics (patriarchal) and wealth (land). It seems as though you believe that some courses of distribution are justifiable, and others not. An explanation of this discrepancy is the purpose of my question.

I know that you said you were done, but what would it hurt for you to humor me for a while? I am not asking for an essay, just an answer. It can be as simple as:

"I believe that (trait X) should be rewarded in our society because (moral precept Y).

-- Posted by memyselfi on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 2:26 AM

It seems to me you are looking for a specifc answer from me which you already have in mind.

I have already explained my views, and just because I use qoutes from someone else who expressed my views more appropriately does not diminish them.

A fill in the blank question is the tool of a teacher, not a peer. I have answered your question but yet you are not satisfied with my answer.

So,I have humored you all I intend to. Just forego the several levels of recripocal posts, go ahead and post the lesson you are so obviously wanting to, and let dead blogs lie.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 6:23 AM

Come on now, don't be such a baby. You remind me of a kid who, when the game is not going his way, takes his ball and goes home.

I am looking for a specific answer--yours. Would it really pain you to provide it? The question was as open-ended as it could be originally. Unfortunately, when your "answers" were laden with evasiveness and contradictions, I figured I would narrow it down for you with a fill in the blank.

I do not have any desire to "post a lesson" today. What I really want is for you to post it. You see, I don't even want to argue with you; what I hope for is that you argue with yourself. That is why I suggested that you take some time and think about the question.

To put it into a religious connotation, I was hoping that the question would make you be as Israel--forcing you to integrate the obvious conflicts between what your mind "knows" and what has been "written on your heart".

If you do not want to answer the question, for whatever reason, that is okay. As I already pointed out, I don't blame you. However, please do not justify that decision by feigning indignation at my imaginary slights. You have resorted to that course in the past, and I find it insincere and insulting to both of us.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 6:09 PM

You posted this: "It seems as though everyone else has finished and moved to the other blog, so if you want, we can argue some--unless you are already argued out."

Then you post this:"You see, I don't even want to argue with you"

This while you insult me and accuse me of contradictions.

You want me to argue with myself?? That seems pretty sick to me. If you have a point, make it don't play games. I don't have time for them.

You brought the ball to the game when you posted your loaded question of "Who gets the best flute?" which you obviously were looking for a specific answer so you could score your points.

I answered the question for you with this;

The short answer to your question (Who gets the best flute?) is the one who uses his Life, faculties, production, to obtain it (without plundering someone else of the same) and then believes, once they have obtained, that it is the best.

If that doesn't do it for you then you will have to find someone to else to play your game, your way, that way you are pretty sure to win.

A little advice, keep the insults to ourself, it only demonstrates your own immaturity.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 9:57 PM

I am sorry. I didn't realize that you were so sensitive. I have not intentionally insulted you yet. You will know when I do, as your face will flush, your blood pressure will rise, and you will have an irresistible urge to spit--in order to get the taste out of your mouth ;).

I don't need a recap of our dialogue. I need an answer that makes sense. If you would like to provide one, great--if not, be done already.

It is true that there is not a single "good" answer. We both know it, and you don't like it because it challenges your biases. That does not mean that the question is loaded--it just means that it is one worth asking.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Aug 28, 2012, at 12:01 AM

Sensitivity comes with awareness. I accept your apology. Being insulted is nothing new to me.

I have played along with your game. I admit I was purposely evasive, which is what one does when they encounter a trap.

So, be so kind as to provide YOUR answer to YOUR question, and then we can argue about your biases if you like.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Aug 28, 2012, at 6:23 AM

Now, now my little children. From what Spirit does those fruits originate?

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Tue, Aug 28, 2012, at 10:32 PM

Blessed Assurance, I agree. Individual morality (from wherever it originates) should be reconciled with politics. That, believe it or not, is the cause of this painfully long and contentious exchange.

Liveforlight, Okay--that is fair enough, but I do not know if you will be much more comfortable on the other side.

Before I present my proposition for you to tear apart, let me give you a couple of easy ones to practice on.

1. "I believe that no one should be rewarded with the best flute/land in our society because to do so is unfair. We should ensure that everything is equal, and eliminate any notable inconsistencies (on either side of the norm) through our distribution.'"

2. "I believe that hard work should be rewarded in our society because whoever invests more effort should reap more rewards."

Please judge each statement as two parts: the effects of distribution, and the appropriateness of the moral justification. If either side of the statement is problematic, the statement is flawed (or at least less than ideal). Sound equitable to you?

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Aug 29, 2012, at 3:13 AM

BA, You judge.

memyselfi,

Now we are getting somewhere. I don't think our ideas are all that far apart.

I agree with FIRST part of #1 and I agree with #2.

The second part of #1 (We should ensure that everything is equal, and eliminate any notable inconsistencies (on either side of the norm) through our distribution.), I see as problematic.

Are you saying evryone should have the exact same flute? What then of the one who, under the principles of #2 has applied himself moreso that others to the creation of the finest instrument?

What if someone else thinks you have the best and that it is unequitable for you to have it?

If "we" are to ensure all is equal, then there must be measurement and equalizing force(s). What form does that take?

Let us consider a slightly different question. Who gets the best air?

This is an essential item that we all need. It is distributed by the creator, globally. Those with good lungs can survive on any of it, unless,, it has been contaminated. The idea of which is "best" is highly subjective and will vary based on who you ask, where they live, seasons, proximity to contaminants, etc. How do you measure and equalize it? What if the person on the mountain doesn't wish to have the same air as those in the valley or desert?

I don't see how the measuremnt and equalization can be carried out without infringeing on the tenants of #2, unless of course, this force is also going to determine who has been the hardest worker and therefore more deserving.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Aug 29, 2012, at 7:33 AM

You seem to have completely forgotten choice #3:

3) The best flute in the land, indeed all the flutes save one are owned by a man who simply inherited them and has never produced anything by his own efforts. All of the people who actually work are left to fight over the remaining flute.

-- Posted by lazarus on Wed, Aug 29, 2012, at 10:59 PM

Okay--great. If we can reduce all of this confusion into simple concepts, and then fairly evaluate their merit, I imagine that you are right about how much common ground we share. No doubt your criticisms were a lot better than I could have done when I first started thinking about it. I particularly liked your air analogy.

Choice 1 is flawed in many ways, and what you pointed out is just as good as any other. It is also understandable that you would tend to agree with choice 2, as it is so intuitive, and it is undoubtedly backed by virtually unassailable moral justification, but it is equally flawed.

You already see one issue with it, that "hard work" is subjective and, at times, difficult to measure. For example, how do we compare the work of the executive with that of a laborer? That aspect, however, is not the most damming flaw of the statement. The most serious problem with the proposition is that it simply does not work as an effective method of distribution.

Imagine that the person who exerted the most effort playing a flute, also happened to be hopelessly tone-deaf with advanced arthritis in his fingers. It may not matter much to the rest of us if he were rewarded with the best flute, but what if the hardest working farmer was not quite the best farmer in our society, perhaps much less than effective. Should the most productive lands in society be under-farmed, just because a bad farmer "works harder" than a good (or even mediocre) farmer?

A better example may be of a contractor who needed two employees to frame a house. Without knowing his potential employees work ethic, he decided to pay them per wall completed. He hired a framer (Juan) who had 3 walls perfectly framed by 10:00 without breaking a sweat, left for a three hour lunch, came back, put up three more beautifully squared walls, and left early. The other framer (also Juan) struggled joining every board. He worked through his lunch in order to complete 2 walls, which would suffice, but lacked the perfection of Juan 1's work. He stayed late, finally completed his fifth wall of the day, and went home proud of his efforts. Are you suggesting that the contractor pay Juan 2 more than he pays Juan 1? Feel free to apply the same question to any task. It is just not in the best interest of society to reward hard work for the sake of hard work. Can you see what I am getting at?

As promised, here is my statement.--By "my statement" I only mean the one that I tend to align myself with. None of this thought is "mine". It came from people who were visionaries hundreds, or even thousands of years ago. I only struggle to understand it.

3. I believe that the most productive people in society should be rewarded because in the end, more production helps everyone. Whoever plays the flute most beautifully (although subjective) should have the best flute, so that everyone may enjoy the music created when the most perfect flute is paired with the most perfect player. Likewise, whoever farms the most effectively should have the most productive land, as the additional grain produced will benefit everyone.

That statement should not be confused with this very similar statement:

4. I believe that the most productive people should be rewarded because they deserve it for producing the most.

See what you think of those two.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Aug 30, 2012, at 2:39 AM

I did pick up on your use of the word "effort" and I agree that the most effort, or work, does not necessarily equate to productivity.

I gave you leeway in this due to our earlier exchange and not wihsing to be "evasive" or to "pick it apart". I see now that my initial assessment was more correct. There is always more to a trap than appears on the surface;) I also realized that the answer you were most likely looking for was "The most skilled player".

You liked my "air" analogy, but not well enough to elaborate?

Let me reframe your question based on your overall comments as I understand them. The question "Who gets the best flute" equates to; Who does society reward with the flute that society deems most desireable."

The key element then is "society". The question reframed as above appears to be communist in nature. This and the fact that you seem to against private ownership of property, leads one to naturally assume the perspective is from the proletariat. Your earlier comment about concentration only on distribution, not re-distribution, tends to suggest that society is in possession of all that is to be dsitributed.

So, how is "society" defined? The issue of control is what is at stake here and that is dependent upon truthful information. While it makes sense to reward the best farmer with the best land to produce the most for society, it also makes sense to place the best farmer on the worst land and the least skilled farmer on the best in order that the overall production may be high on good and poor land. A measurement would be required to assess the most effective based on the criteria that "society" establishes. This then, is circular and leads back to society and completely ignores the desire of the farmer and treats his person, skill, and effort as a commodity to be manipulated by society.

If "Society" is in control, rewarding and determining desireability, then how is the will and desire of society determined?

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Aug 30, 2012, at 7:57 AM

Your comments are beautifully refined. They are also leaps ahead of where I want to be. All that I want to do right now is to establish the basic tenets of the realities of distribution (government) and the morality that would justify any such action.

Ideally, you would be neither too evasive, nor overly critical. Instead, you would simply examine the merit of all possibilities judiciously, accepting (or rejecting) whatever your own conscience dictates. More to the point, you would forget about "traps" entirely. Not only do I not want to "trap" you, I have no ability to do so, save by your own reason and morality, within which you are already trapped.

To remove even more ambiguity, lets forgo the flute/land business entirely. They are both euphemisms for wealth anyway--in our case money. Bank accounts are much less subjective.

The perspective that I seek is that of an impartial observer--or better yet, someone who must live within the society that they create, but do not yet know their role.

Society has been defined in many ways. Everything from "promoting virtue" to "forming a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity" has been used as its validation. My answer--which may be more to the point, but lacking any artistic appeal would be that "In this world, we will have masters. It is far better to shape and define them, than to leave such important matters to chance."

The measurement most suited to societal evaluation is based solely upon a utilitarian (consequentialist) approach to determining merit. There are other approaches, but they necessarily lend themselves to more constrictive societies, and are more appropriate for individuals than governments, assuming, of course, that individual liberty is also a consideration of yours.

The irony of your reference to communism is that IF you finally agree that "society" is necessary, AND that "society" should be concerned primarily with utility, AND that statements 1, 2, and 4 are terribly flawed, AND that statement 3 is the best of many bad answers--then we would still only be somewhere around the American (and French) Revolution. What we have so far is a very good approximation of the understandings of Locke and Adam Smith, not Marx. I fear that your interpretations of our comments thus far are much more telling of your starting point, than they are predictive of my ending point.

So-----What do you think of statements three and four?

-- Posted by memyselfi on Fri, Aug 31, 2012, at 6:07 AM

I think your statements 3 and 4 are an attempt to use some type of logic processing to reach a conclusion.

I am more interested in your statement about masters. Who are your masters? What is your purpose in serving these masters?

Society may be deifined in many ways, but what do you see as its true purpose? Do our laws support or defeat that purpose. Whar is your purpose within society?

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Aug 31, 2012, at 6:29 AM

Ah......at last.....the ultimate and defining question has been served.

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Mon, Sep 3, 2012, at 8:10 AM

What? Me? Logic to reach a conclusion? What sort of miscreant do you take me for? Sir, I will have you know that not only would I never consider such an abomination, I am more than a little offended by the accusation! I do what any normal person would do when faced with an intractable issue that they can't understand: I consult my magic 8-ball (preloaded with ridiculously hollow platitudes that make me feel better) and then put the convoluted business out of my head entirely.

My masters are the same as yours, although you may not readily see it. In the most specific and physical sense--which is the sense I was referring to--we share the master of society as it is currently defined. Every aspect of our every day is touched by its presence. Everything from our politics to our economics is bounded by this master.

In a more general sense--which may be more what you had mind--we share the dualistic masters of right/wrong, justice/injustice, and self/others. In other words, we are compelled to integrate our morality into our reason. That is the purpose of this evolving disaster of a blog. More to the point--and hopefully preemptively eluding any further distractions--if your master is God, then it would likely behoove you to heed the faculties that He has given you.

In the most basic sense, however, our most unforgiving masters are the ones given of our biology, pleasure/pain which are always considerations, even as our subordinate masters are playing out, and unfortunately tend to influence how we interpret those masters.

If you will play along and stop fighting the inevitable, I will not have to "tell you" what I believe the purpose of society should be; I will show you--using your own logic and conscience (faculties) no less.

We can only evaluate if what we currently have is ultimately serving, or defeating, its purpose once we establish a "purpose" that we can agree on, but not until then.

Your last question is somewhat personal, but in the interest of candidness, I will humor you. I am guessing that you are not looking for the standard "son, husband, father, long-suffering prole" answer. To be perfectly honest, I have not yet found a "purpose". I was never content with any of the convictions that I was presented as a child. As I matured, I did search, and that search has led me in many different directions, but I have still yet to embrace anything that I have encountered as purpose, in and of itself. I guess that until I do, I will be satisfied with searching for understanding, which may be something of a purpose in its own right.

Now, a little reciprocity would be refreshing----3 & 4???

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Sep 4, 2012, at 3:36 AM

Perhaps I should phrased it differently;

I believe 3 & 4 are an attempt at carefully guiding, or ensnaring, the mind of the intended target into the way of thinking of the interviewer in order to reached a desired conclusion.

These two items(3&4) are entirely dependent on the purpose. The creator of the flute should be able to direct its usage for the purpose it was intended (whether that is for music or a fancy doorstop).

Of course our purpose is personal! Without knowing what that is, then how can any thought decision or action you make be justified or condemned?

I believe my purpose is to be made into the image of God, that nothing has been left to chance, but is being carefully guided towards a defined conclusion. I also realize that not everyone has the same purpose, or belief in their purpose.

Compelling one to meet the purpose of another is to defeat the purpose of the first one. Therefore, our society should have only a government that acts on the lowest common denominator(s). Those being the preservation of individual life, faculties, and production,. These things belong to the individual for use in fulfilling our individual purpose (if known). To create a master that overrides the purpose of the individual is to defeat the purpose of individual(s) or attempt to define/redefine it based on.??? What purpose????

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Sep 4, 2012, at 6:47 AM

So--after I have honestly tried to answer your questions, sincerely tried to frame my questions fairly, and even "switched sides" with you, your comments have led us back to where we started? Yet you accuse me of "guiding" everything? How original.

You claim that you prefer a government of the "least common denominator"? Great--believe it or not, me too. "The preservation of individual life, faculties, and production" is a wonderful starting, and stopping point, for government. So how do we get there? Unfortunately, unless you will be living in some sort of communist utopia (wherein there are always plenty of resources and everyone wants to share) we still simply cannot escape this business of distribution. Production does not occur in a vacuum. Means of production (resources) will be contested. If we leave a void in the method of distribution, the "state of nature" will most certainly fill it. The resulting society would be shaped in a certain way as a result. I envision a society wherein the strongest, and most unscrupulous, are rewarded--with the majority of the remainder trampled underfoot. Sadly, in this world, the flute that believed itself a doorstop was never created. Its designer (although innovative) surely lacked the ability to procure the materials necessary for its production.

If you prefer, we could draw lots for resources, as Joshua did. If we were really serious about protecting personal property, we could even add a Year of Jubilee to the arrangement. Maybe you prefer a system of distribution involving "claim marking". If so, I guess the people would set about making flags and procuring the fastest transportation. Why not reward those who have collected the best shells? I guess everyone would then rush to the coast and fight over the largest and most colorful conches. Walnuts? Everyone abandons the coast and swarms the forests. You get the idea yet?

People are guided by the "invisible hand" to secure their best interests. You have alluded to this idea at least twenty times in the past. It should not come as any surprise that the "invisible hand" is indeed attached to an "invisible arm" (the law) or that the invisible arm is attached to an "invisible body" (the government). Although never specifically stated, you have also suggested this reality in the past. All that I am asking for is the very next step: a serious inquiry into "the invisible head" or the animating force of all this activity. It is distribution that ultimately directs the rest. It has always been, and always will be. If there is a problem in the chain, it emanates from the head. You see, "the hand" does not make mistakes. It is "purpose" incarnate.

My question remains simple and unlimited. What is an effective method of distribution that can be justified morally? The question that follows will be: "What do we currently have?" and the last question will be: "What are the differences between the two?

As an aside, you seem to be hinting around at a type of moral theory that does not really lend itself to governments, particularly those which are market-driven--for obvious reasons. If you are interested in such, and have not examined it yet, it is best described as deontological, and arguably, best expressed by Kant.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Sep 6, 2012, at 6:31 AM

Back to where we started? If you say so. I am getting pretty tired of it, as I am sure you and everyone else is. So I will make this my last entry.

Production does not occur in a vacuum. I agree! Fortunatley we weren't born into a vacuum. The business of distribution would not exist without production first, or more specifically over-production. If we produced only what we consumed then there would be no distribution whatsoever. It is only when we over produce that distribution is needed. Otherwise, it is merely supply that is needed. Supply can be obtained through labor of the resources avaiable where you were born or through distribution from someone who has overproduced.

The means of production is an issue,(I will elaborate) and the "State of nature" another issue.

The "State of nature" is something man, as part of nature, simply cannot escape. Every living thing survives by eating other living things. I agree that, in that, the strongest seem to prosper more. That does not mean that others are not also prosperous, especially when serving different pruposes. Does EVERYONE rush for the same conch if they have different purposes for it? Is EVERYONE willing to fight over the same one? I think not.

If, by your reasoning, the most skilled player gets the best flute, then the state of nature is carried out by the skill (strength) of the player. If a society, any society, is formed with masters, then the strongest, or possibly "most unscrupulous" will eventually occupy the "masters" position.

Means of production and in a greater sense, the means to meet your purpose.

1.)Information- Either true or false information, concerning purpose.

2.)Faith- The belief that our understanding (whether true or false) of the information is correct.

3.)Action- The desire to act(preferably wisely) on our beliefs based on the information and purpose.

In order for production to occur these three things must be present. In addition, there may also be materials needed.

I assume by means of production you are actually referring to materials and machinery. Communist and "society owned property" idealogies use this frequently as the reason for injustice among the working class. Indeed, these things can be used as a means to plunder the workers.

It is not that the wealth has been unfairly distributed, but that the information is being withheld or manipulated in such a way as to prevent a faithful, wise, action to be taken. This first step in production is crucial to the worker in order to know the value of his labor. Without this information, he is vulnerable to being plundered by his employer.

He has no right to the means of production unless he has produced, or purchased, it himself. He has every right to the fruits of his labor. He should be compensated as much as possible for it. Of course the owner of the means of production (which in many cases is the worker himself) should be able to profit as well. This in turn allows him to move up the chain or "state of nature" in the pursuit of happiness.

The "invisible head". I call God. His commands are simple.

1.)Love him more than anything.

2.)Love your neighbor as yourself.

These are my basis for morality.

Good is not determined by my willingness to do my duty my master has laid out for me, but by Love. Acknowledging Love, faithfully accepting it, and doing my best to serve the purpose of Love.

If I love my neighbor as myself, as a prosperous business owner, I want all my employess to be as prosperous as I am. Therefore I will pay them as much as I possibly can, and disclose all the information concerning costs to them.

Man has long sought a legislative solution to a moral problem with only limited, temporary success. That should come as no suprise. It may actually fit the desciption of insanity, in that, we are constantly repeating the same steps but expecting a different result.

What do we do? That is the question isn't it

? I know what my personal answer is and I am already acting on it. However, as a society, the one answer that will meet the purpose of all different pursuits has never been found and accepted, most likely due to wanting to control nature while rejecting the supernatural.

The best we can hope for then is for the prevention of contamination, by minimizing the force of law. Which leads to my air analogy:

The air has been distributed (naturally) the only thing man can really do is to contaminate it. Now, to the one who breaks wind, the contamination is not so bad. To his neighbor on the seat beside him, it is a different story. This is most likely how I would see any master that you, I, or society, would create.

That is a bit of a foul thought, I know. But, I will end with that, and let the readers decide for themselves what they think of all we have said.

I pray that your purpose of seeking understanding will find you fulfilled. I ask that you consider that wisdom may be found even if you can't see, measure, or justify it intellectually.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Sep 6, 2012, at 8:50 PM

It's amazing, a country that was "DISCOVERED" by illegal immigrants now feels it has the moral audacity to be the God of how to do it right.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Sep 18, 2012, at 8:44 PM


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Rodney Simmons is a life long resident of Bedford County. He grew up in the Halls Mill area and graduated from Community High School. Rodney's career has primarily been in the construction industry and he holds a degree in Construction Management. Some of his hobbies include fishing, reading and writing. He presently lives in Shelbyville with his wife and two teenage children.
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