Politics is about compromise, but compromise does not mean caving in. To compromise means not getting everything we want, but it does mean getting at least something. If we seek five significant changes, and end up with only one, then we are better off than before. We must know what things we want, know the order in which we value them, and know the order in which they can be achieved politically. The following is a set of principles and policies, listed in no particular order, of what I believe ought to be accomplished politically to achieve a better government and a freer, more peaceful, and more prosperous country.
I've left out radical, theoretical concepts such as privatized roads and the abolition of the armed forces. I also left out any desires for Constitutional change. Some of these are broad principles, others more specific proposals. I think writing this out is good for anyone to clarify their own thoughts. We must know what we want to achieve before we decide on, and work for, what we can achieve.
I may think of more things later on, but here's the initial list:
WHAT I BELIEVE
- Subsidiarity and federalism, as opposed to powerful central government
- A foreign policy committed to peace and a military focused on defense, as opposed to militarism and "force" as a foreign policy "option."
- Free markets, as opposed to socialism
- Free trade, as opposed to protectionism
- National sovereignty, as opposed to international treaties and agencies that can impose laws and regulations on us.
- Hard money defined by its weight in gold, as opposed to "fiat" money whereby a government-established central bank (in the USA, the Federal Reserve) controls how much paper money can flow in the economy.
- Balanced budgets, as opposed to "growing" the economy through deficit spending.
- A literal interpretation of the Constitution, as opposed to a "living" Constitution subject to random interpretation.
- A free market in all of the professions, as opposed to state certifications and licensure that hide and protect incompetence.
- A free market in health and safety, as private insurance companies would rather prevent accidents than pay out liability claims.
- A free market in education, as opposed to "public" education.
- A deregulated, free market in health care.
- A deregulated, free market in the drug industry.
- Decriminalization of now-banned drugs.
- Deference to state sovereignty on moral and cultural issues not addressed by the federal constitution.
- Moral behavior checked by personal contracts and family and religious discipline, not by state legislation.
- Non-interference by the State in pregnancies or in end-of-life medical decisions.
- Public decency laws (e.g., banning pornography on billboards) made at the local level, but having no reach into private property.
- Complete freedom of association as opposed to anti-discrimination laws.
- Smoking policies set by individual proprietors, not by any government.
- A free market in gambling, as opposed to state control of the industry for state profit.
- The unalienable right to own weapons of self-defense.
- War powers reserved to the Congress, not to the President.
- Postal services subject to free market competition.
- Abolition of all personal income taxes.
- Abolition of "eminent domain" powers in which the government transfers, by force, land owned by one private party to another private party.
- The separation of Marriage and State.
- Restrictions on immigration, if any, should be for security and economic reasons, not cultural reasons.
- Churches should not be recognized as anything other than private organizations.
- The abolition of all forms of federal aid to higher education.
- Any college or university having the right to make any rules as it sees fit, politically correct or not, subject only to the laws of its state.
- That, as much as we might want it to, the federal Bill of Rights does not apply to state and local government and it is of no concern of a citizen in one state that the people in another say prayers at public ceremonies.
- The separation of Culture and State, as opposed to federal support of federal support of public broadcasting, the arts, and the humanities.
- Federal broadcast licenses rented out according to market value, not just given away, with the broadcaster then having complete freedom of content.
- Restitution for the victim as the basis for criminal justice, not imprisonment.
- All Constitutional powers of the federal government administered in these four cabinet departments: State, Treasury, Defense, the Interior.
- A non-ideological foreign policy, as opposed to trade sanctions and wars to spread "democracy."
- Dismantling of Social Security and Medicare, and all federal charitable programs.
- End of all federal aid to agriculture and business.
- End of federal "mandates" and aid to state governments.
- Taxation based on land values, use of natural resources, and incidental privileges such as incorporation and patent rights, as opposed to taxes on working, saving, investing, spending.
Sounds crazy, huh? One may only agree with, say, three of them. But that's the point of the entire exercise: Which three? Another may say, "But how are you going to get rid of Social Security?" Good question; I don't know! But I do know that it is a socially unjust system that steals from the working poor money that they of all people need the most, and that we'd be better off without it. That's why it's on my list. Just because it's on the list doesn't mean its politically feasible today. It just means it is something I would like to see happen.
If enough people wrote their own lists, maybe we can find some common ground and work for real change. Maybe what we once thought was impossible is achievable after all.
Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.
A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.