Politics as Easy as Pie

English: "Enemies of the people" hea...

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Politics as Easy as Pie is a talk I’ve listened to from Congressman Bob McEwen. He makes several excellent points. I’ll try to relay some of them here.

The greater the freedom, the greater the wealth; the greater the government, the greater the poverty. Every dollar that you earn increases the choices you can make. When someone takes some of your dollars, you have fewer choices. There are two ways to get money from people, willingly and unwillingly. People part with their money willingly when they see a product or service that is more valuable to them than the money it costs to pay for it. Only two kinds of people can take your money from you unwillingly. One is a crook who points a gun at you and takes what he wants. The other is the government who “points a gun” at you and takes what they want. Countries, states, and cities that have higher tax burden on their citizens have greater poverty. Those that have lower tax burden on their citizens have greater prosperity.

We should limit government to do only what is necessary for it to do. In addition to the reason explained above, government will always be more wasteful in its spending. This is because all government programs involve third-party purchases. Third-party purchases are items bought for other people using other people’s money. If I am buying something for myself with my own money, both price and quality matter. If I am buying something for someone else with my own money, price matters, but quality not so much. If I am buying something for myself with someone else’s money, then quality matters but not price. BUT if I am buying something for someone else with someone else’s money, I do not care about price or quality. This is exactly what government programs involve: third-party purchases. It is one more reason why government should only be involved in those areas in which it is absolutely necessary.

“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In our nation life is the first of our unalienable rights. That is not an accident. At the same time we were having our revolution, the French were having one on the other side of the Atlantic. Their three main goals were liberty and equality and fraternity. They started with freedom then equality and then unity or union. We saw the results of this philosophy by the thousands killed by the guillotine. Because of founding of nations on something other than the laws of nature and of nature’s God, we have seen millions die under enforced equality and union. As our nation has lost its moral way we have lost our commitment to the right to life as primary. However, there is some evidence in the large number of pro-life laws passed in the last year that public opinion on this might be turning back around.

If these ideas pique your interest, you might want to hear Congressman McEwen’s talk yourself. Here is a link to his talk brought to you by FamilyTalk. This link takes you to a slightly different version of his talk brought to you by WallBuilders.

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Prison Reform

English: Concertina razor wire at a prison

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WallBuilders had Jack Cowley on to discuss reducing recidivism amongst our prison population. Faith-based prisons in Alabama have reduced recidivism from somewhere around 80% down to less than 10% recidivism. The faith-based prison program is a part of Alpha USA involves local churches and members in a restitution and reconciliation process. These prisons are not set up based on simply doing your time. The prison population is somewhere around 60% non-violent offenders. If those nonviolent offenders would work better in these faith-based style systems, we would save a large amount of money in our prison system. A greater savings which is somewhat intangible would actually occur in the reduction of the children of prisoners following in their father’s footsteps going to prison. There’s a very high percentage of children of inmates who end up on welfare and also in prison. It contributes to the epidemic of fatherless children.

On BreakPoint this week, they discussed HOPE: Hawaii Opportunity Probation Enforcement. This is another new approach to enforcing nonviolent offenses by drug users that actually works. The crux of the program is that prisoners on probation are randomly drug tested. If they test positively they are immediately taken into custody for a few days. Typically when an inmate on probation tests positively they get several chances before the system catches up with any real consequence, giving the appearance of being able to break their probation with impunity. HOPE’s quick response time builds in a air of seriousness to the crime and encouraged the users to get clean and stay clean.

The program saves money to the tune of three dollars saved for every one dollars spent for regular enforcement. HOPE has also demonstrated a reduction in repeat offenses, therefore, reducing prison populations.

The Great Recovery

If you are a teacher in California these days, you might be having to live a little leaner these days. My wife and I have been using Dave Ramsey’s financial materials for a few years now. He has a method for handling finances in a practical methodical way. If you are needing help managing your income and expenses I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s program.

I received an article from Dave Ramsey’s The Great Recovery movement entitled What Should You Expect from your Candidates? I appreciate Dave’s usual no-nonsense approach to politics. He emphasizes the fact that I have a lot more to do with what happens in my personal finances than Washington does. I need to vote and participate in our political process to get the best available leaders in office. But if I am waiting around expecting Washington or Sacramento to fix my financial situation, I’m going to be waiting a long time. And their solution will never work as well as something I could have come up with on my own. The thing that will fix my financial situation best is my own paying attention, learning, working hard, living on a budget, etc.

A quick summary of the characteristics includes the following:

  • Integrity
  • Cuts wasteful spending
  • Common sense
  • A good steward of money
  • Someone who listens
  • Strong leadership ability
  • Quick problem solving

If you’d like to read the article in its entirety click on this link What Should You Expect from your Candidates? You can also follow the link to learn more about The Great Recovery: a national recovery program that is guaranteed to be successful because it doesn’t depend on Washington. The Great Recovery appeals up the chain of command from Washington to fix our national financial problem. The Great Recovery appeals to We The People.