Food Inc.



The ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER


This one is a little different …….
Two Different Versions …..
Two Different Morals

OLD VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter..

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE OLD STORY:

Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the antis a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the antin his comfortable home with a table filled with food America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Grasshopper..’

ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, he shall overcome.

Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper’s sake.

President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper,  and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of Grasshopper bugs and, having  nothing left to  pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the  Government  Grasshopper Czar and given  to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, rumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found  dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now  abandoned, is taken over  by a gang of  spiders who terrorize and ramshackle, the once prosperous and peaceful, neighborhood.

The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY:

Be careful how you vote in 2012

Are you an Ant?

- Unknown Author


Bring us Utopia…


“We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living. The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within its confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand: … an end to the power of the financial interests. We demand profit sharing in big business. We demand a broad extension of care for the aged. We demand … the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of national, state, and municipal governments. In order to make possible to every capable and industrious [citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education … We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents … The government must undertake the improvement of public health – by protecting mother and child… by the greatest possible support for all clubs concerned with the physical education of youth. We combat the … materialistic spirit within and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of the common good before the individual good.”

“We demand the state shall make its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens.”

“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”

 “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system.”

 

For the first quote I site: The political program adopted, in Munich, February 24, 1920, by the National Nazi Party.

And the second, third, and fourth: Adolph Hitler.

Nazis are murders, racists … and left –wingers?  How could that be?  We’ve been told by our liberal news media and our government ran public schools, that Hitler was most definitely a right-wing conservative dictator (which is a contradiction in itself,) just like Reagan and Bush.  But wait.  These quotes sound more like something we’ve heard recently from the Obama administration.

Ok, so liberals promise jobs to the jobless and healthcare for those who can’t afford it – they will clamp down on big business and end the class struggles – if it’s possible –  these are all good things, right? And these ideas also accepted by the people of Germany when Hitler was appointed Chancellor.

Common people loved Hitler.  Common people – not murders or racist – just people.  These people were not stupid and defenseless, they just let their guard down, Hitler was going to bring them Utopia.

Gun control, anti-capitalism, phrases like “for the common good” or “common interest”, spreading the wealth, nationalization of business, retirement insurance funded by the government, rent free living areas, promises of jobs and roads, unions, and price caps…  Hitler promised them the perfect world. And so we are now – promised, if we would only have “faith”.  Some want the american people to simply believe what they say.  No proof, no explanation of why this will work now (but, they may to need to compare today with past because so many are forgetting our history.)

There were some who were suspicious of the extreme socialist tendencies of the Nazi party.  But the Nazis were very convincing. Convincing when it came to politics, there was no need for threats and force in the beginning.  Germans were in love with his ideas.


Who Are Conservatives?


Here I want to discuss Conservative values.  Not the positions you may see from extremist or in Washington, but the Conservative next door. (At least the ones I’ve met next door.)

I’ve found recently that when I tell people I am a Conservative, I get some unusual responses on what others, non-Conservatives, believe about what it means to be politically, socially, and economically conservative.

Now, I would like to give you my definition of a Conservative:

  1. Believes in personal responsibility
  2. Empowerment of the individual
  3. Limited government
  4. Free markets
  5. Individual liberty
  6. Government should provide:
    1. A strong national defense
    2. Protect freedom and individual rights

Furthermore, I would describe Conservatives as those who have an unyielding desire for truth.  Will give willing and generously without of the forced spreading of wealth.  Believe in individualism and self-reliance  instead of depending on a government, a government which can never fulfill everyone’s needs.  Believes in the right to protect oneself.  And, accept as true that wealth is only a product of hard work and not an objective.

There is nothing here that is insensitive, about taxes, big business, abortion, or immigration.  Just the core values of a true Conservative.


Something to Consider as Constituents


As unemployment rises, jobs continue to leave North Carolina and North Carolina congressmen share no obvious side on the issue. In the summer of 2009, North Carolina’s congressmen voted seven to six against the Cap and Trade bill, which would undoubtedly send jobs overseas. Although seven representatives voted against the bill, six voted for a bill that would raise energy cost and could send what is left of North Carolina’s manufacturing jobs out of the country. Carolina residents have given the responsibility of insuring available employment to lawmakers. Are lawmakers doing what is best for their constituents by supporting the Cap and Trade legislation?

Using the cap and trade system, this bill would put an economic cap on emissions, thus encouraging utilities, manufacturing companies and others to switch to more environment friendly methods. However, during an economic recession, this would be the final straw for some companies. Employers will be forced to shut the doors and leave more unemployed. The Center for Data Analysis, part of the Heritage Foundation, found that 3,252 jobs and $295 million dollars would be lost in Western North Carolina in 2012 as a result of the Cap and Trade Bill. Campell and Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation said, “Placing a cap on carbon emissions, via rationing, taxing, and eliminating consumer choice, will have major implications for American families and the economy.” This bill, based in unproven science, would further burden an already distressed economy.

McLaughlin, writer for the American Thinker, has released a summary of the research used to justify the Cap and Trade legislation. He found that the mathematical process used to determine global warming, now known, as climate change, “has been shown to be flawed, if not fraudulent.” And, “There appears to be no serious evidence that some form of unprecedented global warming is underway.” The Science and Public Institute found that the U.S. government has spent more than $79 billion tax dollars since 1989 on climate change research and policy. However, they admit the audits on the use of tax dollars and the research from it has been “uncoordinated.” McLaughlin claims that manmade global warming may be, “one of the greatest hoaxes in world history.”

Others are sharing in McLaughlin’s skepticism of Cap and Trade. North Carolina State Director, Gregg Thompson, claims Cap and Trade is, “being sold as a plan to help clean the environment, but it’s really just a tax on energy.” The Heritage Foundations also found that Cap and Trade would raise of the cost of electricity in North Carolina an average of $750.42 a year per household between 2012 and 2035. This will drive up the cost of everything from gasoline to office supplies. So, you can image what this would do to small business owners who account for 98 percent of employers in North Carolina.

There is no denying North Carolinians need to be considerate to the environment around them. For example, run-off has become a serious problem for North Carolina. Development of roads and other manmade structure cause an increase in run-off, which can lead to erosion, flooding, and pollutants in drinking water. Because of this, the Clean Water Responsibility Act became law to help reduce the impact of run-off. So it could be argued that the Cap and Trade will do for climate change what the Clean Water Responsibility Act has done for our rivers and streams. Senator Lamar Alexander puts is best when saying, “I have no problem with the problem; my problem is with the proposed solution. It’s going to make it harder for Americans to support their families. When it’s all wrapped up and put together, it will be a combination of economy-wide cap and trade and mandates for narrowly defined renewable energy sources, a well-intentioned one thousand pages of taxes, mandates and surprises.”

The long-term effects of climate change could be devastating . Warmer weather could completely shift North Carolina’s ecosystem and cause several tree varieties, such as the sugar maple, to shift to the north and out of the Carolinas. The sugar maple is a valuable resource as it is a highly sought after lumber. So, the question is, can Cap and Trade fix the environment? Perhaps it could help improve the climate on a national level, but what about on the global level? If a polluting American company no longer exists, will a foreign company not pick up their clientele? They will, at least for some time, until American job losses cause a serious global economic depression.

It is true that something must be done to improve the world around us. Whether it is the environment or our economic future. Can we sacrifice our jobs, the security of our families, and the security of our nation? We cannot assume one is more important than the other. As constituents, we have the authority in law making, by selecting senators and representatives who understand our needs. For now, our representatives are preserving North Carolinian’s welfare, seven to six.


Give Education Back to Parents


Should the government do anything that stands in the way of parent’s choosing the sort of education their children receive? Parents have long debated public school versus private, but parents today are finding it easier to make the decision due to their monetary situations. Because of the current economic state, private school enrollment is down. Only eleven percent of the United State’s elementary students attend private schools. And, this number is dropping due to rising education costs and the financial struggles of the American family.

“The principle of equality states that it is bad for some people to be worse off than others.” Applied to education, this means that it is not beneficial to all for some students to receive a lesser education than other. Luck describes this by stating, “… there is equity between our students when they are dealt with fairly and there is equality between our students when they are dealt with similarly. It is clearly the case that inequality can lead to inequity. For example, if when babysitting two children of the same age, I let one stay up later than the other, then, ceteris paribus, I act unfairly because I have not treated the children similarly.” This means it is most fair, and for the good of all, that each student is given the same opportunity. Public schools accomplish this.

It is obvious that giving everyone the opportunity for an education is good for Americans. This means brighter, educated citizens, which creates competition and leads to advancement. An educated community will ultimately bread enlightenment and a better state of being for all.

However, does this mean that parent’s no longer have the right to decide what they feel best for their family? Does this also mean that that the government should be the ultimate authority in education? I believe each family should have the ability to decide education for themselves. The government should not take this right from them. An unfortunate side effect of a socialized education system is that, like many government institutions, public schools are expensive to sustain. As a taxpayer, each American contributes more and more each year to maintain the public school system. This puts added financial burden that removes the capability of providing private school tuition to their children.

Some states have begun instituting tax credits for parent’s who place their students in private schools thus removing some financial burden. This gives parent the opportunity to choose. States such as Georgia and Louisiana have led the way and others, Florida and Okalahoma, are following.  Utah claims to have had a 30% decrease in the cost of educations, that’s also calculating in the money spend on the tax credits. According to Enlow in his article, “Don’t Write Them Off,” this is most likely due to the knowledge that ”…private schools produce better academic achievement.” It has long been determined that private schools produce better results on the national assessment, especially in the areas concerning reading, writing, and creative thinking. This is why some parents choose private schools, they want the best education possible for their children. And, some even feel that the government’s role in education is beyond its authority. Government is an organization of people, and people are imperfect. Allowing such an organization to totally educate our future is a threat to free thought and innovation.

Luck also acknowledges that what is fair may not necessarily be education equally divided among us. He states, “there are cases where inequality does not lead to inequity…if when babysitting two children of different ages, I let the older one stay up later, then although I have not treated them the same it does not follow that I have treated them unfairly.” Consequently, inequality does not always indicate unfairness.

I can understand the need for each of us to support our own and other’s children. We must do all we can to increase the status quo in education. What is best for everyone is an education for all. But, the added burden of supporting the expensive socialized education system restricts the rights of the middle-class American. A tax credit for private school tuition is a fair way of dealing with this. It does not remove any rights of those who choose public while enabling those who prefer private. The long-term added value may be the innovative ideas that result from a mosaic of thoughts.


Socialism Today


According to Winston Churchill, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” Supporters of socialism, the social system that allows private property and distribution of wealth to be controlled by the government, believe it to be the only morally sound social system. Followers like Marx and Engels wrote in the Manifesto of the Communist Party, “the condition for the free development of each is the free development of all.” Economists, like Pierre Lemieux, suggest socialism has a devastating effect on citizen’s work ethic and how they receive their healthcare and education. The opponents believe that if socialism becomes the standard in the US, the rights that Americans are accustom to will no longer be rights, but privileges, just as has happened in Canada’s healthcare system. Can American’s risk acquiring a social, economic system that has failed so many other nations?

Socialism’s modern day origins as a social movement begin in the industrial revolution, though the ideas can be found in ancient Greece and early Christian communities. Socialist believe individuals do not live or work for their individual benefit, but instead in cooperation. Therefore, everything is a social product and everyone who contributes has a right to it. This is where antisocialist economists begin to argue against socialism, everyone does not contribute and those that do contribute do not do so equally.

Mark Perry wrote in Why Socialism Failed that, “Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principals of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one crucial defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.” Due to the lack of incentives, socialism is in direct opposition to capitalism. Capitalism is a social system that is built on the importance of incentives. Perry also insists that socialism only works in a perfect world with perfect individuals. And, if perfection were possible, the economic system would be irrelevant. This is why capitalist economists believe incentives are so important to a successful economy. Rewards and failures through competition encourage efficiency. The “tragedy of the commons” is the title given to the occurrence during sixteenth century Britain when pastures were made public, given to the community for public use. The land was over used, not cared for, and made worthless. Because everyone owned it, no one valued it. Socialist supporters might argue that the problem in “the tragedy of the commons” was lack of oversight and mismanagement. Here lies the next fundamental problem of socialism: a nation’s economy is too complex and cost too much to manage.

Under socialism a ruling class decides what is best for everyone. This creates an expensive bureaucracy, unreliable due to the imperfect people in control. Socialism is based on the idea that there is a certain amount of wealth and this must be divided equally. This means when individuals create excess wealth for themselves they must use that excess to provide for their neighbor, for the greater good. But, what happens when there are more people receiving that giving? One person’s gain will always be another’s loss in a socialized society.

Today, in the US, we have a mixed system: those,” whose means of survival is contingent upon the forced expropriation of wealth from the working class citizen by a professional class of government social planners,” according to C. Bradley Thompson. The US is slowly heading more and more into a socialize system and away from capitalism. Socialized healthcare, for example, is a hot topic in the US today. Promises are being made of healthcare for all ignoring the lessons learned by its neighbor, Canada.

In Canada, socialized healthcare is available for all and forced upon all. There is no opt-out option for Canadian citizens. Each must pay for the healthcare regardless of use. The average two-child family pays over five thousand dollars per year in taxes for healthcare. Because the systems are run by the government there is no price competition. The government has the monopoly on healthcare causing higher cost and slow technological advancements. Attributable to the perception of zero cost, demand has increased and supply has decreased. The result is longer lines and extended waits for basic treatments and diagnostic tests. Individuals can wait up to twelve months for an appointment with a neurosurgeon. Since taxes are already high, the government has no choice but to reduce cost by reducing the number of beds and cutting the salaries of doctors and nurses. This has sent many healthcare professionals to more profitable systems such as in the US. By decreasing the perceived cost and increasing the demand, the level of service one could expect from Canada’s socialized healthcare system has fallen.

The alternative, capitalism, also has its hardships. Mismanagement of companies causes job loss, but this is where capitalism rises above socialism. One can always work harder and rise above. Well-managed companies pick up the fallen company’s clients and employees. Without the higher tax to pay for oversized bureaucracy, families and companies can take care of themselves, keeping the jobs within the US and paying for there own healthcare. This is a system that has worked and can continue to work as long as the US does not allow the system to be corrupted by the facade of good intentions.

The US’ current economic system may have its flaws and socialist promises are appealing but one educated in the reality of the state of Canada’s healthcare system would steer clear. The fundamentals behind “spreading the wealth” are unsound and only encourage sloth and penalize the working class. What is fair may not always be equal.

Update : This is a bit dated but has some interesting perspectives - http://www.politicalbyline.com/2008/06/27/living-proof-that-socialized-healthcare-does-not-work/


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.