Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Thoughts and Libertarian Ideals

If you believe in small government (and small business), how do you defend those ideals when confronted with arguments that "government is necessary" to help those in need? (Put aside the idiotic "needs" from cell phones to high-speed Internet connections now supported by government.)

Here's my answer:

Do something for your community. If you don't want activist government, you need to support charitable non-governmental organizations. Unless you give time, energy, resources, and money, to various causes, then progressives are going to have a more valid argument that government is the preferred charity.

My success in life is possible only because other people voluntarily helped me achieve more. The list of supporters is long, beginning, with my parents, grandparents, and extended family. My wife, my in-laws, and many friends also helped me along the way. Then there are the strangers who donated to the universities I attended, making scholarships possible.

I did not succeed on my own; success came with the help and mentoring of others.

These were not government officials or federal programs. These were family, friends, and strangers in my communities doing good deeds that they wanted to do. And in return, I hope to give to my community, friends, and family members.

We can mock the left for their "You didn't build that!" stupidity, because it wasn't government that contributed to my success or that of many others. It was other people, acting as individuals and groups because they wanted to help — not because they were forced to do so.

If those of us favoring small government don't get involved and fail to help others, we'll end up surrounded by yet more "compassionate" government.

Political Christmas means people telling us what Jesus, the Old Testament Prophets, and the Pope might believe is the proper role of government. Progressives, Anglo-American liberals, democratic socialists, and so on, are busy telling us how heartless, un-Christian, un-caring, and un-compassionate libertarian and conservative ideals are.

Because, clearly, the only "charity" that counts is what government does for people.

Rejecting the notion that a government that relies on the threat of force to take and redistribute wealth and income is not charitable is insufficient to win arguments about charity and what is or is not compassionate. I recognize this is not politically correct, but a majority will always support taking wealth from the minority. It's also easy to believe that the wealthy or the high-income earners somehow cheated to reach the top. (Not that some don't cheat or manipulate the system — which is another reason to dislike powerful government, which inevitably drifts towards favoritism.)

Do something. Take action. Change the world for the better. Doing nothing is not a solution and certainly not a defense against creeping government.


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/opinion/21kristof.html

http://www.amazon.com/Who-Really-Cares-Compassionate-Conservatism/dp/0465008232

http://almostclassical.blogspot.com/2012/09/redistribution-is-not-compassion-taxes.html