An expert opinion about government

Written by Kurt St. Angelo

An expert opinion about government by Kurt St. Angelo @2005 Libertarian Writers' Bureau

When we have a plumbing problem, we call a plumber. When we have a problem with our government, we call someone who studied government. Right?

I majored in government in college. I am an attorney andrepparttar son of a former Indiana Democratic Party chairperson. I receivedrepparttar 113452 highest grade in my public high school class of 1,250 students in a standardized government exam. I have government, politics and law running through my veins, but does anyone ever call me with their government problems? Heck no! Everybody’s an expert on government, some just more than others. Very few government experts, except some Libertarians, seem to know anything about our unalienable natural rights. These rights are referred to inrepparttar 113453 Declaration of Independence (1776) and in both of Indiana’s constitutions (1816 and 1851). The former reads: “WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty andrepparttar 113454 Pursuit of Happiness …”

Unalienable rights are natural choices – choices that Nature or our Creator gives us as our birthright, and that we cannot give up, waive or “lien” away. They are choices for which we would not naturally ask government’s permission, nor for which we can rightly be punished. The only moral and lawful limit torepparttar 113455 exercise of our natural rights is to refrain from violatingrepparttar 113456 same rights of others.

We don’t ask government’s permission to eat, breathe, drink, userepparttar 113457 toilet or sleep. Nor do we call our favorite bureaucrat to think, pray or recreate. We also have natural rights to possess property, to contract with one another and to defend ourselves – all withoutrepparttar 113458 permission of government.

As well, we haverepparttar 113459 right to exchange our talents for value, calledrepparttar 113460 right to work. This natural right does not mean that we have a right to a job or a certain wage. Those “rights” are actually government-bestowed privileges, called civil rights. All civil rights benefit one special-interest group atrepparttar 113461 expense ofrepparttar 113462 natural rights or choices of others.

Natural unalienable rights are rights or choices that our ancestors exercised long before any governments (and their civil rights) were conceived. What made this country’s various governments different from all others before them was that they promised to protect these rights, free fromrepparttar 113463 will and tyranny of those more powerful. “(T)o secure these Rights,” saysrepparttar 113464 Declaration of Independence, “Governments are instituted among Men.”

Serfs had it better

Written by Kurt St. Angelo

With our present taxation, you and I control less than 50 percent of what we earn, while a mere majority of our local, state and federal representatives – about 360 people – control more than 50 percent of our earnings.

We are quantifiably less than 50 percent economically free. Even serfs cut better economic deals with their masters. If our local, state and federal governments cut spending and lowered only your taxes, would that make you wealthier? Yes. Would it also make me wealthier? Yes, though not torepparttar same extent. When governments cut spending and lower only your taxes, this still benefitsrepparttar 113451 rest of us.

I learned this in high school when we studied The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, a book published in 1776. Smith correctly theorized thatrepparttar 113452 cumulative effect of individuals seeking their own self-interest works like an invisible hand to allocate economic resources, stimulate innovation and create national wealth.

This isrepparttar 113453 opposite view held by proponents of controlled economies, who say that resources and wealth are best allocated centrally, byrepparttar 113454 few, fromrepparttar 113455 top down. Such proponents believe that you can benefit most when government extracts more from me. Followers of Smith, including modern-day libertarians, believe that we all benefit when government extracts less from you or me, but preferably both.

The dismal history of controlled economies validates Smith’s theories andrepparttar 113456 value of free markets. Nations where a relatively few people make decisions for others comprise most ofrepparttar 113457 world’s poorest nations. The former Soviet Union, Cuba, mainland China, Eastern Europe, Burma and North Korea are perfect examples.

Because of our nation’s accumulated wealth, relatively poor people here enjoy higher standards of living than relatively richer people in controlled economies. Our nation’s poor enjoy higher quality products, at lower prices, and more choices in everything from televisions to toothpaste thanrepparttar 113458 richest man in Romania. America’s poor breathe better air, drink better water, have better sanitation, and have more heat, food and health care available than most ofrepparttar 113459 billions of people inrepparttar 113460 world – all because of our country’s relative wealth.

But here are two caveats about national wealth. First, all nations, including ours, become relatively poorer when their leaders make economic decisions for others. And second, declines in national wealth always hurt that nation’s poor first and worst. Economic policies that promote wealth ironically arerepparttar 113461 most effective ways to helprepparttar 113462 poor.

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