Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-31B: thankfulness?

by Nathan Barton

Good afternoon, and join me in being thankful (to God) for the prosperity and liberty we still do have.  Troubled as the Fifty States are, stagnant as our economy is, we have an abundance of both compared to too many people in history and too many people on the planet today.  Not sayin’ that we should not have more, mind you.  Just that we are better off than most.

For now, at least.  Under the Fuehrer’s benevolent administration, the Federal Debt has climbed a wee bit: The total federal debt of the U.S. government has now increased more than $7 trillion during the slightly more than five and a half years Barack Obama has been president.  I won’t bore you with the “exact” number, which was accurate only for a few milliseconds some days ago.  It is, of course, all Bush’s fault: well, not quite, as the Republican House of Representatives must also share some blame.  But imagine how poor we would be if we (collectively) hadn’t spent $7T that we don’t have.  Be thankful that there is all this “free” money out there?  Hardly.  Be thankful that they aren’t burning through bogus money even faster than they are.

Which should make us appreciate more how we can repay this wonderful government benevolence by stepping up to the plate and taking on obligations as citizens.  Nazgul Ginsburg flat out stated this week that buying contraceptives for other people (well, specifically, women) is one of the obligations of citizenship. You know, the only thing that seems to be growing faster than the number of “rights” we have in this country, is the number of “obligations” those with any jobs or money have.  Oh, how thankful we can be that they aren’t coming up with MORE “rights” and “obligations.”

I recently received this plea from an acquaintance: hardly a correspondent and definitely NOT a friend: “Please keep in mind that air pollution caused 7 million deaths in 2012 according to the World Health Organization.”  Sad, isn’t it?  These seven million people would have lived FOREVER if not for air pollution: nothing else was bad enough to kill them off.  If we eliminate air pollution, will we all live forever?  We can be thankful that environism isn’t even more powerful a political force than it is, and that most of them are incredibly stupid.

Did you know?  Some people are claiming that the natural ingredients of citrus fruit and leaves (including oranges and lemons) include DMT and other Schedule 1 drugs. Scofflaws will love this: imagine the next time at Safeway or Lueders when you buy some lemons or some oranges and mention “getting my fix,” how much fun you can have with the clerk and everyone within hearing, including that sheriff’s deputy who just got hired from Denver! Thankfully, right now we can still buy and eat oranges and lemons and grapefruit.

Supposedly, several people have invented and “proven” in the laboratory that they can make jet fuel (that is, kerosene) out of sunlight and thin air: using the moisture in the air and solar concentrators (very large solar ovens, usually involving lots of mirrors) to produce syngas by breaking up water and carbon dioxide molecules and then combining the hydrogen and carbon into simple hydrocarbons.  But this lab test used – get this – “artificial sunlight.”  (Can’t waste the real thing, I guess.)  And this has the amazing efficiency of 1.74% for the first stage (the syngas) and would “only” take a couple of square kilometers of land.  As I told Scott (who sent me this article, thanks!) “This sounds like a Popular Science article.  Right next to the “everyone will fly their car to work next week” and “household robots available from $19.95″ (designed and produced by D.B.Davis, no doubt).”  Look, I’m thankful that people are coming up with ideas like this; I just wish that they would realistically look at the processes and NOT hype them (mostly, I fear, for the purpose of getting government money to “develop” their process).

A decision from the National Labor Relations Board would hold McDonald’s liable for its franchisees’ employment decisions.  This of course is a significant blow to the entire concept of “franchise” since the idea is that the owners/operators of a franchise are independent businessmen who make (and are responsible for) their own decisions.  Corporate establishes policy and standards and provides for cooperative buying, advertising, and such, but enforcement of standards is limited, as is (supposedly) liability.  Now, another gang of appointed bootlickers of the administration and congress can turn over any law they please, and abuse businesses AND employees AND consumers all at once.  Thankfully, for now, McD’s and BK and other places are NOT unionized (which I suspect is part of the reason for this decision: to force unionization) and NOT as much under the thumb of government as they could be.

Medicare lists 1,700 different procedures that the program requires to be performed in a hospital, rather than an outpatient facility, in order to qualify for Medicare reimbursement.  This is typical of government, and surely supported by the big medical care corporations (Banner and Kaiser both come to mind), and shows ANOTHER reason government has no business in health care: it cannot respond to changes in the marketplace, to new inventions, and to consumer demand.  Walk-in surgical clinics, like urgent-care clinics, did not exist three decades ago, but are a tremendous savings in cost – AND offer opportunities to avoid needless bureaucracy.  But for millions of retired people, this creates a situation in which they lose, more and more.  Thankfully, those of us not dependent on Medicare CAN and DO use these facilities to save a little money (and time).

Mama’s Note: Also consider the very real possibility that the smaller and more locally run surgery centers and so forth have a much better overall record for good patient care, accuracy and much lower levels of infection. As always, check out the facility you plan to use and discover the history yourself, but it is very clear that the larger the hospital – sadly, including teaching hospitals these days – the greater your overall risk… quite aside from the cost.

According to a Congressional Budget Office study, workers bear 70 percent of the corporate tax burden, and therefore would benefit from abolishing the corporate income tax at both federal and state levels.  Of course, so would consumers and clients of the businesses AND owners, who are now being doubly taxed, since costs would be reduced.  But never fear, the people who suggested this have almost certainly already been fired for their betrayal of a key revenue source for their masters in Congress and, indeed, probably blackballed.  How can we waste money at the incredibly high rate we do, if we don’t have scams like corporate income tax?  I would like to say I am thankful that we can vote their masters out of office, and put in people that WILL understand and act on things like this, but… I’m not brain-dead: ain’t gonna happen!

Mama’s Note: There are few or no people who actually do understand both economics and ethics and would be willing to take such a job.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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