According to a nationwide Gallup survey (reported in a column of the American Institute of Economic Research), here is how our esteemed Representatives and Senators rate as far as honesty and ethics:
- Congress: 58% rate it low or very low – 8% high or very high
- Telemarketers: 56%
- Car salesmen: 44%
That’s pretty bad. I had no idea that so many people (8 percent!!!) thought highly of Congress.
It is not good that people in private business (like the telemarketers and car salesmen) are not trusted either.
But the key difference for Americans is that we can CHOOSE to do business with a telemarketer or a salesman. We don’t have any choice about having to endure the “services” that Congress provides for us. Even if we don’t vote for them (or against them), we still are “doing business with them.”
The column reported this and went on to discuss the difference between ethics and honesty in private business versus that in politics.
The hallmark of a truly free market is that all associations and relationships are based on voluntary agreement and mutual consent. Another way of saying this is that in the free market society, people are morally and legally viewed as sovereign individuals possessing rights to their life, liberty, and honestly acquired property, who may not be coerced into any transaction that they do not consider being to their personal betterment and advantage.
The rules of the free market are really very simple: You don’t kill, you don’t steal, and you don’t cheat through fraud or misrepresentation. You can only improve your own position by improving the circumstances of others. Your talents, abilities, and efforts must all be focused on one thing: what will others take in trade from you for the revenues you want to earn as the source of your own income and profits?
Why cannot we have a similar arrangement with government?
The point to ask Americans is really, why should we NOT have such an arrangement with the FedGov? And every other sort of government?
After all, governments CAN provide useful services – even if they are not necessary, as lovers of liberty have pointed out for years.
Even though we don’t trust car dealers or telemarketers, we know that they DO provide a useful service. As long as we practice “let the buyer beware,” we can live with those scumbags. And (sometimes) if these thugs defraud us, we can see that they are punished for doing so. When was the last time you saw a politician – especially one in Congress – punished for defrauding their constituents, let alone the whole Fifty States? (And no, losing an election isn’t much of a punishment -not with their pension plan and post-Congress employment opportunities.)
But we “receive” government services, whether we want them or not. We don’t have any choice about having to let these swamp creatures in DC steal from us, lie to us, cheat on us, and even make us criminals at the stroke of a pen.
Isn’t it about time we stopped being so foolish?