On Government and Other Looters

On March 23 an opposition non-confidence motion was passed by a margin of 11 votes in the Canadian House of Commons. Parliament was subsequently dissolved and another Canadian election will be held on May 2.

Your Money and Your Life

On April 4, US President Barack Obama announced his intention to seek re-election in November 2012. Meanwhile, gridlock in the US Congress over negotiations to cut government spending threatens shutdown of the US government.

In June of last year, the New Flemish Alliance, a Dutch separatist party emerged as the largest following elections in Belgium. The various political parties could not form a governing coalition and Belgium has been without an official government for nearly a year.

Life without Government

How do people manage without government? That depends very much on what our understanding is relative to the proper role of government.

One observation warrants further comment. The economies of countries without a functioning government tend to operate day to day with scarcely a concern that no new laws are being passed or proposed.

The primary concern of most people can be understood in economic terms. Economics is in essence the actions of people seeking to consume goods and services. Most choose to perform some productive endeavour they may find pleasurable, but ultimately they produce things in order to consume other things. Some will try to save and invest gains from such trade to enable more consumption in the future. The desire for satisfaction of wants and needs is for all practical purposes limitless.

There are always a few, a relative minority, who would choose a shortcut to satisfaction of their wants and needs by forcibly taking from the wealth and income of those who choose first to produce.

Historically, that is why we institute governments—to protect us from looters. Regrettably, the unsophisticated state of development in the philosophy of government has resulted in the defenders of our economic rights becoming our oppressors—legalized looters. Consider this cogent statement:

“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session”. –Judge Gideon Tucker, 1866.

Expectations about Government

Campaigning politicians promise to deliver all manner of goods and services without addressing the ways and means of doing so. Expectations among the unsophisticated citizenry are largely in concert with these impossible promises.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government proposed a budget which modestly was focussed on deficit cutting and debt reduction over time. It was largely regarded by critics as an uninspiring budget. It was a tipping point for bringing down the government and forcing another election. According to polls conducted just before the government fell, only 4 percent of Canadians cited deficit and debt reduction as a major issue.

The top issues on the voters’ agenda in Canada were: health care, education and the environment. This is what has become of Canada and Canadians. They want the care of their bodies and minds–and the verdant cocoon in which they all live–to be provided in perpetuity by government. This is the unachievable welfare state, perpetuating the fairy tale that everybody can live off of everybody else. Of all “sustainable” causes this is one that isn’t. It is simply impossible because bureaucrats cannot know and do not have the entrepreneurial incentives to deliver on any of these goods, services and fantasies.

Philosophy of Government

Advancements in the philosophy of government would include separation of politics from economics in our social institutions. Economics requires the voluntary choices of individuals to trade with one another. We prove we can do it when no government is in session. Restricting the role of government to its proper functions of protecting individual rights would lead us down the path to prosperity.

Security services are all that a government can effectively deliver with its monopoly on the use of physical force. Governments’ only resource is force. It taxes, regulates, intervenes, prohibits, judges and promises ultimately by resorting to force. There is no voluntary relationship with government. There is no possibility of a thriving economy when attempts to force economic objectives are substituted for the operation of a free marketplace.

Government has only firepower standing by in the event looters or invaders emerge in a free marketplace. Our great error was in allowing governments to become the looters and invaders of our economy.

©Copyright 2011 Edward Podritske

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