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Vote For Yourself

Vote For Yourself

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Published by MaximusLibertas
The following is reprinted in accordance with attribution requirements of "Vote For Yourself" essay with it's "goal...to promote voting not based upon the premise of others, but our own reasoning resultant from our search for truth."
The following is reprinted in accordance with attribution requirements of "Vote For Yourself" essay with it's "goal...to promote voting not based upon the premise of others, but our own reasoning resultant from our search for truth."

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Published by: MaximusLibertas on Oct 29, 2012
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10/29/2012

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© 2012 Mike Massong. This essay may be reproduced in whole or in part as long as credit is given to the
“’
Vote for Yourself 
essay.
 
Vote For Yourself 
We hear about it from our friends, our families, our co-workers. As surely as the waves will hit thebeaches, another fast approaching election muddies the water
, and it’s up to us to decide
which way toturn our rudder to reach our intended destination. Taking the wrong course could put our crew and ourship in jeopardy. The following short essay is a testament to where we are, how we got here, and thechoice before us. We will first review the precepts upon which this United States of America is basedand culminate in some specifics of this election should I retain your attention. This limited article is buta snapshot of the numerous issues found throughout volumes of media. Its goal is to promote votingnot based upon the premise of others, but our own reasoning resultant from our search for truth.First let us look at our governmental system and one of the greatest fallacies of our time. To preventany misinterpretation we must first ensure that you and I are using the same terminology. People are
commonly referred to as being on the “left” or the “right” of an issue, but few can tell you what that
means when pressed for an answer. Most will refer to democrats or republicans, and liberals orconservatives respectively, but today
we’ll
examine this through reason. It is generally propagated (andoften accepted) that the far left results in communism and the far right to fascism as seen in Figure-1below.
Figure-1
 But if you take a moment to analyze this
, it doesn’t take long to realize that both these ‘isms’ are built
upon the foundation of total governmental power as totalitarian or dictatorial. If 
that’s the case, then
how can they be on opposite sides of the spectrum and where does the United States fit in? Are we toaccept that the U.S. Constitution lies somewhere between these two? A more accurate depiction of governmental systems looks more like Figure-2.
Figure-2
This more precisely demonstrates the balance, from total government control to anarchy. Of course,neither of these has been able to pass the test of time (in fact, anarchy historically leads to totalgovernment), which is why our forefathers developed a system of limited government that falls inbetween.
A great video that covers this can be found here: A Republic-If You Can Keep It
1
 
 
Communism
Vladimir LeninJoseph StalinMau ZedongPol Pot
Fascism
Adolf HitlerBenito MussoliniAnte Paveli
ć
 
(Total Government Control)
CommunismFascismNazismEtc.
(No Government Control)
Anarchy
 
Constitution of the UnitedStates of America
 
© 2012 Mike Massong. This essay may be reproduced in whole or in part as long as credit is given to the
“’
Vote for Yourself 
essay.
 
A republican form of government was established for our country to provide a balance between thesetwo extremes. The delicate balance of necessary government and liberty. Even though our governmentis often referred to as a democracy (the great fallacy) you will not find that word in either theDeclaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States. The Federalist Papers Number10
2
 
discusses why a democratic form of government was not chosen, as they “have in general been asshort in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths,”
and more examples of this thought arefound throughout the annals of that time. Though there appears an affinity to a total democracy, andsome progress in that direction
3
, history has proven it a slippery slope that always leads to anarchy,oligarchy, and/or tyranny.As you see, this gives
a different perspective to “left” and “right”, and the determining factor is
whatdirection you think we should go
. As James Madison said,
I believe there are more instances of theabridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than byviolent and sudden usurpations.
All societies naturally trend to greater government; hence Ben
Franklin’s famous words, “if you can keep it.”
The fact that ours is currently the shortest written and yetthe longest used constitution says volumes, but we must remember that ground once lost is moredifficult to regain. Regarding branding as a republican/democrat and conservative/liberal; the former issimply the one whose ideals you better associate with, the latter is relative to your social norm.
4
Theargument can be made that all of us making educated votes from an independent perspective would beof greatest service to our country. We will now progress from this elementary review of our politicalspectrum to contemporary issues, and then finally to this election.Speaking of progress, this brings up progressivism, which has been a part of the United States for over100 years. The word progressive, is currently used synonymously with liberal, the left, and sometimes(arguably unwarranted) with the Democratic Party. This brings up two points. 1.) If man is trulyprogressing as a being or species, is it not debatable that there would be less need for government? 2.)Why is current progressivism inarguably leading to greater government control? 3.)
Traditionally, hasn’t
greater government control moved societies closer to the left of the spectrum as shown in figure-2?Interestingly enough, many progressives paint the policies of limited government espoused by the
“right” or “right wing radicals” as moving the country in the direction of Nazism, while any person of 
critical thought can recognize this misconception. The key is the delicate balance, as too far to the leftcan lead direct
ly to the aforementioned ‘isms’, and too far to the right
can lead to a short lived anarchy
which typically transitions to an oppressive governmental system. I don’t think anyone can debate that
the scale has been inched to the left over the past century; the question is when this changes thebalance enough to tip the scales. Where is the line of demarcation between big government and totalgovernment?
“Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.” 
5
 
One grievance heard
today is that capitalism is defective and it’s
now time to transition to greatergovernment control
. What many people don’t realize is that this same argument has been present
inAmerica since at least
the early 1900’s, and the only difference i
s that now the world has a track record.You need only to review 20
th
century history to see the effects of greater government control upon theirsocieties, and the effect of a more liberal capitalism among ours. People argue that capitalism hasunfairly resulted in distinct classes, but are there not distinct classes in non-capitalistic societies
andoften with greater disparities
? Generally, haven’t
our poor U.S. citizens been better off than much of 
 
© 2012 Mike Massong. This essay may be reproduced in whole or in part as long as credit is given to the
“’
Vote for Yourself 
essay.
 
the non-poor throughout the world? Is the consideration as poor not relative to each country? As weare told that capitalists are greedy and power hungry; are we to believe that those serving ingovernment are less so? Thousands of years of history gives answer to this last inquiry, and brings us toquestion the level of government intervention.
“The beneficial effect of 
State intervention, especially in the form of legislation, is direct, immediate,and, so to speak, visible, whilst its evil effects are gradual
and indirect, and lie out of sight…Nor…do mostpeople keep in mind that State inspectors may be incompetent, careless, or even occasionally corrupt…;
few are those who realize the undeniable truth that State help kills self-help. Hence the majority of mankind must almost of necessity look with undue favor upon government intervention. This natural
bias can be counteracted only by the existence, in a given society, …of a presumption of prejudice in
favor of individual liberty, that is, laissez-faire. The mere decline, therefore, of faith in self-help
andthat such a decline has taken place is certain
is of itself sufficient to account for the growth of 
legislation tending toward socialism.”
6
 The never ending civil war of ideals as to
government’s role
is evident in the crossroad
of this year’s
election. Are we to choose the equality of rights or equality of opportunity? How much more of a roleshould government have (most bills/laws increase the size of government)? Can the federalgovernment be more beneficial than the private sector? What examples demonstrate the federal
government’s
greater efficacy
than the private sector? Of course the egalitarian “will want to go
further, He will defend taking from some to give to others, not as a more effective means whereby the
‘some’ can achieve an objective they want to achieve, but on the grounds of ‘justice.’ At this point
equality comes sharply into conflict with freedom; one must choose. One cannot be both an egalitarian,in this sense, and a liberal
[liberal is used in the old context according to the author, see endnote4]
.
5
 Yet, forthe government to do more, or provide more, it requires the finances to do so.U.S. public debt currently exceeds $16 trillion and the gross debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratiois almost 105%. One candidate is saying we need more government projects and governmentinvolvement, the other says government needs to get out of the way to allow private business andcapitalism to take its natural course, and both are betting on a better economy improving tax revenuesand subsequently lowering our debt. Only one of these theories holds water for one very simple reason:the government has no way of creating revenues for itself other than changing the tax code
(quantitative easing doesn’t count
since its purpose is to stimulate the economy, not direct taxrevenues). For example, when the government hires more workers it suffers a net loss of money sincethe taxes paid back to the government are a fraction of what it paid to the employee in salary andbenefits. When the government gives money for projects, only a fraction of that money makes it back
through taxes (unless it’s a government loan and the company does not go bankrupt). The only way
government can increase tax revenue, short of changing tax code, is not through government, butthrough private capital. The only way that private capital is produced is in the private sector (smallbusinesses, corporations, etc.). So if the balance of the economy sways more towards government fromthe private sector, even in small percentages, it results in the government spending more, but on asmaller tax base. The current demonization of some of the
government’s
 
source of revenue, “the hand
that feeds them
,” always baffles me since
government makes the rules of the game. I personally believethat a flat tax of 20% on all income over $30,000 (adjustable for inflation) with only a handful of possibledeductions would be the best bet. Most everyone would have skin in the game (which may result in

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