Destroying Liberty - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
Moderately subtle
 
edfreeman's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2003
Vehicle: 94 E500, 97 500SL
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
Posts: 8,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Send a message via AIM to edfreeman
(Thread Starter)
Destroying Liberty

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned, "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." The freedom of individuals from compulsion or coercion never was, and is not now, the normal state of human affairs. The normal state for the ordinary person is tyranny, arbitrary control and abuse mainly by their own government. While imperfect in its execution, the founders of our nation sought to make an exception to this ugly part of mankind's history. Unfortunately, at the urging of the American people, we are unwittingly in the process of returning to mankind's normal state of affairs.

Americans demand that Congress spend trillions of dollars on farm subsidies, business bailouts, education subsidies, Social Security, Medicare and prescription drugs and other elements of a welfare state. The problem is that Congress produces nothing. Whatever Congress wishes to give, it has to first take other people's money. Thus, at the root of the welfare state is the immorality of intimidation, threats and coercion backed up with the threat of violence by the agents of the U.S. Congress. In order for Congress to do what some Americans deem as good, it must first do evil. It must do that which if done privately would mean a jail sentence; namely, take the property of one American to give to another.

According to a Washington Post article (6/22/05), there were nearly 35,000 highly paid registered lobbyists in Washington in 2004 who spent $2.1 billion lobbying the White House, Congress and various agencies on behalf of various interest groups. Political action committees, private donors and companies give billions of dollars to political campaigns. My question to you: Do you think that these people are spending billions of dollars to assist presidents and congressmen to better perform their sworn oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution? If you do, you're a fine candidate for a straitjacket. For the most part, the money is being spent to get politicians and government officials to use their coercive power to create a favor or special privilege for one American at the expense of some other American.

If we Americans didn't give Washington such enormous control over our lives, I doubt whether there would be 10 percent of the money currently spent on lobbying and campaign contributions. This enormous control that Congress has over our lives also goes a long way toward explaining much of the government corruption that we see in Washington.


If the average American were asked whether he wishes to return to mankind's normal state of affairs featured by arbitrary abuse, control and government dictates, I am sure he would find such a suggestion repulsive. But if you were to ask, say, the average senior citizen whether Social Security, Medicare and prescription drug subsidies should be continued, he would probably answer yes. The same would be true if you asked a college professor whether higher education should continue to be subsidized, or a farmer or a dairyman whether their products should be subsidized, or a manufacturer whether there should be tariffs and quotas on foreign products that compete with his product. The problem with congressmen producing favors and privileges to all interest groups is that it creates what none of us wants: massive control, numerous dictates and micromanagement of our lives.

There is no question that if one were to ask whether we Americans are moving towards more liberty or more government control over our lives, the answer would unambiguously be the latter -- more government control over our lives. We might have reached a point where the trend is irreversible and that is a true tragedy for if liberty is lost in America, it will be lost for all times and all places.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at Creators Syndicate - Celebrating 20 Years as a World-Class Syndicate Of Talent.

edfreeman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 08:55 AM
BenzWorld Senior Member
 
cozette's Avatar
 
Date registered: Sep 2008
Posts: 529
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by edfreeman View Post
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned, "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."


When devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest, at first with heavenly shows - Othello
cozette is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
Moderately subtle
 
edfreeman's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2003
Vehicle: 94 E500, 97 500SL
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
Posts: 8,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Send a message via AIM to edfreeman
(Thread Starter)
^yup . . . had the most opportunity in my lifetime to reduce government, failed big time.

edfreeman is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 12:01 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Removing the lobbyists would certainly be one avenue. The part you bolded was interesting. "According to a Washington Post article (6/22/05), there were nearly 35,000 highly paid registered lobbyists..." Does that mean that there were many more lobbyists, but only 35,000 highly paid ones?

That year [and several years prior] I was a registered lobbyist for the Kentucky Coal Council. "Highly Paid Lobbyist" would not be a correct descriptor. I was registered simply because it provided the only ability to present information and was helpful when I participated in two congressional hearings. I made Expenses plus about $75 hour and worked about 63 hours for them in 2005. No real "high pay" there. We did succeed, however.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
Moderately subtle
 
edfreeman's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2003
Vehicle: 94 E500, 97 500SL
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
Posts: 8,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Send a message via AIM to edfreeman
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
Removing the lobbyists would certainly be one avenue. The part you bolded was interesting. "According to a Washington Post article (6/22/05), there were nearly 35,000 highly paid registered lobbyists..." Does that mean that there were many more lobbyists, but only 35,000 highly paid ones?

That year [and several years prior] I was a registered lobbyist for the Kentucky Coal Council. "Highly Paid Lobbyist" would not be a correct descriptor. I was registered simply because it provided the only ability to present information and was helpful when I participated in two congressional hearings. I made Expenses plus about $75 hour and worked about 63 hours for them in 2005. No real "high pay" there. We did succeed, however.
I expect the number of lobbyists today is larger, but I don't know that. It seems to be a profitable business, your example notwithstanding.

And the removal of lobbyists isn't the proposal, but the expected result of a reduction of federal government power and control.

edfreeman is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 07:26 PM
Surely A Large Human
 
Qubes's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: '08 C219
Location: Between Earth and Mars
Posts: 34,253
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Bear's right - anyone can be a lobbyist. Look into it.

When I consider term limits, what scares me is that you wouldn't be able to impose the same kinds of limits on lobbyists. So what would happen, no doubt, is that until we got wise and found a way to 86 them altogether from the process, you'd basically be outsourcing congress to these lobbyists - would would have an easy time of getting their hooks into young meat early and corrupting them, turning them into puppets. Call it cynical, but I don't think history finds it too much of a stretch to say that well-intentioned people who go to Washington can very, very quickly lose their way. And many times, if it happens once, you either play ball or your career will be terminated by way of the news getting out that you did X, Y or Z.
Qubes is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
Moderately subtle
 
edfreeman's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2003
Vehicle: 94 E500, 97 500SL
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
Posts: 8,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Send a message via AIM to edfreeman
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
Bear's right - anyone can be a lobbyist. Look into it.

When I consider term limits, what scares me is that you wouldn't be able to impose the same kinds of limits on lobbyists. So what would happen, no doubt, is that until we got wise and found a way to 86 them altogether from the process, you'd basically be outsourcing congress to these lobbyists - would would have an easy time of getting their hooks into young meat early and corrupting them, turning them into puppets. Call it cynical, but I don't think history finds it too much of a stretch to say that well-intentioned people who go to Washington can very, very quickly lose their way. And many times, if it happens once, you either play ball or your career will be terminated by way of the news getting out that you did X, Y or Z.
You're correct. Look at all the freshman GOP congress people swept in with the Contract With America in '94 full of piss, vinegar, and an alleged conservative mandate. That is truly the last thing I remember people voting for. Result was, 12 years later, after growing government to epic proportions and becoming quite corrupted, getting tossed aside.

Thing is, in the absence of the money and power, the lobbyists won't be there. That would be a great experiment, eh?

edfreeman is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 09:04 PM
Surely A Large Human
 
Qubes's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: '08 C219
Location: Between Earth and Mars
Posts: 34,253
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
We're in the 21st century; the "Information Age". The prospect of a lobbyist is one of either antiquity or venality. Whatever laws allowed them to creep into existence should disappear; in the absence of such laws, new ones should be established.
Qubes is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    slk 55 amg destroying enzo? damanibenz Off-Topic 0 09-24-2006 09:30 AM
    How to take apart......without destroying Fiddlefoot W123 E,CE,D,CD,TD,TE Class 9 05-03-2004 05:56 PM
    Yet another video of the E55 destroying another car...... Norb W211 E55 AMG, E63 AMG 0 01-12-2004 09:25 AM
    News: Destroying a SLK in a ZOO chk840 R170 SLK-Class 1 04-18-2002 02:04 AM
    Jeep LIBERTY . . . A co-worker said his Liberty has same chassis as ML. Is this True? Jüri W163 M-Class 7 12-20-2001 07:39 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome