What Makes America America

I have often thought that makes America unique in the history of the world is not her physical boundaries.  It’s not the vast expanse of land mass bordering two oceans.  It’s not the natural resources.

It’s the people that have cherished the concept of Liberty that have made America what she is.

It’s the idea that government serves the people and not the other way around, that has made America great.  The concept that we are all endowed with certain rights and liberties is what makes America great.  That those rights and liberties are NOT given to us by government, but rather, in SPITE of government is what makes America great.

It’s the ideal, an ideal that may not be able to be codified, that each man is sovereign.  That we’re obligated only to ourselves to establish what it is that is paramount in our lives.  That we are at liberty to make decisions that dictate our lives without coercion from outside influencers.

It’s hard to argue that a thing is unconstitutional once the supreme court has ruled that it is.  It’s hard to say that congress doesn’t have the ability to impose taxes in the way and manner in which they did and say that they can’t.  It seems awfully clear that congress CAN tax, and can tax in any way and manner in which they choose.

That is, they can’t stipulate, by law, that you buy Fredrick Bastiat’s “The Law” but they CAN tax you if you don’t.  Can congress pass a law that requires an individual to buy bananas?  No.  But they CAN pass a law that taxes people who don’t buy bananas.

So.  America.  Camera 3….

We’ve decided that we wanna change.  We wanna be more like the socialist-democracies of western Europe than the independent liberty-minded nation of the past.  I don’t agree with that decision.  I’m afraid that we’ve conscripted our children to live in a world that more resembles Spain and Greece than the America I knew.

I get that I’m out-voted.

But Liberty weeps tonight.  There can be no other way to interpret today’s decision.

7 responses to “What Makes America America

  1. The government cannot force me to give money to charity.

    However if I don’t give money to charity, I have to give some of that same money to them instead. They tax me for not being charitable.

    Does Liberty weep for that too? Does Liberty not realize that a tax and a tax deduction and a tax credit are all functionally the same? Or does Liberty oppose ALL tax deductions and credits?

    • The government cannot force me to give money to charity.

      Before I address your larger point, lemme say that the government most certainly force you to give money to charity. It can say, donate to such and such a charity, and if you don’t, we’ll tax you. Heck, it could even skip the “option” of asking and just impose the tax.

      Does Liberty not realize that a tax and a tax deduction and a tax credit are all functionally the same? Or does Liberty oppose ALL tax deductions and credits?

      Okay, now to it.

      This has been coming for some time. The whole idea that the government initiates tax law not to raise money to pay the bills but to influence how people live their lives.

      Yes, tax deductions are another way of doing that.

      So are credits. Do we feel bad that poor people are poor? Let’s take some money from people who have it and then give that money to people who don’t have it.

      Once, a long time ago, I get the feeling that wasn’t what we were thinking when we started this “Great Experiment”

  2. Spain and Greece? No. How about Germany and Denmark? Look, most conservatives in the economically successful states of northern Europe believe providing health care is as important as police protection, fire protection and education. The find it scandalous that in the US the main cause of bankruptcy (over 50%) is medical expenses – they have no medical expense bankruptcy. They spend less on health care with better results. There is nothing social democratic about that any more than good police protection or schools are social democratic. This is something implemented and supported by conservative governments. The US has a broken health care system that is looked down on by the rest of the world for its inequities and high cost. The ACA is an imperfect solution – my hope is that the GOP and Democrats work together to make it more effective. But this is no more anti-liberty than forcing you to pay for police protection is anti-liberty.

    • Look, most conservatives in the economically successful states of northern Europe believe providing health care is as important as police protection, fire protection and education.

      Police protection and education are proper roles of the state. No one ever thought that healthcare was. No one would have made the argument that the government can use it coercive power to take the property of one man in order to spend it on the medical care of another.

      The US has a broken health care system

      Here I agree that the system is not as good as it could be.

      …is looked down on by the rest of the world for its inequities and high cost.

      I’m not very interested in the opinions of those folks regarding Liberty. For a very long time America was the most dynamic nation on earth. Only lately, as our government, both R and D, have imposed more and more regulations, have we allowed ourselves to slip.

      You could say that we have a learning curve when it comes to social-democracy.

  3. I’m not very interested in the opinions of those folks regarding Liberty. For a very long time America was the most dynamic nation on earth. Only lately, as our government, both R and D, have imposed more and more regulations, have we allowed ourselves to slip.

    You could say that we have a learning curve when it comes to social-democracy.

    For half of our existence, we had legalized slavery. Then for half a century or so we were a small, struggling nation trying to get over slavery. Then we experienced a Great Depression. Then we created a massive government bureaucracy filled with agencies and regulations.

    When was this “very long time” that we were “the most dynamic nation on earth”?

  4. No one ever thought that healthcare was.

    Medicare has been around for fifty years. We’ve all accepted government’s role in health care, we just hadn’t accepted it at this scale. It’s all a matter of degree, not absolutes.

    • We’ve all accepted government’s role in health care

      Agreed. And the implementation of the “medis” also were examples of steps down this road. This ruling just takes us further on.

      It isn’t as if we were just the Libertarian’s dream nation and then, poof, one law passed and now we’re freakin’ Greece. It’s been a process, to your point, one that involved laws passed some 50 years ago. I’m just more saddened by the direction we’re going. Clearly others embrace that direction.

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