Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The State (Huh - Good God Y'all) What It Is Good For?

If Diogenes were still wandering the world in search of an honest man, perhaps he may have liked Detroit Police Chief, James Craig.  James “has repeatedly called on ‘good’ and ‘law-abiding’ Detroiters to arm themselves against criminals in the city.”  

Sixty-three year old Patricia Champion is a lifelong Detroit resident and a recent gun owner.  She puts in bluntly, “The police are not going to protect you when something is being perpetrated on you. They may turn up after the fact and run after that person, but you have to protect yourself.  If somebody chooses to come in and I didn’t invite you, between the Glock and the dog, you’re gone. If one doesn’t get you, the other one will.”
Meanwhile in the Crescent City, French Quarter residents and businesses are debating whether to pay out-of-pocket for private police protection beyond what the city provides.  This is already happing in Detroit where “downtown peacekeeping is supplemented by private security financed by downtown’s businesses – notably Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, both owned by billionaire Dan Gilbert. Midtown peacekeeping is heavily supplemented by Wayne State University Police, whose response time is famously just 90 seconds.”
In fact, private security is one of the few growth industries in our otherwise bleak economy.  A study from the Fredonia Group, a Cleveland based marketing research firm, shows the market growing at 5.4% annually with the greatest increases coming in the commercial sector.  Quoting Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, the Christian Science Monitor reports that, “the private security industry is projected to grow by about 19 percent – from 1 million to 1.2 million guards – between 2010 and 2020. Most of that growth will come because private firms are doing jobs once held by law enforcement.”

Excuse me for stating the obvious but this represents an absolute failure on the part of governments to fulfill their most basic obligation; that is, to protect us.  The Revolutionary firebrand, Thomas Paine asserted that “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one,” with security being its singular purpose.
John Locke, the father of the classical liberalism upon which America was founded, states clearly, “The great and chief end, therefore, of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property”.  Two and a half centuries later, Ludwig von Mises concurred, “Government ought to protect the individuals within the country against the violent and fraudulent attacks of gangsters, and it should defend the country against foreign enemies.”

Yet this is what governments at all levels are failing to do.  That is why more and more Americans are finding it necessary to arm themselves or to contract with private security services.  With government debt reaching unpayable levels, don’t look for improvement anytime soon.
In a related story, the city of Milwaukee has declared that every public school student is eligible for a free breakfast and lunch every day.  Yo! Pouring a bowl of Wheaties and making a baloney sandwich for a kid is easy.  Fending off predators and criminals is hard.  We’ll handle the kitchen detail; get government back to the business that it was made for.

Not only are our cities finding ever more difficult to police the streets but the Federal government is making our lives less safe every day.  Foreign adventurism, particularly in the Middle East, is breeding generations of new enemies.  Ironically, today’s enemies are yesterday’s allies and are using our weapons and the training that we provided to act against our stated interests of stability, toleration and democracy.

As if miraculously, our Founding Father left us a clue as to how to remedy this systemic failure.  Our founding charter states unequivocally that when it becomes evident that the prevailing government proves itself incapable of fulfilling its sacred duty of securing the people’s natural rights that, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness”.

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the above prescription asserted that “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

“Radical” ideas such as a return to Federalism and autonomy for the individual states would be a good first step.  Let the go back to being the laboratories of democracy that each was intended to be.  Let each experiment with more or less restrictive governance and see which produces the greatest happiness, prosperity and security.  Let us also follow President Washington’s advice to refrain entanglements and meddling in the affairs of other nations.

 Let us finally abolish the central bank and its fiat currency.  The Fed’s money creation deludes markets, creates bubbles and financial crisis.  Worse yet, it hides the real cost of the welfare / warfare state and passes the debt on future generations.

Maybe it’s time to re-privatize community functions like schooling, charity and almsgiving.  Perhaps we can let markets work to reward those who successfully please consumers and those that fail to do so, to fail.  And just maybe, the state can butt out of the doctor-patient-insurer relationship and let freely acting humans create workable healthcare solutions.

These are ides that are truly conservative as well as libertarian.  They should be at the core of any alliance to reclaim America from the brink of failure dissolution.

Related Posts:

Occupy The Tea Party
The Failure of Conservatism


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