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Personal Responsibility September 13, 2018

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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I am now again moved to speak my mind about the events shaping my world.

The United States is more polarized than ever before. Two distinct philosophies are diametrically opposed and facing off daily. Their positions color their actions towards every area in our society and the divide is growing.

When our country was founded the innate tenants of Capitalism were rooted in the very souls of the men and women who sought to break free from a King who despotically ruled their lives. Given the opportunity to freely make a ‘go of it’ without oppression or subjugation, our forefathers set into motion a way of life that has proved to be the best system yet devised. They were willing to codify that system in documents that put every man’s life, whose name was attached, squarely in jeopardy.

Everything about the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is about allowing those who live under its words a freedom to pursue a path of life, liberty and a pursuit of happiness free of interference from his government or his fellow man.  This system is ultimately based on personal responsibility and that is where the divide begins.

One group has chosen to identify as victims—somehow at an immediate disadvantage to the other. They perceive they cannot compete based on a system that allows the individual to rise to whatever level of success they desire. These people must therefore change the system to allow for their success. That change includes restricting the free opportunities that are available to everyone and creating rules and regulations that hope to create an ‘even playing field’.  That even playing field has become Socialism. A world in which no one can be more successful than another (except for the people running it). A world where personal responsibility, entrepreneurship and self-drive are crushed in favor of a shared collective.

Socialism destroys incentive. The incentive to innovate, to risk capital with the opportunity for financial reward and the incentive for personal growth through free expression. Socialism destroys the individual. Socialism destroys.

The other group revels in personal responsibility. They see it as a fundamental expression borne from the Constitution. Their right to pursue that which is enumerated in that document is their responsibility. They get to decide how or if they choose to take advantage of those rights. They also know they are responsible for whatever results from their actions or non-actions.

Some say putting the onus of responsibility on the individual is unfair as some have advantages others do not. I would agree that some are born into situations that give them less challenges to realizing whatever level of personal achievement they seek. From the earliest days someone was born into this world with more than his neighbor and yet humankind has flourished. As long as the system of allowing anyone to reap the fruits of personal responsibility is in place perceived birthright advantage is just that, perceived.

My social Darwinism view puts me squarely in the personal responsibility camp. I have been called coldhearted and mean to my face and who knows what behind it.  To my defense I do believe to those much given, much is expected and for those souls born into distress through no fault of there own (physical and mental deficiencies) I wholeheartedly support providing help. I do not support assisting those whose envious and covetous ways seek to avoid personal responsibility for their own success.

Like my forefathers before me who, by their signatures on the Declaration of Independence, signed their own death warrants had they been captured, I too will fight, to the death if need be, to preserve Capitalism, personal responsibility and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The Glass Is Half Full May 30, 2012

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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It suddenly struck me that the big difference between liberal and conservative is how they perceive the world. Conservatives see the macro view, worrying themselves with the broad picture. Liberals eschew the big picture and narrow their sights on the micro. Conservatives see the world’s problems (and how to fix them) from a much larger perspective. They don’t get caught up in the little stuff liberals find as the raison d’etre of one’s social situation. Take for instance poverty. Liberals’ solution is to take from the rich and redistribute it to the poor. They don’t bother to ponder why we have poor people and rather than cure the underlying problems causing poverty they just give them money so they aren’t poor anymore. A situation so clearly illustrated by the ‘Teach a man to fish’ axiom. Conservatives, understanding that if the causes of poverty can be addressed at its source the issue is solved in a more correct and permanent way.

Of course the issue is a complicated one and involves social mores and in some cases difficult and painful choices to be made.  Which leads me to my next observation. Liberals tend to be lazy. Humankind’s evolution from the primordial soup has been a long and brutal journey. What we are today reflects the paramount in survivability. Darwin’s recognition that only the strongest and most viable traits survive the march of time caused angst among liberals when it was postulated and it continues to do so today. Why, our president just charged conservatives with using social Darwinism against liberals.

Surviving, let alone succeeding is hard. Liberal leaders don’t want it to be hard (because, as a group, they tend towards laziness) and see an entire class of people they can claim to champion if they can only change the natural laws with liberal legislation.

Of course there are lazy folks of every political persuasion but as a rule, those that are ambitious, hard-working and goal driven, tend to be conservatives. Thus conservatives tend to be the leaders. Yes there are plenty of liberal leaders out there who have figured out how to game the system and rise to a position of authority.  And that is where the ideological war is being fought. In order for them to remain in a position of authority they must continually sell the canard that society must cater to the lowest common denominator.

Which brings us back to the micro vs macro world view. Focusing on the bottom will never get you to the top. It is far easier to exist at the base of the mountain than the summit. But for the hardy few who choose to gaze up, the journey is as exciting as the goal.

Social Darwinism April 23, 2012

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Since the president just recently brought it up, I thought I’d re-run a post I wrote back in September of ’11. 

Tuesday Rant September 6, 2011

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Lots of economic doomsday stuff out there right now and for good reason. I believe the USA is simply heading for the cliff. No matter how you try to parse it, we are spending too much and eventually we are going to crash and burn.  Now depending on who you read/listen to, that cliff is either right in front of us or simply a chimera that, if we wish real hard, will go away. Well, I’m tired of the smoke and mirrors.  We need the truth to be told. Unfortunately the truth means our lives are going to get a whole lot tougher before they get better.

The country cannot take baby steps out of this mess. We waited too long and ignored the problems until they passed the point of being able to be corrected with gentle tweaks. Now it’s going to take big, bold action—tax reform that affects everyone and by everyone I mean the people who have not been paying. The country cannot afford to rely on the backs of the producing class anymore. Progressive taxation is unfair and now it simply cannot save us no matter how much we soak the wealthy. As unfair as it sounds to many, every American paying the same percentage of their income to the government is the absolute fairest way. I am so done with the argument that that hurts the poor more than the rich. If you believe in capitalism and wish to live under its rules then everyone must have skin in the game.

Yes it sucks to be poor. The simple answer to that is, “don’t be poor!” I’ll hear all kinds of yelping from the liberals that that just isn’t possible. Well I disagree, if we treat everyone the same in regards to taxation the cream will rise to the top and we will finally expose society’s losers.

American society has gotten way too soft. We have messed with Mother Nature by creating entitlements. The natural order of things has been disrupted. Throughout history mankind has been controlled by the environment’s ability to sustain it. When resources were scarce mankind adapted. Population growth slowed to live within its means. When resources were bountiful, populations grew. By creating entitlements we are artificially supporting an entire class of people who are dooming us all. We must return to the natural order until only the truly needy are left (people born with issues that require social intervention or become truly needy due to accidents or illnesses).

The social safety net needed to deal with this new radically reduced group will be more than met with the increase in tax payers and reduction in those receiving social benefits.

This means judging people. We must make the hard choice to say who does and who does not qualify. The rules have to change.  You cannot continue to receive unemployment for 99 weeks! Some people are going to live worse off than they used to…tough!

We are in a transformational period in the world right now. The same thing has happened throughout history. The difference is back then there was not this mindset that ‘nobody can lose’. One hundred years ago we didn’t have unemployment compensation. If you lost a job you got another one or starved. How the idea of healthcare as a right ever got a foothold in this country is beyond me. Doctors provide a service, just like a plumber. Should I expect subsidized plumbing if I can’t afford it? I’m not saying we should ban the indigent from seeking health care, I’m just saying they don’t get the level of care that I would get if I can pay for it.

There are more than enough private social service providers in this country to handle the truly needy. If I wasn’t forced to give my money to a ridiculously inefficient government I’d be much more inclined to share more of it with productive, effective private organizations. And so would most of America.