Thursday, October 4, 2007

On Government and Budgetary Manner

Government today holds many duties and there are many others in contention. However, there has to be a reasoned approach, a ranking system, delineating worth amongst these optional duties, as at the present rate of taxation all is impossible.

There is a fundamental flaw in the way we have set up government in this regard. That is, government has been made a top-down system, whereby federal ranks over state, and state ranks over local. While this is useful for the retention of a Union, it is unhelpful in regards to budget spending. Economically, government would work more smoothly in a bottom-up fashion whereby local leaders receive first dibs on funds, state second, and federal third. In this fashion, society would work more fluidly with schools funded, roads paved, and so forth first. Likewise funds would exist for city police and firefighters at a higher, yet still necessary, rate.

Contentions would be had to the lack of funds left available on state and federal levels after the city finished its budgeteering. This just goes to show how in need the local level is under our current system. I contend that this would be beneficial however. To get funds the federal government would need to raise taxes. This increase on useless items and agendas would remove from office Congressmen and Presidents, Governors, and State Legislators by the vote of the people in the next election.

Of course, a system is all well and good on paper, in practice it will need regulation and purpose. What is the purpose of government? Government is an assembly that represents the people of the nation. Therefore, it is responsible solely to the people. However, this is not a means for the majority to enslave or rule over the minority. Actually, the opposite is also false. The minority does not get favored treatment over the majority view either. However as the government represents all people individually it must also represent all of their interests individually. Rights are not bargainable and there are no such things as liberties, that is, government approved rights don't exist. Rights are universal and eternal as the government is not a body other than a shadow representation of the will of the people and cannot restrict rights just as one person could not restrict the rights of another for reasons other than criminal activity, and even therein only for an acceptable, fair amount of time.

In addition to this, we must understand the economic role of government. What should the government raise money for and who should get to decide where it goes? The government, as a mass-representation of the individual will, can only raise funds (that is tax) for the means to achieve goals that cannot be achieved by single people and small groups of people. Government money cannot be used to support or refute partisan causes as by definition government serves all people individually and to do so would infringe on that notion.

Thus, funds move from bottom-up, working for small causes first and the biggest, most important causes last. In this fashion, tax hikes will be made for important (people-willed) goals and their local goals will too be served an everyone will be happier. Large goals will also be accomplished if they are important because they tend to be vitally important or virtually fluff or baselessly useless. Local government will deal with local issues, then states will deal with state-wide issues, and finally the federal government will deal with national issues. Because of the constraint on usage of funds for states and federally, they will restrict themselves in order to their own business. And, by a simple rule, lower levels will not interfere with actions that extend outside their jurisdiction. Therefore, each body has their duties, each has its constraints, voters have power over taxation, and thereby they also have power over the budgetary matters of their city, state, and nation at a higher rate than they currently do. This system will lessen budgetary problems by giving the weakest the most power and the most powerful the least strength. Accountability will exist for taxation and wasteful spending will be shrunk back to the local level, where inherently it will be cheaper. Then our government will make economic sense.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Penny for Your Thoughts?

Time is not conducive to free thought. That is, time when used elsewise is useless to philosophical debate. Laborers and wage workers have little time for abstract thinking. They have jobs with duties and don't want to be fired. Some would say that education leads to erudite thought. This is false. Erudite thought is brought about by two things: necessity and interest. However, in kind, when bogged down in activity, the erudite are useless to thoughtful endeavour. They haven't got the time to do it.

This dichotomy seems at odds against itself, but you have to take into account that there are uneducated people who have created brilliance. Einstein, for instance, was a habitually bad student, yet he became the greatest thinker in many generations.

So now we see that education does not dictate success either. Interest does. An interested mind fosters learning, understanding, and inspiration. There are after all many educated people who are unsuccessful because of disinterest. If you are enormously wealthy then you needn't be interested in erudition.

That said, why do workers represent erudition at a lower rate and why do they also represent inspiration and thought at a lower rate? Simply put, mindless jobs detriment intelligent thought. When one is hopelessly busy trying to feed families and raise children they didn't have the time to set aside for independent thought. This is why fewer ideas of intellectual value can be seen coming of the lower classes. One who needs to work to get paid cannot take time off to find interest as easily as those who get vacation or those who don't need to work in a traditional sense.

Why is this important then? The person who cannot have time cannot think cannot better themselves. These people are stuck in a bitter struggle to pay bills who have little time or no time to sit and struggle with independent ideas. The problem becomes self-serving when you cannot get ahead, particularly in a culture of debt and even more so in the present economic condition. These people, with a lack of independent thought, become a mass of influencible people. One who hasn't the time to think for themselves will not object, will go along with everything those in power say provided that the status-quo remains.

Those without time for independent thought become a voting block that is easily used to achieve means detrimental to the well-being of these people themselves. A lack of time causes this. Education is a vague term with a vague applications. What is known is that education doesn't beget intelligent thought any more than a lack thereof creates the opposite. Time is required to stimulate interest. Interest is necessary to foment independent thought. Independent thought creates socio-economic movement and makes people responsible for the well-being of their own rights, just as it should be to procure happiness in general and a better society for all.

The question remains: How do we achieve the illusive goal of finding time?