Tag Archives: self reliance

As We Approach 237

As we approach Independence Day 2013, this might be a good time to take stock on the American experience: where we are, where we came from, what we are supposed to be and what we have become, collectively, as a country. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the United States of America has become something other than what our Founders and Framers would have envisioned. In fact, it could be argued that the “old white guys in wigs” would not only be shocked for what we have become, but for our apathy in allowing our country to become what it is.

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying:

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

Today, the United States federal government is so large and so intrusive that it not only employs 4.4 million people, but holds a national debt of over $16.8 trillion dollars. This does not address a $124.6 trillion unfunded liabilities mandate. These numbers appear shocking because they are shocking. And when one takes into consideration that each year the US federal government operates “in the red,” even though they glean $2.902 trillion in revenue from various sources (individual income tax being the primary source at $1.359 trillion), one can only conclude that the federal government has taken on the role of the arrogant spendthrift, and one that disavows Benjamin Franklin’s sentiment, “When you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.”

But perhaps the whole of our modern American experience can be summed up in the end state of this quote by Thomas Jefferson:

“A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering…And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

Taxation
In the formative days of our Great American Experiment, the Founders and Framers set up a federal government limited in its authority and scope. In fact, in the early days of our Republic the federal government operated almost completely on revenues gleaned from tariffs and trade. It wasn’t until the 19th Century that the “income tax” would come to be and even then, until the passage of the 19th Amendment, the constitutionality of the income tax was held in question.

Today, thanks to an inequitable tax system – the Progressive tax system – we have a populace that is purposefully divided into factions: one that pays federal taxes, another that avoids paying federal taxes, and yet another that believes the taxes collected are due them. In a land where everyone is supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law (read: government), we have allowed those who we elect to office to literally create a class system, through which they manipulate the citizenry for political gain and the retention of power.

Religion
To say that the United States of America was founded on deep-rooted desire for the individual to be free to practice the religion of his or her choosing is to understate the importance of the issue. Truth be told, the issue of religious freedom delivered pilgrims to American shores centuries before. The Founders and Framers, being deeply reverent men – much to the opposite of claims by the secularists of today – understood all too well the importance of not only freedom of religion (the natural law right to worship in the dogma of choice) but the idea of recognizing something larger than self where government was concerned. As our founding documents – the Charters of Freedom – are predicated on the understanding and acknowledgment of Natural Law (the acknowledgement of a Higher Power), it is only the intellectually dishonest who argue religion did not (and does not) play a significant role in the government of our Republic.

To wit, The Declaration of Independence states:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” (emphasis added)

Yet, today, military chaplains are forbidden from even displaying a Bible on their government issued desks for the ignorance of history served up at the hands of Progressive and secular activists.

Today, because of an activist Judicial Branch (and at the urging of Progressive and secular activists), the innocent notion of a separation of Church and State, which in its original intent was meant to reassure one denomination that another would not be placed above it in an establishment of a “national religion,” i.e. the Church of England, has been grotesquely distorted to require the ever-increasing banishment of all religious symbols from the public square. And at the same time, the federal government – in the form of ever-expanding entitlements – seeks to replace the Creator as the Alpha and the Omega for the American citizenry.

Law
At our country’s inception, the Judiciary – the Judicial Branch and all federal courts in its charge – was to administer federal law in the context of constitutionality. Was it constitutional or what is not? Or was the question reserved for the States and the judiciaries of those States, per the 10th Amendment?

Today, our entire legal system – federal as well as the lessers – is held hostage to a system of precedent law; Stare decisis et non quieta movere, a Latin term meaning “to stand by decisions and not disturb the undisturbed.” This is understood to mean that courts should abide by decided precedent and not disturb settled matters, regardless of whether the decision was born of activism. If the judiciary produced judgments and opinions that had fidelity to the Constitution – as the Constitution mandates, then the notion of stare decisis would be a good thing. But those who serve in the Judiciary are equally subject to human intellectual infirmities as are those who serve in the Executive and Legislative Branches. Truth is, one decision based on ideologically; one activist decision, forever moves law away from the Constitution.

As Steven G. Calabresi, a professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law and a visiting professor at Brown University, opined in a paper titled, Text vs. Precedent in Constitutional Law, published the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy:

“The argument…is that the doctrinalists are wrong in arguing for a strong theory of stare decisis for three reasons. First, there is nothing in the text, history, or original meaning of the Constitution that supports the doctrinalists’ strong theory of stare decisis. Second, the actual practice of the US Supreme Court is to not follow precedent, especially in important cases. In other words, precedent itself counsels against following precedent. And, third, a strong theory of stare decisis is a bad idea for policy reasons…

“Both textualism and originalism supply arguments as to why following precedent is wrong. As for the text, it is striking that there is not a word in the Constitution that says in any way that precedent trumps the text.”

Yet, decisions on issues from voting rights to life-ending procedures, social issues to mandatory health insurance are continuously based on precedent law, or stare decisis. And with each decision that bows to stare decisis, we move further away from fidelity to the Constitution.

Self-Reliance
At the founding of our nation, our citizenry was comprised on those who wanted the freedom to build, to create, to glean the benefits of their labors based on the effort with which they sought success. Pride was not the product of artificially installed self-esteem, but a humble condition of dignity, arrived at through determination, education – sometimes, or most times autodidactic – and perseverance. The United States was a nation of strong individuals, determined to embrace the freedom – the liberty, that the New World afforded them; a nation of people with a commonality based on self-reliance and a brotherhood born of the love of liberty and justice for all, not just the oligarchic few.

Today, our country has devolved into a socialistic nanny-state, complete with an entitlement faction that will very soon not only outnumber Ayn Rand’s “producers” but a faction that celebrates its gluttony; its piggish appetite for entitlement, even as they scheme to avoid the responsibility of maintaining the Republic; even as they demand more from a government whose seemingly sole purpose is to concoct new ways to extract wealth from those who produce. Today, 47% of the nation’s people do not pay federal income taxes. Today, 23 million households are dependent on food stamps. Today, nearly 49 percent of the citizenry lives in a household where at least one member receives a direct benefit from the federal government.

That those duly elected to office exploit this societal malady for purposes of maintaining power is tantamount to a betrayal of the very principles held by those who gifted us the exquisite beauty of liberty. I wonder, if the Founders and Framers could confront the elitist oligarchs of today’s American ruling class, would they be strong enough to do so with temperance?

On this, the 237th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence, we would be wise to self-examine our national condition. Do we really want to be a nanny-state? Do we really want to admire a legal system that moves further away for the very basis for our freedom with each decision? Do we really want to support a government that increasingly steals from the producers to give to the dependent class of their own creation, and for purely ideological and politically motivated purposes? Do we want to be a nation that stands arrogantly in its belief that We the People – or They the Government – are the highest power to which we must answer, therefore abandoning our God-given right to acknowledge Natural Law?

In 1964, future president Ronald Reagan gave a speech titled, A Time for Choosing, in which he said:

“We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.

“They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right….

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

Today, my fellow Americans is Independence Day. Please, think about it.

Science Proves Leftists Are Wimpy

Obama voter prepares for the beach.

Obama voter prepares for the beach.

Sometimes a story just sounds too good to be true. A study published in Psychological Science has found that girly–men are more likely to support a cradle–to–grave welfare state and “share–the–wealth” economic policy than more robust male specimens. This sounds reasonable to me and the fact it appears the research wasn’t paid for by tax dollars is a bonus.

“Psychological scientists” Michael Bang Peterson, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and Daniel Sznycer, of the University of California, found that conservative or right wing beliefs are strongly correlated with physical strength.

The researchers studied bicep size, socio–economic status and political views from participants in the U.S., Argentina and Denmark. Selecting participants from the U.S. and Denmark is not surprising, since that’s where the researchers are based, but why Argentina? Juan Perón was a famous Argentine strongman, but his appellation had nothing to do with muscularity and everything to do with being authoritarian socialist.

One wonders how specific participants were selected and the interviews conducted. Possibly they visited gyms and offered to spot the weightlifters if they could ask questions between sets. It would have been interesting to eavesdrop on some of the conversations researchers had after removing the calipers from the bicep.

You certainly wouldn’t want to ask a politically sensitive question of someone who was benching 300 lbs.

According to the hypothesis established before the testing began, Dirty Harry should be a reliable Republican voter, while Napoleon Dynamite will be supporting Barack Obama until he can afford to hire a personal trainer and release his inner Tarzan.

But the data according to what the Mail Online reported didn’t support the hypothesis. “The data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it.” Had the hypothesis been accurate personal wealth should not have affected support for socialism as long their pecs were equally ripped.

Once the scientists stopped collecting data and started pumping up the results, they proved they know more about the motivation for feeling the burn than they do about the desire to “share the wealth.”

Professor Petersen concluded, “‘Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest – just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions.”

That conclusion gets it exactly backwards and leads me to believe the Peterson and Snzycer need more work in the gym. When “weak males” support “share–the–wealth” politicians the weaklings realize they are too feeble to make it on their own. So instead they support policies that encourage the government — which hires those buff IRS collectors — to do the strong-arm stuff for them. Force those who have made it on their own to, in the words of our socialist–in–chief, “spread the wealth around.”

This goes a long way to explain why male art history majors are such strong Democrat supporters.

The only disappointing information contained in the study applied to women. There was no link between upper body strength and conservative views among the fairer sex.

They only question left unanswered is: Do women, regardless of their own strength, who prefer strong men also prefer conservative economics?

Why Government Will Never Change

Every election cycle – let’s face it, every day – voters criticize the government for its inability to function. We decry that electing someone new doesn’t mean anything when it comes to improvement. We hope that new politicians will mean new ideas and new policies that will help our country move in a positive direction, but alas, what we really get is SSDD (same stuff, different day).

Clearly, the voters want change; one need only look to the Obama campaign slogan of 2008 for evidence. But the kind of change the politicians continue to bring us isn’t at all what the voters have in mind. This is why Congressional approval ratings are so atrocious (ended 2011 with a record low 11% approval) and why this President hovers at 50% approval (coincidentally, 49.5% of people in this country are not paying taxes…hmmm). What we want is for the changes to make us a better country, to offer our citizens greater opportunities to grow wealth, to tax us fairly and less, to leave us to make decisions for ourselves, to protect our freedoms – not squash them – and to generally get out of our way.

When politicians are criticized for their inability to move this country forward in a positive direction, they complain that they are being blocked by their opposition, that it’s increasingly difficult to get bipartisan agreement on anything. But why is that? Don’t both political parties have the nation’s best interest at heart?

I know it’s an unpopular idea to consider, but do politicians really have a motivation for moving us forward? After all, if our nation’s people don’t have legitimate educational, health care, financial, retirement, and employment problems, they don’t need the government. If we don’t need the government to resolve these day-to-day challenges for us, then there isn’t as much at stake in the elections. Without a need for change, what would drive voters to the polls to vote in new candidates? It might sound outrageous to posit this, but we must consider that our politicians actually create problems instead of solve them just to ensure a future for themselves.

Our founding fathers would surely roll over in their graves if they considered this twisted idea, because they believed Americans should be self-reliant. They designed the framework of our country around the principles of limited government precisely because they didn’t want the masses to become dependent on government. They were wise enough to realize such dependence would lead to an over-powerful political body that would infringe on individual liberty. Each day, each election, we are moving farther and farther away from what our founding fathers envisioned for this country. We even have leaders who are so arrogant to claim that maybe the founding fathers didn’t have it right and maybe we need to “change with the times.”

But it is essential that we remember not all change is good change, and we need to question the motives behind our political figures’ inability to get this country moving forward. Beyond just questioning these motives, we need to demand that they start answering to the inefficiencies and total lack of meaningful action during their time in office.

Term limits are a great place to start. If politicians know there is a finite amount of time they can serve in public office, then maybe they will actually SERVE us instead of their own interests. Maybe a limit to their time in office will prompt only those who are genuinely interested in working toward positive change, progress, growth, and freedom to apply for the job. It sure would put an end to the distraction of campaigning while in office (and on the taxpayer’s dollar).

A resurgence of “citizen legislators” would bring the focus back to getting work done and making a positive difference while in office, and it would ensure that those who are making laws that impact the real world have actually worked in it.

Government should be limited, as should the power and influence of politicians. Our political leaders need a reality check and a real job. It’s high time we re-ignite this conversation on a national level. I wonder what the likelihood is that a career politician will get on board. Yep, that’s why the government will never change.

Liberalism: Perpetuating a Society of the Poor

Assuming their motives are pure, liberals are to be applauded for their dedication to assisting the poor and needy. But that does not excuse the abject failure of their misguided ideology which they wield like a sledge hammer – smashing prosperity wherever they find it in their lunatic quest to achieve equal outcomes.

The Good Samaritan

Ignoring the fact that that Good Samaritans, by definition, need to be in a superior position in order to provide aid, comfort, and resources to assist the poor, liberals force a redistribution of wealth upon society at large – purposely destroying wealth, which is the very foundation from which aid to the poor and needy has to be drawn. By killing the goose that lays the golden egg, liberals obliterate society’s capacity to lift up the downtrodden. By forcibly taking from the productive and redistributing the ill-gotten gains to the unproductive, liberals exacerbate the problem by creating an ever-larger pool of the poor. By their imperial decree that government is the sole solution to poverty, liberals conveniently ignore the honored philanthropic and charitable traditions in American society.

Some approaches to welfare in the world foster idleness, give subsidies with no labor required, create a burden of debt, and promote greediness—an appetite for things of this world rather than the riches of eternity.

Too often rich and poor alike shut their hearts to the divine attributes of love and compassion. The rich languish in their abundance and justify turning the poor away as “welfare cases.” The poor are likewise entrapped, becoming dependent on others in a system destined to trample initiative, undermine family responsibility, foster divisiveness, and erect barriers to equity, opportunity, and fellowship. – Robert D. Hales

Hales’ expose of illogical systems of welfare pegs liberalism at its very core. Liberalism ignores the divine attributes of love and compassion. “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matt. 25:34–36). Implicit to this scriptural example of love and compassion in action is the fact that these acts of charity are done voluntarily. Force is not the answer. True charity comes from the heart. It comes voluntarily. It comes from a deep and abiding conviction that all men are the giver’s brother – and all women are the giver’s sister.

Liberalism’s approach to welfare is a good example of Charles Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest. Liberals believe that only the fittest in society survive. Progressives also proclaim themselves the fittest of all and therefore crown themselves as Gods on earth – presiding over the vast unwashed masses of humanity who are too stupid to figure out for themselves the wisdom of socialist/communist doctrines – especially how they relate to wealth and the proper redistribution thereof. But progressives forget one little fact when it comes to Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the Fittest.” The missing element? – Love! If Survival of the Fittest is a natural law, then how do liberals explain the fact that men have developed love and compassion for their fellow men? Through acts of charity mankind has ensured that those who are not deemed to be among the fittest survive to live another day. Through philanthropic acts of generosity, untold numbers of people have been fed, clothed, educated, and loved – their needs met without once relying upon the largesse of a misguided progressive government agency.

Hales also pegged another problem of liberal ideology when it comes to welfare. Hales notes that incorrect systems of welfare “give subsidies with no labor required.” This, in a nutshell, aptly describes the vast system of entitlements enacted by progressive legislators and signed into law by equally progressive presidents. Liberal entitlement programs do not require the able-bodied to work for what they receive. This robs the poor of their dignity. It robs the poor of the desire to work and lift themselves from the depths of poverty through their own efforts. It robs the poor of not only their own lives but the lives of their posterity by creating and perpetuating a permanent culture wherein people exist in poverty and misery – barely able to exist upon the meager handouts of the public dole. Public entitlements suck the very life from the souls of men, women, and children by taking away their incentive to better themselves. No conservative endorses a system in which those who are truly physically incapable of providing for their own needs are denied food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs. But conservatives are keenly aware of the emotionally damaging aspects of the public dole. It literally destroys people.

Public entitlements also create massive amounts of debt – a phenomenon now fully on display in the United States of America. Under President Barack H. Obama, the public debt has soared to record heights because of his profligate spending – much of it on idiotic programs of dubious value. By funding entitlements through raids on the public treasury, Obama and his ilk have unfairly and unethically burdened both the present and future generations. The heavy burden of unrepayable debt threatens to crush our society – which is also part of the liberal plan.

The liberal philosophy regarding welfare also promotes greediness, the final aspect of unworkable welfare systems described by Hales. Obama is happy to forcibly take money from the rich and the middle class in order to shower it upon the heads of the poor. But take notice that Obama is not willing to put a crowbar to his own personal fortune and pry loose any funds to be used to relieve the suffering of his half-brother who lives in a shack in Kenya. Is Obama his brother’s keeper? Apparently not! Obama also ignores the plight of his aunt who lives in the projects on the east coast. While Obama greedily keeps his money to himself and lives the high-life on the public dime, his relatives languish in abject poverty with no hope for change that they can believe in.

The wisest of the Greeks was always held to be Solon, the father of democracy. Solon foretold the Age of Obama and others like him who through their destructive actions would bring down empires:

The ruin of our state will never come by the doom of Zeus; . . . it is the townsfolk themselves and their false-hearted leaders who would feign destroy our city through wantonness and love of money; . . . they are rich because they yield to the temptation of dishonest courses. . . . They spare neither the treasures of the gods nor the property of the state, and steal like brigands one from another. They pay no heed to the Unshaken rock of holy Justice; . . . our beloved city is rapidly wasted and consumed in those secret deals which are the delight of dishonest men. – Solon

Dr. Hugh W. Nibley, commenting on Solon’s proclamation, said:

It is the perennial story: “Ye yourselves raised these men to power over you, and have reduced yourselves by this course to a wretched state of servitude. Individually, you are a lot of sly foxes, but collectively, you are a set of simpletons. For ye look to the tongue and the play of a man’s speech and ignore the deed which is done before your very eyes.”( Ivan M. Linforth, Solon the Athenian (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1919), 140-45. The trouble is that “no visible limit is set to wealth among men. Even now those among us who have the largest fortune are striving with redoubled energy.” Then Solon… strikes a familiar note: “Wealth comes to mortals by the gifts of the gods. But out of it comes madness, which leads to destruction when Zeus sends this madness as a punishment to men.

Thus we see liberals decrying the greed of capitalism while they hoard their cash, like Obama, refusing to come to the aid of their brothers in need. Thus we see the Hollywood set wallowing in their wealth and seeking to curry favor with the powerful in society by promoting socialism while, like Obama, refusing the share of the abundance with the truly downtrodden among us.

The economist Daniel Yergin, writing about the problem of poverty in society said this:

There is an increasing doubt [among economists] that anything at all can be done about anything; . . . if that wisdom is correct, then any “solutions” to poverty become far more difficult and painful; they cannot be financed out of a growth dividend, but only by redistributing what others already have, in turn creating massive social unrest [most utopians did that merely by suggesting such a move]. Before the 1974-1975 minidepression, all financial poverty could have been eliminated at a modest shift of $10-15 billion to the poor from the rest of the community. 15 billion is less than 1.5% of the GNP, about the size of one of the cheaper weapons systems.

Once again, we turn to Nibley – “Our society has gone out of the way not to do what could be done to solve the problem. Why? A community which can at tolerable expense eliminate human distress but refrains from doing so either must believe that it benefits from unemployment or poverty, or that the poor and unemployed are bad people, or that other more important values will be impaired by attempts to help the lower orders—or all of these statements.”

This is an incredible statement by Nibley. Read it again, carefully. Nibley maintains that our society, i.e., our legislators, have chosen not to solve the problem of poverty. Why? It is simple really. The liberal Democrats know that by purposely creating and enlarging a populace totally dependent on government entitlement programs they ensure their own continual political power. Think about it! The Democrats have purposely allowed poverty to expand in the United States simply in order to ensure that they remain in power! It is inconceivable, at best. The scope of the evil is unfathomable. Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan is a lie. The Democrats have no intention of allowing us to hope for change – for change would eliminate the need for Democratic control of society.

No other civilization has permitted the calculus of self-interest so to dominate its culture,” writes the eminent economist and historian Robert L. Heilbroner. “It has transmogrified greed and philistinism into social virtues, and subordinated all values to commercial values.” [See Leonard Silk’s New York Times book review of Robert L. Heilbroner, Business Civilization in Decline (New York: Norton, 1976 )] This is exactly what Thomas More said: “What has heretofore passed as unjust,.. they have turned upside down, and in fact proclaimed it publicly and by law to be nothing less than justice itself.”[Sir Thomas More, Utopia, 1:25] And that is exactly what Ivan Boesky proclaimed when he recently commended “healthy greed” as a high virtue to a college audience. [Mariann Caprino, “Healthy Greed Was Boesky’s Undoing,” reported in Salt Lake Tribune (20 November 1986): D9.] The complete inversion of the utopian ideal is reached when success itself becomes synonymous with money. And what is the end result? The old familiar pictures. A citizen of New York writes,

You have to be on the alert constantly to sense when somebody nearby is out of place, waiting, looking, ready to pounce. You have to clutch your handbag up close, ready to fight for it should that become necessary. You have to put three locks on your door, plus a burglarproof chain. You have to avoid the subways, night or day, and don’t smile at strangers on the bus. [Carolyn Lewis, “The Beasts in the Jungle,” Newsweek (19 January 1981): 8.]

Nibley conducted a great deal of research into the study of ancient utopias, Greek, Christian, Hebrew, Roman, and Coptic, etc. Read his conclusions, below, regarding the common elements found in those ancients who sought out utopia:

Here is what all the great utopians have in common:

  1. They were not losers with axes to grind but the most successful and respected men of their times.
  2. They were preeminently practical men of the world, with far more experience in leadership and organization than their critics.
  3. All attempted to implement the setting up of societies that they believed had existed among men in the past and would again in the future.
  4. Whether Jew, heathen, or Christian, all thought of their utopias as religious societies, and they preached both religious tolerance and the cultivation of faith.
  5. Yet all, in spite of all the great esteem in which they and their works were held, were persecuted by the powers that be, and few escaped violent death.
  6. All suffered disillusionment in their own day; their communities were either violently destroyed or went underground.
  7. They taught that the object of life was joy, and none of them either displayed or recommended stern puritanical judgments. Their utopias were… easygoing.
  8. The advantage of technology and its possibilities for bettering the human condition were first fully realized by the utopians.
  9. They all realized that joy is to be found only in the active mind—the glory of man is intelligence, and knowledge is the stuff on which the mind feeds.
  10. Science, art, scholarship, philosophy, literature were all cultivated together as the principal activity of the citizens. There is quite enough there to keep us all busy even without the urgent imperative of getting lunch. It is because of this that what appears to us as a disturbing uniformity in dress, housing, and so on, presents no problem but rather removes obstacles to the proper studies of mankind.
  11. The joy derived from the senses—beautiful surroundings and impressions—and from the vigorous exercise of our physical as well as our mental faculties is never neglected.
  12. Goods of “secondary intent” (Campanella uses the expression)—clothing, housing, food, medicaments, transportation, etc.—are essential to assist in carrying on the more serious work of the mind and body, but they never become primary, in other words, their own excuse for being, as is the case with us, where to make and market such goods fulfills the measure of one’s existence.
  13. Money and private property are the insuperable obstacles to the achievement of utopia. The two are inseparable because the idea that there is no limit to what money can represent is necessary to implement the equally outrageous idea that there is no limit to what an individual can own. The relationship is succinctly stated in a formula propounded by one of awesome authority in the very beginning, in the first utopia, where he cast the long, dark shadow ahead with those ominous words: “You can have anything in this world for money.”

Were all of these shrewd, experienced, and concerned observers being simplistic in unanimously tracing the root of all evil to money? Well, make a list of some of those evils that today as never before threaten the whole world with dissolution—drugs; pornography; terrorism; nuclear armaments; fraud; corruption; soldiers of fortune; corporate outrages; opportunistic preachers; pollution of air, water, food, and information; acid rain; extinction of species; and so on. Which of these does not have big money as the driving force behind it? The drive for power and gain is the soil in which they all flourish.

Reading Nibley’s works in-depth show that he is not against private ownership of property. What he is against is people accumulating more than what they need – thereby depriving the poor of what “they” need. What Nibley rails against is greed – a subject that goes to the very core of what Obama is about.

No society will ever solve the problem of poverty through government entitlement programs. The solution cannot be forced upon us by Obama’s dictatorial edict of the redistribution of wealth. The solution is a voluntary one. The solution must include teaching the poor how to become self-reliant. The solution must teach the self-reliant how to care for their families. The solution must teach those who care for their families to voluntarily reach out and extend helping hands to the down and out. The solution must be run with integrity, without guile, and without greediness.

Utopia cannot be achieved through the forced distribution of wealth. The answer lies in voluntary acts of love and mercy, tempered with the realization that man is meant to work for what he receives. This preserves the dignity of the poor and shows them the way to work towards becoming self-reliant. Men are meant to stand independent and strong.

By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience. Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires. – D. Todd Christofferson

We will only solve the problem of poverty through the proper application of conservative principles. Liberalism only exacerbates the problem. Conservatism solves it. By consecrating our lives in service to our fellow men – lifting them up, comforting them, and teaching them to become self-reliant, we can solve the problem of poverty. This is why the election of 2012 is so important. Do we choose a continuation of the degrading communistic policies of Obama and the rest of the progressives, or do we choose to free ourselves from bondage and once free, extend our hands in kindness and lift the weary, downtrodden, and poor among us. The choice is ours. And we will live with the consequences of our national decision next year.