Inspired by Barney Stinson, I decided to make my own all-rise, get psyched playlist. This is it, in this order, minus some tweaking I did in iTunes so as to eliminate any awkward silences at the ends or beginnings of songs in order to make them flow into each other best. I’m happy with it.
Has Barack Obama learned nothing in three years? Last night, during his State of the Union address, he promised “a blueprint for an economy.” But economies are crushed by blueprints. An economy is really nothing more than people participating in an unfathomably complex spontaneous network of exchanges aimed at improving their material circumstances. It can’t even be diagrammed, much less planned. And any attempt at it will come to grief.
Politicians like Obama believe they are the best judges of how we should conduct our lives. Of course a word like “blueprint” would occur to the president. He, like most who want his job, aspires to be the architect of a new society.
But we who love our lives and our freedom say: No, thanks. We need no social architect. We need liberty under law. That’s it.
Obama — and most Republicans are no different — doesn’t understand the real liberal revolution that transformed civilization. The crux of that revolution is that law should define general visible rules of just conduct, applicable to all, with no eye to particular outcomes. In other words, as Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek taught, the only “purpose” of law is to enable us all to pursue our individual purposes in peace.
If Obama really wanted, as he says, a society in which “everybody gets a fair shot,” he would work to shrink government so that the sphere of freedom could expand. Instead, he expands government and raises taxes on wealthier people, as though giving politicians more money were a way to make society better. Instead, the interventionist state rigs the game on behalf of special interests.
What should Obama have said in his speech? Here’s what I wish he’d said:
Our debt has passed $15 trillion. It will reach Greek levels in just 10 years.
But if we make reasonable cuts to what government spends, our economy can grow us out of our debt. Cutting doesn’t just make economic sense, it is also the moral thing to do. Government is best which governs least.
We’ll start by closing the Department of Education, which saves $100 billion a year. It’s insane to take money from states only to launder it through Washington and then return it to states.
Next, we’ll close the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That saves $41 billion. We had plenty of housing in America before a department was created.
Then we eliminate the Commerce Department: $9 billion. A government that can’t count votes accurately should not try to negotiate trade. We will eliminate all corporate welfare and all subsidies. That means agriculture subsidies, green energy subsidies, ethanol subsidies and so on. None of it is needed.
I propose selling Amtrak. Why is government in the transportation business? Let private companies compete to run the trains.
And we must finally stop one of the biggest assaults on freedom and our pocketbook: the war on drugs. I used drugs. It’s immoral to imprison people who do what I did and now laugh about.
Still, all these cuts combined will only dent our deficit. We must cut Medicare, Social Security and the military.
I know. Medicare and Social Security are popular. But they are unsustainable. The only way to cut costs and still have medical innovation is to free the market. So I propose that we repeal Obamacare immediately. My proposal was a mistake. We should repeal all government interference in the medical and insurance industries, including licensing. It all impedes competition.
We must shrink the military’s mission to true national defense. That means pulling our troops out of Germany, Japan, Italy and dozens of other countries. America cannot and should not try to police the world.
Those cuts will put America on the road to solvency. But that’s not enough. We also need economic growth.
Our growth has stalled because millions of pages of regulations make businesses too fearful to invest. Entrepreneurs don’t know what the rules — or taxes — will be tomorrow.
All destructive laws must go. I endorse the Stossel Rule: For every new law passed, we must repeal two old ones.
“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.”—James Madison - http://constitution.org/fed/federa48.htm
I’ve never had a short answer when someone asks what I’d cut out, and I don’t claim to know absolutely every bit of government intrusion out there. That question frequently trips me up, and I find this to be a good solution. I particularly like the last bit:
"I would favor the rescinding of all government action — Federal, state, or local — which would interfere with any individual’s freedom to do as he pleases in general, as long as he doesn’t infringe the equal right and opportunity of every other person to do as he pleases."
I took a brief break from work to write this letter to my congressman. Made it up on the fly, so pardon any missing things.
I’m contacting you today via the internet. Do you know why I can do that? Because the internet is free and open. It is a place of entertainment, knowledge, communication, and a fusion of all three. It is a place of convenience and progress. In short, the internet is a big part of all our lives, and something many of us could not live without.
The Stop Online Piracy Act, along with its Senate counterpart known as PIPA, is set to take away the freedom we all know and love. President Obama has even talked about the dangers of such bills. Do bad things happen on the internet, such as piracy of copyrighted materials? You bet. But there are ways to stop such horrible things without also stopping free speech, expression, and press.
Today, Wikipedia is completely blacked out in protest of SOPA. Google, Reddit, and a plethora of other sites have done similar things. With the passage of SOPA, PIPA, or whatever other acronym you want to use for such bills, these websites could become permanently blacked out. Sharing links to stories, videos, and music is what the internet is about. It’s how new fads are born and stars are discovered. It’s how marketing is done. It’s how I pay my taxes. It’s how I became a student at Indiana University and am looking to give back to my state. It’s how I’ve become a part of the political process. Very little of this would be possible with these bills, and that is a tragedy of the highest order.
I want to specify here that I’m not writing this letter with a form or from a script. No one is dictating this to me. I’ve written these words because they are what I truly feel. I’ve never written such a letter to you or any congressman before, largely because I’ve worried that my voice would not be heard. This issue, however, is simply too large for me to continue my complacency.
Congressman Donnelly, I urge you to vote against SOPA. Protect the freedoms that we are guaranteed in our Constitution, each and every one of us. The internet is about more than just YouTube and Facebook. It’s about progress, development, and ingenuity. It has been an integral part of the globalization we have seen over the last decade, and it has been a part of why world economies are still standing, battered though they may be. The internet means more to each of us that we can ever truly express or even know. That includes you, Congressman. Do the right thing and protect our internet by voting against SOPA.
Edit: DAMN. Typed “that” instead of “than” toward the end.
Re: Tree of Knowledge/bacon thing--not to be too technical here, but I'm pretty sure Adam and Eve weren't technically "Chosen People" since Chose People are generally defined as the Israelites, and Israelites are the children of Jacob. Jacob didn't come until like way after A&E. But maybe it was a bacon tree! Maybe! Don't wanna burst any funny bubbles over here.
Adam and Eve were chosen by God to be the first human beings, amirite?
Wow I'm bored and just blowing up your ask box. Well! You know that "look to the left, that object will be your only weapon in the upcoming zombie apocalypse" thing? OKAY WELL AS AN AVID VIEWER OF THE WALKING DEAD I TAKE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE VERY SERIOUSLY AND I FEEL QUITE UPSET TO BE LEFT WITH ONLY AN EIGHTH-FILLED BOTTLE OF POWERADE.
If you don't mind me asking, how did you make your mom tear up about gay marriage? Was it like happy tears, like I get all the time whenever anybody fictional on TV is pregnant? And if you do mind me asking, then totally feel free to ignore that. But let me just leave you with this: gay is only akin to a birth defect if "Awesome Sexuality Disorder!" is a recognized thing now.
Definitely not happy tears. I think it was because I wouldn’t just agree with her on the matter and wouldn’t accept “the bible says so!” as legitimate reasoning.
She’s a Santorum fan, I’m a Ron Paul fan. There’s some tension in the house during GOP debates.