published December 6, 1991
ITíS TIME FOR A NEW
While George Bush and his gang in
Washington are having a hard time using the word
ďrecessionĒ, the rest of the country is only too aware that
times are tough.
Over the last three decades politicians
of every stripe have mortgaged our future in the name of greed. We have families who see nothing wrong with
living cradle to grave on welfare. We have
millions of functionally illiterate, under-educated people who are
incapable of holding down any job that requires thinking.
We have repressive tax laws which are driving people
out of business. We have property values
that are all but out-of-reach for the average American.
We have civil and criminal laws which make
absolutely no sense. We have a healthcare
system in chaos. We have little to be
proud of and less to look forward to. We
have a population that is afraid to make waves.
This is not the America of our founders
or even our grandparents. Itís time
we took control of our lives back from the crooked (and confused)
politicians, crooked cops, prosecutors, and judges.
First we need to make some basic
1. Millions of people will forever
remain dependant on the public dole if permitted. There
is no intelligent reason to continue the policies which have allowed
and encouraged this to happen.
2. Basic to solving our people problem
is the ability to read.
3. Prisons donít work.
4. The death penalty does nothing to
stop desperate people.
5. Guns donít kill.
6. The Internal Revenue Service,
Franchise Tax Board, Board of Equalization, and every other taxing
agency are out of sync with reality. The
people who work for them are mindless automatons who would (and should)
all jump off a cliff if directed to.
7. Criminal penalties no longer fit the
8. Lawyers and litigation are sucking
the system dry.
9. Every American should be able to
afford basic healthcare, but healthcare is not a right.
Equal rights should mean just that. Equal opportunity should mean that everyone,
black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Christian, Jew, Moslem
or Buddhist has the opportunity to attain whatever goals they set for
themselves. Their ďgoalsĒ
should not be artificially set by an out-of-touch Supreme Court that
has lost sight of our constitutional rights.
Welfare should be a tool to help
desperate people help themselves. Along
with food and money, there should be some simple rules.
The more children you have, the less help you
receive. If youíre capable of
working, you must participate in special education classes so that you
can gain the necessary skills to obtain a job to get you off the
welfare roles. In essence, we need
something more like workfare. A simple
example of this would be allowing thousands upon thousands of welfare
moms to become paid in-home childcare providers so that thousands more
could afford to go out and get a decent job.
The only course kindergartners should be
taught is how to get along with their peers and their elders and, most
importantly, how to read and comprehend. Then,
as they advance to second and third grades and beyond if necessary,
they continue to learn only how to read and comprehend.
Only when their little minds are opened, can we
expect them to learn math, history, science, and get all of the other
talents necessary to become productive, informed citizens.
Today, the ladder of opportunity is laying flat on
the ground, so it makes little difference which way youíre going. Where the ladder is upright, its rungs are
covered with the blood of those who have been walked on as a greedy few
resort to any trick in the book to obtain what they believe to be a
Itís unbelievable that in a
country like America, we have so many functionally illiterate people. Owning a newspaper gives one an unusual
opportunity to see just how uneducated the great mass of humanity
really is. If we are to have a peaceful
future, reading is a key ingredient.
Looking at laws, lawyers and criminal
penalties, we are a nation out of control. Every
time you turn around, there is some new law passed.
Most laws are basically ridiculous; with control of
private lives as their real goal. Bureaucrats
with conservatism, liberalism or religious fundamentalism as their
battle cry, are cramming ever more repressive laws down our throats,
and we do nothing. I donít know
about you, but Iím tired of being told to live my life the way
others want me to live based singularly on their particular philosophy. To start to cure this unbalanced situation, we
need to pass at least one new law. That
law would be one that allows bureaucrats to introduce no more than one
new bill per month with a limit of 12 per year. If,
and only if, the politicos have to give real thought to the bills they
are introducing, will we ever obtain sensible legislation.
At the same time, we need to scrap thousands of
existing laws which are dragging this country down.
Victimless crimes should no longer carry
criminal penalties. By definition, a
victimless crime is one in which the so-called criminal harms no one
but himself or herself by their actions. An
example is the smoking of marijuana. By
itself, it should not be a crime. If a
person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle and is high or does something
that jeopardizes the life and welfare of others, then, and only then,
should there be any possible crime to even contemplate.
Another example is gun control.
There should be no crime attached to owning or
possessing any type of weapon. If, and
only if, you use that weapon in some way that harms or threatens harm
to others should there be any crime. Also,
I fail to understand why mere possession of guns suddenly becomes a
felony if you are arrested for some other crime that has nothing to do
with the possession of the guns in the first place.
A third example is prostitution.
While every politician practices some form of it,
the actual profession should be legalized. Only
religious mores prevent the legalization. If
legalized, prostitution could be controlled, taxed, and with regular
medical testing, legalization could help stem the spread of AIDS and
other sexually transmitted diseases.
If we are (rightfully so) going to
continue to treat 18-year olds as adults, then they should be able to
legally consume alcoholic beverages. They
can fight and die for their country. They
can vote. They can spend the rest of their
lives in jail. They can sign contracts. They can and do live by themselves and most
conduct themselves as adults. So why
canít they drink? Like their 21-year
old counterparts, if they fail to drink intelligently, then they will
have to pay the price. In addition to
making it legal for all adults, the level of presumed
intoxication should be raised back to .10. Currently
there is a move to lower the limit from .08 to .05 which is absolutely
ridiculous. It was lowered to .08 so that the bureaucrats could line
their coffers with exorbitant fines aimed at destroying peoples lives
and wills. If the current trend continues,
weíll soon be again battling the religious teetotallers who
plunged us into the prohibition era.
Our current attitude about drugs is
nothing but a lose-lose position. As with
prohibition, we have created a situation where virtually every cop,
judge, prosecutor, and bureaucrat lives on the ragged edge of
corruption. In the twenties gangsters shot
gangsters as they jostled for the more lucrative territory. Guns were used then as guns are used today. Only instead of booze, itís drugs
weíre supposedly trying to control. It
didnít work then. It isnít
working now. It will not work in the
future. When prohibition was finally
overturned, we experienced a period where the corruption was greatly
reduced and law enforcement personnel were doing the job they were
hired to perform. With our current drug
prohibition laws, we are spending billions upon billions to build ever
more prisons to hold people who have simply lost hope.
Along with losing hope, hundreds of thousands have
also lost their hard-earned property due to asset forfeiture laws. These terrible laws give law enforcement all
the motive they need to bust (and frame) innocent people.
With our useless probation system, we have created a
virtual revolving door for those we choose to jail.
Theyíre slammed behind bars, taught nothing of
real value and then released to go out and commit the same stupid crime
that landed them in the system in the first place.
Why not make it mandatory that a person learn to
read before they can be released? If you
have ever seen how the probation system works, itís hard to
believe that anyone would except it as a condition of release. A person virtually gives up every right they
have. Probation officers are inhumane
idiots who, like prison guards, thrive upon making life as miserable as
possible for others. Read a probation
report and you will see writing akin to one of Hitlerís trusted
aides. Itís a rare probation officer
who actually treats alleged criminals as if they were human.
Going back to drug arrests, which
account for an alarming number of our inmates, imagine what could
happen if drugs were legal, taxed and as heavily controlled as alcohol
is. In the past few years we have made
wonderful inroads in treating alcoholism. This
came about because we finally realized that an alcoholic has a medical
problem. There is no difference in a drug
abuser. There also should be no difference
between a person who can intelligently handle a drink or two and a
person who takes a small amount of some other drug.
If we took the criminal penalties out of drug use
and concentrated our efforts on controlling drug abuse, just
imagine what would happen to the number of people who are being
arrested. If they didnít have to
steal to get the money for something that is artificially outlawed,
suddenly all of our lives would become less complicated.
We can take back our streets and our neighborhoods
simply by taking the profit out of drug trafficking.
Crime, real crime will not disappear entirely, but
the average law abiding citizen will definitely breath easier. Use the tax revenue from the sale of these
legalized drugs to treat those individuals who need and want treatment. If that individual breaks some real law
because of their drug addiction, then they should be arrested for the
law they broke and offered treatment along with incarceration. Weíre warehousing thousands upon
thousands of people who are desperately in need of serious help due to
mental health problems. People in need of
medical care due to mental health problems do not belong in prisons. Like the drug abuser or alcoholic, they need
help - not jail.
If we took a more realistic tack with
our laws, we could eliminate much of the need for mindless litigation. With our chaotic laws today, we have literally
given attorneys a license to steal. Simple
changes could make a huge difference. A
perfect example is automobile insurance. The
current system encourages abuse on all sides. Like
drug laws, our insurance laws donít work. Iíve
never met anyone who could drive two vehicles at the same time. With this in mind, I suggest a more equitable
proposition for vehicle insurance. The
insurance should be on the person and not on every individual vehicle
he or she owns. Basic insurance should
cover personal liability and property damage as well as reasonable
medical costs (the same as homeowners or renters insurance). For sake of argument, letís say that you
carry 100/300 coverage. That basic
coverage goes with you no matter what legal vehicle you operate. If you want to have collision, comprehensive,
fire and theft or other types of coverage, you would pay an additional
premium based upon the maximum value of any one vehicle that you
anticipate driving. That coverage also
moves with you from vehicle to vehicle so that today, if you take the
$6,000 Toyota to work, youíre covered. If,
on the other hand, you take the $25,000 Corvette tomorrow, youíre
still covered because your policy is good for $25,000 in damages. This may sound complicated, but itís a
very simple solution to a complex problem. Of
course all of this insurance would be of the no-fault type to take most
of the litigation right out of the picture.
Next to the lack of ability to read,
taxes, all types of taxes, are probably the second leading cause for
the decline of America. Our bureaucrats
need to read, then reread the Declaration of Independence.
While theyíre at it, they should read a ton of
other historical documents which point out all too clearly the
repressiveness of taxes. To be sure, we
need some taxes, but the situation is hopelessly out of control. The bureaucracies have grown with the tax
bills. The level of service has not. There are few people who are truly better off
today because of higher taxes. Our roads,
cities and institutions are in a constant state of disrepair. Rather than fix real problems, we tend to look
only at the short term and then throw money at the problem with no
thought about the consequences. Federal
taxes should be simplified with a 3x5 card system which features a flat
tax with no deductions. As an example, if
we used 15 percent as the basis for all taxpayers over a poverty level,
a person or couple with an income of $40,000 would pay $6,000. Using the same logic and percentage, state
taxes would be $900 based upon 15 percent of federal taxes. No forms, no fuss, no exceptions, no IRS as we
know it today. Obviously the numbers could
change, but the basic premise remains the same. Above
the poverty level, everyone, individual, business or corporation, would
pay exactly the same percentage based on income.
As with our tax laws, all of our other
laws need a major overhaul. Every law that
is passed should have to undergo a rigorous test akin to an
environmental assessment. If the law is a
good law, it should be able to withstand the scrutiny of such a test. Who will this law help? Who
will it hurt? What is the need for such a
law? What is the cost to enforce it? These are but a few of the questions every law
should stand up to.
People have to take control of their own
lives. We cannot and must not depend on an
ever-growing government to take care of us. At
the same time, we must realize that we have created a class of people
who are almost beyond help and we will have to assist them from now to
their graves. But there is no reason why
we must continue to go blindly down the path of creating a welfare
state composed of under-educated fools who cannot think for themselves.
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