How would an Objectivist go about constructing a constitution?

Month: May 2006

Combatting poverty

Doesn’t it make you want to laugh whenÂa politician stands at the podeum and says they want to combat poverty. And they wonder why statistics say people trust politicians less than used car salesmen. My own Premier went on TV just today and said he wanted to combat poverty. It must have been his alter-ego Alan Cholic talking. Unrestricted capitalism is the answer, of course. Spending more money on more infrastructer and study is not, of course. (I heard more about Brad Pitts new daughter this weekend.) Do these people know that they are ten times more interested in preserving socialism? I think we need to go after socialism head on.

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New Government’s, Keep your head down

Here in Canada, we just elected a new government. They are really trying to do good. They have set about keeping their campain promises. Why do I sound unhappy? BecauseÂthere is only oneÂof the five things they are doing I could agree with, the rest are a huge waste of money. Here it is right off my MP’s newsletter and questionair: Accountability, cut the GST, get tough on crime, 1,200 dollar childcare allowance, wait time guarantee.

Accountability: Is this to be considered a major overhaul of the federal system to make it to hard and to dangerous to cheat? I doubt it. Some politician say’s Accountability it probably means a new level butt covering will be required in Parliment.

Cut the GST: The only thing I can agree with. I am of course not into reform, but if the feds unilaterally want to cut the Goods and services tax, (7% on top of all other taxes) Who am I to discourage it.

Get tough on crime: check the condition of your steel underware. Everytime the government says it wants to get tough on something or someone, it means rights violations across the board. There are too many laws that violate rights already. Strict enforcement and aggressive tactics only makes the coming of the new police states quicker.

$1,200 dollar Childcare allowance: This one drives me wild; First, another $100.00 dollars per month in this country won’t do much. $700.00 per month is a bargain for daycare. It will cost taxpayers a billion dollars and it won’t provide full months of daycare. Unless the primary parent can go to work, it’s a pointless waste of money.

Wait time guarantees: to get into hospitals for operations, three months to indefinitely is pretty typical. It would not be a problem if private health insurance and hospital care was permitted

So my MP is asking for my opinion of this plan, I’m having a hard time thinking of anything nice.

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A State of Maturity

John Locke, chapter 6, Of paternal power

He has some interesting ideas and conclusions here. He covers a problem I thought of years ago. What is the status of children and child minded individuals. He clearly confirms the father as the authority in a childs life. If the father dies without appointing a guardian the authority falls to the law.

This has been a point of contention for a long time. In my lifetime, children have been apprehended by social services simply because their father died. He was right about the state of maturity. He has an interesting way of putting it, children are governed during their minority. By their own parents, guardian, or government appointee, but they must be capable of knowing the law before the child can have his own will to choose.

After this Locke goes on to ask more questions than he answers. I have my own ideas on the subject. It doesn’t work to say children or child minded individuals have no rights. They do; Rights are of course not clearly defined but when they are I think we will find children do have rights. Childrens Rights are supplimental to their parents rights. It’s one good reason why you can’t give a child rights by taking them away from it’s parents, it’s a contradiction. That’s for another post though. I think one right a child should have is a right to one parent. Temporary foster care is not good, the child knows it’s not their parent. Actual parental authority is critical to halfway normal child development. If neither parent can be in the childs life. The proxy must be complete or the authority split will reek havoc in the childs life.

In the case of a genuine orphan with no potential for relatives to adopt it, The government should not be permitted to “warehouse” the child indefinitely. As soon as is practiceable an adoptive parent should be approved. Further, if a child somehow gets overlooked by the law. The child should have the right to try and arrange for their own adoptive parent.

Thinking about it just now I should clearify. The parental rights belong to the parent. The child of living parents active in the childs life cannot sell the parental rights or “trade up”. The childs parents should retain parental rights until and/or unless it becomes impossible.

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Feed the Poor?

Feeding the poor?

A person might ask what does this have to do Objectivism and isn’t that charity? The answer is, it is the setting for a discussion about property rights. This arid country X in my example is unlikely to get the comprehensive water management because it doesn’t have well protected property rights. No country does, but we will concentrate on country X for the moment. Few business types will waste time, energy, capital, creative thought on the problem of irrigating a dry country unless it is profitable and you can’t have profit without property rights. If the go gooders were really interested in feeding the million poor, they would jump in first thing and establish formally recognized property rights, Why don’t they?

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Feed the Poor

I see a lot of apparently intelligent people. Doctors, Lawyers, Business Types, Politicians, do gooders in general. Taking it upon themselves and encouraging others to raise money to feed the poor.

There is nothing new in my observation. Many people including Miss Rand have commented on this folly. I’m going to comment anyway.

These do gooders, want to feed, say one million people. How is this to be done? How should it be done? What do we send to them trying to accomplish this?

We send grain and little bottles of water. Hope they have a pot and heat source and when it’s gone it’s gone. The do gooders must raise more money.

I have been doing leasure studies on the problem of feeding millions of people for years. The solutions are painfully simple. First: water management, Countries with a lot of poor underfed people tend to be dry. I have watched a lot of TV on the subject, I have studied maps, I have studied the problem of aquiring clean water. If you look past the starving children in the scene you will almost always see water, frequently brown or worse, if you look at a map of the area, there is almost always streams, rivers, lakes, and in genuine cases of no surfaceground water, potential for wells almost everywhere.

In my opinion, If a group of do gooders wants to do something useful, design a water management plan for the whole country. Starting from the highest peak and working there way down to the ocean. Build small dams, don’t flood the best farmland in the country. Send irrigation on a horizontal plane to every reasonably flat area in the country. Now the country is wet but the water is still brown or worse. Sand is the most common thing on the face of the earth. A couple of feet of sand will filter water as good as mother nature. After that a series of 3 filters costing between $2.00 and $40.00 will clean the water better than boiling possibly could, Done. You don’t have to clean to water you use on your crops, you just dump it on the dirty ground anyway. The sand filter is more than good enough for personal cleaning. The store bought water filters for cooking and drinking.

A comprehensive water management system like this would be very hard to kill, Like a road system there would be vulnerable points that should be guarded and cared for but once established killing the whole system would be nearly impossible. You can’t hoard water, if you try you will get flooded and the next person downstream collects it anyway.

Simple. So what’s the catch? The do gooders. Composed primarily of Socialists and Treehugging environmentalists. They will stop any effort to manage natural water resources. Socialists and environmentalists have a hidden agenda, They are only interested in self-preservation. protecting their infrastructer is their main concern.

A contradiction you say? No doubt of it, but these people thrive on contradiction. If these people want to feed a million poor, dump water on the ground, stuff will grow, try and stop it.

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Knowledge is Power

It has been said that knowledge is Power.

Knowledge is a book sitting on a shelf, unread.

When you read the book and extract very kernel of value, combine that with your physical, mental and emotional skills for the pursuit of your goals.

That is Power.

The method for taking your raw physical, mental, and emotion talents and molding them into the tools you need to acheve your goals.

That is Education.

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John Locke, Chap#5: Of property

I was reading John Locke again this week end. First time in a while. I found a situation in the ownership of property I hadn’t thought of before.

Paraphrasing: John Locke felt if someone picked acorns or apples, the goods were theirs as soon as picked. he only need use them or even give them away before they spoiled or else he took more than his share and robbed others. It is indeed a foolish thing, as well as dishonest to hoard what you cannot use.

What sort of lesson is this? Use everything you need and sell the rest perhaps? Don’t keep a lot of clutter in your life? Is there some socialist aspect to this? Is it a warning to not waste your time?

He goes on to say that money is an agreement between men by mutual consent for a lasting thing that would keep without spoiling. Paraphrasing: He goes on to say that the invention of money made it possible to continue and enlarge their fortune. For without the concept of money a person would only produce what they need for themselves and their closed society, The people they know.

John Locke seems to be indicating that ongoing and expanding commerce should be an integral part of our lives. That tends to reject socialism as a proper system.

I can’t wait to read more.

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