Many Voices, One Freedom: United in the 1st Amendment

May 21, 2024





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There are three dates related to human rights that stand as the most important in human history. The first is the 15th of June, 1215, when the Magne Carte was signed, which was essentially the birthday of the concept of human rights. The second is July 4th, 1776, with the Declaration of Independence, which for the first time declared that human rights are inherent, and that people have the right to overthrow any government that denies human rights. The third date is the 10th of December, 1948, when the United Nations declared human rights to be universal.

Sadly, the 10th of December, 1948, was also the date the concept of human rights died.

The first 21 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are very similar to the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, but once we get to Article 22 (there are 30 Articles), the wheels start to come off the bus. Not everything after Article 21 is bad, but some of the things included in the last eight Articles include the right to Social Security, the right to a job, the right to equal pay for equal work, the right to leisure, the right to food, the right to clothing, the right to housing, the right to healthcare, and the right to an education.

By including the right to goods and services as human rights, the United Nations changed the entire concept of ‘human rights’ away from negative rights (things government cannot do to you), to what some people call ‘positive rights,’ which are things government must ensure you are provided with.

It is not the government’s job to provide Social Security, and in fact, if you count all of the money you have paid, or will have paid, into Social Security before you retire, and then look at the amount of money you will receive from Social Security, it’s a very bad deal. If America had a private Social Security system, it would pay our seniors, on average, five times what our current system pays. A private system would also not be going bankrupt – each generation living off their own wealth rather than relying on taxes from younger generations.

The right to a job requires government to become the provider of last resort for jobs. The government will, of course, provide jobs, in terms of all of the legitimate things government is supposed to do (such as defending our borders), but the government should provide only those jobs government needs to provide in doing its legitimate roles. We don’t need or want, government to do anything more than that. Free markets, if simply left alone, lead to full employment. Job guarantees are not warranted.

Equal pay for equal work sounds like a great thing, until one considers that it requires the government to set all wages in order to ensure that they are the same. Think of the chaos this would cause. Free markets set wages through supply and demand, but in a free market, each person and each employer negotiate wages, and in such a system, wages for similar jobs will fall into a range that will not be equal.

My son asked me how he is supposed to get a start in life when employers require several years of work experience. I answered that though all employers want people with work experience, some employers are willing to pay for that experience, and others are not. My first job as an IT manager was for a company that underpaid employees, leading it to hire people other employers did not want. That’s the kind of company that will take a flier on a bright, young person who has ambition, but not experience. Once a young employee has four or five years of experience, they can then move on to another employer who pays more. If the government sets wages, to ensure that everyone makes the same pay for the same work, this kind of advancement will no longer be possible.

The right to leisure is absurd. Leisure is whatever we choose to do when not working, so there is nothing for the government to provide, but the government can do a tremendous amount of damage trying to define ‘leisure,’ and then to demand that whatever it comes up with must somehow be provided ‘for free.’

Note that nothing is truly free. Someone has to pay for it, and as such, the ‘leisure’ of one person comes at the expense of someone else. We can all define ‘leisure’ for ourselves, and we can all pursue it on our own.

We all want food, clothing, housing, and an education, but these things do not need to be provided by the government. When government provides people with all their basic needs, it must tax those who work at prohibitive rates in order to be able to supply those things. This deters more people from working, causing government to tax remaining workers at even higher rates, and pushing even more people out of the workforce. This is exactly the kind of death spiral Venezuela ran into, and once the economy gets to the point where the goods and services needed to feed and support the people simply is not being produced, the government tends to round people up, against their will, to force them onto the farms and into the factories, to produce those things. At that point, the nation is soviet-style communist.

The US Department of Education has destroyed the American system of education, such that we are producing the most uneducated (and most indoctrinated) youth in the history of our nation.

America was founded on the notion of responsible liberty, which is the concept that each individual person is primarily responsible for their own outcomes, and that government must leave people alone to pursue their own interests; however, they wish, as long as the people do not interfere with the rights of others to do the same. The growth of the United States into the richest, most powerful nation in human history, with the lowest rates of poverty (as defined by the UN) in the world, would seem to show that the concept of responsible liberty works, but the UN Universal Declaration of Human rights changes the rules, such that people are dependent servants of government, rather than independent masters of their own lives.

Furthermore, providing ‘positive rights’ to the public requires labor, putting the government in a position where it will be required to take labor by force, if necessary, to provide food, housing, clothing, and other basic needs.

If the government becomes the provider of things, then the government must decide how much each person gets. This invariably leads to the creation of identity groups, all of which vie for political power, such that they can compete politically for a larger share. Unless someone can convince me that achieving economic advancement through political means is somehow more moral than is achieving economic advancement through economic means, I want nothing to do with government as a provider of things.

To put it bluntly, in a society where people compete on economic grounds for ‘more,’ people get ‘more’ by growing the economy, whereas once government becomes the provider of things, the economy truly does become a zero-sum game.

There are those who want a zero-sum game. I remember watching Flash Gordon when I was a child. There was a scene where Flash Gordon’s love interest says, “Flash – I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!” There are a good many Americans who believe we only have fourteen hours (well – OK.. ten years) to save the Earth, and most of these people see economic growth as destructive. These groups also base their alarmism on computer models of climate change that have proven themselves wrong over the past 40 years. The best models, in terms of being predictive (aka being ‘right’), are also the ones that predict the least warming, and that do not justify alarmism.

America used to be a nation of ideals and values, with laws that represented those ideals and values. While there was disagreement over what the laws should be, there was a wide degree of agreement with regard to our ideals and values.

That was then. This is now.

We no longer have any shared values or ideals. Much of the left views our national founding and our traditional ideals, not just as passe, but as vile and evil.

The ideals these people on the left want to replace our traditional ideals with are viewed, on the right, as vile and evil.

To put it plainly, the right believes that the purpose of government is to protect the liberty of each individual, whereas the left believes that the purpose of government is to support the material needs of each individual, while also protecting each individual’s dignity against any encroachment from any other individual.

Those visions are wholly incompatible. The leftist vision is based on the notion that a people left free will balkanize into oppressive hierarchies. The left does not believe in freedom – they openly embrace tyranny (albeit not by that name).

The right is, of course, diametrically opposed to tyranny, as our nation was founded to end tyranny.

The left believes we must balkanize the public into groups so that we can protect disadvantaged groups from oppression, whereas the right believes said balkanization to be racist and oppressive.

Because our ideals are incompatible, both sides view the other as evil, and this divides us into political parties that are focused on destroying one another, rather than on building some semblance of a shared nation.

The result is that our politics have become cults of personality, where both sides pick whomever they think is most likely to beat the other side, and then we whip ourselves up into a frenzy of support-at-all-costs for our preferred candidates, and attack-at-all-costs for the other candidates.

Both sides are willing to burn our democracy to get their way, as both sides rightfully see the other side as a mortal threat to the nation as they want it to exist.

Based on that, of course, Nancy Pelosi is weaponizing her position. Of course, the Delta Variant is going to be used as an excuse to ignore election laws again.

My prediction is that Republicans will take the House, and Democrats will take a majority in the Senate. Why? Frankly, I believe that because Senate elections are state-wide, they are also more easily defrauded in Democrat strongholds. House elections are not state-wide, and Democrat candidates will win in Democratic strongholds without fraud – those strongholds cannot easily throw elections in Republican-controlled areas.

Furthermore, I fully expect that Republicans will cheat in 2022 and 2024, even if they did not do so in 2020. In my own state of Michigan, Grand Rapids may have more votes than people to make up for the shenanigans that occurred, and that will occur again in Detroit.

I do not support the cult of personalities that our political system has become, and I am very fearful for our future when we lack shared ideals and shared values.

The left has the advantage, as with our nation having been built on the values the right wants to maintain, the left is more willing to burn it down. The left also has the support of the Chinese Communist Party (which is ideologically aligned with the left), and through the CCP, they have the support of those parts of the media the CCP controls (like CNN). The UN is also ideologically aligned with the left, and both Europe, as well as Canada, are already well down the path of tyranny.


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