Posts Tagged ‘unrest’

The Honor System

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, the political elite only pledge to follow our various Constitutions, but are not forced to. This is nothing more than an honor system. To place such responsibility in the hands of so few without any real oversight, is not only dangerous, but it is unfair to them. The lessons of history are unanimous about this. Every nation, republic, democracy and empire has fallen due to corruption. Corruption stemming from both basic human nature, (self interest), and political favor. The fundamental problem in Ukraine that led to the loss of Crimea to Russia, was government corruption, the poor performance of the economy despite huge the energy reserves of Russia, is from government corruption, the present constitutional crisis in the US, is from government corruption… the list is endless. The point is, to change the paradigm to one that actually works in the interests of the people and the elite, is to force the political elite to follow the limits placed on them, in our Constitutions. Lacking that fundamental shift in governance, we can expect to see history repeat itself over and over again, resulting in war, unrest, famine and poverty.

 

Imagine a society where there are laws but everyone is on the honor system to follow them. The deaths simply from traffic accidents would be daunting. No one would be safe in their own home, unless they went to extreme measures to protect themselves, and people would have to. Our children wouldn’t be safe on the streets, far less safe than they are now! Moreover, the market system could not function under such a regime. Such a system would ring in epic poverty and famine. Everyone reading this article knows and understands this fact, but people are so brainwashed by the elite that as soon as I bring up a constitutionally empowered police of government, people have a visceral reaction against the idea.

 

The spurious arguments flow like a torrent. Some include… “it would be too expensive.” So, it isn’t too expensive to intrusively monitor three hundred million people to the nth degree, but it is too expensive to monitor a few thousand? “More bureaucracy is not the solution,” this ignores the fact that bureaucrats regulate every aspect of our lives, and grows like a kudzu vine strangling our economy and freedoms, but if government were held to Constitutional limits, the existing unconstitutional bureaucracy would have to be scaled back. “They would just get corrupt themselves.” This is the most pernicious argument for allowing the elite to continue in the honor system, crushing our liberty under the jack boot of government corruption. To believe that a Fourth Branch would necessarily become corrupt, one has to believe the local police, the State police and every other law enforcement agency is also utterly corrupt. If someone believes that, they must necessarily believe those agencies should be disbanded, putting the whole of society on the honor system.

 

Human nature is self interest. The market system twists our self interested nature into being rational maximizers, (civilized people). The difference is that a rational maximizer understands that his or her self interest is tied up in everyone else’s self interest. Our basic nature, (barbaric nature), is to follow our immediate self interest regardless of the consequences to society and others. The market system and American ideals have taught humanity the truth of Socrates argument in The Republic. That lesson is lost on those with political favor, because their self interest can be met outside of the market system simply by perverting it into it’s evil twin, crony capitalism. This is furthered by the corruptible elite who are also prevented from being rational maximizers by the lack of any real oversight.

 

There is not a nation on the face of our planet that would not benefit from policing the political elite. Even socialism would work better if it had a Fourth branch policing the actions of the political elite. Since the beginning of time people have sought ways to limit the political elite’s propensity to pervert government to their own self interests. Constitutionalism is a relatively new phenomenon. It has had limited utility because the political elite are still on the honor system. Once the political elite cannot use their offices for personal gain, without facing the imminent fear of prosecution and jail, government will shrink back to it’s Constitutional limits, the people will be prosperous and crime will dwindle. A Fourth Branch is a win win for society, culture and even government itself. The real winners however will be us, the people, stable government is a boon for everyone.

 

You can read more about it in my book, The Fourth Branch here; https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/277193

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

European Union Economic Death Spiral

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the European Union and all the countries within it, are in an economic death spiral, and unless they break out of it, there will be a generational depression to pay for it. If you think this is hyperbole, then recall the Greek, Spanish and Italian economic catastrophes. Add to them the Cypriot banking seizure of customer’s assets to pay bank’s liabilities. Take into consideration the negative economic growth in Europe, the festering religious animosity that is rapidly becoming sepsis, the growing welfare state, and the budget deficits that follow, and there is only one conclusion that can logically be reached… Europe is headed for a historic crash… drawing the World with it.

At this point the elite in Europe have only one belief, socialism, in whatever flavor that nation favors. From the two main schisms, the Mediterranean model with one breadwinner and the Scandinavian model where it’s, everyone in… welfare states. There are sub sects of this, Britain’s Labor government is one example of a socialist convention, that fit’s neither the Mediterranean nor the Scandinavian models. Within these governments there are a small sub faction of laissez faire capitalists but they are overwhelmed by the vast majority of socialist factions. Most people in Europe believe in the hands on state, instead of the hands off state.

They all have only one plan of growth, Keynesian, this same plan has failed so spectacularly every time it has been tried, it should be called the Edsel plan. The group think we see in the media, political elites and the academic elites on this subject is remarkable. I am certain that many papers will be written on this phenomenon, in the years to come, but today we have to deal with it. The group’s answer is always to print more and spend more… cut tomorrow. Printing and spending has achieved many notable economic milestones… none of them good. Hyper inflation, stagnant economies, high unemployment, more oppressive government, the list goes on and on. What the Keynesians forget is that not all spending is equal.

What is needed to improve economic outlooks in any nation is, a total overhaul of the regulatory, taxation and standardization schemes, (Japan should take heed by the way). In the last part, standardization, Europe is way ahead of it’s rivals. Unfortunately in the areas of taxation, and regulation Europe is strangling itself. If, for example, Budgets must be balanced and could not be in deficit for more then three years in a row and that the debt must be paid back within three years, taxes could be lowered. If that were done, taxes could be simplified to a Europe wide percent sales tax system, (or value added system), each country collecting it’s own taxes, and then paying a portion to the European Union… taxation would become less a barrier to business. If regulation were simplified and overhauled, regulated sick time, vacations, hiring and firing rules, etc, the friction these laws impose on doing business would be lifted. Lastly, if the welfare laws were limited, more people, who are perfectly able to work, would move into the workforce, generating even more extrinsic economic growth and cutting the need for high budgets.

The death spiral can be escaped but it will not be easy. Today, the group think way to lower the huge debt burden the welfare state has imposed on Europe, is by “austerity.” Which is, cutting spending and raising taxes. Cutting spending is what they need to do, raising taxes will inevitably undo any good the lowering of spending accomplishes. Moreover, it makes the public believe that taxes will be higher in the future, (Because they will be), and the people will react accordingly, to protect their assets instead of spending or investing them. Cut spending, simplify and cut taxes, simplify regulation and move immigrants from welfare to work. To accomplish these goals, commissions could be set up to pour over every line of regulation on the books in Europe, then, every month submit a suggestion paper of those that should be removed, to the various parliaments. In America, when we make ad hoc committees for this type of thing, we call them blue ribbon panels, this one should be a permanent fixture in every government. Maybe in Europe you can call them red tape panels. Nevertheless Europe has a great deal of work to do to become more of a Meritocracy. Let’s pray and hope they get started, before it’s too late.

Sincerely,

John Pepin