Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest Blog: Learn from History. Don't Repeat it

Guest Blog: History. Don't Repeat it. By Ken McClellan.

     I've heard that there's nothing new under the sun and that history repeats itself.  It amazes, and sometimes disturbs me that some of the things I see going on in our country happened before.  We need to know history.  We need to be informed of the past.  As Edmund Burke said:  "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."  Many people in many societies have tried many systems of government and many systems of economics.  We need to study which ones have worked, and which have not and why.  Repeating failed experiments is a waste of time and resources.  President Obama and Governor Malloy have not studied history or economics.  Both are pushing for larger government, more taxes.  Here is a statement of fact: No society, anywhere, anytime has ever taxed itself into prosperity.  It doesn't work.  Never has and never will.  President Obama and Governor Malloy may be highly intelligent people, but even they can't make it work.  Another statement of fact:  The larger the government, the less free the people and the less prosperous is the society.   
     Again, history shows time and again, as a society increases the size of it's government, ie employees, prosperity and freedoms decrease.  A larger government requires more resources, which removes those resources from the private sector, and doesn't produce a tangible return.  The more layers of administration you have, the less money goes to the end result.  As an example take disaster relief.  Tax money is distributed by the federal government to state governments. A staff is needed to decide how much to give to the state, if any.  Studies are needed to determine where resources are most needed, thus spending a significant percentage of the money earmarked for disaster relief.  Next the state gets an amount of money, studies where the resources are needed, divides it up, taking another chunk for administrative costs.  The state solicits bids for supplies, equipment and labor.  The bids are evaluated, a company is selected and the money is spent, again costing money in salaries.  Compare that to a volunteer charity, like the Salvation Army.  All funding goes directly to the disaster area, in the form of building supplies, food, blankets and water, along with volunteers to distribute it.  The result is near 100% of the money actually gets to the people who need it.  Private companies continually try to reduce the administrative overhead; charities are rated on their percentage of overhead.  Why should the government not operate under the same rules?  Historians, Liberals and Economists are all welcome to challenge this assertion.  
     Show me one example where the reverse is true, for either of my statements.  You can't.  Because big government and high taxes have never worked.  President Obama and Governor Malloy can't make it work, either.  Albert Einstein defined insanity as performing the same action repeatedly, expecting a different result.  I wonder sometimes, are the President, Governor and their supporters unaware or ignorant of history, or do they believe that they can create a different result with the same process?  Ignorant or insane?  I think either should disqualify someone from holding a position of responsibility.  I'll close with a final quote, from Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, 106-43 BC:  "When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is an usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself". 

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Statesman, 106-43 BC
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
The more laws, the less justice.
The budget should be balanced. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered, and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.
The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should betempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands shouldbe curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.
The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.
To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?
If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains; if you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains.

Thomas Paine: “Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice”

These are important lessons for the people of today. 

Some great thinkers, statesmen and writers have commented on democracy and morality, and I've gathered a few of my favorites here.  I tried to arrange them along with 2 Amendments to the Constitution.  They seem, amendments and quotations, to support each other very nicely.

Ken McClellan, of Middletown
*Editors note: McClellan is chairman of the Middletown Republican Town Committee

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