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The free market or socialism: Which will it be?

Posted By Jane Chastain On 09/14/2011 @ 5:30 pm In Commentary | Comments Disabled

The question for voters in the 2012 election is not, “Whom do you trust?” but, “What do you trust?” It’s not about Obama versus a Republican candidate, regardless who he or she may be. It’s about your basic philosophy of government.

Do you put your trust in the free market, or do you trust the government to give you a better life?

A friend of mine recently complained that Republicans only care about protecting corporations and that corporations are only out to make money. His presumption is that Democrats care about protecting the poor and disadvantaged.

Putting aside his presumptions about the goals of the two political parties, I asked him, “What, other than making money, should be the stated goal of a corporation?” He seem stumped.

Businesses and corporations that make money provide jobs that enable their employees to earn wages and other benefits. These employees not only support themselves and their families, but pay taxes, which support necessary government functions.

Democrats want to raise taxes on corporations and those making over $200,000 per year. A lot of small businesses, filing as individuals, fall into this category. The problem is that businesses don’t pay taxes. They pass them along to consumers (part of the cost of doing business) in the form of higher prices.

When a business can’t make a reasonable profit on its goods or services, it goes out of business. Its workers lose their jobs and the government loses their tax revenue. They, in turn, become a burden on the remaining pool of taxpayers.

When government becomes too large for the existing pool of taxpayers to support it, the government simply cannot be sustained. We are at that point. In fact, we are way past that point. To borrow a metaphor from former Sen. Phil Gramm, an economist from Texas, there are so many more people riding in the wagon than pulling the wagon that this wagon can no longer be moved.

Our democratic republic was founded on the principles of individual liberty, self-reliance and the free market. It’s not a perfect system, but over the years it has enabled our citizens to achieve the highest standard of living of any country in the world.

That is changing. Our money is stamped with the words “In God we trust.” Our new motto seems to be “In debt we trust.” Our Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves.

There was a time when there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two major political parties. Today the difference could not be more dramatic. In this next election, we must decide if we want to put our trust in the free market or the government.

The Republican Party’s candidates’ stated goal (all of them) is to shrink the size of government. They also want to reduce the regulatory and tax burden on individuals and corporations so that the free market can thrive and we can take care of ourselves.

The Democrats’ stated goal is to continue to grow the government and have the government be responsible for more and more of life’s necessities.

It’s the age-old struggle of the free market vs. socialism. Socialism works well for those in control of the government, but it never works well for the governed.

Corporations and governments are neither good nor evil. They are run by individuals both good and evil. If you are working for a business or corporation run by an evil individual, you are free to leave and go to work for another business where your skills are valued and you are treated fairly.

The problem with government is there is only one of them. If your government is run by a majority of individuals who are only out for themselves, the door slams shut and you are stuck with it.

Many good individuals have been elected to public office, but, over time, they become drunk with the power they have attained and their only concern is saying or doing what ever it takes to stay in power.

I will not put my trust in any political party or individual, but I will vote only for individuals who support the free-market system.

I will not put my trust in government, nor will I put my trust in individuals who promise that the government is going to take care of me.

I trust the free market, and I pray that we elect enough individuals who are dedicated to keeping it free so that I can take care of myself.


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