Thursday, September 27, 2012

Meet Billy Joe-Bob



I wrote the following article for Turning Point USA.  It goes into a little bit more depth on the subject that I broached in the video.

Desperate Measures

For a long time, the abolishment of the Department of Education was an outspoken part of the Republican party platform. ( http://www.cato.org/research/articles/gryphon-040211.html ) Today, such a suggestion seems absurd, but is it really such a far-fetched idea? In a nation where the federal government is $16,000,000,000,000 in the red, is a real remedy going to be easy to swallow? Is it possible that a true solution, by the very nature of the immense problem, must itself be far-reaching; that the serious reformation of a gargantuan error must surpass the political bandages of recent years; that, perhaps, the deep economic ditch that America finds herself in can only be escaped by a solution that appears radical?

Scripture leaves no ambiguity about the dangers of debt. Repeatedly God tells the children of Israel that if they would only walk in obedience to Him, they would lend to many nations. The prophesied consequences of disobedience to God's commands, on the other hand, regularly include debt. Scripture says that "the borrower becomes the lender's slave." Is it not a sorry irony that the nation which stands as an unparalleled icon of liberty among all the nations of the world should have enslaved herself to other nations in $16,000,000,000,000 shackles? It is more than ironic; it is sickening. Ten years ago a debt-free nation was clearly in sight, a prize within arm's reach; now, it appears to be an impossibility.

In fact, if America continues down the path that she is currently treading glibly, it will shortly become an impossibility. The issue has been avoided for long enough, buried under rhetoric, danced around with false promises and good but fruitless intentions. A nation can only walk in defiance of the laws of nature and of nature's God for so long before she reaps the fruit that she has sown. It is high time that America woke up, stepped back, and took an honest look at what steps must be taken to bring about a serious reconstruction of America's economic infrastructure. This nation cannot afford to continue with the semantical dances of politics-as-usual. She is fast approaching the point of no return. It has happened to many nations both ancient and modern. To think that America is exempt from the law of sowing and reaping is absurd.

It is time for America to fight for her liberty again; not just in the political sphere, but also in the economic. This nation is built on the foundation of freedom, and she is selling her birthright for the porridge that is temporary pleasure. She has marched down this path too far to be turned back by half-measures.

Are the people of America prepared to make these sacrifices? Are Americans ready to consider eliminating government agencies and overreaching beauracracies that never should have existed in the first place? Or are the people of this once-great nation too enraptured with their comforts and their food stamps and the great facadé that is American prosperity today to make these crucial decisions? Only time will tell.

As Americans, we inherit a legacy of sacrifice. It is because of that sacrifice that we enjoy the legacy of freedom. If we are to perpetuate that legacy, we must choose freedom over free stuff. We must be prepared to bite the bullet and cauterize the cancer that is a bloated federal government. Agencies and programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Department of Education, the USDA, the EPA, and the rest, are all beyond the pale of Scripture and contrary to the intent of the Constitution.

It's time to reject the free stuff. Of course, the truth is that one way or another the free stuff will end. Eventually, as Margaret Thatcher said, we will run out of other people's money. Let us not deceive ourselves. We like to think that we are spending our children's inheritance (and we are), but really we are destroying ourselves. So the choice is ours. We can go down in the history books as the generation that finally said “NO.” Or we can hand our children the broken remnants of a once-great nation and go down in the history books as another sad page in the annals of the world; just another generation that said “sorry.”

The choice is ours. Let's stop pretending. America is sick. Is the disease terminal? Time will tell, but one thing is certain- band-aids are not the solution.

"My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, have given a pledge for a stranger, if you have been snared with the words of your mouth, have been caught with the words of your mouth, do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter's hand and like a bird from the hand of the fowler.” - Proverbs 6:1-5

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time, there was a man named Joe.  Joe was a healthy man.  He was always very careful to eat his vegetables, and he exercised every day.

Joe lived on a street with nineteen other people.  These nineteen people were all very unhealthy.  They only ate things that were fried, and their couches had permanent indentations proving that exercise was not a regular habit for them. 

Every morning, Joe would wake up and go for a run in the cool morning breeze.  It was his way of energizing himself- waking up and embracing the challenge and joy of a new day.  Deep breaths of cool, fresh air, a light sweat, the thrill of blood moving glibly through his veins- he loved it.  If ever one of his neighbors happened to be outside (which, of course, wasn't often) he would greet them with a cheery “Good Morning!”

The nineteen other people on the street hated Joe.  Every morning, as he ran past their living-room windows, it reminded them of how unhealthy they were.  Soon enough, they decided to do something.

Joe's neighbors complained to the government.  They marched up and down the street (well, they would have marched if they could have) waving signs that said “We are the 95%”.  They sent letters saying, “save us, government, from this cruel man who takes care of himself without thinking about the rest of us who are so miserably unhealthy!”

The government, of course, was eager to oblige.  The government loves helping their people.  The government cares.

So the “Health and Wellness for Everyone Act” was passed.  The government decided that, in the interest of helping people, the very healthiest people in the nation would have to give some of their health to people who weren't so well off.  This would make life better for everyone!

Now Joe, of course, kept on exercising and eating well.  But he noticed that he was no longer improving at his workouts.  His runs became more difficult every morning.  Soon, he was barely able to pant past his neighbors' houses.  They all laughed at him.  They weren't actually feeling much better, but at least he wasn't feeling better than they were.

Joe was heartbroken.  No matter how hard he tried, he only got in worse shape.  Finally, he gave up.  He joined his neighbors in the ranks of the couch-potatoes.  He traded in his kale chips for corn chips.

Soon enough, the health of the neighborhood deteriorated to worse than it had ever been before.  Eventually, everyone died of heart attacks.  And the government continued to help people happily ever after.



THE END

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Government cannot produce any wealth of actual substantial value.  By its very nature, government exists on the industry of others- real producers of wealth.

When we consider, then, the state of the economy, we need to remember that creating more government jobs actually only extracts more from the national economy.

There are two ways to pay for a government expense: the first is by direct taxation, which should only be done to fund Scriptural and Constitutional programs.  The second is by indirect taxation- inflation, which is always theft.  It waters down the national money supply, and devalues the wealth of the people of the nation.

Free money from the government is an illusion, for two reasons- first, what the government pays for, it likes to think that it owns.  Second, the government is getting that money somewhere- either someone earned it, and the government took it, or the government printed it, thereby stealing it from the national economy as a whole.

So when the government pays welfare checks, medicare, unemployment, or anything else, what is actually happening is that the federal government is transferring money from one American to another American- by force.  In effect, it's stealing from Joe to give to his neighbor.

When this happens, it destroys the incentive to productivity.

The incentive to productivity.

To say it a different way, when the government takes from the rich to give to the poor, it subsidizes poverty.



Many a sign in a park warns visitors not to feed the animals- or they might not learn to feed themselves.  The same holds true of people.

Scripture says that “the worker's appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on.”  When the choices are work, steal, or starve, work seems like the best option.  There is a strong incentive- hunger- that causes people to want to work.  But when the choices are work, let the government steal for you, or starve, suddenly the path of least resistance leads right over our fellow Americans.

And we don't care.

The objection may arise:

“But taking 30% or even 50% or 70% of a rich guy's millions of dollars will still leave him with plenty enough to survive on.”

True, but taking 100% of that rich guy's millions of dollars will not be enough for the consumers to survive on.

We're $16T in debt.  How's that take-from-the-rich-to-fund-our-programs working for you?

More importantly, though, is the fact that suddenly we've given ourselves the authority to decide who has made too much- who it is right to steal from- who we bleed to keep the rest of us going.

Where did we get the right to take 30%, or even 20% of his income, when we aren't willing to pay the same amount?

By what standard is that OK?

The final thing I want to address is the idea that- well, hey, you're supposed to be a Christian!  The Bible would want the rich guy to give to the poor, right?

Absolutely.  The Bible also says “Thou shalt not steal.”  We don't have the right to take from Joe.  If he wants to give, fine, but stealing from him in order to satiate our arbitrary goal of “fairness” is, quite simply, wrong.

The socialistic view of prosperity is unsustainable.  When 50% of your city is on welfare, as I've heard is the case where I live, that means that half of the people are living off of the labor of others.  Add to that the number of government employees, and the picture becomes frighteningly lopsided.

The path that we are on is unsustainable.  If we do not have a major, major repentance in our country, we must collapse.  Our economy is beyond the point of bandages.  $16T in debt should shock every American.  It's coming, folks.  Atlas is shrugging.  As far as I can see, we have three options.

We can pretend like it's all not real- call it a conspiracy theory- trust that the tree that our forefathers planted will continue to shade us even though we are no longer willing to water it- and wake up homeless and enslaved in the nation that stands among all the earth as the last bastion of Christianity, prosperity, and freedom.

We can repent and reform, cry out to God like Nineveh did, turn from our wicked ways, stop with the games and the politicking, and maybe- just maybe- pull our nation back from the brink.

Or we can take cover and hope that after the facade comes crashing down there will be a remnant left to pick up the pieces.

But until we pay the piper, there can be no happily ever after.



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Doing the Impossible/Possible


Some of my favorites from a recent photo shoot.  Thanks to my sisters for doing all that picture-taking!

In these photos I'm doing a move from P90X2 called the Impossible/Possible. 


Fun stuff.  I wrote a post on Biblical principles of physical fitness once- you can read that here.

So what are you doing to be a good steward of the body that God has given you?

The passage in the picture below is such a good reminder for me when it comes to physical fitness.  The body will pass away, no matter how well you take care of it.  So while it is good to be a good steward of the body that we've been given, it's not good to obsess over the flesh- whether it's exercise, or diet, or style, or whatever, if taken to a point of idolatry it all becomes vanity.

May God give us the wisdom to find a balance between care for the body and care for the soul that is pleasing to Him.