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Axioms of Government

Posted by on Jan. 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM
  • 54 Replies

I think it could be interesting to compile a list of axioms, even if we don't agree.

By axiom, I mean an accepted or obvious fact about the world, including and relating to government.  It usually shapes your worldview, one way or another.

I'll start:

"The more government is permitted to offer to the citizen, the less that citizen has the right to personal autonomy." (More entitlements = less freedom.)

From this, you could be anywhere on the spectrum and still believe the axiom.  You might support a single payor healthcare system, but then say the government can also outlaw cigarettes or junk food, for instance. Or you may say government has no right to those things and oppose single payor.

In other words, an axiom won't tell you which laws will put in place, it will tell you how the world works.  As a result you mght understand the kind of cost and benefit related to a given law.

Anyone else have an axiom to share?

by on Jan. 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Jan. 30, 2014 at 1:41 PM
2 moms liked this

So...like...the less educated and intellegent we become the less likely we are to maintain our own liberty?

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Jan. 30, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Whenever the federal government is in control of something, that something only gets worse. 

waldorfmom
by Bronze Member on Jan. 30, 2014 at 3:09 PM
1 mom liked this

  --  Government = Force

  --  Only a free market creates prosperity. Any economy which has government coercion mixed into the transactions is - by definition - not a free market. for example socialism, communism, fascism, the mixture we have in the U.S. of socialism and gov't cronyism (we do NOT have free market capitalism here)

  --  Government control in an economy has always created human suffering, especially for the poorest people in that society.

Meadowchik
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 3:55 AM

 

Quoting UpSheRises:

So...like...the less educated and intellegent we become the less likely we are to maintain our own liberty?

What are you talking about?  (Human beings are generally as intelligent now as were their prehistoric counterparts.)

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 4:20 AM
8 moms liked this

If you take a bunch of people who are mostly well intentioned, but then hand them power over resource allocation, in a structure that rewards those who divert some of the resources they control towards buying favours that help that person further the agenda they believe in (if only by getting reelected), and it gets to the point where nobody entering the structure can get anything done, however noble, without playing this 'divert public resources towards gaining personal power' game, then 'survival of the corruptest' will ensure that in practice that ruling body behaves like a bunch of selfish leeches.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 4:23 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting kailu1835:

Whenever the federal government is in control of something, that something only gets worse. 

Not an axiom I share.

Counter example: A single military organised at a federal level worked better at deterring a Russian invasion than about 50 militaries organised at the state level would have done.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 4:28 AM
4 moms liked this


Quoting Meadowchik:


"The more government is permitted to offer to the citizen, the less that citizen has the right to personal autonomy." 

Also not an axiom I share.

Autonomy = the freedom to do what you want

I think the government offering me infrastructure (roads) that helps me visit other cities, education (that lets me want new things, rather than stay in a mud hut because Idon't know any better, or that better exists elsewhere), protection (the ability to travel around with reduced risk of being robbed or raped), etc all give me GREATER freedom to do what I want.

I short, it depends on what the government offers, and how much of it.  There's a break even point.

Meadowchik
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 4:33 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Clairwil:

 

Quoting Meadowchik:

 

"The more government is permitted to offer to the citizen, the less that citizen has the right to personal autonomy." 

Also not an axiom I share.

Autonomy = the freedom to do what you want

I think the government offering me infrastructure (roads) that helps me visit other cities, education (that lets me want new things, rather than stay in a mud hut because Idon't know any better, or that better exists elsewhere), protection (the ability to travel around with reduced risk of being robbed or raped), etc all give me GREATER freedom to do what I want.

I short, it depends on what the government offers, and how much of it.  There's a break even point.

 Whe the government fights wars to protect the people, it has the right to draft citizens.  When it builds roads, it has the right to tax and make laws for the roads.  When it gives individuals or organizations money, it has a say in what they can do.  The liberty derived through government is nice, but it also creates inroads for governmental liberty into your life.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 4:33 AM
3 moms liked this

OK, here's a dialectic pair of axioms for you:

" Each level of oversight you add, has to be paid for. "

" Having no oversight is also costly because those who can get away with murder sometimes will. "


Synthesis:

Never add additional oversight just to be seen to be doing something, or garner personal power.  Add in more only if it pays for itself by the amount of additional fraud and waste it prevents.   If you get down to 0% fraud, you're probably spending too much on oversight.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 4:36 AM


Quoting Meadowchik:

 The liberty derived through government is nice, but it also creates inroads for governmental liberty into your life.

I agree.

And, for some things, the reduction in liberty due to the inroad is larger than the liberty derived from the service provided.

But not always.

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