The two sides of freedom

Socially, it's blossoming; politically, it's in peril

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A letter to the editor in the Las Vegas Review-Journal intrigued us to the point where we thought you’d enjoy her point and our counter-point.

In a piece headlined “America more free than in past,” Sandra Mary Smith expresses wonderment at the fact she’s “seeing more and more letters to the editor (express) the perception that Americans are losing their freedoms, and I have seen the word ‘tyranny’ used more than once.”

In arguing that we’re actually getting more free, not less, she takes note of gay and multi-racial marriage, and her having seen “a man riding a motorcycle wearing a bathing suit, and he had a rifle slung across his shoulder.”

“We enjoy freedoms today that would’ve been unfathomable to prior generations,” Ms. Smith writes.

All good and valid points. And there are other examples of increased freedoms, to be sure – freedoms not just from government, but from stigma, dogma and the reproof of bygone mores.

Some of those freedoms, we would argue, lead folks to dubious behavior.

But mankind’s search for freedom has never been a straight line, and it isn’t now.

Fact is, most of the freedoms she refers to are easily spotted on the surface of today’s living. What concerns the concerned and worries the worried can be found largely under the surface, like a silent and undetected software program running in the background of your computer:

• the $17 trillion national debt and other federal liabilities, which are a burden to every American but a particular albatross for the young and unborn;

• the still-unknown implications on our health, finances and privacy from Obamacare, not to mention its effect on medical practices, businesses and other institutions;

• the rather obvious insidiousness of having our emails and phone records spied upon by the government;

• a government that is harassing groups and individuals based on their political beliefs;

• leading lawmakers in Washington who have no problem with the spying (Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.) and who think Congress should decide whom the First Amendment applies to (Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.);

• other government overreaches – at the EPA, in the “Common Core” curriculum and more.

There is a troubling number of stories emerging, too, of police actions of questionable constitutionality, especially where the war on drugs is concerned.

Obamacare alone may be the government’s biggest power grab in U.S. history, forcing us to buy insurance of the government’s liking, pay a fine if we don’t, and provide the bureaucracy with unprecedented and uncharted access to our medical and personal lives.

The IRS, which already polices your financial life, will soon be in charge of overseeing your medical life as well.

So, yes, we may have the freedom to marry whomever we like or ride “shotgun” down the highway dressed however we like, but our financial, medical and political freedoms have never been more threatened by a government that only grew more powerful as the private sector suffered through the Great Recession.

For us and our children, the freedoms we are losing will be much more consequential.

Comments (21) Add comment
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Young Fred
19382
Points
Young Fred 07/17/13 - 12:09 am
2
3
Are you suggesting that if I

Are you suggesting that if I choose to ride my Harley, in a gee-string, with a double barrel 12 gauge slung over my back I'm somehow not paying attention to the intricacies of current events?

Never underestimate the will of the “common” man.

Bodhisattva
6846
Points
Bodhisattva 07/17/13 - 05:57 am
3
4
A $17 trillion dollar debt.

A $17 trillion dollar debt. How could it have gotten so high? Let's look at some of the numbers. Federal revenue from income taxes.

1960:
Individual-$40.7 billion
Corporate-$21.5 billion

1980:
Individual-$244.1 billion
Corporate-$64.1 billion

2012:
Individual-$ 1.1322 trillion
Corporate-$242.3 billion

What's wrong with this picture? If corporate taxes had grown on the same percentage level as individual taxes, we be a long way to not having a debt. Add in that we've dropped the taxes 83% on the group of people who are the only ones who have seen any of the real income growth over the last 40 years, plus dropped a few trillion on wars and homeland security and there's your debt explained with a whole lot left over.

Bizkit
34390
Points
Bizkit 07/17/13 - 06:01 am
7
1
Freedom yeah. I remember when

Freedom yeah. I remember when I wanted to burn a pile or cut down a tree or clear off some land I'd just do it. Now you need a permit. I think people have been "numbed" by all the bureaucracy in every aspect of our lives as it has slowly inundated our culture. Don't you remember when you went to the doctor and he actually talked and interacted with you instead of a computer. Shoot I lament for the days of no cell phones-the pariah of humanity. hee,hee.

Bizkit
34390
Points
Bizkit 07/17/13 - 06:04 am
5
1
Bod in Clinton fashion "What

Bod in Clinton fashion "What difference does that make now" we just need to move on from here to correct the problems rather than lament the past. Anyways that is what she would say. LOL

Bizkit
34390
Points
Bizkit 07/17/13 - 06:27 am
6
2
I just noted the Attorney

I just noted the Attorney General calling for a review of the Stand your Ground laws since he couldn't find any grounds for a civil rights violations -esp. after FBI findings. The SCOTUS has already ruled on the constitutionality of this. See Obama has real freedom to ignore any law from Congress or SCOTUS and execute the ones he wants. I argued Bush should have been impeached for failing to do his constitutional duty and execute the immigration laws. Now we should impeach Obama for a string of laws "He Chooses" not to execute. How about Zimmerman's freedom -he will never be free now. Although the media painted him as a racist before the dust had settled-the FBI finds no grounds. Zimmerman foolishly believed the court case and his eventual vindication would "free" him-boy that was naïve. Then sadly Trayvon Martin has lost his freedom and life so many other young blacks in America today. And how about our black brethren who now believe their freedoms have been infringed. I guess "freedom" is relative. But I agree with Bod and all this debt is because of Congress-Rep and Dems who controls the purse strings. Funny how these politicians polarize their bases all the while screwing us all.

ymnbde
10396
Points
ymnbde 07/17/13 - 06:37 am
5
1
freedom isn't what the government allows you to do

it's the limits placed on what the government can do to you
oh, and bod, you don't see anything wrong with how much taxes have grown?
no freedom in that...

Riverman1
90651
Points
Riverman1 07/17/13 - 06:57 am
8
2
Corporations Are Individuals Banded Together

Bod, corporations are made up of people who have pooled their money in hopes of greater returns. Not only do the corps pay taxes, but the investors also pay tax on the profits returned to them. The increases in the taxes of individuals can largely be attributed to their ownership in corps. So what would you do, tax corps more?

If individuals stop receiving profits because the corp is paying more in taxes, they take their money out of the corp. Jobs are lost and eventually tax revenue is lost as the company becomes smaller before transferring overseas.

Companies just beginning to prosper will become international corps and base themselves in countries like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Vanuatu. They had a top marginal corporate tax rate of 0%.

The trend in larger countries is to lower corporate rates in this era of global competitiveness. There is a finite amount of real value (money) in this world that can only be manipulated so long. That real value will eventually find its way to corps where the profits are greatest and taxes the lowest. Those profit making corps create jobs.

justthefacts
24016
Points
justthefacts 07/17/13 - 07:07 am
6
2
corps

River, most Libs want the gov't to nationalize the corps. The thought that someone is making more money than them drives them insane.

seenitB4
93730
Points
seenitB4 07/17/13 - 07:08 am
3
1
Nice places

Companies just beginning to prosper will become international corps and base themselves in countries like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Vanuatu

I was just thinking this am what island would I like to move to....sometimes the static gets too loud here in the good ole USA.....I can see why the very wealthy take their business to other places...it isn't just the tax reason either.

KSL
140389
Points
KSL 07/17/13 - 07:15 am
3
3
Bod, the other side of the coin

If corporate taxes had higher, there would have been less money for salaries and wages and investors. You know, the ones who pay the indiviual taxes.

KSL
140389
Points
KSL 07/17/13 - 07:18 am
2
2
Sorry, River

I hadnot read your post when I wrote mine.

Riverman1
90651
Points
Riverman1 07/17/13 - 07:19 am
5
0
Who Nees An Island

"I was just thinking this am what island would I like to move to..."

Who needs an island. I live on the river in the most beautiful county in the USA, Columbia that is, and with all this rain you could probably get an ocean cruise ship to sail up it.

Riverman1
90651
Points
Riverman1 07/17/13 - 07:20 am
4
0
KSL, that's okay and you

KSL, that's okay and you bring up a third tax. The employees of the corps pay taxes also.

deestafford
30431
Points
deestafford 07/17/13 - 07:24 am
6
1
People need to understand that everytime

some government employee at any level writes, approves, passes, or implements a new regulation/law/rule they are putting a voodoo needle in the doll of Uncle Sam. It does only harm and does no good except to increase the power of the government.

People are willing to trade their freedom for life in a velvet cage.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/17/13 - 08:08 am
0
0
Gays
Unpublished

wear their g-strings and ride their motorcycles during "gay-pride" parades. Why not make it an every day thing? Gay school crossing guards in tutus, g-strings and whatever: naacp seeking their own set of laws, even while their constituents are the most criminal of ethnic groups in the states they reside: preach the koran because it does not advocate "love thy neighbor" but kill infidels: and let us just allow the unions to continue to intimidate peaceful ( known as scabs ) men and women so they can't work at a lower cost than PUNK union labor. I think obama and holder would uphold these.

RMSHEFF
18002
Points
RMSHEFF 07/17/13 - 08:11 am
4
1
Bod

How does GE get away with paying NO taxes under the "fair share" president ? We have not had Capitalism in 40 years.....we have crony capitalism which alway leads to socialism.

Fundamental_Arminian
1871
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 07/17/13 - 09:34 am
4
1
Higher corp. taxes must be passed on to consumers

In complaining about low corporate taxes, we should remember that corporations, like other businesses, need to make a profit. Any tax increase laid on them increases their cost of doing business and forces them to increase the price of whatever they produce. In the end, we consumers get hit with the increase because we have to pay more for their products.

We can't tax our way to a debt-free economy; our government needs to live within its means just as we all must do.

Bizkit
34390
Points
Bizkit 07/17/13 - 11:03 am
3
0
Yeah everyone needs to make a

Yeah everyone needs to make a profit but gosh folks are greedy with 100% markups to you name it. I was watch American Pickers and they buy stuff for as cheap as they can bargain and then immediately double or triple the selling price-same for Pawn Stars and all the offshoots. Now I think that is too much but I don't know their overhead and business structure either. I remember selling some stuff at a pawn shop when I first married and broke-man after watchin' those programs I got robbed.

Bizkit
34390
Points
Bizkit 07/17/13 - 11:32 am
2
1
The article highlights the

The article highlights the progressive vs liberal agenda. Progressives want social freedoms but also want big govt nanny state intruding on business and running the economy. Liberals want social freedoms and then small transparent govt that stays the heck outta the way of free market capitalism and business and the economy. Our govt has become a monster that we just can't feed enough (in taxes) to maintain. Too big to fail, well our Govt proves that adage wrong as it fails miserably.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/17/13 - 02:05 pm
2
2
"Liberals want social
Unpublished

"Liberals want social freedoms and then small transparent govt that stays the heck outta the way of free market capitalism and business and the economy."
Bizkit, from your description you must consider most of the so called liberals today progressives? I agree with 100%. Most of the so called liberals today are really what was called progressives, Marxist and socialist 40 - 50 years. They can change their name but they cannot change what they really are.

Darby
28388
Points
Darby 07/17/13 - 05:08 pm
3
1
"What's wrong with this picture?"

Well, to begin with, your conclusions are wrong. Every nickel, dime and penny paid by a "corporation" is actually paid by the individual.

Please try to understand, CORPORATIONS DON'T PAY TAXES. Never have, never will. Raising taxes on corporations is simply a politician's way to scam the general public into thinking the sleazebags in DC are looking out for them.

The corporations simply turn right around and tack the "tax" onto the final cost of their product and YOU pay for it. Sometimes, it's worse than that, because they not only raise prices, but to ensure the bottom line, they lower quality.

Try getting it into your head, the solution is for government to stop spending like money is going out of style.

If they ever learn to do that, then we'll be well onto the road to permanent prosperity.

One more time, for emphasis:
Corporations never have and never will pay a dime in taxes. It's just a big paper shuffle that ends up sticking it to the little guy.

There is no way to make a corporation pay a tax. No way!

RMSHEFF
18002
Points
RMSHEFF 07/17/13 - 07:50 pm
0
1
Darby

You are exactly correct. All cost including taxes are passed on to the final consumer........us !

deestafford
30431
Points
deestafford 07/17/13 - 09:16 pm
0
1
As far as the comment about doubling the price goes

I know someone who owns a shop and she doubles and triples the price depending on the particular item. When you consider all the overhead---rent, utilities, insurance, licence, supplies, association fees, shipping, taxes, wages,social security, benefits, phones, computers, equipment, furnishings, advertising, and the list goes on---shops with low volume items have to have a high mark up. Many small businesses are in the particular one they are in because they love what they are doing and willing to put up with the hassles that come with it to do what they love.

Now if you take someone like Costco with high volume they can have a smaller profit margin on each item. Just like the Rolls Royce has a larger markup than does the Chevy.

Like some here, I used to think doubling or tripling the cost of goods was terrible until I looked at the nuts and bolts of what it takes to run a business. Many small business people may go for years before they actually pay themselves.

Darby
28388
Points
Darby 07/18/13 - 09:29 pm
1
1
When I started a small business following my

Army retirement (Had two kids in college, had no choice.) I attended a SBA class in Atlanta. The one thing that stuck with me was the advice to go into the venture with enough capital to pay all my bills and maintain my inventory for two years.

As luck, or life, would have it, it was almost exactly two years before I began to sustain a profit for every successive month.

That was really good advice.

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