Mission Statement

Mission Statement: This blog is dedicated to both political philosophy and application to current issues based on the ideas of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. Additionally, this blog strives to create an atmosphere where intelligent discussions based on the principles of logic, no matter the viewpoints expressed in their conclusions, are not only welcome, but also thrive.

To learn more, feel free to read the introduction and subsequent posts which explain the aforementioned philosophy and purpose of this blog in more detail.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Issues 3: State of the Union Address

     Tonight President Obama delivered his second State of the Union Address. There are many things that I like about the President. Although we do not see eye-to-eye on the specifics of all policies, he is a man of charisma and good intentions. He has an infectious positive attitude that is essential to seeing the best in a situation and moving forward. His comment that others countries do not have the problem of endless bickering and how lucky we should feel to have the opportunity for all of this frustration and subsequent monologue make me even more proud to be a part of this great nation.

     To the meat and potatoes, so to speak, we must discuss the issues. I will summarize here with the promise for more in-depth discussion on nearly all of these topics at a later date.
     Every child deserves an opportunity to succeed, the President tells us. Education goes far beyond being able to succeed and into the territory of ensuring an educated electorate and a security that does not exist in other countries. He mentioned specifically the need for parents to turn off the TV, and this emphasis on personal responsibility and taking an active interest in your own future and that of your children cannot be overstated.
     The President mentioned that the winner of the science fair, not just the Super Bowl, needs to hailed as a success. I don’t know how the government can make this happen, but I support the idea. His proposal that success is a function of hard work and discipline is an idea espoused by libertarians the world over—the trick is in crafting policies that reward hard work.
     He mentioned also that bringing students to Universities and then sending them home makes no sense. While I see the point he was trying to make, that practice is a valuable tool in American foreign policy. If foreigners are brought into the country, shown its benefits and treated well before being sent home, they will return to their country with a positive view of America and the American system that will do more to spread our ideology than all of our military campaigns combined. His point, though was immigration, a contentious issue. How can a society be free and libertarian but still close its gates to anxious people who want to participate?
     Promoting American jobs is important to the President and to any politician who wants to receive votes from Americans who either work or do not work. I hope they also realize how important it is to avoid protectionist policies that will hurt in the long run, even if the alternative is short-term political difficulties.
     The fact that government is inefficient should no be a surprise to anyone. To libertarians especially, his discussion of redundant agencies and confused salmon is like a /facepalm. President Obama proposed counteracting this, but that is difficult with a body that has no competition. Perhaps some creative solutions could be find in business practices such as hiring analysts to see how the process can be streamlined and encouraging processes like Lean Sigma that can reduce redundancy and overhead without cutting into efficacy.
     Perhaps the biggest point of the night, however, was deficit spending. I hope to get into this in more detail shortly, but will make brief mentions here. The President highlighted his idea to freeze federal spending for 5 years, reducing the deficit $40 billion per year for ten years. Not only is that spitting in the ocean for a deficit that is already $1.21 trillion per year (reducing it to only $1.17 trillion per year), but when spending has already exploded to this point, we need reduction, not freeze. The simplified tax code has promise, especially if it is simplified out of existence.
     Let me end with this thought from the President’s speech: America’s moral example must shine for all. As I began to show in the Tunisia post and will continue to do so, this is a worthy goal that is best served through a fair application of Liberty.

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