I recently finished Glen Beck’s Broke, a worthwhile read. In fact, I think it should be required reading for those high school age on up (although there is little chance of that). He eloquently lays out with facts and opinion the problems with our economy and our society that have led to our recent decline. After the information had had time to gestate, I realized that three fundamental changes to the way we do business were all it would take for us to climb out of this hole we’ve dug: a flat tax, a balanced budget amendment, and term limits. The first two items would end the government practice of tortured manipulation of the tax code to reward some and punish others (the equivalent of gerrymandering districts to assure reelection), and end its addiction to overspending. The third would contribute by removing the career politician from the mix, usually someone that has never held a job in the private sector.

Yes, the answers were all here in three simple steps.

Then the arctic breeze of reality swept in. Changes like this would be almost impossible to pass, because our problems stem from a fundamental shift in values; our current practices flow from this shift. This is evident from the fact that prior generations didn’t need legislation to adhere to the basic tenets of thrift and frugality; any other behavior was unacceptable.

The government can’t “bail us out” like they did in the short term for GM. It cannot dictate values any more than it can legislate morality. We are a government of the people, and it is a mirror of what we are.

If we can recapture the values and intent of our founding fathers, the appropriate legislation will flow as a matter of course. Sans that, the little circle of light above the hole we’re digging will get even smaller.


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