Sun, 03 Apr 2005

Beetle Bailey

In today's (4/3/2005) strip, Mort Walker has one of the Beetle Bailey characters (Plato) go off on a libertarian rant. Hooray Plato (Mort, actually, of course)! Each paragraph is a separate panel in the strip:

Communism failed because it was against human nature. People want to be rewarded for their work. They want to own what they earn.

You can call it selfish if you want, but "self" is the center of the universe. Even giving voluntarily to others is "selfish" in a way because you "get" a good feeling in return.

Dictators take power promising to help the people but soon are only helping themselves. There's a bit of the dictator even among elected officials who use their powers for their own interests.

Maybe the best system is to keep turning our officials over before they turn on you. Too long in power allows too many opportunities for corruption.

People are more productive with fewer laws and restrictions. Even good laws have flaws and room should be left for exceptions, because everyone is different with individual needs.

My own feeling about his paragraph/panel 4 is that while the officials change, typically the staff members do not. Legislation is complicated and extensive enough that the staff members end up doing the research, writing the bills, making the decisions, and suggesting the vote. We don't vote for those people. No, I think the best solution is the one that the Constitution was designed for: a central state with a small set of enumerated powers, with all other decisions left to the states. If people can retain their citizenship, and simply move from state to state, those states which are poorly run will lose their citizens.

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