OPINION – With a new year upon us, it’s customary to indulge in a bit of introspection before plowing onward. Of course our soul-searching is usually so superficial that we all joke about how soon our resolutions will be forgotten and discarded.
Perhaps we’ve been asking the wrong questions. Or maybe there are things that we aren’t sure we really want to know about ourselves. How can we truly change for the better when we aren’t even sure how we perceive the world or our place in it?
Syndicated columnist Charley Reese was one of those rare individuals who understood the power of asking the right questions. Here is the question he recommended asking to help us find some clarity:
What is a good society? A society in which everyone makes as much money as possible, or a society in which as many people as possible are happy and content?
How we answer this is a good indicator of how we will tend to view politics, policies, and what the media is telling us. These views, in turn, will shape how we live our lives. They will help determine how we expend our energies, to whom and what we will lend our support, and what we’ll allow others to do to us.
Virtually every election from the federal level down to our municipal races is framed in terms of economic prosperity. Candidates at every level speak of job creation and economic development as if these were the primary goals of government.
A good example of how this can become a detriment is the sprawling National Security Agency data center that has been built just outside of Salt Lake City. Utah politicians were falling all over themselves at the prospect of how many jobs would be created by the huge spy center. But when weighed against the reality that the NSA is actively stripping us all of our privacy, their celebrating seems pretty shortsighted.
How many high-paying jobs will it take to offset the accompanying cost in personal freedoms?
Another example of how we’re being taken for a ride is the ongoing debasement of our currency thanks to the Federal Reserve banking system. When this private cartel of fractional reserve bankers creates untold billions of dollars without something of actual value backing them, inflation is the result.
Inflation shrinks the purchasing power of every dollar whether it is in savings or in circulation. It is a hidden but very real form of theft. No wage earner can hope to earn money fast enough to outpace the effects of inflation. Those on fixed incomes are especially vulnerable.
The Puritan or Protestant work ethic that enabled our forebears to found this nation and tame a continent has given way to the new American ethic. Hard work, self-discipline, thrift, and personal responsibility are rapidly being replaced by the thirst for material gratification.
Once our basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter have been met, we’re supposed to aspire to newer cars, bigger homes, and better toys. Many of these items require going into debt. Certain types of debt, like student loans, are nonforgivable. Repaying these debts can keep us enslaved to the whole rotten system.
Is that what we mean by prosperity?
The collusion between Wall Street special interests and government is creating a situation where real prosperity and freedom is something that only the very elite will enjoy.
So what is the answer? How do we escape a corrupted system?
Paul Rosenberg said that with the key elements of economic freedom, personal independence, and personal privacy, we’d be mostly there.
Having the freedom to produce value as we choose, to make a profit, and to build up capital provides authentic personal power. Of course, this is difficult to do in a system where regulation, debt, and taxation are used as leverage to prevent us from attaining that power.
Personal privacy allows us to act as we choose without threats and intimidation hanging over us. Now does it make sense why those who run the corrupted system are so eagerly erasing our privacy?
People who have personal power are much less receptive to any system that is running over their natural rights, Rosenberg said.
This is why if there is just one resolution to keep and make this year, it’s the one to develop our personal independence so that we may think as we choose.
Freedom brings prosperity to life that goes far beyond what can be measured in mere dollar signs.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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