Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

There is a clear relationship between a lack of thanksgiving and Big Government. Americans live in the wealthiest nation in the history of the human race. We have virtually abolished poverty. Among those classified as living under the government's "poverty" level:
  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.
And all of these people labeled "poor" are alive, which is something that could not be said of most people born 200 years ago: throughout most of history, human beings had less than a 50-50 chance of living to age 5. In 1900, many Americans had a better -- but still dismal -- 75% chance of living to age 5 (1 out of 4 dying before then, 1 in 10 for most of America). Today only 1 out of 150 children die before age 5. Most mothers live through childbirth (1 in 100 died in 1900; 1 in 10,000 died in 1980).

A recent poll indicates that 85% of Americans feel that they themselves have "good" or "excellent" health care; only 15% said their health care was "not so good" or "poor." But when asked back in February, "In general how would you rate the quality of health care in the United States today: excellent, good, not so good, or poor?" 55% of these people said our nation had "poor" or "not so good" health care.

Americans have the best health care in the world. But a lack of gratitude makes us susceptible to socialist agitation for government as savior. What we know to be true in our own lives, we doubt about America, because a pro-socialist media continues to tell us how little we have to be thankful for. Michael Moore, in his film "Sicko," shows happy Britons who don't have to pay for their prescription drugs. But he didn't talk to any of the 850,000 Britons waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals. Every year, shortages force the NHS to cancel as many as 50,000 operations. Roughly 40 percent of cancer patients never get to see an oncology specialist. Delays in getting treatment are often so long that nearly 20 percent of colon-cancer cases considered treatable when first diagnosed are incurable by the time treatment is finally offered.

America was founded by people who believed that God blesses obedience. "The Protestant Work Ethic," combined with freedom to work, to save, to invest, and to enjoy the fruits of one's labor, undergirded by a Christian ethic of love and compassion for the weak and poor (as contrasted with a Darwinian ethic which allows them to die in the natural "struggle for survival" -- or worse, puts them to death), made America the most prosperous and admired nation in history. Americans could sing "God Bless America" with some degree of confidence, as long as they conformed to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" (that is, the Bible).

The people who clamor for government programs are people who have lost gratitude and the Protestant Work Ethic. They want "something for nothing." They end up losing what they have.
Take a moment this Thanksgiving weekend to think about the things for which you are grateful. Write a list. Then ask, Did these things come from politicians in Washington D.C., or from the "Invisible Hand" of the Free Market? Here's a list of things Americans enjoy doing in 2007 that they couldn't enjoy in 1807:

  • harvesting more food in a day than 100 slaves could produce all season long.
  • keeping my family comfortable by warming up the house -- without having to chop wood and breathe ashes.
  • cooling off the house with the push of a button
  • having healthy teeth
  • traveling on a 4-lane highway, arriving at my destination hours, maybe days, before I would have in 1807
  • flying in a Boeing 757
  • driving safely in a car made of steel
  • living safely in a home that can withstand a moderate earthquake or severe storm
  • having pure drinking water available with the twist of a wrist
  • keeping food fresh with refrigeration
  • having hot water available at all times, for only pennies
  • enjoying good health with the help of antibiotics
  • enjoying the benefits of instant electricity
  • doing more and producing more with gasoline engines
  • completing assignments, making calculations, designing buildings, learning about the world around me, aided by computers
  • watching a NASCAR race
  • learning and being entertained by television; seeing important events around the world as they happen
  • The Division of Labor: Having a job producing one item and being able to chose from 50,000 items made by others and sold at Wal-Mart.
  • eradicating diseases like smallpox, polio, with vaccines
  • preparing food quickly with microwave ovens
  • watching the Lord of Rings (the movie) in Dolby® stereo
  • watching Alabama (the band) in the front row of an arena with 10,000 other fans
  • eradicating pests and disease with DDT
  • bringing a symphony orchestra into my living room with a stereo CD.

Would we have all these things if the government had been in charge of providing them?

The willingness to work (that is, the willingness to obey God and serve others), and gratitude (which energizes us to work another day), combined with a limited government (which does not interfere with our freedom to work nor confiscates the fruits of our labor), has been blessed by God. We enjoy great blessings because our forefathers gave thanks to God. Let us continue that great tradition.
Congress recommends a day of . . . thanksgiving and praise so that the people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts . . . and join . . . their prayers that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive our sins and . . . to enlarge His kingdom which consists in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
(Continental Congress, 1777 --Written by Signers of the Declaration Samuel Adams and Richard Henry Lee)
I appoint . . . a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God. . . to ask Him that He would . . . pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would . . . spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; . . . and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue.
(Governor Thomas Jefferson, 1779)
I. . . appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . by giving to us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. . . . And to pray that He would forgive our sins and . . . cause the religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the people of the earth.
(Governor John Hancock, 1790)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Veterans' Day Weekend 2007

This is Veterans' Day Weekend. Today is the anniversary of the founding of the Marines:

Send the Marines?

Tomorrow is Veterans' Day, and Monday is the federal holiday.

Today's "Ozarks Virtual Townhall" will be an opportunity to talk about these issues -- if you're not outside enjoying a beautiful Fall day.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wilberforce: Role Model for Anarchists

William Wilberforce worked to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain. His accomplishment was lionized in a movie earlier this year, Amazing Grace.

Eric Metaxas has written an excellent article on Wilberforce for Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship: "How William Wilberforce Changed the World."

Wilberforce is an excellent role model for radical libertarians, as I explain here:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Conservative Christians Reject Huckabee

Former Arkansas Governor and Rev. Mike Huckabee is said to do a knock-out impersonation of Bill Clinton. Both are great communicators, able to connect with "the folks at home."

When he first entered the race for President, many assumed that Huckabee's background as a Baptist preacher made him a shoe-in for the Christian conservative vote.

But the Religious Right is turning against Huckabee, as they learn more about his record in Arkansas. It appears that Huckabee is a liberal wolf in conservative sheep's clothing.

Howard Phillips, head of the Conservative Caucus, says Hucabee Is A Liberal In Many Ways.

Christian talk-show host Chuck Baldwin warns: Christians Need To Beware Of Mike Huckabee. But Baldwin notes that there are a few notable Christians who are rallying to Huckabee's cause (whatever it is).

The Club For Growth has issued an alarming white paper on Mike Huckabee's Record on Economic Issues, and reminds us that Mike Huckabee is a Tax Hiker .

Backwater Report » Dissin’ Huck