(L100) Income Redistribution

“Would it be moral to grade exams, so that all students get C’s? If not, is it moral for the state to redistribute incomes?”

It would be nothing less than immoral for a teacher to assign grades in accordance with equality, rather than true individual scores. The reason that giving every student a C (for example) would be wrong, is that every student did not earn a C. Some students earned a much higher grade, and are being punished (receiving negative sanctions) because of those who did not score as high as they did. Others however scored lower than a C, and are being rewarded (receiving positive sanctions) for doing worse than the other students. While obviously far from fair, this system cannot even be chalked up to being remotely positive as it rewards the underachievers and punishes the successors.

The only way to fairly award grades to students would be to grant them the exact grade that they earned. Each student, regardless of each others score’s, would have to reap the rewards or consequences of the grade that the results of their test’s warranted. (Now, yes, I do recognize the flaws in standardized testing, and I understand that many students fail not due to effort exerted, but because of the fact that they are being forced to learn in a way that they do not understand. In this example however, I am referring to an imaginary class of students, all of equal learning ability who have either scored higher or lower based upon the effort they put into studying and learning the test material. In short, this would mean that it would take every student the same amount of time to learn the same amount of information; thus, every student gets the grade that they worked for and can all be graded using the same scale.)

In both the academic and career worlds, people (should) get what they work for. I personally work my little butt off to earn an income that can support my needs, and to be stolen from is heartbreaking. Now, when I speak of being robbed, I am not talking about a masked purse-snatcher assaulting me on the street. No. I am speaking directly about your friendly neighborhood politician; I am talking about his superior, and the man in charge of him too. Every single hard working American is robbed at gunpoint on a daily basis, but does it hurt you the way the plain-sight bandit does? Would you cry the same, or file a report with the police the very same? Do you even notice?

More often than not, these questions are answered with a simple no. Sometimes however, these practices are even encouraged with phrases resembling, “I am just doing my part” or “it’s for the greater good”. So what exactly is the greater good and who is the authority on such? In my opinion, the greater good is to “love thy neighbor” and the overall authority is God. What I do know however is that funding the lives of lazy, alcoholic, drug using, and/or jobless adults and their offspring with stolen money is not the greater good. Welfare programs not only theoretically encourage mooching and joblessness, but have been proven to increase poverty levels throughout the United States. It also has been shown to destroy marriages, reduce the likelihood of a welfare child having a successful future, and increase mental health and home abuse issues.

Why should somebody be granted what another person earned at the threat of force and violence? Would God believe that this is the greater good? Did God say that “thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote”? Absolutely not. God said to help those around you, he said to be generous and love every man. I believe that there are people out there that do truly need help, but I do not believe that coercion and theft are the ways to help them! Allow people to keep that which is theirs; their income in full. Encourage one another to share, trade and lend a helping hand. Charity has changed hundreds of thousands of lives already, and I don’t believe that the power in giving is lost. We can make a difference, even as one person. We can reduce poverty, mental illness and spousal/child abuse. We can build communities that revolve around charitable action and helping rehabilitate people; but first, we must stand up against being forced to enable these things with our own weekly paychecks.

Theft is immoral whether you wear a business suit or a hoodie. It hurts the lives of people on both the receiving and the losing ends.

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(L85) Counterfeiting & Fractional Reserve Banking

Is it counterfeiting when government-licensed banks create money out of nothing?

Fractional reserve banking is a system that allows banks to issue more deposits (by lending money out) than they have actually taken in. The banks basically create money out of thin air (deposit slips), and lends it to businesses and consumers with interest rates.

Deposit slips are a form of counterfeiting, and counterfeiting is theft. In the words of Gary North, “all good things that are counterfeited must come to an end”; the economic booms created by these low short-term interest rates result in a rise in prices because in reality, there was no saving throughout the economy as had been portrayed.

(L10) Human Rights

1.) Is there a “right of free speech” in the abstract, or is the question of free speech at root a matter of property rights?

Free speech, while being an essential human right, stands only on the basis of property rights. When property and human rights are separated, human rights become inconsistent and imprecise at best. They must instead, for understandings sake, be viewed as two pieces of the same thing, (rather than two different things). For example, if I were to rush into a movie theater shouting “Fire! Run! The theater is on fire!” I would get thrown out. I would not be thrown out because I was exercising my freedom of speech, but because I was on someone else’s property, and I was violating the set rules that they have on their property. I would be thrown out because I yelled (which is against the owner’s rules), not because of what I yelled.

2.) Explain the difference between positive and negative rights, using at least one example.

Negative rights are rights that simply require the absence of interference from others; for example, the rights to life, liberty, and property. More specifically, the right not to be killed, the right to not have my liberties infringed upon, and the right to not have my property stolen. Positive rights on the other hand place burdens on some people to obtain specific benefits for others. Positive rights are things that are all especially desirable, but not technically human rights; the reason for this is that positive rights may only be obtained through plunder and coercion.
Positive rights create conflict (between positive and negative rights) because, one’s negative rights will never infringe upon another’s (negative) rights. Positive rights however (in every case) will infringe upon one’s negative rights not to have their property (money) stolen. Negative rights require only self responsibility and mindfulness of others, whereas positive rights violate people’s negative rights (God given/birth rights) and incite threat-assisted theft.

“How To Argue With a Liberal…and Win!” Discussion Question (L25)

“If the state is strong enough to do something good for you, it can also do something bad to you.”

As true as this is, it is hard for some to understand why, or even how the government would do something bad to the people who so naively trust it. Maybe it is easier to consider it in this context; each action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, to a woman receiving welfare, the state is a positive thing. This is helping move her in the direction she needs and she appreciates the help; what a thoughtful government we have, looking out only for the best interest of it’s people. But, on the other hand, she is not thinking about exactly where that money came from. This recipient of government aid isn’t considering that just as she is cashing that check, or using her food stamps, a man is on the other end pulling his hair out about the devastation of taxes. The government is stealing one man’s money from his paycheck each week simply to hand it over to those who ask. On any scale, the state can only “do good” for one person when it is harming another, due to the fact that 100% of their funding has amounted from the plundering of hard working citizens.