James Leroy Wilson's blog

Friday, August 05, 2005

No Prohibition, No Subsidy

I'm finding out that what sets me apart from most people is that I take power into consideration when assessing the great moral, philosophical, and religious questions of our day. For me, the power factor predominates, because it seems that on any given question, one side who votes "yes" wants not only to tolerate the thing in question, but to force taxpayers to subsidize it. And the "no's" want not just to boycott it or curse it, but to ban it.

And even when this is not the case, people behave as though it is. So people equate Bush's refusal of federal spending on stem cell research with a ban on stem cell research. Then they discuss the merits of stem cell research, assuming that if the majority agrees that it is a good thing, they have a right to tax not only themselves, but also minority dissenters, to fund it. To me, this is jaw-dropping absurdity. How can people think like this? Why can't we have stem cell research remain legal, but not force the taxpayers to fund it? This is so frickin' obvious. Pepsi-cola is legal, but we don't grant vouchers to people who want to purchase it. I often think, "What the hell is wrong with you people?"

Other examples where this comes into play: abortion, gay marriage, Intelligent Design curriculum in public schools, to name a few. In each case we pretend that these things warrant the attention of the federal government at all, when the federal government's own constitution tells us otherwise: the federal government has no legitimate jurisdiction over any of these issues.

I'm not saying that these issues are unimportant. I'm saying, rather, that each of them are too important for politics to address. The question isn't, "How should science be taught in the public schools," but rather, "Why do we have public schools?" It is not, "Is the fetus in the womb a moral person" but rather, "Who has jurisdiction here, the State's police force or the pregnant woman," which is another way of saying, "Is the fetus a member of civil society?"

The same question arises with the drugs you would take, the food you would consume, the means by which you would defend yourself. Ain't nobody's business what you do. And I would judge more harshly those who would use violent force to constrain an individual's choices and options, from whom to marry to what he teaches his children, to how he runs his business, then I would those who have a "live and let live" ethic.

It is not your business, it is not your problem, how other people run their affairs. If your son has AIDS, and your neighbor's son is mentally ill, don't fight each other for scarce and illigitimate government funding to advance your cause. You have no right to the income of others. Rather, seek greater freedom through the repeal of laws and regulations, and through lower taxes for all,so that more and greater solutions to social problems may come our way.


  1. Damn. I wish I would of written that.

  2. what - the grubbermint be neutral in anything? Its against their two forms of reality - coercion and group think. must weigh in either/or on everything.

    welcome back - i had to play ketchup on all your posts from three days. I also updated www.howdt.com - see what you think of my soapbox - Umpqua style.

  3. Great stuff. Welcome Back!

  4. I enjoyed the post and it was very well written.

    I also agree with you.

  5. It's amazing that you got the concept right, but failed miserably in your execution. You noted:

    [The question] is not, "Is the fetus in the womb a moral person" but rather, "Who has jurisdiction here, the State's police force or the pregnant woman," which is another way of saying, "Is the fetus a member of civil society?"

    You automatically assumed the rights were inherent in some person other than the unborn child. By reducing a child's life to mere jurisdiction over the right to decide the fate of the child, you obfuscate and bury the truth.

    Who has a constitutional right to kill an innocent human being? No one.

  6. If we don't constantly view things in terms of legitimate jurisdiction, government will have no limits at all. It is fine to believe that the state should protect the fetus in the womb. But we can't just assume government has the power to do the things we'd want done.