09.22.2015 1

Confronting evil and defending liberty

Cartoon - State of the Kingdom - 600

By Rick Manning

What should one do when confronted by evil?

Walk away, shunt your eyes to the side and pretend you never saw it? Whisper to your friends and neighbors about it in an astonished tone while never doing anything? Or be an antagonist against that evil, shining a light on it, and confronting it without reservation?

What if the evil is cast in a way that many, perhaps even a majority, view it as being politically acceptable or even desirable?

Should one remain silent and quietly work to change the culture that accepts evil through good hearted, private social welfare programs in the hopes that the love offered is enough?

These are the questions facing many Americans as we view an ever encroaching big government take a wrecking ball to what were once assumed freedoms under the false guise of tolerance.

Fundamental concepts like freedom of speech are being attacked by those who see hurts in every word or utterance, and from the role of manufactured victim demand that alternative opinions be censored.

This attack on speech is an obvious step toward tyranny, but other evil is more abstract and less easy to discern.

One example is the government produced expectation that people are owed an income whether they work or not, and that denial of unearned “benefits” is an attack on their fundamental rights. The net effect of this claim against the government is that it effectively puts a demand for payment against those who produce wealth whether as an electrician, retail worker or Fortune 100 CEO making those who work subservient to those who don’t.

The very benefits created to fulfill the expectations of those who choose not to work are used to gain political leverage an ever greater unearned piece of the pie has the perverse effect of making working in entry level jobs a bad economic decision. The very entitlement of those who could but won’t, effectively makes fools out of those who can and do, as the doers are compelled to take care of the dependents further eroding their net earnings.

Another pernicious assault on liberty is the grinding expansion of the regulatory state often at the expense of the poor through higher costs for basic necessities. The EPA power plant regulation stands as a primary, but far from the only, example of this regulatory onslaught. Borne out of a claimed need to address global warming, the EPA rule actually has a negligible impact on the problem it supposedly is designed to address. Instead its impact will be to increase electricity costs by 16 percent over time — a cost that will be disproportionately be borne by those who can least afford it.

Additionally, the higher electricity costs will have another profound impact on lower income wage earners — it will decrease the likelihood that they will find a higher paying job as the U.S. manufacturing sector recedes due to the higher energy costs. The irony is that the American energy boom, absent the Obama regulations, is expected to dramatically increase domestic manufacturing without the need to level wages with the rest of the world. It is the abundance of energy here in America that makes this possible, and if left alone, the lower costs for electricity this abundance produces will likely become a major job creator over the next decade. Yet, Obama’s regulatory assault on inexpensive electricity effectively negates this advantage.

Given the admission by the United Nation’s climate chief, Christiana Figueres that the real goal of the global warming push is not protecting the environment but instead to change the world’s economic structure, saying, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution.”

Global elitists attempting to change the world’s economic structure away from a system that has produced more shared wealth than any in history under the guise of climate disaster at the expense of America’s poor is exactly the kind of hidden evil that needs exposure. Yet, the cost of standing up against this liberty stealing power grab is ostracism and derision.

Is it worth it?

Is fighting to keep the fundamental principles of self-determination and free enterprise as the cornerstones of our nation’s economic system worth being attacked as an antagonist and naysayer?

The fight for freedom is never easy, and liberty only exists when there are those willing to push back hard against the natural slouch toward accepting government as the keeper of the least of these, rather than taking personal responsibility for that calling.

Freedom of speech only exists when the purveyors of political correctness are rudely cast aside by those willing to mock them and break the cycle of perpetual offense that they wield as a weapon, weathering their ridicule while defeating attempts to incorporate their language cocoon into law.

Economic mobility and freedom only exists when markets are allowed to grow or contract based upon their overall value. When the federal government chooses to increase the cost of basic economic necessities, like burning fuel to generate electricity with a goal of creating scarcity out of abundance, people everywhere suffer.

Some are called to help the poor by providing bread, others to fight for secular solutions where liberty prevails and people are lifted out of poverty through the proven formula of private sector wealth creation. The two work well together, but if either lose the other cannot be sustained, and both are equal callings to confront evil.

The author is president of Americans for Limited Government.

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