where religion and politics meet

Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is what one believes about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Countries also have a worldview, a way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Ours used to be Christianity. Now it is secularism, which is practical atheism.

Some of us are trying to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

A religion is not a culture, though it creates one. It is not what you prefer, like your taste in music or your favorite movie. It is what you believe to be true. Because it deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, but the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation and critical thinking.

Every human being has the duty to search for and learn the truth about life. Education and science used to be valuable tools in this search, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues,

For now I want to focus my writing now articles specifically addressed to Christians. So most of my new posts will be on my other website listed below. I will continue to write and post short responses to newspaper columns and letters and even other articles as the inspiration hits me.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Taxes on imports, jobs, and the health of our country

When there are not enough good paying jobs for everybody, it drives people to depend on the government for financial assistance.  This is considered the compassionate thing to do, a safety net, but the result of this is to increase the role of government in the lives of everybody. 

Throughout history, there have been essentially only two forms of government: tyranny and freedom.  Most governments throughout history have been tyrannies.  Life isn’t necessarily miserable under a ruler, but our nation fought a war to get the kind of government and the freedoms that we have.

When we think of tyrannies, we usually think of kings or dictators where one person basically rules the country, but freedom can be lost piece by piece as people gradually trade freedoms for security, prosperity for a safety net, and responsibility for dependency. 
When you have a massive government with an ever increasing number of rules and laws, the will and the power to force compliance on more and more things that were not issues in the past, when the government believes it is responsible for the economy and is responsible for solving all the problems of society, then your government is going from freedom to tyranny.  For many countries today, freedom and tyranny exist together on a continuum with varying degrees of each.

Our nation is moving slowly from freedom to tyranny.  Instead of being ruled by a king, we are being ruled more and more by government officials who want to protect us from ourselves and the evil around us, but are just as likely motivated by the power and the money that comes with their position.

The issue of jobs is possibly the single most important factor in preserving our freedoms, because when a person can no longer provide for oneself or one’s family, they cry out for somebody to take care of them.   This causes the government to grow, requiring more of your money and expanding the government’s reach into every area of your life.  The loss of jobs reduces revenues to the government while at the same time creates pressure on the government to grow, assume more responsibility, increase governmental spending, and consequently government debt.

Our churches used to be the primary source of public charity in our country, but the government has now become responsible for the welfare of the people.  The government is now the protector and provider of the people.  The government has assumed responsibility for, and consequently the control of, the economy.

So the economy is basically about freedom, but according to Forbes[1], more than half the people in our country now receive some form of government aid.  When this happens slowly and each new generation is not taught what freedom is all about and each new generation gets used to the increasing role of government in their lives, freedom is traded for rulers who are now looked upon as our benefactors. 

The loss of good jobs has also been a large factor in the deterioration of our families and as a result the moral deterioration of our country.  Those who do work work more jobs and more hours to try to provide for their families and more and more parenting is done by day cares, and raising children becomes a lot like having pets.  Feed them twice a day, and see that they don’t soil up the house.   The lack of good jobs takes parents out of the homes and children are raised too often by people who have little or no vested interest in their lives. 

Broken families lead to more crime, but it also contributes to the moral breakdown of our country.  What I mean by moral breakdown is that there are a lot of things that are wrong but not illegal.  All kinds of corruption, mean-spiritedness, unkindness, abuse, exploitation, indifference, negligence, selfishness, hatred, anger, things that laws either don’t touch or can’t fix, come from the breakdown of the family.  Bringing American jobs back to our country will do more than probably any other one thing to help our country economically, but also in strengthening our country morally. 

So why did we lose all these jobs?  Labor has almost always been cheaper overseas, but the jobs didn’t leave to get cheaper labor.  

Our corporate taxes are among if not the highest in the world, but the jobs didn’t leave because of high corporate taxes.  Corporate tax rates were raised to help make up for all the money the government no longer was getting from working people.  We are told that we must lower our corporate tax rates to bring jobs back to our country, but if that isn’t why they left, it won’t make much difference in bringing them back. 

The jobs left as we stopped taxing imports.

We have forgotten that taxes on imports paid for almost our entire federal budget for most of our nation’s history.  There was no federal income tax before 1913. 

We are told that taxing imports will raise the prices that consumers pay for those goods.  Yes, but these taxes used to be collected in lieu of income taxes, so income taxes should be reduced accordingly. 

We are told that Herbert Hoover raised taxes on imports as the Great Depression was just starting, and that was responsible for prolonging and intensifying it.  But the Great Depression lasted for another eight years or so under Franklin Delano Roosevelt who raised all kinds of taxes and created all kinds of government programs, and nobody thinks that had anything to do with prolonging the Depression?

Without taxes on imports, the jobs will stay overseas. 
We are told that taxing imports will start trade wars, where other nations will tax the goods we send to them, thus hurting our export industry.  But this wasn’t an issue for the 140 years before we had an income tax, and this wasn’t an issue before we stopped taxing imports and sent our jobs overseas

We are told that the world now has a global economy, that we have to support a global economy, and that to resist it is economic suicide.  By a global economy, they mean simply free trade, no taxes on imported goods.  They use words like protectionism and nationalism to describe those who oppose this, as though we are supposed to understand these words as obvious proofs of these people’s folly.

But the problem is our own companies making our own products and then sending them back to us.   Foreign goods were always available in our country, and we always paid a premium for them.  But these were actual foreign products, like Swiss chocolate and German watches, not American companies making things somewhere else and then shipping those products back here.

Our political leaders have forgotten our Constitution, which our Founders fought a war in order to be able to establish it.    Our government exists to promote the general welfare of the people of the United States.  It’s like when parents give everything they have to their children.  That doesn’t mean that they hate or don’t care about the other children on the block.  But they can only be responsible for those that belong to them over whom they have some control or major influence.  We cannot control the events, the people, and the governments of other countries, so frankly they have to take care of themselves, except perhaps in the case of a major natural disaster.

We are told that globalization is good for everybody because everything is now cheaper.  What they are not telling us is that, with globalization, most people are making a lot less money as a global labor market keeps driving wages downward.  A global economy is like adding 3 billion people to the labor force.  There are always people who will work for less somewhere in the world, and wages go down everywhere else to try to compete with that. 

Rich nations become poorer, and poor nations stay poor.  The poor nations are not starting their own businesses; they’re just relying on ours. 

And, besides, it is a very dangerous policy to build or base an economy on exports.  That means that our prosperity depends first on the prosperity of other nations so that they can buy our goods.  Basing our economic health on a global economy ties the economic health of all the nations together such that a problem in one country affects all the others.  What this does is create a new normal of a sluggish world economy.  Some major country is always experiencing some kind of downturn or economic crisis. 

This ideal world of free trade also requires everybody to ‘play fair,’ nobody gaming the system by manipulating their currencies.  So the experts want to build a global economic system that requires nobody cheating for it to really work?  Seriously?   You want to build a system that every nation in the world is dependent on but that requires everybody to follow all the rules?  Can’t be done unless you create a new world system where everybody is subject to a new world government.

Quite frankly, I think the motivation behind this is resentment for the United States being so prosperous.  At least it used to be.  Before the jobs went overseas, our federal debt was minimal.  Now it is almost 20 trillion dollars and counting.  And, yes, the two are related, and we won’t fix the one without fixing the other.
How can we have a robust American economy when it is dependent on nations all over the world having the money to buy our stuff first?  We have 330 million people in our own country.  If that is not enough of a market for a company to prosper, please don’t blame our trade policies.

Before the jobs went overseas, we had plenty of jobs for everyone, good paying jobs, and our nation prospered.  When we made all of our own stuff, the jobs grew as the population grew.  Taxes on imports went away, and the jobs went away, government debt skyrocketed, and wages stagnated.  Now we don’t have enough jobs for all the people who are living in our country, yet at the same time the government keeps bringing millions more people into our country as well as allowing untold numbers of people to just come in however they can.


We now have record numbers of people on government assistance, which ends up lowering the standard of living of everyone through government borrowing, inflation, and higher taxes.

So how do we bring the jobs back to our country?  Corporate tax rates are too high.  But they are high only to make up for all the loss of revenue from the loss of jobs.  The jobs didn’t leave because tax rates were too high, though more have left since they were raised.  The jobs didn’t leave because labor was cheaper somewhere else.  Labor has always been cheaper somewhere else.

The jobs left because we stopped taxing imports.  And they will not come back until we do that again.  I should add that we have also lost jobs due to the increase in government regulations.  

The Presidential candidates all talk about the issue of jobs in various ways, but this issue needs to have a national debate and reach some kind of consensus.  The reason is that moving a company from one country to another is a major decision that can involve billions of dollars.  If one President instituted a policy which the next President might want to reverse or change, companies could be slow in doing anything differently because the cost of changing could outweigh the cost of staying put.

Right now most opinions you will hear on this matter support free trade.  Much of that I believe is due to do politically correct thinking that views taxing imports as the work of greedy American companies who want to charge high prices free from the challenges of competition or the outdated notion of putting American interests above that of other countries. 

But taxing imports again is the most important means for bringing jobs back to the United States.  I would suggest a blanket tax on every product brought into this country.  Let’s say 20%.  We can calculate the projected income from imports, though total imports should decrease a bit.  The tax is paid by the company, and the consumers will then pay them back as they buy their products.  Income tax rates should then be lowered corresponding to the projected income.  As jobs come back to our country, the revenue from taxed imports will decrease but more people working at better jobs will reduce government spending and increase government revenues.




[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2014/07/02/weve-crossed-the-tipping-point-most-americans-now-receive-government-benefits/#56676bea6233

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