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Friday, July 03, 2015
  • Sunday, June 28, 2015 10:49 PM

    A great opportunity was missed recently. We had the opportunity to have an intelligent, adult conversation on how best to help the poor among us. The debate was on whether the poor are best served by creating prosperity, or are they best served by complaining about “income inequality” (i.e., about how much more the rich make than the poor). The question was asked, “Would you be willing for the rich to be even richer if it meant improved conditions for the poor?”

     
  • Sunday, June 14, 2015 11:44 PM

    The next time you hear someone lamenting about inequality, you should ask, “Is this person really concerned about the poor? Or is he just resentful about the rich?” An easy way to tell the difference is to ask him if he’d be willing for the rich to be even richer if it meant improved conditions for the poor. If he says, “no,” he is admitting that his concern is with what the rich have, not what the poor don’t have. If he says, “yes,” he is admitting that the so-called “income gap” isn’t a problem.

    Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, you can start talking about the real problem: How do we best improve the conditions of the poor without paying them to live off the government. In other words, our solution should deal with absolute poverty, not relative poverty.

     
  • Monday, May 25, 2015 8:52 PM

    “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters . . . I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid? . . . We have been assured . . . in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that built it.’ I firmly believe this . . .” – Benjamin Franklin

    We often talk these days about the public sector (government) and the private sector and what role each should have. But we really should be including religious institutions as the third sector of any free society. As Benjamin Franklin noted, freedom thrives most in a society when individuals are driven by personal virtue to voluntarily cooperate with each other. And it is the proper role of our religious institutions to persuade men to live virtuous lives, putting their neighbor above themselves, to voluntarily feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for widows and orphans.

     
  • Monday, May 11, 2015 1:46 AM

    A true free market provides the best opportunity for a prosperous and peaceful society. The more we know about how free markets work, the better we can support policies that support a free market. There are six key concepts to remember:

    (1) Only individuals actually make economic choices. Corporations, government entities, and other organizations do not make these choices. It’s the individual people within them that do.

    (2) The role of exchange and trade. The whole reason people engage in exchange is to improve their well-being. Two individuals agree to a trade when it’s mutually beneficial. They both trade because each person believes he will be better off as a result.

    (3) Cost and utility are subjective. A certain product is typically considered more useful or valuable to one person than to another person. Only the chooser can know for sure how valuable a good is to himself or the cost of his actions are to himself. 

     
  • Friday, April 10, 2015 2:43 PM
    "One of the greatest mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results." - Economist Milton Friedman (recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economics)

    Since 2011 Todd Barton has been claiming that we're not a great community anymore, painting a grim picture that we will lose our industry and lose our jobs, and suggesting that we are dying. He claims that without his plan of centralized economic planning by local government we will slip backward into an abyss and become some sort of backwater community. I disagree with his pessimistic opinion of our community. I think it shows his lack of appreciation in the everyday people of this community to come together and do great things. And I especially disagree with his plan to drastically expand government projects to fix his exaggerated crisis. This community does have several problems to fix, but they're not the ones he's addressing.

    Mr. Barton's economic plan is based on the false assumption that "If You Build It They Will Come," that if we merely make things look pretty that outside businesses will suddenly move into Crawfordsville: Commerce parks, economic development corporations, bike trails, Amtrak, convention centers, downtown beautification projects, all at taxpayer expense of course.

     
  • Sunday, April 05, 2015 7:23 PM
    The Indiana Constitution states, "All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences." (Article 1, Section 2) It continues, "No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience." (Article 1, Section 3)

    If our state constitution already guaranteed this right to exercise religious opinions and rights of conscience, why is there so much hysteria about the recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act? To those who supported the RFRA, I ask, why was this law even necessary? To those opposing the RFRA, I ask, why are you suddenly protesting now and crying "Discrimination!" when this has been the law of the land since 1816?

    The truth is that every business owner has a right to run his business how he sees fit, as long as he isn't defrauding anyone and isn't inflicting violence on anyone. A Christian baker who considers it a sin to assist in a homosexual union ceremony should never be forced by the government to bake a wedding cake for that ceremony. A gay caterer who 
  • Sunday, March 22, 2015 4:42 PM
    Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love never fails. - First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 13:4-8

    For private charity on average, 70 percent of what people donate actually reaches the poor. For the average welfare program, only 30 percent of the money the program is given reaches the poor. I think the biggest reason is that most people working for private charities and church ministries are volunteers. They do it out of love for their fellow human being. They do it on a very personal, individual level. For Christians, this is the fundamental meaning of life, to love God above all else and to love your neighbor. It's the greatest commandment.

     
  • Sunday, March 15, 2015 7:01 PM
    Due to the conflict between our Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, and the State Board of Education (appointed by Governor Pence), many people have stressed the importance of keeping school administration independent from the Governor's office. There's also been a lot of concern about the General Assembly attempting to change the chairperson of the SBOE to being elected by the members of the SBOE, instead of the SPI automatically being the chairperson. 
  • Sunday, March 01, 2015 2:46 PM
    What does it mean when a politician calls himself or herself "progressive"? How does it mean they want to govern? There really isn't any standard statement of principles or platform of progressivism today. But we can use history as a guide.

    The progressivist movement appears to have started in response to the increasing influence of large corporations and political corruption during the Industrial Revolution. Their goal was fix these problems using a huge national government with significant influence over our lives. They despised the idea of limited government, the strict interpretation of the Constitution, and the right of States to control their own affairs.

    In 1912, after losing the Republican presidential nomination, Teddy Roosevelt started the Progressive Party. Its platform called for heavy regulation of business and politics, empowering labor unions, transitioning from a republic (rule of law) to more of a pure democracy (mob rule), a massive increase in welfare programs, and creating a federal income tax to pay for it all.

     
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:50 PM
    A government's highest priority is to secure the unalienable rights of its citizens. This applies especially to local governments. Why would it be forbidden for a federal or state law to violate a person's rights, but be okay for a local law to do so?

    The tradition of American liberty gave us a system of local government that has historically been focused on securing rights. This makes perfect sense. In the spirit of self-determination, we should ask ourselves, "What are the most important components of, say, county government? If we had to give up all county services except three, which ones would we choose?" First, most people would agree we'd want police. Police are there to step in when someone is doing harm to another (in other words, to stop a violation of rights) and so could prevent them from doing further harm. Secondly, we'd want a court system. When one citizen claims his rights have been violated by another and they 

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