Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Slightly Higher Truth

So let us begin to describe our nation in even more concrete detail, although even the greatest details become more and more abstract the deeper one’s comprehension becomes.
The United States have changed in many ways since our inceptions: material growth is more than increased mechanizations; our physical powers have also been multiplied through further expansions in both geographic and populous ways, the latter of which are of the most importance, for one can hardly put a toll on human life.
Nevertheless, the newer generations among us seem to assume our modern speeds of material evolution are a law of nature, as if the United States have always been a “Superpower,” but there was once a time when our own country was hardly anything more than an ideal.
Yet again, we may consider ourselves to be lucky; however, we are also incredibly difficult to understand, for the drastic material changes that have taken place during the past two-hundred years have made “reasonable” views inconceivably tricky to gain. The science of economic theory is especially based upon assumptions of ceteris parabis, or “all other things being equal.” When one’s reality mutates as quickly as ours, it takes a great deal of thought in order to find measures as to how much “better” or “worse” things become—to a degree that many of us do not likely consider, although thousands of our social statisticians futilely attempt to cover all of the details with instruments such as the Consumer Price Index, National Income and Product Accounts, etc.
Life expectancy increases alone throughout the past two-hundred years have already created great changes in the world of recent times, and this mode of transformation will become even more important in the future, as the Earth is already said to be somewhat “overpopulated” given our current technology, but it is difficult to say how exponentially longer lives may affect us, as there is still great uncertainty as to whether or not current generations are destined to live for thousands of years, although some prominent physical scientists believe such matters to be possible.
Strangely enough, many “immovable” ideas are truly transient semblances of thought in the long-run, and mere words are exceptionally prone to distortions of the clock. This may become more obvious to future generations that shall be hundreds of years old, but even the most basic terminologies of our minds are thought to be “reasonably” understood before they quickly become obsolete. When one considers the basis of archaic philosophy is essentially composed of language, it is easy to see why profound understandings of such wisdom are difficult to obtain: relatively intelligent people often misappropriate the philosophies of modern persons!
It has been expressed unto me many times that I should not go so far as to speak out against the “foundations” of our national state, as I would not have the freedoms to speak upon such issues to begin with if it were not for the presence of the government to protect me, but it seems unto me that many rights were unnecessarily laid forth in the writings of many “important” national documents, insofar that these writings were never the Supreme Law of the Land so much as the inalienable rights within man they are subservient to—one must wonder how “free speech” was written before free speech existed.
It is humorous that today’s people even attempt to use the Constitution as such a major determinant of contemporary law given the original document’s overly broad definitions, many of which have changed a great deal, even though our specific case laws would have little to stand upon if the “Supreme Law” could not exist on its own—after all, even the most solid rocks wear down with the passage of time. In fact, to this day, we still use the extremely old common laws of England when detailed explanations of rules are not expressed in any precedent or statute of the United States. For although some may find it shocking one may claim our nation’s “most essential” writing to be so obsolete that it should be somewhat worthless unto us, surely, it should seem wise to state that the Constitution is nothing in comparison to the worth of reason and natural rights in and of themselves: similarly, the Bible would be useless if God were ignored.
There are certainly many useful general ideas and underlying social realities expressed in the ancient Constitution, but in reality, in order to “apply” such an archaic written law as thus, we have created volumes upon volumes of books throughout the past two centuries, all of which serve to “interpret” a very short and unspecific document; in the end, these highly complicated books are continually enslaving us more and more than they are helping: we even need warning labels on coffee cups informing us of their intrinsic heat!
Must the government now flash a sign in front of us telling us to breathe as well?
It is easy for most ordinary people to realize that many of our young adults and children have already experienced more change in their lifetimes than many generations have witnessed during the past two-thousand years. And if an average person is unaware as to how the Constitution should be specifically understood, much less if such a normal person is unable to even recite the most basic amendments of the Bill of Rights—our society must work through some other underlying force—perhaps it is basic instinct, although it was probably right to name it as “common sense,” even though such a sense as thus is quite malleable unto the more socially intelligent among us.
It is for the reason of change that one may especially state us to be a very ignorant people, but it would be even better, perhaps, to say that we are a very brilliant people that have developed much too quickly for our own good. Then again, we do not ignore nearly as much as we should, for the vast majority of us are still stuck in a mode whereby our nature compels us to merely survive when we have easily surpassed the ability to live every day we awaken with great joy and fulfillment.
It seems that some of us are so bored with modern life that we must make reality difficult in order to feel as if we exist; it may even be that the world has been as thus ever since mankind discovered the plow (if not basic agriculture itself), but the masses’ failure to recognize the change and productivity among the common human being has never been more evident in history than it is today. A mere pursuit of happiness is beneath what many of us are capable of in modern times: we have a great deal more “power” than ever before, both quantitatively and qualitatively; yet, as a result of thus, we are also increasingly caught up in more complicated nightmares whereby we may not accurately measure the chances that our pain shall be greater than our pleasure.
What pain and pleasure are may be two entirely different things for two entirely different people at the same moment in time: for masochists, pain is pleasure, and vice versa. But although one may not say that anything is necessarily “good” for everyone, masochism is a very risky lifestyle and is usually short-lived, which is why I would recommend different means towards happiness for all, as there are simpler paths of life that are far more lasting—many of us intuitively strive for these, but we are often caught in swamps and shadows along the way. Life is full of various roads and viewpoints, and it is beyond exasperating to analyze such paths in full detail; ironically enough, sometimes, one may not even wish to think very hard about what they are doing, and instead, simply let go and be, which is incredibly abstract, although I am sure that some readers understand what it is that I am speaking of. There are many traditions, even ancient, that are needed in our lives: change itself is a tradition, and the best forces in this world are a union of opposition, yet ultimate creation; in the center of such might, one shall find calm, but they are those which are not to be treaded upon.
When one considers relative historical transitions of humanity, they shall find that the Constitution of the United States was created in a civilization vastly different than that which we are presented with today, even unto the point whereby many of the most basic understandings of the original document were looked upon in a completely different manner than a current American may ever hope to fully grasp—given the amount of change that has taken place since our country’s creation, from an empirical point of view, our modern people should view our Founding Father’s in the same manner that our Founding Fathers once saw the more pre-historic ancestors of humanity!
Language is perhaps the most tangible, yet transcendent force of social thought; when one examines virtually any noun of today with its counterpart of two-hundred and fifty years ago, they shall find why our Founding Fathers were quite incapable of developing truly sophisticated modern philosophy. This may seem strange and unintuitive, as the ancients were able to express simple ideas seemingly splendidly, insofar that basic objects may be explained by our forefathers in three or four different manners than our own, much less in regard to the fact that aged prose is often beautifully interwoven—however, modern people often possess much more profound ideas without realizing the relative depth and context of their newly arisen comprehensions.
Water is almost unconsciously H2O (a chemist would understand water in methods that are much more complicated than thus), or tapped, or bottled, or distilled, or branded by many different companies, the latter of which have a seemingly distinct taste unto some of us—we have even found ourselves qualified to discern various bottled liquids in monetary amounts that are hundreds of times more per unit of such than if they were to come from faucets, despite the fact that tap water is usually much cleaner and better tasting than the types of water our first Presidents likely drank, even though our cheaper piped liquids often contain good amounts of calcium and magnesium, which strengthen our bones and prevent heart problems, although there may be fluoride additives in our streamlined water sources as well, which help prevent dental carries, insofar that faucet water (which may be placed in a bottle many times in order to be frozen overnight for consumption the next day) is usually much more nutritious than that which is softened and placed into containers by corporations; nevertheless, if a Founding Father is to speak of water as being an “elixir,” it often seems as if they are far wiser than an average human being of today, if not merely as a result of their ancient expression being put to use in our modern minds—old sentence and paragraphical formulations are even more inclined to various mystifying semblances than simple words alone.
Is it truly, therefore, not a small wonder that even though the original patriots of our country were “Christian,” that they even held different religious convictions than our own in many important respects, insofar that we overly revere these more ancient beliefs as well?
For technology has changed the realm of the material “spirit” in drastic ways. The Bible can be distributed for very little effort compared to that which was needed in the 18th century, and the vast majority of our population can read the spiritual text far more often—all without the aid of a preacher; indeed, the latter revolution began with the invention of the printing press, but our presses are far more efficient today, and the Internet has done away with the need for “tangible” pages entirely. Yet, we have much more than massively distributed Bibles in the modern world: the history of religion itself, and physical “churches” for that matter, are much more accessible to ordinary people today.
Indeed, although one may say that the ancients believed in “Jesus,” some surely must feel that a Christian believer of the past that could not read the Bible or attend church was probably unable to have as close of a relationship with God as a person that has read the Bible and sat in church multiple times a week for hours upon end; surely, some may feel a swimming pool is not as effective a method of baptism when such is compared to the effectiveness of a beautiful font in a multi-million dollar temple.
Nevertheless, one could argue that the perusal (much less the memorization) of the Bible is unnecessary in order to “be saved,” while the entrances of physical buildings of holiness are unnecessary in order to find peace and salvation, insofar that enormous income percentage contributions are often foolishly spent “converting” the largest possible amount of people in the short-run, as most religious people do nothing more other than repeat information and/or stay in one location or another out of fear.
But perhaps an idea of pure spirituality is too radical for our time—even though such an idea is, ironically, fairly in-line with the ideas expressed by Christ and the apostles of the New Testament: and yet, such a profound concept of spirituality may be even more ancient than the “time” of Jesus.

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

--King Solomon

Would there be any homeless people in the United States for us to pray for in public if we allowed them to dwell in our tens of thousands of empty churches free of charge?
Nevertheless, I would not desire for the reader to assume I am a religious person of any understanding, as I am definitely not an ordained man of any cloth, nor do I plan on being such.
Before we continue, however, I would like to note that it may seem (if it has not already) as if we shall be jumping even more back and forth, not to mention side to side, from one topic to another—if the reader has not sensed it by now, the Universe is incredibly chaotic, yet an organized chaos, which I have attempted to illustrate somewhat. It is impossible to say all that I desire in a completely linear manner. But allow me to at least attempt to indulge the reader with some relatively solid and more detailed examples of specific matters in order that we may discover how much change has affected our nation; even though these subjects shall still be presented in a very limited scope, they are easy to grasp.
When one examines the federal government of today, they shall find that there is no longer a need for a nationalized post office (if there ever was a need for one to begin with), as evidenced by enormous corporations such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Email (and the Internet in general for that matter) is another beast entirely: not only can one send and receive simple digital letters and postcards in seconds, but this may be done exceptionally cheaply compared to the costs of stamps and envelops. Although some physical packages require rapid transport during emergencies, these events are rare, and the presence of emergency packages in and of itself does not justify the existence of a federal agency whatsoever, as private companies could perform such extreme duties as well given the right amount of payment, which would likely cost much less to society and even poor individuals in the long-run than any artificial government subsidies would. The only excuses one may give for the modern post office are hardly substantial compared to those which were evident at the time of our country’s foundation: even people that live in extraordinarily rural areas may travel by cars at much more rapid speeds than the capabilities of horses, and such outlandish people could grant themselves satellite internet service if the former idea is too inconvenient for the payment of bills and other actions many of us have quickly embraced in digital form (it is, after all, lunacy to assert that all of society must pay a larger price for a very exceptionally few peoples’ marginal “right to convenience”). And as far as a desire for the government to aid the masses in the cessation of fraud and the other potentially negative aspects of the mailing system are concerned—there are other ways around package carriers: we likely speed up the delivery of most drugs by requiring dealers and buyers to act on their own in order to travel a few miles to reach their intended destinations. However, even though the United States Post Office is a rather large organization, it is not even the tip of the iceberg of our modern government, especially when one considers all of the various levels of such; so let us continue by delving somewhat into the world of the imagination, although we may risk “order” by doing so.
Even the construction of roads may be somewhat needless soon as a result of flying “cars:” prototypes of these systems are already under development, although it will likely be at least another decade from the publishing of this writing before they become readily available to the lower upper-class or higher middle-class of the public (smaller, easier to use, and more cost-effective airplanes are already on the market for the elite among us). There have already been dreams of flying cars for decades, and these have not fully materialized; however, this does not mean that they shall not in the future, especially considering how advanced our radar systems and computer algorithms are becoming. In any case, if this is too much of a stretch for some of our minds, when the Constitution was first written—locomotives, subways, and aerospace technologies were completely nonexistent, as were many canals and ships that have abilities to carry enormous amounts of products much more quickly than horse drawn carts were able to—all of these forms have created far more economic competition in the United States’ transportation market, which is the end that roads aim for, and these devices could have been used as a justification for the privatization of roads well before today (somewhat), but then again, roads are also hardly a part of the government’s total modern budget, especially on the federal level, and what is more, many of our greatest super-highway systems (such creations would have been beyond “super” to our Founding Fathers) have already been built, and these could be worn down for some time while our technologies surpass their functions, which are therefore sunk costs, and largely unnecessary to include in an economical analysis of the future.
When roads are not already built, or, more specifically, must be “improved,” thousands of cars end up being stuck in traffic at times for up to if not exceeding an hour longer than what was present before, especially in cases whereby our vehicles have collided with one another. From an economical point of view, the opportunity costs of the waiting times of the passengers in such cars must be taken into consideration when one speaks of the real costs of road construction (an opportunity cost is simply the best possible economic alternative that is given up). Many of us could spend this time in traffic, for instance, at our jobs, where we could make similar amounts in wages—or in education, where we could discover continually greater knowledge for our future, both of which could be invested even furthermore: from these points of view, road construction is a much higher amount of the people’s budget of certain cities and states than is often considered, as we could theoretically perform entirely more productive functions, especially if the construction area is one in which there are high average labor costs, which is often true in cities full of roadwork. Of course, I have noticed in my city that traffic jams can be avoided by some creativity on my behalf (by checking a traffic web-site and planning accordingly); what is more, relocation and bus transportation (the latter of which may not necessarily need be run by the government, as buses could simply be rather large taxi carriers, in a sense) are much easier ways to solve many of our problems than simply rebuilding and/or expanding roads at high costs, as these alternative methods would utilize much smaller portions of our roads (we would not need roads whatsoever if we lived within the walking distance of our jobs) to accomplish their tasks.
What is so wrong with the bus anyhow?
There is, after all, a reason why we do not have massive amounts of personal aircraft now, and therefore, a reason why we must take liners for flight. In the case of ground transportation, communal forms are also much cheaper when hidden economic variables are considered—for one, the vast majority of these vehicles’ passengers do not need to drive such contraptions themselves. If a person does not need to be engaged in the function of driving, they will have more spare time on the road itself, whereby they could theoretically work on laptops if they are of certain professions; if one’s form of labor is not an option, it is rather cheap to watch movies and/or to battle dragons on newly created devices that are currently less than a few hundred dollars, yet still dropping rapidly in price.
Should we not take health costs into consideration as well?
The average school bus is much safer than other vehicles on the road—even after hit pedestrians are examined: most school buses have not even required seatbelts for quite some time. We could continue to expand bus safety even furthermore with electronic devices that could watch for pedestrians more accurately (many new cars have cameras and beeping mechanisms), and we could hire better drivers with only a very small portion of the money we may save by not purchasing our many, many cars, especially if we create more coordinated traffic lights and require standard breathalyzers for those behind the wheel. Of course, adult bus safety may not be true in other ways, especially when we speak of crime, as only low-income individuals seem to find a “need” to ride in these systems.
Is the matter of crime not, however, the theoretical reason why we have police?
If we all rode the bus, our officers could simply patrol the isles undercover in order to deter potential criminals—instead of waiting under bridges as trolls with unsuspected speeding tickets, which often cost about as much as a citywide bus pass for two months, if not even longer than thus, depending on our speed of travel. The police would also not need as many patrol cars if our society took buses more often, which could increase the availabilities of their services, for we would have more money to spend on police labor rather than capital: even if only one officer is to be found on twenty buses on average, a criminal would face a much higher chance of being caught robbing people than is normal today (indeed, if a bus driver were notified of a theft by a scream of some sort, they could deliver the criminal to the police automatically)—even if repeat offenders are only thrown in jail for two months after a conviction of theft, such a probable outcome should seem to even the relatively more ignorant among us to not be worth the risk to steal items that are not worth at least a month’s worth of labor at forty hours a week (even at the minimum wage), for most low paying jobs would likely be much less boring than four weeks (day and night) in a jail cell (one would hope that many people would not need to carry around items that may be worth more wages than thus, or that people would hide such items somewhat rather than flaunt them in arrogance).
And yet, we could prevent very expensive items from being taken from us, and cut our need for officers down even furthermore, if citizens defend themselves according to the “Second Amendment,” as people used to be able to arm themselves with the most powerful weapons of the military at the time of our country’s foundation, especially considering the fact that the best crooks often find novel methods that circumvent the controlled environment of governmental planners—when crooks do not infiltrate the government to begin with: arming “citizens” may be dangerous according to the way that our society operates today, but it is not as if police forces are always composed of perfect individuals either.
If we almost completely eliminated our many police forces through the use of the Second Amendment, however, we would save an even larger amount of money, which we could use in various social programs, which may help prevent crime even furthermore; yet, even guns in the hands of trained and noble citizens are not necessarily the best answer to crime prevention. Some better and more peaceful solutions to the problem of crime may be the creation of security keys and/or other encrypted devices for certain costly products, in which case we may wish to become informed of products more vulnerable to methods of cracks and decryptions in order that we may avoid potential thefts: if anyone wishes to plead a case against this, it is not as if many of our vehicles are safe from being “unjustifiably” taken from us at this moment in time—it would be incredibly strange for anyone to travel on foot with anything that is as expensive as their car; yet, we usually leave our cars almost entirely unattended in parking lots!
One may even go so far as to say that there could be “upper-class” and “lower-class” buses, which could be armed with private security guards. For while it could be argued that private police forces could become armies—mercenaries would need to be paid a great deal of money in order to risk their lives for anyone, as their leaders would not enjoy the moral incentives of traditional armed forces. The existence of expensive armies would quickly distribute economic resources into the hands of the lower classes, as one would surely need to be quite ignorant in order to risk their life for even a great deal of money. Indeed, if such bus division were to occur, the rich could be honest with their sense of pride as well, and they would not need to hide it. For the extra special among us, they may even create electronic billboards on the sides of their vehicles in order that their names may be plastered all over for the world to see: they may even admit “I am your new god; worship me.”
There is much more that could be accounted for in this bus analysis in particular, although there are also arguments to the contrary, even though most of the problems with this dream are not well founded and are speculative (in that they use our current reality as a base). Most modern buses are admittedly very slow in their arrival, and they must also make frequent stops, but it would be circular reasoning to use this fact as an argument against communal transportation, for if massive amounts of people were taking such forms of movement, the supply of such vehicles would be increased, and therefore, the times in which buses would arrive/stop would be increased as well. And if a large number of buses were created, economies-of-scale would make it even cheaper to manufacture such vehicles, especially if the industry were privatized, insofar that individuals would be able to choose their carriers and stops. Even rather small electric carts could help rural and suburban people reach smaller buses, which could connect with more centralized bus locations, which could connect with larger ones still.
In fact, our governments have already bought many buses that we hardly even use: we have already technically paid for potential bus passes that we throw away on top of the expenses we waste on our excessively large roads and personal automobiles. For when we examine our school buses, we find even more simple answers to massive problems (the failure to use school buses in an evacuation strategy during Hurricane Katrina was blamed on the state’s government). Such vessels almost always merely exist in order to carry children to a small number of locations; in the end, school buses are not utilized in an efficient manner whatsoever, as they could be operated for entire days and nights on fixed routes in straight lines, so long as their maintenance allows. We could simply auction off a large number of public school buses in order that they may become fully operational vehicles at the times when our children do not need to attend classes—although we would surely not wish to mix our youths with adult predators, as it is certain that many modern people would not be willing to watch our fellow citizens’ kids for so much as ten minutes without monetary compensation. Of course, our current school buses are not the most comfortable vehicles we may create, and we may wish to spend slightly additional amounts on their seating conditions, as upgrades to their interiors alone should not cost a great deal, but using these transportation systems to their full potential while we build even more efficient buses to replace our cars in the meantime could make travel so cheap it would be a nearly inconsequential part of our lives, which is not necessarily bad, as we could use our conserved resources for more entertaining and exciting things—if not, we could simply relax at home and not run around as often.
After all, we have not even discussed the even more simple, yet effective idea of relocation in any amount of detail!
The problem of urban sprawl is largely the result of almost every person having an automobile to begin with—such sprawl will likely become worsened when we have independently flying creations. By such a time, simple buses may not be enough for us to survive the world with. Many of us will need to fly hundreds of miles to work every day, which will admittedly have quite an affect on the real estate market, even though the Internet should continue to make our “commutes” to work very cheap in some virtual cases, unless, perhaps, we work in some type of construction or manufacturing industry, in which case I have very little idea what we would find a need to build, especially if robots are used more efficiently and if we begin to create standardized housing frames, even though I am sure that there will be something we could do, as we may eventually find a need to have two or three homes each (some of us already do), and by “each,” I mean that we may create two or three homes for every member of our family—we could always dig underneath the Earth when our machines become large enough. Perhaps we may need a small dwelling for our pets as well—nothing very large, of course—only a couple thousand square feet for them to run around in—complete with natural food sources that they may chase, such as pigeons, or even ducks if we insert a pool for them to swim in. Then again, we may need the government to aid us in all of these regards, for some of us may not be able to afford homes for ourselves that are larger than a few thousand square feet in the distant future, which I am sure would be quite depressing for such generations, even though they would be far more glamorous than anything we are probably dreaming of at this moment in time.
Indeed, what can we truly argue governments to be necessary for today?
Our collective consciousness is incredibly powerful, but even the modern and newly arisen “needs” for the regulations of utility industries are evidence as to how well systems of government fail to serve their intended purposes, in that they do more harm than good. Enron and other recent cases illustrate the possibilities of corruption on various levels: federal, state, local, and, more importantly, personal—with regulation in place. Many of us understand why monopolies are dangerous to our well-being; however, in theory, consumers should be able to combat most of them according to marketplace decisions. Monopolistic power is actually quite subjectively determined the vast majority of the time, and it is always much less influential in the long-run; it should also not be quite as powerful in the short-run as is often considered, as people should be prepared for variation. In today’s world, almost every imaginable demand is rarely as inelastic as we may think, even within the period of a day.
If one is living a somewhat conservative lifestyle to begin with, they shall be given far more opportunities in a world whereby everyone else is unprepared. Even in most cases of “natural” monopolies, we have opportunities in the modern world to relocate, as was already discussed in the transportation analysis herein (we often simply tie ourselves down with all of our “benefits” and “possessions”). In the specific cases of utility and energy industries, basic conservation may also help us a great deal in the short-run, even if we are unprepared and “can” not relocate immediately; however, most of us do not even have plans for adverse economic situations given our current tools. We often do not feel a need to turn off lights when we are not using them, much less televisions, computers, air-conditioners, and heaters. By allowing the market to run free, we would immediately see the reason why we should buy energy saving appliances now, for we would be as a slave in the cave of Plato, insofar that we would be dragged outward to the Sun, which illuminates our shackles. Even if we are currently unprepared for a spike in the price of our bills—in the medium-run—if the price of energy were made high enough—we would likely witness a slowdown in the efficiencies of computers and other electronic machineries temporarily, as they would be required to save more power instead of to perform more actions. Washers and dryers would also be switched out for newer and more expensive models that use less energy—although we could simply wear the same clothes for a couple of days without washing them, especially those garments which are worn on weekends, so long as we do not noticeably soil them, or make them smell, the latter of which may be covered by our expensive scents; then again, if this is too drastic, at the very least, a simple clothes line is incredibly more energy efficient than a dryer, unless we are to say that slightly less wrinkled T-shirts are inelastic goods. In the long-run, our homes could be constructed with higher energy specifications in mind, which would make insulation, lighting, and other qualities considerations in one’s purchase of such. In other words, our true costs of power would be distributed and diversified through many different technologies, and not simply through the regulation of a few sources alone, which increases the chances of scientific breakthroughs by far, as our creations would come about through multiple disciplines, which already occurs to some extent to begin with—such innovation would simply be a more accelerated phenomena.
In the very long-run, a free energy market would be especially beneficial, as pollution would be solved more easily than otherwise, as the utility industry would need to become more efficient in order to generate equal profits if consumers were forced to cut their consumption. However, many of us do not see a need for energy efficient devices for a reason, as we think there is no need for them: a large number of our costs are unknown to us. We feel as if we should not conserve our resources, as we do not see the invoices of the lawyers, regulators, and politicians in our hands. Many of us still have not realized the difference between compact fluorescent lights and incandescent bulbs; yet, LED illumination could bring lighting efficiency increasingly high, especially given the fact that many of us should hardly need to turn lights on to begin with, as we hardly ever read books in comparison to how much television we watch. Even so, we may be lucky, once again, as solar technology is on the horizon. Our increased needs for energy could fuel the individual supply side of the market at a more rapid pace, even with many of our insatiable appetites for more and more physical energy, insofar that we may find it relatively feasible to generate our own electricity someday.
The problem with humans in general, perhaps, is that we are often focused in the “here and now,” which is not really the “present” so much as it is often a misperception of the impact of the potential of our decisions. A large number of us are not prepared for economic change, and we do not even think in the medium-run most of the time, much less the long-run, which the present is a seed of; all of this, of course, is our own fault, and not the government’s, or those in positions of “power.”
For if future road construction and utility regulation are easily arguable to be unreasonable needs for further governmental existence, the vast majority of our current governments’ actions are nothing short of laughable, as these aforementioned “natural” monopolies as cases for state intervention are often thought to be arguments set in stone, despite the fact that technology in general is mankind’s invention to begin with, while various energy regulations in particular are small portions of the modern government’s scope. There are minor needs for even a federal government, to be certain, but if we do not need governments for postal purposes, utility regulation, and even future roads to a great extent—what possible arguments can we create in order to continually necessitate overbearing overlords?
The Environmental Protection Agency is one admittedly useful aspect of the current federal government, as many corporations would simply dump their pollutants anywhere they desired if they could get away with such, but then again, if people were forced to be knowledgeable about toxins in their area, the EPA would become a rather large and decentralized organization rather quickly. Various private organizations and citizens could easily work together in order to jointly protect one another in this regard, which is essentially what a true government should be—an active community of wise individuals working together to solve problems—rather than an organization of self-interested folks taking advantage of slothful people believing a free lunch to be a natural right. At the very least, the fifty states should be able to regulate their own environments.
The Food and Drug Administration is more of a joke than anything else; many of us currently take medications that harm us anyhow (and we must have a doctor prescribe them, even though there are many advertisements about prescription drugs commanding one to speak with their doctors about matters they know little about), which should be proof enough that private organizations could just as easily make recommendations to consumers about the harms of drugs (we already have such groups for “vitamins and supplements:” such chemicals are hardly anymore “natural” than cocaine). Indeed, drug companies must often make certain their safety standards are above the FDA’s, as they pay far more in lawsuits than the FDA is given in funding. If all of our lawyers and drug regulators were intelligent enough to become doctors, which some may very well be, we would likely be able to create much better medications to begin with, especially (to reiterate a point made earlier) if we are to stop smoking and eating the large amount of unhealthy meals we consume on a regular basis, and furthermore, if all of us become safer when we have sexual encounters: we shall not even delve into the details of AIDS in order to save time, even though it is a far worse real pandemic than bird flu, inasmuch that AIDS has already killed millions upon millions of people, despite the mass media’s small attention span.
Speaking of attorneys—and the judicial system in general—many of us spend far more on various public suits than we would gain from private mediation the vast majority of the time. In divorce situations in particular, one must wonder how complete strangers shall have mercy on our sins when love and morality can not aid us in our personal relationships. The government will always be needed in order to punish murderers and thieves; however, when this book is taken in its context—the number of murderers and thieves in our nation would be severely reduced to begin with in a world free of severe regulation, taxation, and income inequality, as more people would feel less desperate for relative recognition and respect, and as more individuals would understand the need for free thought and personal responsibility.
Of course, a national military may always be needed in some limited form (this is still more of an introductory discussion of fiscal affairs and the modern military will take awhile for us to discuss in detail), but I am sure some people may create some other slightly reasonable answers for the existence of government a priori (before thinking a great deal), one of which will likely contain “social security” somewhere or other. It is with this latter system in mind that I would like to give one more brief example as to how our current government works before we move into a slightly in-depth section of this book.
Aside from the fact that the government is attempting to make large cuts in the social security program to begin with (which they should, although they are only using this as an excuse to waste our citizens’ money even furthermore without giving any back)—when I was in the process of finding a new job during the creation of this book, I could not remember where I placed my social security card. Our basic card is obviously an incredibly small aspect of this vast governmental system, but then again, if I may show how ignorant this simple, yet important aspect of the process is, I am certain the reader will be made more aware as to how inefficient the social security system is in general, much in the same manner of an employer that finds it economical to skim and thereafter throw an applicant’s resume into the garbage bin if such documentation is completely unprofessional and full of common spelling errors and grammatical malfunctions.
Today, when one misplaces their social security card, has such stolen from them, etc., they must actually travel to a local social security card center when one is “available” in their area: mailing in personal information is no longer enough in some cases. Although, for some reason, this is only true for citizens of Las Vegas, Brooklyn, and Queens, it could make a great deal of sense, as the federal post office is not necessarily a safe form of transportation, despite the fact that it is theoretically a law enforcement agency. I am not sure what other reason there may be for this debauchery—there may be some sort of legal loophole that disables federal mail from being certified within city limits, or some other such nonsense—perhaps the feds wish for citizens of these areas in particular to realize who controls them, as we are more Internationally oriented metropolises than most, which may allow us to be brainwashed less easily—but I guarantee the government would be more than happy to construct such facilities all over the country if they are given the opportunity to “streamline” the process for everyone.
But since I am, unfortunately in some ways, a current resident of Las Vegas, NV, I have personally experienced the physical process of social security card replacement in detail. Before we continue, however, allow me to explain why I love my city in general: I particularly wish to thank the millions of Americans and International citizens that visit our town in order to play mathematical games of chance when the odds are reasonably stacked against them, especially when they play our incredibly unfavorable machines. I realize that many think they are so special as to defy the most basic laws of probability, which is fine by me, as such irrationality has easily enabled our entire state to eliminate a personal income tax (we have a rather large gasoline tax and sales tax nonetheless—among other problems—I could write an entire book about the corruption of my local government in particular), even though we have to put up with drunkenness and jaywalking on a regular basis. Of course, a few people may actually enjoy the games we offer in and of themselves; however, I doubt this is the case for the majority of gamblers, as fantasy casino video games are no where near the top of most electronic entertainment rankings, despite the fact that such software is incredibly cheaper than real gambling and/or the complementary goods and services needed for a trip to Las Vegas.
In any case, let us return to the matter of Social Security, as my card’s replacement was one of the longest and most arduous wastes of my life for something so incredibly useless. An examination of a social security card will show that its printing paper is hardly special—our cards’ paper is certainly not on the same rarity level as that of a one dollar bill, although even the latter is forgeable. In fact, my new card does not look any different from the old device of decades prior: the ink is still not noticeably raised in any place; there are no holograms; there is not even anything to deter one from scanning the card into a computer (the ink may be special in this regard, but I doubt it; I have no need to try, and I am sure a scanning expert could easily find a way around this with the right equipment).
When I arrived at the social security card center, I was immediately aware of ten different service windows, of which three were actually open for service; at least fifty people were ahead of me, many of them apparent immigrants. After the fire alarm of the building was “mistakenly” pulled during my second hour of waiting (I promise my luck was this bad at the time), I was quickly becoming impatient, as everyone thereafter needed to stand outside until emergency vehicles arrived, which is somewhat understandable, although one would think that the source of the alarm could have been isolated in the case of a miscreant having played a practical joke from the waiting room.
At this point, I was admittedly tempted to travel back home to “forge” my own document (it is mine, after all—isn’t it?), but being the good citizen that I am, I understood this would probably be against the law, despite the fact that other people would have much more incentives to forge my card than I, even though my employer would probably not notice a fake social security card as a result of my driver’s license and student identification cards seemingly being much more difficult to manufacture, which they are, even though my new employer only needed photocopies on record to begin with.
Of course, as another side note, state governments are usually more efficient than the federal, as evidenced by the fact that my local DMV office has moved much quicker than my Social Security one in every instance I have used the former’s services, but then again, our local institutions are becoming more federally influenced as well. This is not to mention the fact that I admittedly experienced the federal level’s facilities when it was somewhat short staffed due to the day being one of the more obscure holidays only federal workers take off: I am not sure which event it was, but it was likely not even Columbus Day, as the building would have more than likely been completely closed—perhaps it was Arbor Day (this might be reasonable—it would make more sense for everyone to take a day off in order to plant trees than it would for them to blow up expensive fireworks, although trees are somewhat nonsensical in the Las Vegan climate in particular; in the desert, it makes more sense to cut trees down).
I would conduct a more formal study on the efficiency of local institutions versus those which are federal if I desired to waste the reader’s time on such trivialities as cards even more than I shall, but in theory, it should make sense that people are more aware of their various states, as people should have more power at this level, for simple mathematics will show that one person out of a thousand is a much higher percentage than one person out of a million. Yet, many of us do not even know most of our local politicians, or even our children’s various teachers at times (knowledge of simple names, and/or even quarterly parent teacher conferences are hardly enough), which ties into the fact that, for the most part, we have become zombies mostly concerned with the opinions of megalomaniacs that are thought to run the entire universe. To be even more blunt, many of us truly feel as if we need someone to baby-sit us, and not merely someone to watch over our children and grandparents, although I would say that it would be better if we were made to truly watch over ourselves, simply because it would force us to become stronger as individuals, which would eventually be reflected in our society, and even the world, especially if we rid ourselves of senseless nationalism and false identities.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

--C. S. Lewis

But let us return to our discussion of social security cards in particular.
It is worthy to note that most crooks in the modern world will likely find one’s Social Security Number in an online database of some sort. Although it is suggested that one should not carry their Social Security Card with them—given the facts that I have presented on the ease of forging this document and where crooks are more likely to procure one’s information—it should be easy for the reader to see why I did not care much about carrying my card with me at all times in my wallet, as I was not only unaware at first of the difficulty in the replacement of the card and the probability that I would lose it, but also as a result of my need to have the card on impulse when I was at least twenty miles away from home. Unfortunately, however, my wallet had an unnoticeable tear in one of its card holders, which I did not realize until it was too late, which is really quite my own fault, and I accept full responsibility for allowing myself to have been taken advantage of by “the fates.” Of course, I am glad that this occurred, as it provided a good example for my book: it is with the tear in my wallet in mind that the reader may not only see how I believe my social security card came to be missing in the first place, but furthermore, why I also lost a check card as well.
What is important to note here is that I not only found the replacement of my check card to be far easier than that of my social security card, but what is more, that my check card was also easier to replace than my driver’s license, and even my student identification card. And yet, I also worried much less about my basic check card being missing in the first place! The reasons I held little anxiety over my corporate card in comparison to the others are quite simple: the check card contained a pin number, and, more importantly, I was granted zero-liability for fraud should money have been stolen from my account. Although my bank card could have had a photo-id, the bank thought this was unnecessary, which is fine by me—once again, the bank offered to take on the responsibility of fraud prevention: most merchants would not likely care much about a simple photo comparison for small purchases anyhow, and the check card company monitored abnormal transactions with their computers. For while it could be argued that a crook could have used my check card at a gas station quite easily, the card issuer would even go so far as to call me on my cellular phone if there were any strange activity on my account within the hour that it happened. Furthermore, I could personally monitor the transactions of my bank account on various computers in any given area for free once I found my check card to be missing; not only this—I was able to merely call the bank issuer and cancel my old check card number and receive a new card within the mail in a few days time—I merely gave them my social security number over the phone, along with my mother’s maiden name; no other hassle was required on my behalf. Assuming I did not have a social security number to begin with, I could have given them my driver’s license number, or even all three of my pet’s names, the latter of which I would imagine to have been much more difficult for a crook to have procured in combination than my driver’s license data, as such public information would have been accessible by an insider at the DMV, and as there would have been a very narrow list of suspects were someone to have broken into my bank account given those whom know my pets: if I were allowed to have completely personalized my information, only a close friend or family member could have stolen from me, at best, which I would hope would not have occurred. But then again, I could create a password to protect myself from my family quite easily if I were concerned about such matters, and perhaps even a short puzzle for myself to solve should I have forgotten my password, for this is the way in which my email accounts are often accessed.
If one can not trust their family, much less themselves, certainly, one can not trust their government.
The point of the check card story is simple. Check cards exist in a competitive marketplace—therefore, they are much more efficient than the federal government. The major check card companies are certainly large, however, and one could even go so far as to say that they are monopolistic, but even then, such enormous private companies face a good amount of indirect competition from a number of highly efficient substitutes.
In contrast, the government does not monitor if one may have possibly been the victim of identity theft very well (one can, however, pay a private company a small annual fee to monitor one’s credit score); it is difficult to change one’s social security number (third parties can still cross-reference a new number with an old number); and on top of this, social security cards are easy to forge. There is no secret pin number in combination with our identity, and it may be an enormous chore to replace the paper listing of our “identity” should something happen to it, which is really all a social security document is: a “card” is too worthy of a name for such. One could, of course, argue that banks are to blame for identity theft, which is true, to some extent, which is why I am unsure why any responsible bank would merely examine a social security card and/or even a driver’s license and birth certificate before they issue a loan!
In the world of the digital computer, the social security system in general is nothing short of ridiculous. After all, the card that I was issued should have probably cost about five cents for the physical document itself, if that, and around a dollar for the entire replacement service in general (even at the government’s exaggerated prices); however, this was only the second card I ever needed in twenty-two years (yes, I am that young at the moment; I am not an immigrant), despite the fact that I have paid thousands of dollars towards the social security system alone, disregarding the more general fact, of course, that I have paid thousands of dollars more in combined federal income taxes.
Why is this still the case today, as of 2007, especially when the funding of underground terrorism has supposedly been such an enormous issue for the government for nearly six years now (it should have been for longer), insofar that our banks and jobs now require even more paperwork than before and even greater federal monitoring?
The answer in plain black and white is that the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t care much about identity theft and national security anymore than they cared about Hurricane Katrina, or the massive amount of illegal immigration crossing our borders daily—although I surely do not support an American “Berlin Wall.” When the government pretends to care about our safety, it is only an excuse to create even greater and greater useless forms of bureaucracy, the costs of which are passed onto many of us unknowingly.
Indeed, despite the large amount of funding the Department of Homeland Security was given during its introductory years, the federal government was not responsible for individuals staying in their homes during Hurricane Katrina, nor was the state of Louisiana required to provide transportation for all its citizens given the enormous resources the latter entity maintained in its possession—more to the point—neither levels of government were responsible for their peoples’ failure to elect adequate leaders in the first place. Some common Americans showed how much they cared about morality by shooting at their aid when it finally came to them: matters such as thus are why many of us will be lucky to see the social security payments we are making.
But let us talk about national identification cards in general for a moment.
After September 11th, there was some political bantering over the prospect of “potential” national identification cards, although common understanding thankfully, if not accidentally, prevented their implementation. People were worried about their “rights” being taken away, which is quite funny, as social security cards are national identification cards to begin with, as unsophisticated as they may be, which may be worse in some ways than cards which are difficult to manipulate. I read recently that the government is still attempting to circumvent the failure of their original national identification card plan by creating some sort of uniform system among the various “independent” states now that years have passed since September 11th without any other major terrorist attack having occurred on American soil, but the real reason we should not have yet another national identification card is because such documents are outright idiotic—cards would not grant the government the ability to potentially spy on us, as the government may already spy on us anytime they desire. Many people have Internet sites with their personal information plastered all over for the world to see, and if the government desired, they could track one’s every movement through one’s cellular phone quite easily. In fact, there are some potential services in development that allow common citizens to track one another’s movements by triangulation, and such private methods will likely become a political football soon enough—one can send a text message to another’s phone, and if the spy has their victim’s cellular near their possession, they can select “yes, you can track me,” and the implant is done—thereafter, the spy can track their victim using a virtual map on the Internet. One need not create conspiracy theories about governmental chips that may be embedded in one’s skin through the use of infinitesimally small mosquito robots that mark one without their knowledge, although such stories are certainly entertaining: then again, it may be possible that the government has invented mechanical insects such as thus, as these creations would likely be highly expensive. I am not sure what I would recommend rather than a social security number in order that others my easily establish our identities, but I surely would not desire a simple label to explain who I am.
Along the same lines, I also do not believe that I should be forced to enter into debt before I am able to establish a good credit line. It should make much more sense to value the fact that I have not needed to go into debt up until this point in time (although I am vastly indebted to my parents), for I am not a less credible person because I took the ancient (yet good) advice of Benjamin Franklin, in that I would rather go to bed hungry than to go into debt.
For it is one thing for the federal government to aid a local state in an emergency situation, such as a hurricane (I would say private donations would be far better though, as Americans are quite generous on a purely moral basis even with our government’s wastefulness); it is quite another matter to ask the government to pay out benefits to millions of people that have had the ability to work throughout their entire lifetimes and/or to buy insurance and/or to put money away in a collective savings account of some sort.
The Great Depression itself was, quite bluntly, the result of people being sheep, insofar that they allowed themselves to be swayed and swindled by the elite banking class of society—only to suddenly thereafter run about in a fit of hysteria. Those that saved their income and never trusted monetary masters became incredibly rich during the “Depression,” as their funds became far more valuable than beforehand once the economic bubble of illusion burst. Some may feel as if the government should be a stabilizing force during such difficult times, but the simple reality is that our economy would be far more stable if Americans were able to save their own money rather than relying upon the “wealth” banks create from thin air—and it is hard to have money in the first place when the government is taxing one to death as well.
A greater ability for Americans to save our income would eliminate a need for Social Security as an economic redistribution/stability system: for in reality, Social Security does not allow all of us to win; rather, it was created as a subtle tool to take even more of the middle classes’ money away from them in order to redistribute the majority of such into the hands of the super elite at even worse rates than before! In the meantime, the dollar was released from the “cross” of the gold standard in order that bankers may have almost absolute control over people’s perceptions!
This may not seem obvious from an accounting perspective, but an honest economist would notice the middle classes’ inability to control their own power results in the middle class incurring numerous opportunity costs, as many people could earn much better returns on their Social Security payments if they were able to reinvest such amounts into their own homes (even many in the lower class could benefit from this, as shall be illustrated by the example of “the two teenagers” in the next section of this book), insofar that banks would need to lower their interest rates in order to remain competitive, and/or as a result of the demand for housing being greater, which would result in better paying jobs for construction workers and such. Either way, banks would lose, for the middle and lower classes would be in control of the economy’s resources—which they should be anyhow considering they earn their consumption through hard labor and/or innovation.
It hardly makes sense to circle the money of an economy simply one way or another because a few pen strokes of rather incompetent lawmakers say to do so, as there is simply no possible way any human being and/or government think tank could be as wise as millions of people making independent microeconomic decisions. If one desires the government to control their money, this is surely fine, but the government orders where people must invest their income, insofar that the government threatens to throw one into prison if they do not comply. The simple truth is that many of us do not have the power, or the desire, to live a truly independent life.
Surely, banks do not care about us much more than the government, and bankers are nothing short of being robber barons, which is why I do not feel a need to give them very much of my money either (unless they are paying me interest or providing me with checking services). I most definitely do not desire to give my hard-earned income to lazy landlords—it is beyond aggravating that we still use such a title as thus today, as if we are admittedly in a feudal society of sorts.
But then again, it should be of no surprise that we are still a society of mindlessness, for the Constitution itself once delegated many in the black community to be nothing more than 3/5s “human.” Nevertheless, in our modern situation, the less advantaged citizens among us are not bound by physical chains, as fortune and opportunity are largely on our side: many of us do not need to risk being shot or hung by our masters in order that we may escape to a better world (some of us must endure the chance of being shot by one another merely by being in the “wrong” neighborhood, but that is actually part of my point, as even modern American ghettos are much better than ancient plantations). There is no doubt that almost all modern “African” Americans have far easier external circumstances than Frederick Douglass was blessed with, despite the fact that Douglass promoted much greater freedoms in his time than any modern American has in the past thirty years.
The apple of redemption hangs much lower for the majority of us.
Before we end this section, however—in case one is confused as to why I promote Benjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglas in particular, among other ancients, despite the fact that they would be incredibly ignorant of many things if they were immediately resurrected in modern times (much less in regard to the fact that some ancients were outright hypocritical in certain respects)—some archaic philosophies are, in fact, similar to the filthy roots of a beautiful tree, and there are times when even the devil speaks the truth. My point is not to abolish our history, or to spit in the face of our forefathers: they were severely disadvantaged in comparison to us today. Rather, we must learn to apply their nourishment with careful discernment in order to find ourselves in our own loving branches. One may even go so far as to say we must become an even more perfect union.
Such thinking is similar to the eye of a hurricane. For one may be complete, and calm, and centered, and balanced; yet, one may be the center of incredible “destruction,” although some may view such a force as being an immense source of energy, either in regard to the fact that we must often tear systems down in order to build systems up, or as a result of the raw power within a hurricane itself, which future generations may learn to benefit from. However, it would probably be better to compare such thinking to the solar system, inasmuch that we should become as the Sun.
Our many saints’ heads are often surrounded by halos, and the lion is given his mane. When we invoke Amen in our prayers, we may speak of Amen-Ra, who was hidden from the world in times of darkness. Some of our greatest poets have spoken that humanity is as the stars. Perhaps intuitively then, if not subconsciously, we already grasp the incredibly unknown power within ourselves, which we all share, which may erupt from the abyss and give light unto the world.
Then again, it could be that I am destined to begin a freakish cult of mysticism.
I would hope this is not the case, but please, dear reader, do not ever idolize me.
I sincerely doubt anyone would, but I am not God anymore than you are.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Let us pause here for a moment, however, as I am sure that a number of us can not make it much further in this text without a break, as many of us hate to read: quite frankly, many citizens of the United States do not read a great deal independently. We were forced to perform literary perusal in school, and it is understandable why we would be tired of the exercise given the benefits we were promised to receive, only in order to find ourselves selling mortgages and magazine subscriptions, changing tires, working at check-out counters, etc. (there is surely nothing wrong with such labor positions—the problem identified herein is simply that a large number of us often desire “better” jobs without ever achieving them—however, if one is able to find great happiness in “simple” work, they are surely blessed in an important manner, which is thankfulness).

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