Over the years one has heard the cry that if government did not provide the good or service in question, then that good or service would never be made available. That idea has been promulgated so much that it now extends to practically everything that is discussed. Whether it is a local sports arena, professional sports stadium, health care, global warming, or even providing for one’s retirement the song continues to be sung that if government does not do it, then it will never materialize.
Last week in The Sun it was reported that a $600,000 grant from Arizona State Parks was added to an equal amount provided by both the city of Yuma and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area in order to begin work on the Quechan Nature Park transforming ten acres of rough and overgrown land into a well-developed addition to the Yuma East Wetlands. The park will be located on tribal land just east of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge along the Colorado River.
There is no question that the park project will allow for the development of additional recreational opportunities for many individuals and will satisfy environmental and economic needs for the Yuma and Winterhaven communities. The amphitheatre, park ramadas, and irrigated grass will make the area very pleasing to the eye as will the resulting landscaping. The end in any project, as this one, is not in question. Unfortunately, however, what is usually not debated and rarely discussed, but rather automatically assumed, is how this or any other aforementioned project is to be achieved.
Karl Marx got it wrong when he stipulated the ends justify the means, but that is exactly the basis on which society is operated in the United States today rather than on the principle of individualism and liberty the founders of the country established.
The Quechan Nature Park is being funded by all three levels of government, national, state, and local. This means that money has been coercively taken from individuals to pay for a service for which very possibly some individuals may not want to participate. It also means that other projects that individuals thought more desirable will not be built.
Make no mistake about it, government is force. It is represented in an individual with a firearm to enforce and coerce others into following the law. The law becomes plunder when the coercive force of government is used to force individuals to do something peaceful that they choose not to do.
Coercion, the use of force, propagates animosity, antagonism, argument, and distrust as opposed to appreciation, thankfulness, and peace. Instead of usually debating the need for some good or service, the debate must center on the means by which the product or service is to be provided if the idea of individual liberty is to ever be realized.
In a society where freedom reigns individuals own and operate their own property to their own best self-interest. In order to do that individuals must provide what others desire in order to achieve their own goals. Parks, ramadas, irrigated grassy areas, recreational facilities; even sports arenas, health care, and education are all desired by many individuals. However, expecting government to provide such things at the least cost is not reality.
Through individuals freely trading with one another, individuals decide for themselves how to spend their own money resulting in a more efficient use of resources and peaceful society. It was this principle upon which the United States became the most economically and politically successful society for the vast majority of the masses in the history of the world. Government existed pretty much just to curtail one person from using force on another. However, socialism and the idea that only government can provide for the masses has prevailed.
There is a need for government and the founders stipulated it in the United States Constitution limiting government to very specific areas. In order for any real change to occur, in other words, for general peace and happiness to prevail, the individual expectations of government force must be examined closely and limited to those areas where the use of coercive force is legitimate such as the protection of individual life, liberty, and one’s pursuit of happiness with the emphasis on pursuit.
The great task in the 21st century is to reverse the socialistic trends of the last century and restore the idea of individual liberty and freedom in the hearts and minds of as many as possible.
There is still time to register for The Freedom Library scholarship class which began yesterday. Give yourself an opportunity to earn a $1,000 scholarship and learn the principles of liberty the founders understood by stopping by next Tuesday at 6 pm at The Freedom Library.