August 4, 2014

Dear Liberty,

     For many years we put off vacations so that we could save money.  That money eventually bought a cabin in a resort that was near our ancestral farm.  A dream your mother and I had before we were even married.  It was a risky move to buy the property with no guarantees of money coming in from renters to offset the costs of electric, gas, cable, water, repairs, insurance, management, HOA fees, and taxes that take their cut month after month.  Just the purchase of the property ate up virtually all of our savings.

     Now that we have the cabin we continue to put off vacations.  While others rent the cabin and enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, off-roading, or the zip-line, we come down to the cabin to do repairs.  Vacations are not a break from work to reset for the workweek, but rather just more work in a different location.  Each time we come to the cabin requires fixing items broken by renters, replacing stolen items, or installing hot tubs, flat panel TVs, and appliances that will improve the experience for future renters.

     Time that renters get to spend at Natural Bridge or fishing at the lake are replaced by trips into cities at least 45 minutes away to buy items to make someone else’s experience at the cabin better - Someone we don’t even know.  If that time is not taken, things go into disrepair and eventually the property loses its value to others, their vacation suffers, and soon people will simply stop coming.

     We make virtually no money on the cabin.  It breaks even at the end of the year once all the costs are taken into consideration. But rather than taking vacations to new places or enjoying ocean cruises, each break we get we simply return to the same little cabin to make repairs.

     But somehow, I’m the bad guy.  The reason I say that is there is a mentality that has grown in the United States that I didn’t earn that.  This mindset is pushed out by the media, liberal politicians, and college campuses.  It claims that for me to own something means that someone else got cheated out of it.

     The truth is someone did get cheated.  That someone is me.  Rather than enjoying vacations without worry, I spend my off time fixing things that others have broken.  Rather than mountain climbing or 4 wheeling, I’m running into town to buy a new door and TV after a burglar forced the back door and made off with a flat panel TV, presumably because I have too much and he didn’t have enough.

     Why would I waste my limited vacation time to do this?  It simply doesn’t make any sense.  I have no joy in doing the repairs.  In fact, rather than getting away from the stress of work I am merely putting new stresses on myself.

     This, dear Liberty, is capitalism.  This is the right and ability to own property.  To claim something as my own and share it with others.  I may profit from my choice, or I may fail, but it is mine to do with as I please.

     But the liberal/progressive mindset says otherwise.  Such a worldview says that in the spirit of justice and fairness everyone should have equal rights to the property and everyone should enjoy in its benefits.  Taken to its extreme, this mentality believes the state should own the property and everyone should have equal use of the property as long as they pay tribute to the state.

     It does sound fair and each time I enter the crawlspace under the cabin to run a new electrical line or fix a broken water pipe I certainly think about how beneficial it would be for the state to take on this property.  They could take on all the work and I could wash my hands of responsibility.

     But here in lies the problem.  The state takes on neither the work nor the responsibility.  They only take on the ownership rights of the property and all its income.  They have no personal stake in the cabin.  If things get broken or need replaced they have no interest in having them repaired.  Everyone will have equal rights to enjoy the property, they simply will be enjoying a cabin that is getting progressively worse.

     Unless I have a personal stake in the property I would not waste my time in doing all the work that is necessary to keep it nice for others.   The state could have workers make the repairs.  The repairs will eventually get done, but with no personal stake, the workers will do the least amount necessary to get by.  The worker is merely a cog employed by state with no real interest in what happens to the cabin.  At the extreme of socialism, the worker is a person who was told by the state that maintenance work would be his career, not a stepping stone to something else.

     This reveals the dirty truth about socialism.  It claims that all the workers are equal and the state has all ownership rights.  Everything is fair and no one benefits.  But that’s not true.  The vast majority suffer and only those in power get the true benefits of the wealth.  This is no different than feudal Japan or medieval Europe where shoguns and emperors owned the property and the serfs merely worked the land.  With no ownership rights, the people do the least work possible, knowing that additional work brings no added benefit to themselves and only additional taxes to the state.  The socialists try to claim that capitalism works the same way.  What they fail to tell you is that capitalism allows you to pull yourself out of poverty.  Socialism keeps you there.

     When you understand this, you begin to understand the nature and goals of those in both parties that want to grow government.  The Affordable Healthcare Act is an example.  It is presented as a benefit to all those that don’t have or can’t afford insurance.  It was for the common man.  But who wrote it?  Those that needed it, or the insurance companies?  After Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill to know what’s in it,” we’ve come to understand just what it is.  It doesn’t benefit the people, rather it uses the force of government to require that all people have health insurance or pay a fine.  This doesn’t benefit the people.  It benefits the insurance industry by forcing people by the power of government to buy something that they can’t or don’t want to pay for.  When you understand that, you understand that there is no fairness in what socialism preaches.  It only gives more to those that have power and places the costs back on the people.


     As for me, I’ll take my little cabin in the woods. I suggest you do the same.  I’ll continue to give up vacations and spend my time making the place more enjoyable for others because I have something I can call my own.  Not something forced on me by a government that knows better than I do.  Remember all this as you grow up at the cabin, Liberty, because someday it will be yours!

     That’s my two cents.