Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Piece of the Action

 I am moved to apoplexy by the latest utterance by our president. There is a germ of truth in it – a germ. What about hard work, initiative and ingenuity?

I spent practically an entire career as a contract programmer. The fancy word for that is Consultant. I worked from contract to contract. When a contract was nearing completion I had to find another contract. Yes I did use contractor placement companies – but they got paid for finding me that contract. They, deservedly, got a piece of the action. 

On occasion I went without a contract between jobs. I even took unemployment a couple of times. However I paid into unemployment when I was working. The government: City, State or Federal never found me a job.  I had a network of colleagues who helped immensely – and I helped them whenever I could. It works both ways.

If I needed to I hired subcontractors. When I had more work than I could handle, or I did not have the specific skills needed I brought in a subcontractor. In this case I took a piece of their action.

As to the government – they provided the roads and services that I used to do my job. They, obviously, took a piece of the action. It’s called tax.  I took every legal deduction I could and still paid income taxes. In addition I paid sales tax, gasoline tax as well as lots of others taxes and fees

However, Mr. President – It was my technical ability and work ethic that provided a decent income for my family. My wife worked very hard as well. She was able to cover our medical insurance giving me the freedom to work this way.  As a team we built our life that we now enjoy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What is the role of Government?

Before I begin let me say that I am NOT a lawyer. I am educated, I read and I think. I believe that I am entitled to my opinions, which follow:
The first salvo of the Civil War was fired at Washington’s first cabinet meeting when Jefferson and Hamilton sat down at the same table. That war continues to this day. The question that has been endlessly discussed is “What is the role of government?”
We all agree that the government’s role is protection of its citizens. Where does that role begin and end and who do we define as the “protected?”  One point of view has it that government has a responsibility to insure that the individual is protected in a daily manner from, among other sources, the inroads of commercial dependence. Food quality for a start and protection from unwelcome ideas is the common end.
I disagree – an educated electorate can make these decisions. Who is responsible for the education[i]? These, as well as most other decisions, are the responsible at the state level. The Founding Parents[ii] established our nation as a representative republic. We are a federation of 50 independent states, each one signing over some of the responsibilities of government to the federal government.  As I understand it those powers not specifically given to the federal government remain the property of the states. The 10th Amendment to the constitution specifically states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Sensitive topics as Education and Birth Control are clearly the property of the individual states. Therefore when I say that I disagree with Roe V. Wade I am not making a stand against abortion but saying that the decision[iii] resides at the state level. I think that the argument that abortion is murder does not apply. Murder is not a federal crime, but rather a crime defined at the state level[iv]. As far as business activities go, incorporation is controlled at the state level.
Ah but you disagree with me. This is fine and good. As I said we have a long and sometimes violent history of disagreement. If we disagree and discuss it civilly we both, perhaps, learn. Frequently the truth resides between the disparate arguments.  Voltaire said,  "I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  That is what the 1st Amendment means.  If you are a thinking adult you will probably disagree with a lot of what I say. Email[v] me and lets discuss it.

[i] Parents?
[ii] Ok, a bit of political correctness.
[iii] Obviously I am not a lawyer. I am an educated citizen and therefore entitled to my opinion, as you are yours.
[iv] Unless you kill someone in DC????
[v] Again hflomberg@gmail.com