The Eight Pillars
The following are The Pillars; these are some basic concepts that a larger portion of the electorate should understand before forming their opinions on public policy and government’s role:
1. There are four ways of spending money. A) You use your own money on yourself, making you concerned about cost and quality. This is the most efficient way. B) You use your money on someone else. C) You use someone else’s money on yourself. In B & C, you are either concerned about cost and not quality or vice versa. D) You use someone else’s money on someone else. This is the least efficient way to use money, and also happens to be how all government money is spent. That should be taken into consideration when there is a proposal to expand government’s role.
2. Solutions are best when they are solved voluntarily and locally. Federal government is the antithesis of that, as it is coercive and distant. This knowledge should lead us to limiting the federal government’s reach, and letting more problems be handled by local government or charitable organizations.
3. When in doubt, err on the side of freedom. This is a moral position, but also an economic one. Nothing has brought more people out of poverty than the freeing of markets. All of the reasons that is true should be kept in mind when deciding if we should add regulations or impose government’s reach into a new area. The collective knowledge of millions of people every day making decisions for themselves is exponentially greater than even the best, most intelligent technocrat. Knowing this, we should try to leave decisions to individual people as much as we can.
4. There is nothing more permanent than a temporary government program. Once government starts doing something, that something becomes its own special interest, with people dependent upon it, and is nearly impossible to get rid of. This is a major cause of our current budget problems. This should make us very careful when considering a new program.
5. There are tradeoffs in life. Deciding to do one thing is always at the expense of something else.
6. People respond to incentives. On a basic level, if you create policy that incentivizes people to work less or not be responsible for their families, then that’s what they’ll do. On the flip side, if you create a system that puts more emphasis on self-reliance, then you’ll get more of that, and people will thrive.
7. Power by its nature corrupts. Politicians are in the business of buying and selling, whether it be ideas, legislation, favors, etc. Government power and politicians are necessary, but knowing those first two things should encourage us to limit their ability to buy and sell the various aspects of our lives.
8. All people are endowed by their Creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We fought a war to regain these rights from our old government, and we created the Constitution to keep our new government from ever taking them away again.