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DICK BAYNTON: Shifting Sands of Government

Dick BayntonDi

There are many ways that the approximately 200 countries in today’s world are governed. The oldest country in the world is considered to be San Marino, a village located on the Italian peninsula. While it was settled in 301, it wasn’t recognized as an independent country until 1631.The newest nation on earth is South Sudan, established in 2016.

The main connection between nations is commercial. According to the WTO (World Trade Organization), the 164 member organization exported about $24 trillion in goods in 2017. The complicating factors include tariffs, port fees, taxes, currency exchange rates loading/unloading and weather.

Each nation has its own regulations, rules and restrictions that have been created by local, regional and national governments. Governments don’t actually trade goods and services but regulate trade using fees, tariffs and taxes to cover their bureaucratic expenses. Under-developed countries don’t fare well in international trade because their exports can’t charge for much added value.

An example is rubber that is produced in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam and sold as raw material. However, when that rubber comes back as an auto or bicycle tire, the residents pay dearly for the added value of the tire that was created in an industrial nation.

It is at the intersection of commerce and government where the seeds of scandal and corruption take root. Although private companies and corporations exchange goods and services, all governments hold sway over rules and regulations, taxes and tariffs.

There are those in both government and businesses (traders) who have devious interests in the trading, handling, warehousing and transportation of goods and services. Union leaders, gang members and others hatch ways of ‘skimming’ the ‘cream’ usually in cash for many of these services. For example, more than 100 longshoremen at the Port of New York (and New Jersey) each receive from $300,000 to over $400,000 annually.

Shifting loyalties are constantly erupting in politics and government; right now there is a tectonic shift moving millions of people toward socialism in our country. Some members of the Democratic Party are advocating ‘Jobs Guarantees’ that would pay millions of workers $12 an hour for performing routine low skill tasks, ‘Medicare for all’ and free college for all high school graduates.

Jobs guarantees are a form of welfare that produces little to no value and would upset the entire labor market. Medicare leads to ‘single payer’ government-controlled costly and less efficient healthcare. Free college started in 2010 now has highly delinquent debt of more than a trillion dollars.

Walter Williams, the highly regarded Economics Professor at George Mason University wrote an article for ‘The Daily Signal’ about recent data published by a Memorial Foundation. The report indicated that 51% of American ‘millennials’ would rather live under socialism or communism that in a capitalist country; just 42% said they would prefer capitalism.

Many have no recollection of Mao Zedong who headed China’s government from 1949-1959 when 45 million Chinese were annihilated. Josef Stalin was leader of Russia from 1922 to 1953 and during his years in office he oversaw the deaths of as many as 62 million Russians. Adolph Hitler was reportedly responsible for the deaths of as many as 20 million people.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) estimates that inflation in Venezuela may reach 1 million % this year. New generations of US citizens finish high school and college after being inculcated with the ‘curse of capitalism’ by teachers and professors, and don’t realize the links between, socialism, fascism, violence, revolution and communism.

Power in government is most valuable when used to raise people up; to offer opportunity, dignity in work and personal lives; this is what can happen in a ‘free’ country.’ Many governments use political power to suppress people, to intimidate men, women and children and to loosen ties of family loyalty while tightening the grip of government regulated secular existence.

On the one hand are nations where people enjoy freedom and those who suffer the commonality of grief and misery. The overarching truth is that capitalism has produced more value for citizens than other forms of government; that free trade with limited government oversight has the best chance of equitable trade among nations.

When people are truly free and beneficiaries of liberty and self-determination they are most likely to seek prodigious productivity, peace and prosperity for their homeland and the world.

Dick Baynton

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