Saturday, January 29, 2011

Control issues....

My wife Susan and I recently took a little vacation to either celebrate or commemorate our 35th wedding anniversary. I’m not sure which. I guess it depends whose point of view you’re looking from. The first part of the trip consisted of getting on an airplane and flying to California. I’ve never been a big fan of flying.

I’ve read all the statistics about how flying is safer than driving based on the number of miles traveled, and I have no reason to doubt that those statistics are accurate. But for me, it’s not just about being safe. For me, it’s more about having some control over my life. I know every time I get behind the wheel of my truck, I run the risk of someone else pulling out in front of me, or crossing the centerline and running into me, or even crashing into me while I’m sitting at a stop sign. But I also know that as long as I’m behind the wheel, I have the option of paying enough attention to avoid being caught up in any of those scenarios. Not to say that I will, but at least I have the option.

I didn’t see that option when I was on the airplane. I’m sure the pilot was very qualified, but I couldn’t be sure he wasn’t changing the radio station, or thinking about what he was going to get his wife for their anniversary, instead of watching for that airplane that might be pulling out from behind that big cloud up ahead on the right.

I’ve always preferred to have as much control over my life as possible. That’s probably why I decided to start my own business years ago, and it’s also why I’m a Libertarian.

I’ve seen government expand a great deal in the 59 years that I’ve been around. Every expansion has taken a little more control away from the individual and given a little more control to the government. Slowly but surely we have moved closer to what Ayn Rand called the ultimate inversion, where government is free to do as it pleases, and citizens may act only with permission. We may disagree on how close we are to that situation, but most would agree that we have less control over our lives than we had 59 years ago. Or ten years ago. Or two years ago.

Some people don’t seem to have a problem with that. Just like some people don’t seem to have a problem with flying. And it doesn’t particularly bother me if some people want the government to control their retirement, or their health care, or how big their bedroom windows have to be, or how much education their barber or hairdresser has to have before they can be a barber or a hairdresser. Just like it doesn’t particularly bother me if someone wants to fly everywhere they go.

It does, however, bother me that people who want somebody else to control their lives feel the need to have someone else control mine. Regardless of how much control other people want the government to have over their lives, I've never understood their compulsion to have it control everybody else.

I hope that doesn’t make me sound like I'm out of control.

2 Comments:

Blogger Work @ Home said...

Couldn't agree with you more. Perhaps a good solution would be; All those in favor of controlling everybody else's life and those consenting to being controlled all move to districts, like California, New York, Chicago etc. and have at it.

All those who want to mind their own business, take responsibly for their own success's and failings, assist the needy by choosing to volunteer and want their government following laissez-faire principles, can have the rest of the country. No doubt in my mind which one would have the higher GDP, quality of life and money in the bank. When you remove the looters, life is good!

Mark Brosius

11:19 PM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

Mark,
Thanks for the comments.
I believe that was the purpose of the 10th Amendment. It gives us a chance to sort ourselves out.

6:59 PM  

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