Sunday, December 29, 2013

Resolutions and rebates...

  Its resolution time again. I try to make a couple every New Years, and if I’m lucky I keep at least one of them. Some I keep longer than others. Exercising more and eating less have never made it past January 18th of any year, but 2013 did mark my 25th year in a row without drinking any alcohol, and my second year without drinking any soda pop. For 2014 I felt that I really don’t have too much that I can or want to give up, so I’ve decided that instead of doing something less, I’m going to start doing something else more.

  While cleaning off my desk a while back, (no dear, I’m not resolving to start cleaning my desk off more often,) I found several rebate coupons from one of those big box stores where I occasionally buy building materials.  I intended to fill them out and send them in before they expired. I didn’t.

  Not being much of a shopper, I never saw the attraction of rebates anyway. I always figured that if a company was going to give me a 10% rebate on something, it would be a lot simpler to just take that 10% off when I bought the item, thereby saving both of us the paperwork and the postage. I suspected they offer rebates because there are probably a lot of people like me whose good intentions of returning them seldom make it to fruition.

  My suspicions were confirmed a couple of weeks ago when a family member who works for a company that offers rebates told me that on average, about 5% of the rebate coupons they hand out are returned with the proper paperwork and by the proper date. I suppose I should take some comfort in the fact that I’m not the only rebate procrastinator out there, but I don’t. I also suppose that if everybody, or just about everybody, started sending all of their coupons back in, the companies would probably decide it would be more economical to just discount the merchandise in the store in the first place.

  We’re sort of in the same situation with our federal government right now. When the Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution about 223 years ago, the founding fathers put in the 10th Amendment, which states that 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.”  It would no doubt be a lot simpler if the federal government would simply stick to its delegated duties right up front, but it’s becoming more and more apparent in recent years that it has no intention of doing so.

  What that means is we as people and states have to step up and nullify laws and regulations that the federal government is imposing on us without having the Constitutional authority to do so. Legislators in South Carolina and Georgia recently introduced bills to nullify federal attempts at controlling health care and firearms in those states. More states have similar bills on similar issues in the works. It takes a little more effort on our part, just like sending in for a rebate. We shouldn’t have to, but if we want our freedom and our money back, that’s what it takes.

   I’m sure the folks in Washington won’t be overly concerned about a couple of states and a few individuals exercising their 10th Amendment protections, any more than those businesses are about 5% of their customers collecting rebates. But if enough people and states do it, it might just convince them to follow the Constitution in the first place.

  So if you’re still looking for a New Year’s Resolution for 2014, why not consider mailing in those rebate coupons, and putting people in office who will actually uphold the Constitution.

  It’s not about giving something up. It’s about taking something back.

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