Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Something for nothing

My Dad taught me that nobody gets something for nothing unless someone somewhere is getting nothing for something. In Las Vegas this means the house never loses. Gambling games are calculated to guarantee this. Odds are designed to make it impossible for a casino to pay out more money than it takes in. Because human nature is warped as it is, we only want to remember the stories of big winners. They are the ones that brag. Losers go home broke and do not get interviewed by the media. This makes great advertising for the casinos who never claim bankruptcy, but simply keep building bigger and better hotels. When you come away from Vegas with more money than when you arrived, it is simply because several other people lost enough money to pay for your winnings and the casino's enormous profits as well.

I am guessing that you already know this. But my point in bringing it up is to make an analogy to the way government works. The federal government has no money except that which has been collected from each of the states in the union. Without a strong militia, for example, we cannot long exist. This is a national expense, and a legitimate one at that. According to Romans 13:6 this is the very reason we pay taxes.

But when politicians have as their primary goal to be re-elected, queer things begin to happen in congress. They print flyers boasting of their effectiveness to their constituents by claiming that they are able to bring more money into the state than has been taken out. We got more federal funds than that other state out there, and therefore we ought to re-elect senator Jane Moneygrab. She can do more for us than Joe Goodheart. You see where I am going with this. While we are getting something for nothing, someone else is getting nothing for something. They may have poor congressional representation, or they may have morally superior senators. It just might be that they vote for bills that send disproportionate funds to another state because in the nature of the case it is the right thing to do.

How much money can our struggling economy save if we cut out the "earmarks" and "porkbarrel riders" from our legislating process? I am not an economist, nor have I studied political science, but this doesn't take genius to see. I am as sure as I am sitting at this console that no one gets something for nothing unless someone somewhere is getting nothing for something. Am I missing something?

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