Keys Writings 2014, Part 8

This entry is part 10 of 33 in the series 2014

May 17, 2014

Freedom Dialog

Soryn:

One of the issues with capitalism is that everything’s for sale. Capitalism is like a spoiled child completely out of parental control. It gave people all the freedom in the world (to buy guns and cars and houses and airplanes and lands and people and even countries), but at the same time people ended up having no ethical limits to guide their “freedom”.

JJ

You’re not making any sense here. Are you saying that in a capitalistic country you can buy guns and cars and houses and airplanes and lands etc but in socialist France or Denmark you cannot? Last time I checked you could buy stuff in socialist countries just like you can here. Even in communist Cuba you can buy stuff for money. Some would almost sell their kids for a good internet connection there, or a T-bone steak.

And why is capitalism any more like a spoiled brat than a socialist country? There are spoiled brats in both locations. A spoiled child though is one who will abuse others for his own selfish will and I think you’ll find this type of individual in a lot larger numbers in socialist bureaucracies than in capitalist businesses. I don’t recall ever meeting a free market individual that was as spoiled as the average government bureaucrat.

Soryan

This poses a particular problem when it comes to food, because it is one of the prime necessities for survival. Survival – this is a good criterion to distinguish between capitalism and socialism. When it comes to basic needs of survival, socialism should kick in.

JJ

Does not compute.

North Korea and Cuba are as socialist as you can get and their people are starving. The only thing keeping Cuba afloat all these years is an underground economy using U.S, dollars. In North Korea the people have to eat tree bark and grass to survive.

In history we find that the greater the enforcement of socialism is the less fresh food is available.

In the last 100 years American has fed the world more than any country in history thanks to freedom and capitalism. That may be coming to an end as we are selling our freedoms down the river (not rover – typo in the last post)

Soryin;

Basic needs are a general good and a human right.

JJ

And who decided this? If a guy wants to cease all work and just play and have fun does he have the right to be supported by the rest of us? I think not.

In a free society do we have an obligation to help those in need who cannot help themselves? Yes. And in a free society this will happen.

Let’s go back to my youth when free enterprise flourished much more than today. When I had the accident in 1958 I spent over a month in the hospital and had two operations. Health care was so cheap that we paid it all off in the worst of circumstances. My mom and Dad just divorced and my Dad took off to Central America. We had no child support, no food stamps, no welfare and we had to pick fruit to survive in the summer or my mom worked for a minimum wage at other times.

Then I needed some reconstructive surgery that called for an expensive specialist. We couldn’t afford it so my mom found a private charity that helped and they paid for two more months in the hospital and four more operations.

We received all this help from these spoiled capitalists. Thanks to government attempts to help us and the restrictions of freedom imposed on the medical system today a fruit picker could never pay for a month in the hospital today nor could he find a charity with deep enough pockets for an additional two months and four special surgeries. The best hope today would be to get help through Medicaid, but that is not free. Every taxpayer pays through the nose for Medicare and Medicaid whether he uses it or not. The charities that helped me cost the taxpayer NOTHING. Everything was given entirely through free will.

Soryn:

Let’s make sure we live in a just world by allowing people to get on their feet where it is required. Let’s allow them, at least, to be able to make a failure or a success of their lives.)

JJ

And that is what happens in a free society.

After my accident at the age of 13 the only job I could get was orchard work – mostly fruit picking. I usually worked with my friend Wayne who was very competitive and if he picked more than me he would brag about it and rub it in. I decided I couldn’t let that happen so I increased my skills. Wayne and I were generally he fastest pickers in the orchard. We made around $20-$40 an hour in today’s money.

I bought all my school supplies and clothes. And I bought the finest clothes money could buy at the time, thinking that would impress the girls. Then I went in with my mom and we bought a car together.

I helped out with the food budget. If there was something I wanted to eat that my mom thought was too expensive I would buy it myself. Then I hunted a lot and brought home pheasants and ducks on a regular basis. I also fished a lot and brought home bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish – more than we could eat. In addition I raised pigs and chickens.

My mom was thrifty and industrious and her winter work at the potato plant later turned to full time and overall we had pretty good life by standing on our own two feet. I didn’t know anyone who was doing without food or going hungry. A lot of people thought our little family was the worst off they knew, but we didn’t see it that way.

Everything seemed to just work a lot better economically in those days. If we had the technology of today and the freedom of the past era we would have more abundance than we would know what to do with.

Soryn

Food. Something needs to change here. Raj Patel offers some insights on the matter. I would say that competition is overall bad when it comes to food. Investors trying to sell their products invest more on advertising (package), on durability and grow through unhealthy chemicals.

JJ

Reality does not bear out your competition idea. Countries with little competition like North Korea, Cuba, the Old Soviet Union have shortages whereas the U.S, has always had abundance.

Advertising is the necessary fuel to make the market and distribution system work. Countries than ban advertising unusually suffer food shortages or starvation.

I’m with you with the unhealthy chemicals. As people get educated they are buying more organic foods of their own free will, forcing many large companies to change their ways.

Soryn:

You see products imported from the other side of the planet because they are cheaper.

JJ

And why is that a bad thing? It allows many poor people to earn a living.

Soryn:

Most of the food supply should be localized – this creates less competition.

JJ

Where do you get that idea? We rarely imported food when I was a kid and everything seemed as competitive or moreso at that time. I think that growing our own food for health purposes and self sufficiency is good but it doesn’t eliminate competition.

Soryn;

The principle at stake here will be a socialist one. My grandfather had a piece of land that he harvested with some shared technological means. They were using some big machines to fertilize and to harvest the lands. At the end, they would split the production. Everyone got his share of food. And boy that farmer food was delicious, as opposed to the garbage that you find now in the supermarket.

JJ

Shared gardens are popular here in the United States and this idea can flourish in a free society.

Soryan

Private versus public property is another good criterion. Investors trying to buy the park where I go each day to take a breath of fresh air and replace it with a massive complex of skyscrapers of steel and glass should be restricted to a public decision.

JJ

Private parks are run much better than public ones and the visitors are much happier. Check out these videos.

VIDEO 1

VIDEO 2

Soryn:

The actual people that live in that place should decide whether or not it is in the public’s interest to allow the investor to swipe the park.

JJ

This can happen with a private park. Again, check out the video.

Soryn:

False advertising needs to be regulated (I’m tired of products being advertised in the falsest way possible). Also, safety and health measures (socialism) need to be in place.

JJ

These things can be controlled through the threat of legal action in a free society.

Soryn:

I just wanted to add that I think we have the technological means to greatly reduce the food problem across the globe.

JJ

Here we agree, but this cannot be accomplished by a dictator giving out orders. The second video link gives an example of how the pilgrims solved the food problem.

Soryn:

Reducing corporate exploitation and pollution can greatly improve the lives of those people that provide food to rich countries.

JJ

There are areas where people do complain of corporations who overreach, but these are often in countries that are highly regulated wit little free enterprise for the individual.

Abuse is not limited to corporations. Communist China makes U.S., corporations look like Mother Teresa. Here are two examples from Wikipedia:

From 1993 to 2003, 2.5 million people were evicted in the city of Shanghai. In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, many of Beijing’s densely populated neighborhoods were torn down in order to make way for new developments and infrastructure projects. The Center on Housing Rights and Evictions estimated that 1.5 million people in and around Beijing were forced from their homes, often with inadequate compensation. Chinese authorities maintained only 6,000 families were relocated, and that all received proper compensation.

From 1995 to 2005, an average of 86,754 people were evicted annually in connection to the Three Gorges Dam, totaling an estimated 1.4 million people. Recalcitrant residents in the city of Chongqing had their water and electricity turned off in order to force them to move; the residents said they had not yet left because proper resettlement hadn’t been arranged.

Soryn

Let me give you another example of what socialism can mean nowadays.

In Paris you are not allowed to build anything that is not compatible with the esthetic and architectural design of the city. You cannot build buildings higher than a couple of stores, and you cannot build ugly glass and steel skyscrapers nonsense. Amazing isn’t it? That’s called urban planning and design. Or the taste of a community for beauty and living conditions.

JJ

Communities in the United States do the same thing without government involvement. Each community has their privately written covenants and restrictions that people agree to when they move in or build. If they do not like them they can purchase elsewhere.

Well, this is not the simple one piece at a time approach I was talking about. I’ll try to get back in that direction shortly.

More Freedom Dialog

Here’s the question I was trying to steer us toward:

“Some of the ideals of socialism are in a good direction such as relief from hunger, poverty, discrimination etc.

“The question is – how many freedoms are we willing to sell down the river to accomplish these things and can they be accomplished in a state of maximum freedom (which has never existed in modern civilization).”

Okay, time to get more specific. There are some types of force that is accepted by most citizens on both sides of the equation. It is accepted by the vast majority that there should be police power to restrict obvious criminal activity such as murder, rape, theft, etc. A handful of criminals may not agree with this but most would not think the criminals are subject to a tyranny of the majority because of the high degree of agreement of the people.

Taxes, or the increase that a government takes from citizens through the threat of force is the biggest source of disagreement. But even here way over 90% of the population support some sort of taxes for essentials such as defense, roads, police, fire etc. Few would consider taxes collected and spent for purposes on which almost all agree as a tyranny of the majority, or a minority.

The problem enters in when a minority begins demanding an increase in taxes for a social program that is not essential and could be accomplished by citizens through free will.

Notice, that I said, “minority.” That is because these type of movements are always started by a minority and then when they are implemented, and people become dependent on them, a majority often end up supporting such things, even if they lead to ruin.

The point is if the use of force is restricted to things that has a large majority of support (such as keeping criminals off the street) we will stay on the path of safety.

That said, the majority of the taxpayers are reluctant to support government force in taking more money out of their pockets to give to someone else who did not work for it.

Now the people, as a whole, feel it is morally all right to tax the people to support true essentials, so the question is this. What percentage of the people who have to pay should agree to an increase in taxes to support a social program that is for a good cause such as giving the poor some extra support in food stamps and welfare?

Suppose 70% of the taxpayers are against it but the 30% are in power. Are the 30% justified in for forcefully taking money out of the pockets of the 70% for something they do not support and feel is theft?

Reply

Soryn:

Scandinavia is the best example of creating successful models of democratic socialism countries.

According to the following index: The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income indices used to rank countries into four tiers of human …

they all rate higher than US in terms of inequality adjusted indexes. They are on par when it comes to abundance.

JJ

And why is that a good thing? North Korea has the most equal bunch of robotic government controlled people in the world and I certainly would not want to live there. Equality for the sake of equality is meaningless.

Soryn:

Are higher taxes a sure way to disaster? Well check this out:

LINK

Denmark taxes its people with a whooping 46% per revenue, almost half goes to the state! They have abundance and they obviously rate higher than US when it comes to social inequality. And according to that site “Small businesses thrive, with over 70 percent of companies having 50 employees or less”.

JJ

Demark has it good. We pay close to 70% here when all taxes are added up.

In 2006 a family with a median income of $48,201 paid the following to Uncle Sam.

Federal – 19.14%

Payroll – 7.65%

15.3% if self employed in 2008

State & Local – 11%

Corporate taxes which are passed on as higher prices – 6.68%

Excise and other taxes – 3.24%

Cost of compliances to regulations and taxes – 11.33%

Inflation due to government overspending – 3.2% (going up soon)

Total taxes

If self-employed 69.89%.

If working for someone else it would be 62.64% plus another 7.65% your employer pays on payroll tax that he could give to you in a raise if Uncle Sam did not take it.

You can’t really use the United States as an example of results from low taxation.

Soryn

Those countries are also healthier. More social awareness means less commercialization and less food market nonsense competition.

JJ

And that can be due to a number of things. Diabetes has risen dramatically in the past couple decades in the United States because we have switched from regular sugar to fructose?

And why did we do that? Again because of government meddling. Price supports for beet and cane sugar raised its prices and forced business to switch to the cheaper fructose and the switch has caused a plague of diabetes.

Almost every problem we have can be traced to some type of government action aimed at helping the poor unwashed.

May 18, 2014

 

The Molecular Business

Larry Woods and Duke want to know why a molecular business can’t start small and grow big. After all, Apple computer started out with a couple guys working in a garage.

A product or service central to a business is a lot different animal than the business enterprise that manufactures, sells and distributes the products. Apple itself has changed its business model a number of times while seeking the highest profit possible. For instance, they have gone from doing all their manufacturing here in the United States to doing most of it in China.

To think the Molecular Business wouldn’t be viable if it can’t be started successfully with three or four employees is like saying a car is not a good idea if all you have in your possession are the tires. To create a successful car you need all the ingredients, not just part.

If one starts a business with a few dedicated people you’d have to start it the normal way. Why?

Because the key ingredient to the Molecular Business is equality of pay and the guy who starts a business on a shoestring generally has to be motivated by making enough profit to feed his family. In addition to this when you have a handful of people in a small business the labor intensity is so different that similar pay could cause some problems. Also, a small business is often very sales intensive and salespeople, especially in a small business, need to be motivated by some type of commission or bonus for their skill and hard work.

Any business that starts with a handful of people needs to be started pretty much the way people do it now.

I have a small business and there is no way I could make it molecular unless I expanded to the point where I could hire 20-30 employees. We’ve had employees in the past but for now it is just my wife and I and we’ve had to scale it down since we’ve been taking care of her elderly mother.

Larry says: “Many here are perfectly willing and able to act on faith. We can begin with volunteer labor.”

JJ

That’s news to me. You really think that many from the group would be willing to quit their jobs, leave their families and move to a central location to start a business on faith with no guarantee of success?

On the other hand, if I had the funds to set up such a business and offered a reasonable salary I’d have no problem filling it with local people and some keys members may even move here to help.

And, by the way, the Molecular Business is not meant to just be for the enlightened but it would attract a wide variety of people.

Duke:

Is there any reason why a non-molecular business couldn’t choose to transition to a molecular model?

JJ

Yes. In a regular business there are many pay grades and those making the most money, which are also those with the most power, would not want to give up half or more of their salaries. Making the switch with a regular business would be almost impossible at this time. Starting fresh would be quite easy if one had the money because it is easy to hire an unlimited number of people if you offer a reasonable base salary. Then the management could be drawn from the entry-level people.

Duke:

Why 24 people?   I understand where that number comes from (the Molecular Relationship), but why would it also apply to a business?

JJ

I didn’t pick 24 because that is some absolute number for the business. You’d just need a business organization with 20-30, or more people to implement the principles.

I’ve got plenty on my plate now trying to make my publishing business take off while still taking care of old customers from my sign business. If I wanted to expand the sign business from scratch in an attempt to make it molecular then I’d have to take my attention off writing and some other important things I am pursuing and put it all on the business. It takes close to 100% attention and effort to get a business off the ground when you are limited with capital.

I’ve put the Molecular Business ideas out there and anyone who is enterprising can attempt to run with them. Unfortunately, I am limited in what I can do and have to put my attention where I deem it to be most important and at the moment that is getting a book before the public that will catch their attention.

It is interesting that since I first came up with the Molecular Business idea around 30 years ago that many businesses have moved much closer to the model. The most successful grocery store in this area is WINCO, which is employee owned, and workers are treated much more equally than the regular business model.

I do not know of any business following the full molecular model, but the day will come whether by my hand or another, whether this life or another. It is just a matter of time.

 

May 18, 2014

The Question

Dan;

Thought I would point out to future answerers that JJ’s question is NOT “what % of people should agree to an increase in taxes …” but “what % of people THAT HAVE TO PAY should agree to an increase in taxes …” – which is an entirely different animal.

JJ

Good perception Dan – applying the Third Key here.

Dan:

IMO, in the perfect community/society, force would never be used in such a way (take from one to give to another) period.

JJ

In the eventual Zion society that will be established all group financing will be accomplished through free will donations o some type of free market endeavor. Unfortunately, the general consciousness of the people is not there yet. This is one reason there has to be a gathering of the pure in heart who are willing to give what is necessary to make things work. When a significant number prove it can be done then others will follow.

By the way, you gave a good selection of quotes on freedom. I enjoyed reading them even though I wrote them. i forget a lot of what i have written so sometimes my quotes seem new to me, but still familiar and in line with my current thinking.

Duke:

In the hypothetical, I don’t know how dire the need is.

JJ

The need would be what it is now. Note the wording of the question:

“…such as giving the poor some extra support in food stamps and welfare?”

This does not involve a choice as to whether the poor receive any help at all, but “extra” help.

Basically though the principle of force applies to all situations. The point is though that 70% would not resist helping others if they thought they could afford it ad the request was reasonable.

Duke:

But a lot of very good ideas (like abolishing slavery) started out as a minority position. Did their minority status make them any less the “right thing to do” at the time?

JJ

A lot of people think this but it is not quite true. A majority of the states before the civil war were against slavery and did not allow it and the majority of the people in the country were against slavery.

The majority usually make the right decision and the top 70% just about always do.

Duke:

The abolitionist movement began many generations before the Civil War, and it’s unlikely that it was a majority position from the beginning, considering how long it was before the Emancipation Proclamation. I’m talking about those early days, before it was the majority position – was it right?   Or did it not become right until it became the majority position?

JJ

The majority were definitely against slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War. There is no way of knowing if this was true at the founding of this country. I would guess that it was close to fifty-fifty. A lot of the Founders were against slavery but allowed it in the Costitution in order to create the new nation, which would not have happened if they would have opposed it. Some figured they could abolish it later which is what happened.

In ancient times, slavery was so common among all races that the people just accepted it. From my study of history I don’t think a lot of them questioned whether it was right or wrong but was just something that had to be. Most of the slaves didn’t even see slavery as evil unless they were mistreated by their masters. Even Jesus said nothing about it. Hypocrisy was the evil that bothered him the most in that age. Everywhere you see the word “servant’ in the New testament it comes from the Greek word for slave.

The bottom line is consciousness has to change before customs will change.

JJ

The majority usually make the right decision and the top 70% just about always do.

Duke

Then perhaps we should just watch the polls and side with the majority, especially if it’s a large majority. That would be much easier than making up our own minds. Let some outside authority (in this case the majority) make up our minds for us.

JJ

I have never ever given the slightest indication that the majority view should be used to make up our minds as to what is true or right. What I have said is the majority, when presented with the facts, will usually head in a common sense direction and if 70% or more choose a particular side of a debate, it is usually correct. For instance, close to 70% of the people want more investigation to find out the truth about the Benghazi attacks and that certainly sounds like a common sense direction to me. It is difficult to find an area where 70% of the people want to go in a totally illogical direction.

The majority is not that great at seeking subtle truth though and one certainly wants to use his own soul to discern that rather than following the majority. Just over 70% believe that reincarnation is a bunch of mumbo jumbo, for instance, but this does not effect the quality of my life.

Some of the things the majority supported 1000 years ago as being good are seen as evil today and some of the things the majority support today will be seen as evil 1000 years hence. Even so, the teachers of the race must work with majority will to move our spiritual evolution forward and little by little the next correct step is seen.

 

May 19, 2014

The Second Question

Here was the last question:

Now the people, as a whole, feel it is morally all right to tax the people to support true essentials, so the question is this. What percentage of the people who have to pay should agree to an increase in taxes to support a social program that is for a good cause, such as giving the poor some extra support in food stamps and welfare?

We received quite a bit of comment on this but not many specific answers of which there were only three:

Keith 51%

Dan 60%, or what people agree upon.

Johann 75%

Ruth kinda said 100% and Matthew kinda said 51%. Soryn is mysteriously silent on this.

So far the group believes that the taxpayers should not endure a tax increased unless a majority or more agree. And, as Dan noticed, I specified the will of those who are affected. If non taxpayers get a benefit by raising the taxes of those who pay then close to 100% of them will think it is a great idea because they will not be negatively affected. If the majority will of those who actually contribute is considered then the taxes will never reach an unreasonable level.

The figure arrived at here has nothing to do with the cause, whether it be food stamps or defense or research the sex lives of bugs. We must realize that if the cause is really just or important that an informed majority will generally support it no matter what it is. If it is completely unnecessary or frivolous then they will not.

True, the majority is not always right, but it has been coming much closer to the correct path than the President or Congress. No human system will be right all the time so we must seek to implement the highest that the consciousness of the people can accept.

Next question.

Suppose 70% of the taxpayers are against it but the 30% are in power. Are the 30% justified in forcefully taking money out of the pockets of the 70% for something they do not support and feel is theft?

Everyone who answered this agreed that the 30% would not be justified. What many do not realize is this is pretty close to what is happening today. The will of about 30% of the taxpayers are forcing increases on the 70%.

Next Question; Many social programs, such as Obamacare have to be mostly financed, not with taxes, but borrowed money that our children must pay interest on. How urgent must the need be before we borrow more money to help certain citizens? Give examples.

Duke:

Personally, I am much more comfortable with the idea of using good judgment to the best of one’s ability in whatever the circumstances may be, and that may or may not include giving weight to the majority opinion.

JJ

But my good judgement has no weight with Congress or the President. The best we can do is take our good judgment and attempt to educate and change the future direction.

Duke:

Getting back to your first question: “What percentage of the people who have to pay should agree to an increase in taxes to support a social program that is for a good cause, such as giving the poor some extra support in food stamps and welfare?”

In a democracy that does not distinguish between those who pay taxes and those who do not, if the majority will (as expressed through the elected representatives in our case) is to raise taxes, then that is the will of the people.

JJ

It doesn’t matter whether or not taxpayers are distinguished the question can still be answered.

The representatives often do not represent the will of the people just because we elect them. We generally have the choice between two establishment candidates out of touch with the people. When they raise our taxes and then give themselves as much as a 25% pay increase so they will be insulated from their actions this does not represent the will of the people.

Duke:

If you are advocating a democracy that allocates voting power according to taxes paid, then that’s a different form of government, and in that case presumably the consent of a majority of the taxpayers is required. To what extent should voting power be proportional to taxes paid?

JJ

I never said anything about the amount of taxes paid, but about half the people do not pay any federal taxes at all and they are getting more and more power to influence representatives to “tax the rich” which winds up being an increase on all taxpayers. Our representatives should give high consideration to the will of the taxpayer since he is impacted by federal taxes where the non taxpayers are not. The payroll tax would have a much wider net. In a direct democracy (which we do not have) only the taxpayers should be able to vote on a tax increase.

Duke:

However if the 30% came to power in a fair election, then I have little pity on the 70%. They chose to be divided, and so they have been conquered. But hopefully only until the next election.

JJ

Well I certainly have not chosen the current outcomes of legislation. We often have the choice between two people who will take us the same direction so that is no choice at all. That is why I have proposed the system of Molecular Politics outlined in themajorityspeaks.com. This will give much more power to the peopl

“Here was the last question:

Now the people, as a whole, feel it is morally all right to tax the people to support true essentials, so the question is this. What percentage of the people who have to pay should agree to an increase in taxes to support a social program that is for a good cause, such as giving the poor some extra support in food stamps and welfare? Soryn is mysteriously silent on this.”

Sorin

Well, majority means 51%, don’t know what else to comment.

JJ

We know what majority means but you still did not answer the question. I am curious what your answer would be.

 

May 20, 2014

The Swiss System

I made a delightful discovery today. I found that the government of Switzerland operates very close to what I have presented in my treatise Molecular Politics.

I have known for some time that the people there voted on various referendums there, but I always assumed their referendums worked something like our system.

I was wrong.

What kind of piqued my interest was hearing the news story that the Swiss had rejected a $25 minimum wage, and before and after this vote they have had no minimum wage. Actually in U.S. dollars the amount was $17.60, not $25.

In an application of direct democracy 76% of the people voted no on the measure.

I read up on the Swiss form of government and here are several areas where their democracy works better than ours.

Here if Congress passes a bad law or the Supreme Court interprets it in a certain way we are stuck. Changing it is almost impossible.

In Switzerland, if the people think the law is bad they can call for a vote of the people and throw the bill out the window.

We do not have national referendums here but many states have them. The trouble in the U.S. is that even after the will of the people express themselves in a majority vote the legislators will often go to court to overturn it. This happens a large percentage of the time here.

Not in Switzerland. There the will of the people is the ultimate power. This is what our Founders wanted to happen through establishing a jury system that could throw out bad law but it has been corrupted.

Citizens can also initiate measures. All one has to do is collect 100,000 signatures and then it will be presented to the people for a vote.

They still have a representative government that handles all the mundane legislation, but when something comes up that is considered important the people step in and make the decision.

The fact that the people are the final power that can trash bad legislation keeps the legislators in check. It stops them from funding a Bridge to Nowhere.

The fact that they have one of the most vital economies in the world is a testament that their democratic system works. Their GDP is steadily rising, their unemployment rate is around 3%, they export more than they import, they have no national debt, citizens can openly carry arms on buses yet the crime rate is very low, they have strict control over their borders, no minimum wage, fewer regulations, employers are free to fire anyone, but if you want to work you can usually get a job. They have a welfare system that is not needed that often but works on a local rather than national level – a little like charities used to be here.

And they have achieved this high economic standing without the benefit of oil, as is the case in Norway, Sweden and the UK.

One may wonder why such a high minimum wage of $17.60 got on the ballot to begin with – which would have made it the highest in the world. The reason is that 90% of the people make more than that. The average wage there is $37.00 an hour and only 10% of the people would be effected by the minimum wage and of those the effect would have been small because most of that 10% made close to $17.60 an hour already. Even so, 76% of the people thought it was not necessary and rejected it.

I’m going to look deeper into the Swiss system but so far it seems to provide a lot of evidence that a direct democracy where the real ultimate power lies in the hands of the people is indeed workable. I’m mystified that I haven’t heard more about it.

Sorin

This form of direct democracy (which is binding) exists in some other countries, like Croatia, Italy, or Hungary.

See this for a list: 

Also, in some countries the constitution can be modified only by referendum (binding).

In Romania, the president can call for a referendum on any subject, which has binding power. Same in France. Also, in Romania any modification of the constitution is approved through referendum. There is no institution that can cancel the will of the people.

JJ

The referendums in those countries have a lot more restrictions than the Swiss. For instance, of Hungary it says:

The Constitution imposes a number of prohibitions on matters on which a referendum can be held, including amending Constitution, budget, taxing, obligations from international agreements, military operations, etc. Required voter turnout for the referendum to be valid is 50%. The decision made by a referendum is binding on the Parliament.

A Swiss referendum usually gets a little less than 50% turnout so by Hungary’s guidelines it would be negated right there.

Sounds like some of the countries have referendums on the books to give the illusion of participation by the people. The Swiss seem to be the only country that has democratic participation with real teeth.

 

May 20, 2014

Jefferson & Democracy

Good comments on juries lwk. You say:

As to what the Founders wanted, there is considerable documentation of their distrust of direct democracy as practiced in Switzerland.

JJ

They were divided over that. Jefferson, for instance, was a big supporter of the will of the people being supreme.

Here’s some quotes:

Where the law of the majority ceases to be acknowledged, there government ends; the law of the strongest takes its place, and life and property are his who can take them. (Quote from Thomas Jefferson to Annapolis Citizens, 1809)

“Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals” –Thomas Jefferson to Garret Vanmeter, 1781 ME 4:417, Papers 5:566

“If we are faithful to our country, IF WE ACQUIESCE, WITH GOOD WILL, IN THE DECISIONS OF THE MAJORITY, AND THE NATION MOVES IN MASS IN THE SAME DIRECTION, ALTHOUGH IT MAY NOT BE THAT WHICH EVERY INDIVIDUAL THINKS BEST, we have nothing to fear from any quarter” –Thomas Jefferson to Virginia Baptists, 1808 ME 16:321

“THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF REPUBLICANISM IS THAT THE LEX MAJORIS PARTIS (THE LAW OF THE MAJORITY) IS THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF EVERY SOCIETY OF INDIVIDUALS OF EQUAL RIGHTS; to consider the will of the society enounced by the majority of a single vote as sacred as if unanimous is the first of all lessons in importance, yet the last which is thoroughly learnt .” –Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1817 ME 15:127

“[Bear] always in mind that a nation ceases to be republican only when the will of the majority ceases to be the law” –Thomas Jefferson: Reply to the Citizens of Adams County, Pa, 1808 ME 12:18

“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object” –Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waring, 1801 ME 10:236

“The measures of the fair majority ought always to be respected” –Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792 ME 8:397

“I subscribe to the principle, that the will of the majority honestly expressed should give law” –Thomas Jefferson: The Anas, 1793 ME 1:332

“All being equally free, no one has a right to say what shall be law for the others. Our way is to put these questions to the vote, and to consider that as law for which the majority votes” –Thomas Jefferson: Address to the Cherokee Nation, 1809 ME 16:456

“[We acknowledge] the principle that the majority must give the law” –Thomas Jefferson to William Carmichael, 1788 ME 7:28

“This [is] a country where the will of the majority is the law, and ought to be the law” –Thomas Jefferson: Answers to de Meusnier Questions, 1786 ME 17:85

“Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its administration must be conducted by common consent” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia QVIII, 1782 ME 2:120

“The fundamental principle of [a common government of associated States] is that the will of the majority is to prevail” –Thomas Jefferson to William Eustis, 1809

“The voice of the majority decides. For the lex majoris partis is the law of all councils, elections, etc, where not otherwise expressly provided” –Thomas Jefferson: Parliamentary Manual, 1800 ME 2:420

“It is the multitude which possess force, and wisdom must yield to that” –Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816 ME 14:492

“The Lex majoris partis, founded in common law as well as common right, [is] the natural law of every assembly of men whose numbers are not fixed by any other law” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia QXIII, 1782 ME 2:172

“Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government. They receive it with their being from the hand of nature. Individuals exercise it by their single will; collections of men by that of their majority; for the law of the majority is the natural law of every society of men” –Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on Residence Bill, 1790 ME 3:60

 

May 20, 2014

The Teachings

Sarah:

I have always resonated with www.freeread.com since the day I found it, however no matter who I tell or in which way I convey tid bits of knowledge about JJ’s books to….no one I have shown them to in 4.5 years has grabbed hold of it the way I did. I have run the gamut of approaches and I pretty much now am very non-schalant about it and wait for anyone to ask first….but people never do.

Just seems odd, like why do I clearly see these teachings as being so profound….but others I show do not delve into them?

JJ

Yes, this seems odd even for me. It seems that te majority cannot see the difference between mumbo jumbo and teachings that speak to the soul.

I am in good company for DK’s teachings still are not widely read though he is becoming widely recognized. Here is something interesting he said:

Each generation should produce those able to ascertain subjective fact for themselves; they will utilize that which is exoteric and known as stepping stones on the path to perfect knowledge. They will know, and they will give out, and only the next cycle of fifty years after their work is accomplished will see the recognition by the many of the truth revealed by the few. TCF, Page 707

 

May 20, 2014

What or Who is the 144,000 exactly?

JJ quoting DK

Each generation should produce those able to ascertain subjective fact for themselves; they will utilize that which is exoteric and known as stepping stones on the path to perfect knowledge. They will know, and they will give out, and only the next cycle of fifty years after their work is accomplished will see the recognition by the many of the truth revealed by the few. TCF, Page 707

Judy

I have always known this about us (JJ and this group).

JJ

The disturbing part of this Judy is that the ignorant of the future who seek to control the souls of man will portray themselves as the ones who understand and accept the minds of myself and other teachers when, in reality, they seek to establish the rule of the Beast.

Fortunately, the real truth is revealed in between lives. Great glory is given to those who are able to discern the truth as it really is..

 

May 20, 2014

Jefferson on “Republic”

View Source

As for an example of the tyranny of the majority goes – I cannot find one example in history. The best example the quoted author comes up with is:

Great Britain, the state of New York enacted harsh measures against Loyalists and British subjects. These included the Confiscation Act (1779), the Citation Act (1782) and the Trespass Act (1783). All involved the taking of property.

In Hamilton’s view, these Acts illustrated the inherent difference between democracy and the law.

JJ

What he forgets to note is is that those acts were not passed by a democratic vote but by Representative governments. Where there is tyranny it is almost always the tyranny of the minority. A majority may get a little out of hand once in a while. For example right after 9/11 the majority wanted revenge any way they could get it but that didn’t last for long. On the other hand, a minority like Castro will suppress his people as long as he has breath.

 

May 21, 2014

Direct Democracy

Duke:

Regarding the National Referendum system embraced in various forms by Switzerland and several other European nations, would it make any sense to draft a proposed Constitutional Amendment?

JJ

Getting a Constitutional Amendment through is extremely difficult. That is why I created a system that would create even more Democracy than Switzerland has with no changes to the Constitution necessary. Once I get the public’s attention through one of my works I will plan on promoting it.

Those who have not read the plan can check it out here.

 

May 21, 2014

 

The Caterpillar Principle

Soryn:

While I advocate for pressure (international applicable regulations) from the international community to regulate the exchange of natural resources and services between poor and rich countries, I am curious to see what is your position on this?

JJ

The articles you referenced point out that the countries who won the lottery of natural resources generally wind up as much poorer than nations that have to rely heavily on the ingenuity to thrive. This if often blamed on the greed of the corporations that supposedly exploit them which silly.

The principle behind this could be called the Caterpillar Principle. The saying goes that a caterpillar needs the struggle of breaking out of its prison cocoon to gain the strength to survive and if you help it that it will die. The same goes with a chicken breaking out of its egg. You could kill it by helping it too much.

The truth of this principle is illustrated not only by nations who win a lottery by discovering oil or some other commodity, but by lottery winners themselves. I have followed the stories of many lottery winners and almost all of them, after a couple years of winning the lottery, curse the day they won for they wind up broke and alienated from all their friends.

What happens is as soon as friends and family discover they won big money they start hitting them up for a piece of the winnings or for a loan or investment that is never paid back. Then as soon as the winner starts running short and cuts off the funds his friends become angry and start hating his guts.

Now what is the core reason that the lottery winner winds up with such a problem? Do we blame it on his greedy friends and family?

As I said, that is silly. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have also encountered a lot of greedy people and they didn’t lose their wealth because of it?

If free stuff is there for the taking then self-serving people will come out of the woodwork. Bill Gates is just smart enough to know how to handle them.

What is the solution to the lottery problem? Should we establish regulations to control how the winner spends his money and how his friends can approach him for loans?

Of course not. That would be interfering with free will. Even though most winners will use bad judgment with their wealth we must let them learn by their own experiences. Believe me, the lottery winner who has lost everything has learned some important initial lessons about human nature and the misuse of money.

Even so goes it with nations that win the lottery. Some may want to exploit them or even help them by getting them to invest in a good cause but the fact that most such nations wind up poor is not their fault. It is the fault of the nation itself just as it is the fault of the lottery winner if he gives away all his winnings or invests the money in some well-meaning scheme.

Just like it is not a good idea to regulate lottery winners and their friends, it is not a good idea to regulate the wealth of a nation or the greed of the people dealing with it. If some entity attempts to take the resources by force then that is another matter.

Just like there are some lottery winners with enough common sense to use their money wisely even so, some oil rich countries do also. Two examples are Qatar and Kuwait.

Japan is an example of a country with few resources that overcame the handicap through their ingenuity and became prosperous. Sixteenth Century Spain is an example of a prosperous country that became poor by discovering or stealing the riches of gold and silver from the New World. As soon as they started relying on all that gold they became lazy and went dramatically downhill economically and as a world power.

Soryn asks me about charities such as such as the Bill Gates’ foundation.

If anyone wants to start a charity or donate money to help the disadvantaged that is fine with me and is usually about 500% better spent than government money which is generally just thrown at problems.

If we really wanted to help the Third World the first thing we would do for them is make sure all people on the planet have clean drinking water. We now have the technology to take clean water right out of the air.

Check this out:

Ruth W:

I can tell you from experience that child labor was a very good thing for me. After the great depression our family struggled to survive. By the time I was 13 I was delighted to get a job on a farm working 10 hour days and feeling happy about it.

JJ

Yes, child labor not taken to excess is a good thing. I did lots of work for money from the time I was four and it was good for my soul and work ethic.

From the ages of 4-13 I did things such as pick fruit, manage lemonade stands, pick up bottles for recycling, sell seeds and cards door to door, thin apples, various orchard work such as dig around trees fertilize and pick up brush, worked in a packing shed, danced for money in bars, and even sold some beer.

I never felt abused in the least and was thrilled to make some money.

To Soryn:

Can you point to one country where the standards of living were made worse by corporations coming in and hiring people?

Look at the two countries where this does not happen at all: Cuba – where they are now having toilet paper shortages and North Korea where the people eat grass to survive.

JJ wrote:

From the ages of 4-13 I did things such as …. danced for money in bars …

Dan:

You’ll have to forgive me if I just not only CANNOT but WILLNOT picture you as a pole dancer 🙂

JJ

I thought that should get a rise from someone out there. Here’s the story. When I was a kid my parents spent most nights out in bars and if they were not home when they said I took my younger sister, walked uptown, and found them in one of the bars. Once there they usually were not in the mood to come home. The patrons would offer me and my sister money to dance for them so we thought, “What the heck?” and did our best. It earned us some money to buy candy.

 

May 22, 2014

Third Question

The Last Question:

Many social programs, such as Obamacare have to be mostly financed, not with taxes, but borrowed money that our children must pay interest on. How urgent must the need be before we borrow more money to help certain citizens? Give examples.

JJ

Good common sense answers on this.

The government borrowing money and accumulating higher and higher interest payments that must be met is much more serious than the average person realizes. Those who do the math realize that if we do not curtail this borrowing the day will come that the amount of the payment will exceed all other spending and lead to insolvency.

And how do you think the Chinese will respond if we tell them, “Sorry. We just don’t have the money to pay you this month or year?”

We shouldn’t be borrowing a dime to expand any social program. The only thing that would justify more borrowing would be a war for self preservation or some type of disaster where people need relief.

Everyone in the group who commented agreed that 50% or more should agree to spending on a good cause if an increase in taxes would result. They were even stricter when the money would be borrowed.

Question:

Either everyone here is an extreme right-winger or we are just smarter than the average voter. Every year we borrow more money, not for emergencies, but to expand government and social programs. Why do people put up with this? Are they mentally challenged, just not paying attention or what? Why can they not do the simple math that would tell them that we will have a day of reckoning if we continue this borrowing madness?

 

May 22, 2014

Correct Translation

Soryn giving a quote:

“I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world’s ever know, I believe in self reliance and individual initiative but I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot” says Obama.

JJ

You have to translate what Obama says to get the truth because he says what people want to hear instead of giving his true intentions – such as “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance” a total lie.

Translation:

“You’ve had your free enterprise and used initiative and self reliance in the past and this has resulted in an unfair division of the rich and poor which I will correct with a master plan of forced redistribution.”

Soryn:

Forced redistribution is currently a reality. People pay taxes and the money is redistributed by the government.

JJ

If the taxes due are a fair amount that the taxpayers support and those who contribute actually get benefits in return then it is not considered forced redistribution. It is considered forced redistribution when those who have worked hard for their money are ordered to pay more than they consider fair.

This has happened with Obamacare. Here is an example from a letter published in my local paper this morning:

“Liberals lied about Obamacare, saying that we could keep our plans and doctors. Liberals told us our premiums would be $2,500 less. My premiums have risen 400 percent so I can pay for liberal freeloaders.”

You can’t blame this guy for feeling he was not treated fairly.

Soryn:

Not trying to defend Obamacare or anything, we can read the following on the official site:

“ObamaCare’s cost is estimated at up to net cost of $1.36 trillion dollars by 2023.”

“Obamacare is projected to cut the national deficit by over $200 billion during its first 10 years and over $1 trillion over the next two decades. This helps offset the up-front cost of ObamaCare.”

So it seems like in the short-term it creates a great deficit, but in the long run it brings a benefit.

JJ

Wow.. I am amazed at the depth of your self-deception if you believe that propaganda from Obama sites. The costs estimated by those who actually do the math are to be three times as much as this estimate and I’d be willing to bet that is a low figure. If you think Obamacare will reduce the deficit then I have a great bridge I’ll sell you cheap.

Every cost estimate the government gives us on a social program is always way way off. Medicare costs more than ten times the estimated amount.

If you want to know Obama’s thinking look at his past and his actions rather than his words. Take a look.

LINK

 

May 23, 2014

Ratio of Men to Women among spiritual seekers

Larry W

If you go among any Church or spiritual seekers, this is the trend. I mentioned this recently when I attended an esoteric group of seekers in Oklahoma City. 40 women, four men. So tonight I got the idea to go look at pics from Keysters. Every year we pose outside a restaurant or someplace or two for group pics. You don’t always get ALL attendees in such pics, but it gives you a pretty good idea who attended. I looked at several group pics from KOK (Keys of Knowledge) Gatherings. In each one I count equal number of men and of women. Interesting.

What does that imply? I don’t know. But it shows SOMETHING is different about the Keysters compared to most other seeker groups.

JJ

Interesting point Larry. I have heard a number of comments over the years about the fact that we seem to draw an even number of male and females at various meetings whereas other spiritual groups, especially new age and metaphysical ones draw mostly females.

In each gathering we have had we always do something in a circle where we arrange them male/female and in each gsathering they have been very close to even. This also happens in various classes I give.

I think the reason I draw a fairly even number is that I am one of the few spiritual teachers who puts emphasis on logic that appeals to males as well as the mystical which appeals to the female side.

Ruth:

Don’t forget that the Keysters also include all those members who do not attend the mini gathering every year, so the ratio of men and women might be a bit different to just a group picture of a few of the members.

JJ

Good point. It is interesting that even a greater percentage of the Keys are male than happens at the gatherings – at least among those who participate. This is also highly unusual amoung spiritual metaphysical or New Age groups.

LWK

If and when government forces higher wages than are economically justified the end result is always fewer jobs, and/or higher prices for goods.

JJ

Good point Larry. Switzerland is one of the few countries that refuses to pass a minimum wage and the average wage there is $37/hr. and unemployment is about 3%. Few people make less than $20/hr.

The Left does not seem to realize that reality is not what they feel but what actually happens.

Larry W

I find myself extremely tempted right now to come up with The Pole Dancer Principle.

JJ

Actually the pole dancing idea came entirely from Dan’s fertile imagination. When my sister and I danced for the drunken crowd we kind of copied what we had seen in the movies which was a little swing type stuff. We made it up as we went. Sometimes I also got free beer out of the deal. It was a lot different world back then.

 

May 23, 2014

Question Four

It is interesting to contemplate the difference between the political Left and Right. The Right just cannot understand why the Left cannot add 2+2 and support a balanced budget and the Left see the Right as heartless beasts who refuse to help the poor and disadvantaged.

Question: What is the real difference between the two sides and why do they not understand each other – or do they?

 

Copyright 2014 by J J Dewey

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Series NavigationKeys Writings 2014, Part 7The Beast of Revelation

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