Preferring Local Control

It’s two weeks already. Wow. The English thing is rad. Just think if Iowans had the guts to throw off the chains of the Federales. Caramba! But Iowans would rather have the crumbs than freedom and the prosperity that comes with it. Comfy, eh?


Preferring Local Control

Back in the days when socialism was failing in the Soviet Union (The system failed. Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with it.), I had a friend who traveled to Latvia on a farm tour. I remember what he found when he got there.

Imagine a field of oats, just beginning to head out, a stunted pale yellow with cracked soil easily visible through the canopy. The farmer had actually planted the oats in the rain because the call had come from Moscow, five hundred miles away, that it was time. The farmer ignored local conditions to be loyal to the central authority that had promised social justice at any price.

I doubt that any farmer hasn’t longed for the comfort of following orders at a job rather than the risk and responsibility of ownership.

The dairy operation was also an eye opener for the American tourist. No directive ever came for a manure management plan. The manure was pitched out of the barn, apparently so they could walk around in there, and that was it. When there was no room outside the doors and windows to pitch more, an elevator was set up and the manure deposited several feet from the barn until it reached up to the outlet of the elevator. The elevator was swung around in a half circle until the manure reached the top in all possible directions. Then another elevator was brought in.

The oats lacked fertilizer in the the hard baked mud. The farmer never hauled the manure onto the fields and he planted in the worst possible conditions. How could this happen?

The Brexit vote can shed a light on events that led up to the terrible management of that farm.

The most basic unit of government is the individual. Next we are part of a family, then a neighborhood, then a town, and so forth. Each step away from ourselves lessens the importance to us and also the quality of our decisions. It can’t be helped, as illustrated by the failure of the Latvian farmer and his Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

It could be argued that, not only is the European Union too big, but England is too big as well. There is evidence that there are neighborhoods in England where Sharia Law rules above the law of jolly old England. Space limits the description of the difference, but believe me, English Common Law is what we are used to and Sharia is not.

This is a direct result of a government that tries to be inclusive of too many cultures. Scotland and Ireland have become dependent on handouts from Mother England. Their economies have been weakened by the presence of someone else available to pay for careless management so they voted to remain in the union. Greece’s welfare state may have grown to unsustainable proportions with their dependence on the EU. But do the people of the more frugal and productive nations in the union deserve to spend part of each workday stuffing grape leaves for slothful olive farmers?

So far nothing has been written about actual consequences of Brexit, only about the emotional reactions rooted in the uncertainty of the change. But if you lived there would you like the EU (funny how that sounds like something stinks) making regulations to suit an entire continent? You can’t recycle a teabag? A child under eight can’t blow up a balloon? You can’t use better windows in trucks to make cyclists more visible?

Here in the U.S. we had a perfect example of a union of states that could compete and thus improve themselves or face loss of population. There is no federal constitutional authority for the laws that limit that competition today. There is no federal law against murder. If one state wanted a law making abortion legal, and another didn’t, the competition between the morally debased abortion state and the one that valued all its citizens would eventually sort out which society failed and which one flourished. The same would hold true for any number of issues: homosexual marriage, drug prohibition, corporate welfare, and environmental regulation come to mind.

I hope the Brexit vote inspires more governments to downsize and serve their people more efficiently. Our own Civil War was a turning point in American history. At least 600,000 people died to preserve a union that now rewards nonsense over voluntary relations.

We can be thankful to the EU for not resorting to murder to stifle Brexit, like Lincoln did.

Rarity creates value

I’ve been noticing that in an odd sort of Marxist way, I appreciate sparrows more than ever. Their nest building, hopping and even the way they bicker is fun. But there are so many.

In much the same way I’ve noticed patriotism has become more of a religion than any other religion. Part of this is flag worship. Seems a bit strange as we drive through the countryside and see tattered flags, flags flown after dark and in the rain. Sheesh.

It is no longer rare to see a flag at half staff. We don’t even know who died, for crying out loud. So if some real patriotic icon passes away he might get confused with a movie star or canine police officer. I can’t remember the standards set originally any more than the owners of these flags but abundance cheapens the act.