This installment has taken time for me to process. I want to cover a large piece of the SotU address, but I believe it is more important for me to allow a single thought to stew in the minds of my readers (and my own mind) before I delve into the “heart” of our President’s remarks.

The President said, early in his speech, “a free entrprise system is what drives innovation.” had what I believe to be a very moderate *gulp* definition of a Free Enterprise system as, “An economic system characterized by private ownership of property and productive resources, the profit motive to stimulate production, competition to ensure efficiency, and the forces of supply and demand to direct the production and distribution of goods and services.”

As an American, I have the dream of a free enterprise system. I don’t have the reality. This part of the speech is so very true in its definition. Yes, a free enterprise system does drive innovation to help us “out-innovate” and “out-educate” (barf) and “out-build.” But the very suggestion that the government operates along side or even in support of a free enterprise system is a blatant lie. And it’s a lie that every citizen should and can see clearly.

In the defintion of a free enterprise system, the “private ownership of property and productive resources” is first and foremost. There is no private property ownership anymore. Ignoring imminent domain, which is only questionably constitutional, the Kelo decision decimated and completely withdrew from our American society any and all private property ownership. Not only can the government take whatever it wants for itself, it can now take whatever it wants and give it to whoever it wishes. The Constitution, specifically, Amendment V (located in the BILL OF RIGHTS, read it, please), requires that “just compensation” be provided to the property owner. Well who sets “just compensation”? Your government through its tax valuation systems which are grossly inaccurate and years behind real value but always at a benefit to itself. Such an example is my county’s recent tax re-valuation. The re-valuation began before the real estate market collapsed resulting in tax values significantly higher than in the previous re-valuation. Which was convenient because tax receipts were at a ten year low… So, see, the gubmint gets what the gubmint wants. The citizenry, by way of staying quiet and taking its medicine lying down, has given them the power and ability to get it.

As there is no longer private ownership of property, nor is there private ownership of “productive resources.” Now, I am assuming here that “productive resources” are the raw materials necessary for production of any good and later used in service. Because it is clearly illogical that a productive resource could be a human. Humans are never “owned.” But given other actions and words of our government, I do believe it possible that “productive resources” may also refer to humans. Frightening, huh? So back to raw goods…

Raw goods are heavily subsidized, managed, and quantified by the government. Through regulation of the good itself and it’s procurement (think EPA, OSHA, DOE, FERC, etc) and taxation, the government has all control of all productive resources. There is no private ownership. Even before a drop of oil is captured, a rock drilled, even a blessed wind turbine set, the government has already determined how a resource can be procured, by whom it can be procured, how much of it can be procured, and at what cost it can be procured.

I own nothing. Not my real property, not my business property, and arguably, not my own physical or intellectual person.

After determining that there is some private ownership of property and raw materials, the second factor necessary for creating a free enterprise system is “the profit motive to stimulate production.” Well, this is somewhat of a no-brainer. But I’ll spell it out anyway. If I own nothing what motive do I have to stimulate anything? If there are so many roadblocks to earning a profit, which have finite, real costs/expenses, my profit falls and falls. I need a PROFIT motive. A good-hearted idea is not enough. If the government defeats me at every step, why bother? I give up. And that’s what the monster government wants. For me to give up. Give up hope.

Speaking of defeat, a free enterprise system also requires “competition to ensure efficiency.” We all compete against the government, and we compete for what is already theirs because there is no private ownership of anything. If there is any true competition, it is at a minimum monitored by the government, if not already regulated by the government. And further, if I am already competing with the government, I’ll never have a profit because the government will simply print more money or use illegal (but only illegal for its citizenry) accounting tactics to defeat me and win. No ownership, no possible profit, and no competition. No free enterprise system.

And as if proving the absence of a free enterprise system in America hasn’t already been done, let’s put the final nail in the coffin.

“The forces of supply and demand to direct the production and distribution of goods and services” driven by any parcel of the in-theory private economy are in truth absent from our economic system in America. The government controls supply and demand and distribution channels, too. There are the obvious means through regulation of procurement, production, transportation of goods and services but also through daily not-so-independent living. The government births, medicates, feeds, educates, transports, houses, employs, retires, and buries millions of people every day through entitlement programs for those unwilling to even pretend to be a part of the private economic landscape and for those who are still misled, believing that they don’t suckle from the teat. The entitlement programs are funded through my taxes. Everyone’s taxes really, or at least those who truly pay taxes, meaning that they actually take fewer tax dollars than they pay in. But I try hard not to put my convictions on others. The very taxes that were paid from funds earned with honest, hard-working, self-initiated and self-motivated ideas but under a false economic system. The government controls every penny from cradle to grave. Literally. For the penny and for me. But most honestly for the penny and for those that feed at the monster government’s trough…which is more of us than isn’t.

Yeah, that’s all a bit depressing. I don’t care for these realities I am discovering and uncovering. But I have not lost hope.

I am not one of the many, many who say, “Why vote? It’s all predetermined by those in power.” Let’s assume it is. They can only seize as much power as I allow them to seize. I won’t be silent in my protests. But when I know it’s best to lay low, I’ll still share knowledge, I’ll still express my beliefs, I’ll just choose a quieter stage. I won’t give up hope. The moment I give up hope, I plant a seed, no. The seed has already been planted. That’s how we are here now… I won’t give up hope, I’ll plant a NEW seed. A “heritage” seed. And I’ll guard it with my life. Even if that seed is growing in Galt’s Gulch. Because I won’t give up hope.

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