Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Modern Technology: Peter Pan’s Dream: "I'll Never Grow Up?"

Peter Pan became a fantasy icon through his determination to never grow up. He was determined to remain a child forever, free of adult responsibilities and worries. He would have fit well into the modern technological world.

“A hundred years ago”, as my husband is fond of saying, going off to college was the Great Divide—the break between childhood and the world of adults. A young person would now plan and execute his own schedule, find his own friends and “place in the sun”, and manage his own money. As an adult, she would pick out her own clothes, cook her own food, and decorate her own dorm room. (I bought a blanket, put my boyfriend’s picture on the shelf and taped a picture of my family on my dorm room mirror. Done.) We were independent. We called home from a pay phone or our dorm room phones, with their 6 foot cords, once a month. At a cost of $2/minute, when money was more expensive and less available, we did our business and were off in 5 minutes. College was a make-it-or-break-it experience—you sank or swam, but you did it on your own.

What a difference a few decades makes. Is anybody independent anymore?

In a ten minute sojourn across the BYU campus recently, I heard no less that four fresh young students, male and female, carrying on conversations with their moms. “But mom, it was only a dollar more than I planned.”  “Hey, mom, did you get that picture I sent to your phone? Does that shirt go with my brown skirt?” I didn’t say that, mom, all I said to him was…”  “No, I didn’t do my homework last night because I went to a dance, but I will.”

What happened to growing up? Making your own decisions? Embracing independence?

During my college years I had a roommate that hadn’t cut the apron strings. Charlotte was an only child, the product of an obviously over-dominant mother and an obviously under-dominant father. She talked to her mom at least an hour every night, long distance to Arizona, about everything: every person she talked to, what she wore that day, and how she did her hair—they didn’t discuss grades much. The general consensus from the other five of us in the apartment was that she was weird, couldn’t do for herself, and wouldn’t have a life, as things were going. (Let it also be said--there was a great deal of resentment because she tied up the apartment’s only phone so those hordes of boys trying to date us couldn’t get through.)

By today’s standards, Charlotte is normal. Texting, cell phone cameras, facebook and twitter keep mom and her chicks connected at the ears, eyes, and fingertips. Suzie needn’t make any decisions for herself. She can text mom—and she does. Why think, experiment, risk a little, or develop your own tastes when a text is faster?

How do the mothers feel about this? Did they have things they wanted to do after the kids were gone? In today’s techie world, will they ever be gone?

Sound society and wise government depend on youth with insight and skills to replace those of us who are on the way out. The purpose of parenthood is to prepare youth for their leadership years in government, business, and the family. How can we trust our Constitution, our government, and our culture to those who haven’t yet figured out which shirt goes with which skirt?

Time passes, the old get wrinkled and the young blossom. Let us hope that the Charlotte Syndrome is a passing fancy, that young people learn to take risks and “go for it”, and that the Great Divide becomes a reality soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

About The Paper Bag

There is political mischief afoot in Utah. Termites are attacking the pillars of citizen involvement in state and local politics.

There are several ways to run a government. You can put one person in charge, a few in charge (always those with money and power), or everybody in charge. Our Founders sifted through the good and bad of each system to create a republic, anchored by a written Constitution. That is our genius: we glean the best from all systems. States also drafted constitutions. Utah's provided elections with exceptional local involvement from the common folk at neighborhood caucuses. Every other year we caucus to pick delegates who then vet all candidates and support the best. This is grassroots politics at its finest -- people picking those they know and trust to represent them.
If the rich and powerful of our state -- a group including past governors -- succeeds, we will lose that voice.
Their initiative, Count my Vote, would junk the caucus system for political primaries. Here is the problem: primaries favor the privileged -- only the wealthy have millions for TV ads, endless mailers, and political games to run in a primary. The average person, who may be well suited to represent you in office, will be boxed out by the big names and big dollar boys. The elites control the game. The pick candidates, pull strings, make deals, court outside interests and manipulate the system. Politics becomes an elitist shell game rather than the people's voice, just like national politics, and who wants that for Utah?
The elites say us ordinary folks don't get it right -- that we can't make good decisions and they can do better. You get the idea they think we can't find our way out of a paper bag. We should be insulted. When the powerful make decisions, the dec isions favor the powerful. They say the primary system will increase voter participation. Did they, along with Mike Leavitt (Daily Herald, Sept 19, 2013), miss the packed rooms of the 2012 neighborhood caucuses? They blame all the current political problems on caucuses. Really? Could you show me some proof on that? They say people like mothers are disadvantaged -- their duties prevent attendance at a caucus. Give me a break; once every two years you can't ask your mother-in-law to babysit? They say it will reduce fraud. Surely you jest--since when do we have pristine primaries? The Count Your Vote cartel is using skewed statistics and stilted reasoning to smokescreen the public.
One measure of national freedom is whether each citizen has a respected voice in what affects him. The real issue here is who has the power -- the people or the elite? When you attend a caucus to pick your delegate, you speak. In a primary, you watch big money speak instead.
In 1835, Frenchman Alexis de Toqueville spent a year in the U.S. and then wrote Democracy in America to share his penetrating observations, which are still valid 180 years later. He said that, while "aristocracies are ... more expert in the science of legislation ... and the means of democracy are ...more imperfect ... yet they (the common people) will never systematically adopt a line of conduct hostile to the majority ... (and) they bring about good results which they never thought of." In short, we ordinary folk may be less polished, but we get better results.
Petitions will soon circulate to put Count Your Vote on the 2014 ballot. If you aren't capable of making decisions about your well-being, sign that petition. If, on the other hand, you are smart enough to find your way out of a paper bag, say no to the return of an aristocracy; refuse the petitions and encourage others to do likewise. We don't need an oligarchy--minority rule by the wealthy and powerful few. Our republic is run by the majority--that which does the most good for the most of us. Please preserve it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our American Republic: How Long Will It Last?

When James Russell Lowell, U.S. lawyer, editor and diplomat in the mid-1800s, was asked, “How long will the American Republic last?” he replied, “As long as the ideas of the men who founded it continue dominant”. His sentiments are worth considering today. 

 The Constitution came from 55 men who gave credit to God for what they created. That they were divinely directed is evidenced by the fact that in 1905, 116 years after ratification of the U S Constitution, the United Stated was producing 50% of the world’s goods with only 6% of the world’s population. That 6% inhabited only a tiny fraction of the world’s area—5%, to be exact. That such a small percentage of the earth’s populace and area could produce over half the material goods used by mankind is little short of a miracle. The quality of life available in this nation exceeded that of almost any group of people ever to reside on Mother Earth.

The men who drafted the Constitution were mostly young, by today’s standards. Their average age was 44; the youngest, Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey, was only 26; at 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest. Their educational level was superior to that of most assemblies of men up to that time in history. Twenty-one of the delegates were educated in the best colleges of the day, both in America and Europe. Twenty-six had served in the Continental Congress, which brought them to the heart of American government. Eighteen had been lawyers or judges, giving them expansive understanding of the law and its consequences. Two, George Washington and James Madison, became future presidents, and one, Elbridge Gerry, became vice president; two later became future chief justices of the Supreme Court.

These 55 men were also patriots: nineteen had served in the Revolutionary War, most as officers; some as Washington’s most trusted aides. This was a stellar group of patriots—sober, seasoned men drawn from all walks of life, dedicated to the creation and preservation of freedom in a chosen land. 

The document the Founders designed had the ability to adapt to a growing nation. At its inception, it governed 13 states; by 1905 it governed 45 states. The Constitution had a natural blend of the protective rigidity necessary to preserve freedom coupled with the flexibility to adapt to growing needs. It was not a document designed for future obsolescence. It was, instead, one whose minor details were to be adjusted through the amendment process; its mass preserved while its details could shift when cautious inspection proved the need. No past system of government had incorporated this adaptability. The voice of the people would keep the document alive and fully functioning.

To repeat, then, the words of James Russell Lowell, that our American republic would last as long as the ideas of the men who founded it continue dominant, what has happened? The Founders believed in limited federal government—six duties for the president and twenty for Congress. We have violated that, with our 2600 federal agencies, created by Congress and delegated to a vastly powerful executive. They believed in strong states to act as preventive watchdogs against federal control. This has fallen by the wayside, as states have become vassals to the national government, receiving much of their funds from the federal behemoth. The Founders believed all decisions and rights not specifically delegated to the federal government in the Constitution belonged to the people and the states. We now have a federal government that creates new “rights” and cancels existing ones; that restructures society, the economy, and the law despite the will of the people. The list of violations could go on for pages. These are all breaches; abuses of the ideas of the men who wrote our founding charter under divine instruction.

We see our republic, with its guarantee of inalienable rights, dying before us. Why? Because we have abandoned the ideas of the inspired men who wrote our Constitution.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Get it Right: Whining to the Feds

America is racing toward bankruptcy, with debts beyond any ability to repay. The debt clock stands near 17 trillion, with future combined federal liabilities (social security, prescriptions drugs, Medicare, ect.) at 126 trillion, an incomprehensible sum. Yet we still beg for federal funds. Why? The government has no money. To feed its gluttony, it borrows every cent it gives and vastly more. Why do we add to it, boarding a rapidly sinking ship, only to sink it further?

Conservatives routinely bewail the entitlement mentality. Lest we forget, cities, counties and states can embrace entitlement as well. Under our Constitution, the federal government has only 26 responsibilities: twenty for Congress and six to the president. Funding non-federal projects, such as Alpine's $750,000 flood mitigation project, is not among the 26 duties, yet that request graces the desk of federal bureaucrats.
It's not that the project is not necessary or good; it's just not a federal matter, and making it so embraces entitlement. If the project is necessary, it should be locally funded with citizen support, strong priorities, and a paring knife aimed at current expenditures.
America, under our original Constitution, became great through independence. As a basic system, anything non-essential fell to private enterprise. Anything essential for the community was funded there; ditto for the county, double ditto for the state. Each state was an independent laboratory; a sovereign body with the duty to care for its own. Beyond what all states needed, such as a national navy, unified postal system, uniform bankruptcy laws and patents, a universal monetary system, the states were the boss. There was no whining to the feds.
Things have changed! Now we "run home to papa" -- the federal government. But papa is broke; he has no money. His life savings are gone, he's in hock to the bank for a whole lot more than he owns and the banks have threatened to shut him down. Yet we still run to papa for funds. As an example, students go to him for loans -- almost half, 45 percent, of Utah graduates owe the Feds over $17,000 at graduation, with $1 trillion owed nationally. Their grandparents bought houses for that amount two generations ago. It is not one of the 26 federal duties to loan money to students. In a tight job market, can they repay, or will we excuse the debts as a down payment into Entitlement Villa?
How about if we leave Papa and support ourselves? Personal responsibility is the basis of a constitutional republic. Without it; with papa paying the bills, we cannot be a constitutional republic; we must be a socialist nation, where people, businesses, and governments need nursery care. The more money we take from the feds, the more they can dictate to us. You pay your bills, you make the decisions; someone else pays, he tells you what to do. Freedom versus control; it's a simple equation. Entitlement saps our strength, convinces us that we are helpless, and we become slaves. With our subscription to civic entitlement, we reap a culture of slavery.

Do we want freedom, or do we not? This is not a cake-and-eat-it-too deal, either we care for ourselves, or we let the federal government do it. Which? If freedom is our goal, personal and civic responsibility bid us abandon our place in line at the federal feeding trough, even for pet projects.
Probably all of us have partaken of the entitlement feast, though perhaps not knowingly or willingly. It has become a way of life, but it exacts an indelible toll. Federal money is habit forming. Like street drugs, it sucks your resolve, crushes your future, and makes you dependent.
What do we want? It's our decision: freedom, with its responsibility and self-sacrifice, or ever-growing social and economic slavery? We should actively make the decision, however, not continue to bellyache about entitlement while we practice it. Hypocrisy is not good for the soul.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Power of Prayer - Do we still Need It?

Prayer stops the French Invasion of America in 1746.

Miracles attended the founding of America, beginning well before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. One such miracle involves the intended attack of the Eastern seaboard by the French.

In 1746 French Duke d’Anville sailed for New England with the largest naval force ever to set sail for the New World prior to the American Revolution—70 ships with more than 10,000 troops aboard. This effort was the fourth and final French attempt to regain territory in Nova Scotia. Duke d’Anville also had orders to destroy the American seacoast from Boston to Georgia.

The massive French fleet of King Louis XV, with its square-rigged sailing vessels bristling with guns, was rapidly approaching across the Atlantic, nearing Boston’s doorstep. The entire community of Boston was in turmoil as it prepared for the invasion. Governor Shirley of Massachusetts proclaimed a fast day to pray for deliverance. The men of Boston—old, young and in between—gathered at Boston Common, 6000 strong with their weapons, for the upcoming attack. John Adams, future Founding Father and president of the United States, was 10 years old at the time.

On a clear, calm morning, the worried citizens of Boston had walked to church in pleasant sunshine to hear the words of their pastor. From the pulpit of Old South Church, The Reverend Thomas Prince addressed God as he prayed before his congregation. Standing at the church pulpit, Reverend Prince implored, “Deliver us from our enemy! Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the waters to the eastward! Raise Thy right hand. Scatter the ships of our tormentors and drive them hence. Sink their proud frigates beneath the power of Thy winds!”

He had scarcely pronounced the words when the sunshine gave way to skies darkened with roiling clouds, leaving the church in shadows. A sudden wind sprang up from nowhere, shrieking so loudly that the great church bell broke free and began to ring “a wild an uneven sound…though no man was in the steeple”.

The Reverend Thomas Paine, with both arms outstretched to heaven, paused in his prayer, “We hear Thy voice, O Lord! We hear it! Thy breath is upon the waters of the eastward, even upon the deep. The bell tolls for the death of our enemies!” He momentarily bowed his head, and looking up, with tears streaming down his face, he prayed, “Thine be the glory, Lord. Amen and amen!”

The storm came as a raging hurricane that scattered and sank the entire French fleet. Two thousand troops were dead, including d’Anville. The second in command, Vice Admiral Cornelle, seeing the utter disgrace of the affair, threw himself upon his sword.

The French attack never came to the shores of New England.

A week later other vessels entering Boston brought the rest of the story. The French fleet was nearly lost and all who survived the storm suffered from a pestilential fever. The few remaining ships, half manned, were limping southward. There would be no French invasion of America.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized the battle in the Ballad of the French Fleet:

Admiral d’Anville had sworn by cross and crown,
To ravage with fire and steel our helpless Boston Town…
From mouth to  mouth spread tidings of dismay,
I stood in the Old South saying humbly, “Let us pray!”…
Like a potter’s vessel broke, the great ships of the line,
Were carried away as smoke or sank in the brine.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Political Parties that Serve Themselves More Than the People

The contention between our two major political parties is gnawing at the nation's nerves. Politics doesn't have to get ugly and political parties need not become enemies. Unfortunately, they usually do. That's one of life's mean little tricks. So, where is a Yellow Brick Road to follow?

The Founders intended that there be no political parties to create mischief and mayhem on the national scene. The electoral college was to save us from that. Selected individuals from each state searched the country for people they deemed to be presidential material. If their combined efforts produced a majority candidate, the search was over. If not, the Senate and House voted on the spot to fill the two executive slots from the list of nominees. That was it--no campaigning, vitriolic verbiage, roadside signs, or flagrant finances.
Though innovative and practical, it lasted but a political heartbeat on the national scene, thanks to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. These devoted patriots each feared a different Apocalypse on the distant scene. Adams wanted a strong federal government to restrain unruly states who could swallow the federal government. Jefferson wanted strong states so a voracious national government could not render states helpless. Either could have been right, but not both. History went with Jefferson. In the aftermath, the electoral college waned, political parties drew breath, and here we are.
President Washington warned us. This great man, who could have made himself king or stayed on as president forever, left office after two terms to set a pattern for those who followed. He steered the country through its tumultuous original era and knew, better than anyone alive, the potential for power grabs inherent in a constitutional republic. He cautioned, "Let me ... warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. They serve to ... put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party (rather than) ... consistent and wholesome plans ...(for) mutual interests." This, then is the great folly of parties: they come to care more for their own power than for the wellbeing of the citizens.
What a travesty! Our Founders had given their lives, liberties and fortunes for American preeminence. When Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania inked the notes of the 1787 Constitutional Convention into a workable document, he penned these words, "We the People .. in order to form a more perfect Union ... insure domestic Tranquility ... (and) promote the general Welfare."
Look at our national political scene. Does anyone see domestic tranquility? How about general welfare, or a more perfect union? All three are Missing In Action in the current political wars. Parties fight each other and dissenters within their ranks. The war is about which party wins, not about giving the American people what they inherited, what they want, and what they repeatedly ask for. The whole political scene is a battleground.

The nation could take a page from the handbook of Utah's non-partisan local politics. Skip the Republican/Democrat thing; local politicians say there's a better way. Gary Garrett, of the Provo City Council, says the workability of the political atmosphere is enjoyable; that it fosters a greater spirit of cooperation to benefit the people of his city. Sharon Price Anderson, candidate for Orem City Council, believes divisions in local politics are more a matter of mindset than political persuasion. While most in Utah are Republicans by registration, there's diversity in the philosophy and practice of government. That variety gives choices. It's not Shangri-la, but politics works better at the local level.
We can see the problems at the national level and appreciate the pattern of more peaceful self-governance set locally. The quandary is this: how do we bridge the gap between local and national? It's not a waltz down the yellow brick road, but the pattern of local Utah politics is a start.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Obamacare fixed by the Liberty Amendment

The Liberty Amendment as of 9/13
Individual liberty, freedom and sovereignty of the people will be restored in a representative republican form of government by clarifying the original spirit and intent of the Constitution. The Liberty Amendment will give back to the Constitution its full force and effect in limiting the powers and activities of the Federal Government and restoring those powers reserved to the States and to the people. The Liberty Amendment, proposed, could become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. 

Text of the proposed Liberty Amendment
Section 1. The Government of the United States shall not engage in any business, professional, commercial, financial or industrial enterprise except as specified in the Constitution.
Section 2. The constitution or laws of any State, or the laws of the United States shall not be subject to the terms of any foreign or domestic agreement which would abrogate this amendment.
Section 3. The activities of the United States Government which violate the intent and purpose of this amendment shall, within a period of three years from the date of the ratification of this amendment, be liquidated and the properties and facilities affected shall be sold.
Section 4. Three years after the ratification of this amendment the sixteenth article of amendments to the Constitution of the United States shall stand repealed and thereafter Congress shall not levy taxes on personal incomes, estates, and/or gifts.
The Liberty Amendment states that the Federal Government shall not operate business-type activities unless they are specifically authorized by the Constitution.
It provides a three-year period for selling or liquidating more than 900 agencies and business-type enterprises presently operated by the Federal Government without constitutional authority. Sale of these enterprises will bring in enough money to substantially reduce the national debt. Annual budget spending by the government could be reduced by more than fifty percent. Revenue from excise taxes on goods and services, and on corporation incomes, will increase at least twenty percent, without increase of tax rates.
This means that the annual revenue collected from the Federal Personal Income and Withholding Tax, the Federal Estate Tax, and the Federal Gift tax, will not be needed. So the Liberty Amendment will stop these three types of taxes, at the end of the three-year period

Current status

·       There are currently nine States which have already endorsed the Liberty Amendment. These States and the year in which they endorsed the Amendment are:
Wyoming ('59) • Nevada ('60) • Texas ('60) • Louisiana ('60) • Georgia ('62) • South Carolina ('62) • Mississippi ('82) • Arizona ('82) • Indiana ('82)
  • On April 30, 2009 the Hon. Ron Paul of Texas introduced the Liberty Amendment into the House of Representatives, as House Joint Resolution 48:
Proposing an amendment the Constitution of the United States relative to abolishing personal income, estate, and gift taxes and prohibiting the United States Government from engaging in business in competition with its citizens.
Here is Dr. Paul's short speech introducing the legislation. And here are the full text and current status.
(Dr. Paul has previously introduced this amendment in: 2007, 2005, 2003, 1999, and 1998).
For more background information, please see The Liberty Amendment – its origin and progress.

The purpose of the Liberty Amendment

The purpose of this Amendment is to give full force and effect to the Constitution of the United States; to restore freedom and lost liberties to all Americans; and to restore sovereignty to the United States of America, the States and the body of the People.
The Liberty Amendment will renew personal freedom – the ability of individuals to exercise their God-given rights with a minimum of dependence on, and interference from, the Federal Government. It will restore to ourselves and to future generations the advantages which we inherited from our forefathers – advantages which made us the most fortunate people on earth.
Economic freedom, without which no freedom is possible, will be renewed by terminating federal competition with free enterprise and interference in "our" economy. When this has been accomplished, federal personal income, estate, and gift taxes will be unnecessary. So this Amendment will further renew economic freedom by terminating these taxes.
The Liberty Amendment is designed to regain the Constitutionally guaranteed powers reserved to the States and to the people. We are requesting that all States consider the urgent need to save the sovereignty of the States, the United States in its true Constitutionally framed Republic, and the Individual Liberty of all of our People.

Questions and Answers

Way back in 1975, Rep. Larry McDonald (D-Georgia) entered an excellent series of Questions and Answers about the Liberty Amendment into the Congressional Record. Even today, this is still one of the best explanations of the Liberty Amendment. Read it here.

The Liberty Amendment will win the battle on 45 issues all at once

The Liberty Amendment has been designed to fight all the multitude of apparently different battles at once – and win by restoring the Constitution to full force and effect. Once the Amendment is applied, a multitude of diversified battles will be won. Please read this important section.


Since the purpose and design of the Liberty Amendment is to Restore Liberty in America, it is our goal to inform as many Americans as possible about how this amendment to the Constitution will accomplish this difficult task in our time. And since nine States, so far, have passed resolutions requesting Congress to initiate the ratification process, it is our intent to motivate all freedom loving citizens of the remaining States to request their State Legislators to pass a resolution endorsing the Liberty Amendment. This resolution should request Congress to initiate the preferred process of submitting the Amendment directly to the States for ratification and firmly insist that a Constitutional Convention only be called for the single purpose of ratifying the Liberty Amendment.
So now is the time – for everyone to work for the endorsement of the Liberty Amendment and for its ratification. We will have to work hard to convince our state legislators that they should introduce a resolution calling for the Congress to submit the the Amendment to the states for ratification. Please read this section to see how you can help! 
I've previously written about the Liberty Amendment, and mention it in Promises of the Constitution, vignette 12.6. Several of you have asked me about it. Below is the text of this Amendment to the federal constitution that would correct much of the current abuse coming from the federal government (remember that this amendment would apply only to the national government, not to states). Also listed is information about the current status of this still-active amendment, which chould be supported by all freedom-loving people. .

Note how simple it is, and compare it to the 25,000 pages (and counting) of the healthcare bill. A declaration comes to mind: "The things of God are always simple." The things of good government always are, as well.

Have a good week!  Pam

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Duel for Dollars: Government Funding vs. Free Enterprise

With five weeks until the November elections, the issue of renewing the CARE tax is heating things up in Orem. Like most entrenched programs, the wind blows toward the incumbents. Once government giveaways have begun, they are difficult to cancel. Recipients, once dependent on funds, are likely to cry "Foul!" when threatened with canceled funding. This tax will be no exception. The Cultural Art and Recreational Enrichment program, originally funded for 10 years, collects 0.1 percent of local sales and use taxes to fund theater, dance, music and sports programs for Orem, under the rules of the Utah State Constitution.

Not all residents participate in the activities that CARE benefits. If your kids play sports, if you attend plays, concerts, and museums, you probably approve of tax money that helps fund these activities. If you would rather watch movies at home or hunt and 4-wheel in the local outdoors, you may be complaining.
Kudos to Orem for this: they fund the programs through a local tax, rather than begging at the feet of Washington's Daddy Warbucks, which would incur the federal control attached to federal money. Thanks, and good job on that part, Orem! The question remains, however, is the CARE tax in the city's best interest?
The argument is not whether or not Orem should have cultural and recreational facilities and programs. Culture and recreation belong here. What's not to love about Utah Valley Symphony and Utah Valley Regional Ballet? Who could give up the Colonial Heritage Festival or our internationally renowned Timpanogos Storytelling Festival? The question is, who pays for them -- all the residents, or those that benefit?
There are several options in the smorgasbord of philosophies on this issue. Already mentioned is the federal government's "I'll-give-you-the-funds-and-take-your-firstborn" approach. Next comes what we now have: redistribute wealth from everybody to those who want to be entertained. Third, also dismissed, would be, "Culture and sports? Never heard of 'em." Finally, the option favored by the pay-if-you-use crowd: put the issue in the hands of free market economics. Bring in private enterprise, citizen contributions, and charitable organizations to offer service and make it happen.
Why not bring free enterprise into cultural and sports activities? Almost anything run for private profit is more economical, more efficient, and less mischievous than almost anything run by, for, or with government. (Yes, I know--the mammoth tax breaks to mammoth corporations, but we are talking honest enterprise, here.) This is the basic law of free markets: private money and invested citizens will kill bad programs and boost good ones. It's easy to waste tax dollars, but we pinch pennies when they are ours. Profit, that "bad rep" capitalist word in a government run society, created American excellence a century ago, before tax-and-redistribute gained traction. Why not let private enterprise fund culture and recreation in Orem? Though it has grown rusty with disuse, the free market system still works.

One final thought: when government pays for programs, a crisis awaits. At some point, somebody will want funds for activities we don't like. It's our constitutional right (Amendment X, 'The powers not delegated to the (federal government) ... are reserved to the states ... or to the people") to set community standards -- that's what America is about. When government does the funding, standards get bypassed. This problem can be sidestepped by keeping government out of optional funding issues. If citizens don't like what the open market offers, the businesses fail, solving the problem. The law of supply and demand works well when left alone. The difficult but doable challenge for Orem businesses would be how to creatively restructure to attract private enterprise.
We want the great things that happen in Orem to continue. Who can imagine Orem without the SCERA, Hale Center Theater, or our sports parks? The task is to find the best means to fund these activities, now and in future.
The duel of opposing philosophies takes place November 5th. Don't miss it.

Pamela Romney Openshaw is a Utah Valley speaker and author of "Promises of the Constitution" and "Lessons of the Constitution for Family and Home School Study." She writes the weekly column "Get it Right" for the Daily Herald and for heraldextra.com. To reach Pamela, you can contact her through her website, PromisesoftheConstitution.com or by email at promisesoftheconstitution@ gmail.com.