Examining the “Lobbyist Gift Cap”

The Georgia House of Representatives Speaker, David Ralston is flipping back and forth about a proposal to ban gifts by lobbyists. The proposal is in regards to the specific types of gifts and capping the amount allowed by lobbyists to spend to influence the decision of a politician. Apparently these gifts have gone a little too far. Too far? Allowing any kind of influence in this arena is too far. Here is why:

We are all familiar with the concept of separation of church and state. Why exactly do we value this concept? Why is this the “right” thing to do?

First, we do not want a “gang” to be in control of government force. We believe in individual rights, not “gang” rights. The separation of church and state is a great example. If we did not keep them separate there would be only one religion: the one willing to be the most violent if opposed.

The second reason is a bonus: there are more choices! For example, there are over 300 basic types of religions in the United States. Over thirty are various types of Christianity. Freedom from government means freedom to choose. ALL of our choices are possible and available to us all the time. No one is required to attend church, no one is fined if they do not. (The fact that church is tax exempt is the corrupt loophole that does connect them and does create unfair advantages in the market place of solutions. This is another post for another time.)

Choice is the moral reason for the separation of anything from the state. When man has his freedom to make all of his choices, he is fully human. He can live and love. Without choice he can only exist. He then only exists under duress. He can only build self esteem and self respect by making the right choices for his own set of moral purposes. However, - and I feel exasperated that I have to explain this over and over again – He cannot choose to eliminate the choices of anyone else. Let me say this again. He CANNOT choose to ELIMINATE the CHOICES of anyone else. If a man chooses to eliminate any choices of anyone else, he has elevated himself to a god over man, effectively becoming his slave master. No man has a right to destroy what it means to be a man, and no man can do it without destroying himself in the process.

The proper role of government is to prevent this from happening. To empower man, not restrict him. The idea of non-slavery as the moral absolute is a fairly new concept, and I get that it takes time to integrate. The idea of trading with (instead of forcing ones neighbors to meet ones needs) is fairly new in the time line of mankind’s existence. We are in that struggle right now with those who think man is by his nature evil and needs to be chained down. Man by his nature is self interested and needs to be honored for that fact. We have been each others keepers for thousands of years. We all agree that slavery is wrong. Right? Based on what is happening in government, I do question this supposedly accepted norm every single day.

The government’s only useful and moral purpose to man is to keep the initiation of force out of our lives (the self defense form of force is appropriate). We can do everything else we need for each other by free trade. By protecting the free markets this leads us to the separation of State and economy. If we want choices and we want our votes with our dollars to count in determining the winners and the losers of the kinds of business that serve us … if we want the kinds of businesses that do not have to lie, cheat and bribe in order to succeed, we must deliver the message to our elected officials: STAY OUT OF THE ECONOMY!

This nonsense of putting a cap on gifts pales in comparison with the lucrative things like the corrupt construction deals that go on everyday. This talk about gifts is just a ruse in my not-so-humble opinion. It is a classic magician’s trick to keep our attention held up, while the other hand is deep in our pockets grabbing anything they can hold.

So let’s get this straight … it is perfectly acceptable for politicians to take what is unearned through taxation and other methods of wealth redistribution, however, it is wrong for them to accept a gift? That is completely insane. The trade is not evil. Theft and force are evil. A gift of something you own is a trade and a choice. The politicians should have nothing to trade or give back (they do not give what they own). When they give what is ours, it is treason and they should go to prison. He has nothing to give, only something very valuable to protect.

There are other important separations … education and state, science and state, health care and state … I will cover those in future posts.

It is not too late. We can vote this corruption out by working towards building a necessary wall between government force and the free market.