My name is Sankara Saranam. I am a resident of New Mexico, a farmer, author and philosopher, guitarist and composer, and father of two children.
I seek to give voice to New Mexico’s independent spirit. Below you will find my State and National platform positions.
I welcome any and all feedback; my views are always evolving.
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The property or land tax currently supports very necessary social functions including education, police and fire departments, local government functions, and medical aid for the needy. Abolishing Property tax does not mean abolishing these vital social services. It means taxing the public for these services while citizens yet retain the peace of mind that their land and homes are off-limits from the hands of government.
Abolishing the Property Tax is a quality of life issue for Americans.
I feel that every citizen, including individuals and couples without children and families whose children attend private schools, should pay a local school or “Education Tax” because everyone in society, and the world, benefits from educated children. Each State, or County, can determine the amount of the Education Tax levied on its residents.
Every citizen is also certainly obliged to pay some form of “Security Tax” that covers the cost of local law enforcement and fire departments. No matter where we reside, we all greatly benefit from these services.
Further, a “Municipal Tax” that pays for local governance is definitely in order. Yet again, each State, or even more localized districts, can determine the amount of this tax.
All of the above can be grouped into a single “Residency Tax” that yet leaves an individual’s property, ownership, and access to one’s home and land out of the equation.
In human life, few feelings compare with owning one’s land, farm, or home free and clear. So long as governments, local or federal, levy a property tax against that ownership, no one in America is truly living free.
Removal of the Property Tax and establishment of a generic Residency Tax that pays for those absolutely needed government and social functions will welcome a new era of American life – one that was not so foreign to the early settlers.
I am no friend to banks and corporations that serially rape the public, raid the coffers of government, and avoid paying their fair share of taxes to offset the damage they cause to the environment and people’s lives around the world. Yet taxing profit itself is not what I’d call American.
In my estimation or philosophy of taxation, governments are obliged to tax social motions, which are defined as those activities that create or require waste, damage, corrective or reconciliatory human labor, and/or wear and tear on a society’s infrastructure.
By way of examples, whenever a product moves from one place to another, road/registration and fuel taxes apply to offset the cost, damage, and wear of that motion on the roads.
A “Carbon Tax,” at bottom, is reasoned to offset the cumulative damage caused by waste products emitted into the atmosphere. When an entity, like an individual or corporation, buys electricity, propane, or a yard of wood, it is understood that greenhouse gases are a byproduct or component of that sale; the carbon tax can be applied to that social motion, which invariably creates damage through the manifestation of an environmental waste burden that, over time, wreaks havoc through droughts, floods, and destructive storms.
When a product and/or service is exchanged for money between two entities, such as a customer purchasing an item at a store or and individual hiring a contractor, that motion is taxed as well. Yet it is unclear what damage or wear and tear to society is being offset by this tax.
Taxing money leaving the country offsets the damage done to the economy.
Sickness and injury damage society in countless ways. A medical tax to offset the emotional and physical cost can be used to provide universal health coverage.
Profit itself does not constitute any motion, as counting profits causes no damage to social infrastructure or the environment or the general good. Wherever money is spent, State and Federal government will no doubt find socioeconomic motion worthy of taxation; until a government can quantifiably measure the motion and the corresponding damage, a tax has no legitimacy.
A lot of what amounts to profit can and should be taxed because damage was done in the process of making profits. But that money needs to be appropriately taxed before the profit is made, not after simply on the grounds that profit is there.
Does labor and earning a salary constitute a social motion worthy of taxation?
The principle or idea of viewing legitimate taxation as a response to socioeconomic damages, waste, or the wear on public resources addresses the question of the validity of an income tax. Employment involves many social concerns, but earning an income itself places no taxable burden on society.
Receiving a paycheck does not itself constitute a social motion that produces waste, damage, or wear and tear to society’s mechanism. Hence, a tax on income itself, according to my philosophy of taxation, is not American.
That isn’t to say that a local or national government can’t tax wealth. Concentration of wealth is, too, a socioeconomic burden as it creates want in vast swaths of the population. But taxing wealth is, in principle, very different than a blanket tax on income since a great deal of wealth is created not through salaries but through investment dividends, bonuses, stocks and commerce, and the like.
I understand this may be a polarizing issue, but it again speaks to the question of what is a legitimate tax.
Revoking religious nonprofit status, within my overall vision of government, is a technicality or a matte of principles because I am not for taxing the profits of corporations as mere profit. The profit, if any, religions make does not, of itself, in my mind constitute a motion or waste in society.
Neither do I find a socioeconomic motion breeding waste or damage when revenues from donations or sales become someone’s salary; nevertheless, the current code places a tax on that income.
But in my larger platform, revoking nonprofit status means to say that religious organizations should be treated in no manner different than the way we treat for profit corporations. If we continue to tax the latter, we should begin to tax the former.
In the past, it was believed that religions are, by their nature, an anti-tax on society. That is, through their work, they reduce social waste, damage, and pain. Hence, we should not tax that which purely improves quality of life.
As I amply point out in my philosophical writings, especially in my book God Without Religion, organized religions are practically and socially anything but an anti-tax. More often than not, religious organizations of all stripes increase waste and damage by disseminating or emitting one of the greatest wastes of all, ignorance. This ignorance foments social disharmony in the manifestation of divisiveness, sectarianism, and violence.
While all religionists believe their religion is right and best and true, all cannot be equally so. In fact, all are more or less equal in spreading unscientific ideas, dangerous eschatological cosmologies, and self-satisfied worldviews.
It may very well be that corporations are under-taxed in that, for example, their carbon footprint is ignored by the current code. Yet forcing power companies to turn in part to self-sustainable sources of energy is nothing more than a version of a carbon tax.
Motion of money out of the country must be taxed to offset the socioeconomic damage.
Failure to properly compensate and support the lives of employees may increase profit but, through legislation favoring employees, this systemic failure can be addressed by increasing minimum wage, improving employee protection, and providing universal medical coverage. Such legislation places an indirect tax on profits.
When we view corporations and taxation in this light, religion can be stripped of all mystifying terms and, like corporations, be viewed as a mixed bag in terms of its social effect.
When it comes to corporations, we need businesses to get the business of living done. It is understandable that business will produce motion and social waste; and taxes can offset these costs. It is similarly desirable that we as a people gain from the net benefit that corporations provide.
Religions on the other hand, traditionally teach ethical values; but in recent decades, some sects and denominations have become so polarized that the values they teach are outmoded, divisive, and highly politicized. Many religious teachers have no qualms about disenfranchising millions of people due to their sexual orientation or gender.
I don’t agree with taxing the profits of nonprofit organizations, whether they are religious or public charities, but I do feel that religions should not be seen as any different than any other corporate organization founded by people.
I also feel that religions that espouse dangerous, divisive, or violence-producing doctrines must be held accountable for the damage to society their beliefs inflict. A tax is certainly not the answer, but legislation can spotlight beliefs that tear at the fabric of society and new laws with corresponding fines can be enacted to specifically deter organizations from disseminating views that repeatedly cause harm to society through everything from pedophilia to hate crimes.
In short, if the social sciences repeatedly confirm that a certain belief is injurious to society, then that scientific sensibility must find incarnation in legislative language designed to limit the damage such beliefs socially inflict.
If social motion is defined as damage or wear and tear to society or the environment, such that government administration is required to offset the social burden, we get a fairly good, albeit general, sense of where taxes can be applied and where they are to go.
The basic question we must ask, especially in the midst of a cultural war, is what kind of place do we want our State and our country to be? What does it mean to be American? For what does America stand?
While Americans disagree on a great many things, we have found some basic agreements.
The threat of attack from a foreign power, not to mention attacks themselves, constitute a huge damage to both society’s infrastructure and people’s lives. Admittedly, while American foreign policy, post World War II, has been less than salutary, it is undeniable that there are many factions and nations in the world that, for whatever reason, would seek to harm Americans both abroad and on American soil.
Hence, we can all agree that a Defense Tax is necessary. I understand we may not agree on the amount of tax or a worthy amount of defense spending, but we can for the purpose of this discussion rest in agreement that taxation for the purpose of protecting our lives from foreign invaders is necessary.
We learn from the study of economics that while some debt can in fact be a very good thing, too much of it can be increasingly damaging to a society’s future.
Hence, a Debt Tax to offset this damage and further lower the national debt is advisable.
Though employing this relatively simple model or philosophy of taxation, wherein taxes may even be appropriately levied to entirely pay for elections, thus giving equal voice to all citizens, it is not uncommon for the mind to fall into the trap of seeking to tax activity that is personally or ethically reprehensible, ignoring the actual damage, if any, to society.
An example of this is tobacco smoking. Smoking is no doubt many things without much merit, but from the standpoint of taxation, the only criterion to quantifiably calculate an appropriate tax is the motion or damage in society.
In light of universal medical coverage, cigarette smoking can be taxed with the understanding that smoking increases the cost of medical care for everyone by necessitating the care of those who choose to poison their bodies by smoking. A medical tax can be applied to offset that cost so that, effectively, those who smoke are slowly paying, over the years, for their own medical care.
But to tax cigarettes to deter people from smoking is not merely a poor method to reduce smoking in society, but it is, in principle, a step into personal choice that government need never take. Government must limit its province to addressing the actual, on the ground, socioeconomic factors of smoking, or whatever motion or damage is under discussion.
If a bar owner wants to allow smoking in her establishment, she can apply a “tax” by raising her prices of alcohol to address the subsequent property damage. Governments can simply forbid smoking in government-owned buildings.
Directly and indirectly taxing people for behaviors or habits despite the fact that those habits cause absolutely no social motion or damage is the hallmark of tyranny. Governments are influenced by tyrannical ideologies via the influence they have on voters.
But enforcing personal hardship on peoples through taxation on the grounds of a moral sensibility, without consideration for the actual, quantifiable damage to society accrued by their actions, is itself a taxing social burden having no real or true net gain to society.
The issue of mandated and universal coverage, even in the wake of Obamacare, is far from resolved. At the end of the day, a single-payer system may be our final destination.
This is a socioeconomic issue, but it is also a question harkening back to one posed above: What are American ideals?
When it comes to universal medical coverage, as Americans we can take comfort in the understanding that what the ethically generous thing to do is also the most cost-effective thing to do.
As heartless as this may sound, peoples congregating in a society must define good and right according to the measure of society. I personally would not want to live in a country that allows human beings to suffer for want of medical attention, but even worse would be to live in a society guided by a sense of morality that has not yet been established as one measured against the social good.
Morality is often too fickle and too provincial. If we live by morality alone, we necessarily live by the morality of the majority, which may very well be synonymous with tyrannical theocratic fascism.
Not to skip ahead, but I support gay rights not because it is moral but because it partakes of the social good. That it takes part of the social good is not a theological or moral statement, but a scientific one. Sociologically speaking, gay rights will improve society. That to me is evidence enough that law must establish them.
This is to say that America is the land of the free and home of the brave because we are free of the shackles of narrow-minded moralities and have the courage to face the evidence our observations and bold experimentations provide. The sociological, political and historical, and economic sciences are far better guides to legislation than the centralized powers of religious theology, partisan politics, and corporatism.
What is American? As human beings that survived world wars, the holocaust, crusades and pogroms, wars of religion and wars of greedy aggression, and centuries of the Dark Age, we have come to some basic tenets of human goodness. One is that we don’t sit idly as our fellow human beings starve. Another is that we care for each other in sickness and in health. We are all, in a sense, wed to one another in this grand social experiment.
Universal medical insurance is unlike any other social safety net issue because of a simple rule of social goodness, which translates scientifically into social longevity and health. By this I mean to say that medical care for all translates into a stronger, more resilient, and wealthier society. Indeed, even if it turned out that popular monotheistic god approved of it, that consideration to me is secondary, at the most, for that god has already spoken through scientific sensibility.
In terms of entitlement, medical care does not technically fall into that category because it is a negative good, not a positive one. Allow me to explain.
When we speak of benefit we might provide one another in society, we must first distinguish between those benefits we can administer to ourselves and those requiring the ministrations of others, including experts. Second, we must distinguish between a good that is merely the lack of a negative and those that represent a bona fide positive.
A man in any era may starve due to laziness, but even the most proactive and conscientious person will be unable to provide him/herself with medical care without the aid of centuries of scientists devoted to research and medical investigation. Knowledge of medicine belongs to no one and therefore everyone. To monopolize it or create a business out of it, thus keeping it out of the reach of vast swaths of the human race, is a theft of the highest magnitude.
Further, it is understood that no one has the social or inalienable right to a mansion in Virginia, a beach house and yacht, or a villa and plantation in Ecuador because these constitute positive gains that, absent, do not specifically limit one’s life, liberty, or happiness. If someone wants these things, a whole host of variables, beginning at conception, determine the probability of success.
Society can, to a very large degree, assist in leveling the playing field by providing health care and education to all, but that still does not imply that positive gains such as the above are the consideration of the social state. Society, in seeking the advanced development of modern citizenry, can work to eradicate contraindications such as ignorance, pollution, poverty, disease and sickness, and starvation.
Positive and negative gains are not always clear-cut. An unemployed individual requiring food stamps while actively seeking employment is receiving a negative gain while an individual, before retirement age, happy to take a handout without enthusiasm to find constructive work in society, is receiving a positive gain.
Indeed, an unemployed and impoverished individual who needs medical care and is given it is not receiving a positive gain. Medical care through universal health insurance falls in the category or a negative gain. The only people that, upon receiving free medical care, are receiving a positive gain are those who can easily afford their care without needing to rely on society. Still, for the sake of the whole of society, we treat that benefit as a negative gain by way of securing it for everyone.
It is a fair argument to say that people should work for the positive gains they seek. Temporary welfare, housing, unemployment compensation, food benefits, and the like are still necessary as our economic system includes periods of recession. Even bright and gifted people who are not lazy can fall on hard times.
But human dignity manifest in our social good demands that negative relief, which includes healing the sick, providing medication, making routine medical attention available, lessening pain, providing safe delivery and contraception, and subsidizing expensive surgeries that are not elective, is always available to every human being.
Eventually, those who merely seek wealth and fortune must realize, through the social force of legislation, that the medical and pharmaceutical industries are not the place they want to be.
The answers to the long-term fiscal problems facing social security are simple but require that Americans first come to terms with cultural, technological, and socioeconomic developments.
In third world cultures, caring for the elderly and the disabled is generally the responsibility of the family and younger generations. No particular tax is levied toward this end. Stronger and larger family units make this both possible and essential.
No society on earth wants to see the elderly or disabled suffering on the streets. Like sickness and disease, disability and age are infirmaries that require both medical and social attention. This translates into the necessity for an economic solution since supporting the health and needs of the elderly and disabled mean to provide negative, not positive, gains.
Our culture has developed to place decreasing burdens on younger generations. Also, generally easy access to technologies that allow relocating across the country diminish the family cohesiveness found in third world countries laden with economic and traditional limitations.
Conservative cultures revere their elderly. When the elderly remain in the homes of later generations, checks are placed on the types of freedom and independence our culture values. While traditions are passed down in these cultures by the continual presence of the elderly, our youth rebel against the norms of a few generations ago. Generational gaps are a source of discomfort.
For a culture like ours, social security becomes little more than a comfort zone or convenience for younger generations, insuring the continued separation of the generations. And if it is that sort of positive gain for new generations, it must come with a price.
With the introduction of social security, our government made a value judgment. Instead of relying upon families to take care of their own, the Federal government declared that the elderly, which is eventually all of us, will take care of themselves.
Had I been alive when this decision was made, I would have probably disagreed with it because there is no Constitutional mandate to usurp the responsibility of later generations, which naturally become more selfish and less self-reliant.
But generations have paid into social security; dismantling it is far worse than continuing it. If it is here to stay, we might as well fine-tune it so that it reflects a broader view of taxes.
The term social security is, in many ways, misleading. We might say that to offset the cost of aging and disability, both of which bring an increased need for medical and hospice care, a tax can be levied.
Distribution of these funds should be determined on a need basis. Sending social security checks to anyone and everyone above a certain age, as if it is a knee-jerk reaction, is nonsensical.
One might protest, saying that he or she paid into social security for decades and it is only fair to get that money back, even if the money is not needed. The proper response is that it is not fair to get the money back if it is not needed because then it becomes a positive gain for the elderly, not just the younger generations, as opposed to merely a gain to reduce or remove a negative liability to society.
It is again for this reason that social security tax is more appropriately referred to as an Aging and Disability Tax, whose funds are used to support the needs of the elderly and disabled that are in need of aid. It is their retirement, for those who have no other retirement plan or package.
In a capitalistic society, a basic premise is that those who become rich are obliged to pay more than their fair share because their wealth is dependent upon the sweat of others. We pay the tax of social security to live in a society where the elderly and disabled, who are in need, have means. Our society is better and happier where we take that responsibility, whether we do so with or without the social security tax.
The fair return of our payment of the tax is a society where the elder and disabled are neither indigent nor reliant upon the personal attention and care of younger generations. Later generations must care, but that care is distanced – as are the elderly themselves who are no longer in their immediate vicinity – by the payment of a tax.
If a base annual income is established, the coffers of the tax can top off those who qualify and need aid. If an individual’s income is above the base annual income, then no aid will be received. In this way, social security checks will not be sent to those who don’t desperately need the funds.
As of now, sending checks to retirees whose incomes exceed the base minimum for living amounts to a positive gain, and the government should play no role in such an operation.
If an individual past the age of retirement prefers to continue working, the same calculation applies. This too may seem unfair, as one is practically being penalized if one works. But working is a privilege, and continuing to work past the age of retirement can limit the jobs available to those newly entering the workforce.
With universal health coverage, it is expected and hoped that the lifespan of Americans will, on average, increase. For this reason, some argue that the retirement age should be pushed up as well. In fact, the opposite is the case. Longer living doesn’t mean a person cannot enjoy the advantage of a longer retirement. Nor does it mean that younger generations must be starved for work, and often just as they mature and are expected to enter the workforce.
I personally don’t use drugs unless prescribed by a licensed physician and I don’t buy sex, which I loosely define as sexual interest in a potential partner independent of all other considerations.
But I am a realist and know that the use of drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, is here to stay and wasting our taxpayer dollars on hiring law enforcement to fight a losing drug war, or a war against two adults mutually agreeing to engage in sexual relations, is not in the best interest of America.
The war against the use of drugs is a cover for the modern slave state, with minorities paying the price. This damages society in deep emotional ways, thereby creating criminal behavior; to pay a municipal tax, only to misuse funds on a losing and hypocritical drug war, means to spend fortunes to hurt society.
Drug use may be a medical issue. It may be an addiction issue. It is not, however, an issue of violence or the infringement on a nonuser’s civil rights. Incarceration is the wrong response to drug use because it, alone, poses no threat of damage to society.
By way of comparison, alcohol use, which constitutes a drug use, is legal and taxable through a sales tax. Alcoholism is damaging to society, but it is not a criminal offense. Further, driving while intoxicated is illegal as it carries the heavy potential for casualties, which involves damage to society.
The basic rule is that we tax social motions or actions, even when they cause waste or damage, if their net benefit to society is worth their cost (which is offset by the tax). But, we outright outlaw social motions and behaviors that cause damage that has no or minimal net value to society, and for which no practical tax can reasonably offset the cost.
The argument can be made that the use of some currently illegal drugs brings with it net benefit to society. Certainly, some small amount of alcohol can be healthy; certain drugs have medical and psychological benefits. Drugs, whether grown, brewed, or manufactured can be regulated and possibly taxed.
Criminalizing their use is borderline insane, and results in increased criminal activity. The so-called “war on drugs” is a criminal operation as it a costly means of damaging society.
The legalization of all drug use will not merely bring in much needed revenue but will also remove the current inefficiencies in the way we spend money on law enforcement, allowing our men and women in blue to fight the real crimes instead of artificially creating violence through the very drug laws they are sworn to enforce.
All drug offenders who are currently serving prison sentences for use or distribution of drugs must be pardoned.
Pimping is criminal as it constitutes violence in society and, like the war on drugs, is nothing more than a mode of slavery. It has no net social value but increases social damage.
Yet women who sell sex would not need the protection of a pimp if they could rely on the protection we all take for granted – that of law enforcement.
So again, we find that an outmoded law not merely creates waste in the inefficient use of taxpayer dollars designated for law enforcement, but creates the very violence our society seeks to eradicate.
Since we cannot expect transactions, which are private and may largely involve cash, to be practically taxable, men and women who wish to sell sex can apply for an annual license to sell sex. This license may be issued with an ID. The cost of this license, which is little more than a tax, can be determined by each State.
It must be emphasized that as a matter of employment, prostitution should be as free of a tax on labor as is the salary arriving from any other legitimate business. Still, while we all rely on law enforcement for protection day and night, the business of prostitution involves a motion, or social administration, that may sometimes require extra involvement from police officers. This is simply due to the nature of sex, wherein some men confuse sexual expression with violent expression.
Sellers of sex deserve protection no less than a woman accosted and raped by a man. However, since prostitutes regularly place themselves in positions where an emergency phone call may be needed, the extra tax is there to pay for their safety.
When two people fall in love and agree to wed, we all consider it a private affair. When a religious marriage takes place, it continues to be a private affair. Out of respect, we can all agree, regardless of whether the couple was married in a religious denomination we share or one to which we do no subscribe, that the couple is married.
If this couple decides to engage in a civil contract, the government must get involved because human beings create social wear and strain social functions, especially courts, when two or more entities engage in a socially binding and enforceable contract.
If a couple or two people neglect to enter a civil contract but have offspring, the government must often get involved and sometimes assume that a boilerplate civil contract is in place.
I am herein speaking in broad terms because government is at its best as a defender of human rights when it avoids looking at and judging particulars.
No government, local or national, has a business in deciding which two (or more) people can engage in a civil social contract. As long as a civil contract, whether it is business or personal in nature, does not infringe upon the rights of anyone else, the particulars of the genders involved in the contract are irrelevant.
If the contract designates the formation of a family unit, then the government should have no issue with that either.
If scientific evidence with a large consensus in the scientific community, providing compelling evidence that a particular conjugal social contract (whether between two men, two women, or precisely four men and six women) was deleterious to the academic or social development of children, were to be presented before legislators, then this would be another matter entirely. The government might then prohibit those conjugal or civil familial formations that science has shown will cause damage to society with little net gain.
To date, no such data exists and government must therefore avoid legislating a moral code in relation to the family unit that is increasingly in the minority, despite its overwhelming popularity in the middle and dark ages.
Marriage, per se, need remain an institution of religion, not of governance. If two or more people enter a legally binding social contract and refrain from the religious sanctification of said contract, we might even say they are not “married” in the religious sense, since that is ultimately the only sense of marriage, but yet enjoy all of the social benefits, and responsibilities, that come with entering a civil conjugal contract and forming a contractually binding family.
On the other hand, two people that wed in a church or temple but fail to engage in the civil contract will not enjoy either the benefits or social responsibilities that come with entering a socially acknowledged contract. Unless and until children arrive, the government must view their engagement as private and nonexistent.
One motion that produces a great deal of strain, waste, and damage in society is divorce. With minors, divorces can get hairy for courts. Without them but with financial entanglements, divorces can get equally complicated.
While the no-fault divorce is an obvious advancement for States, we can do better.
Civil contracts involving business arrangements routinely contain language for their resolution or dissolution, making it generally easier for courts to arrive at decisions when contention occurs.
Clearly, romantic relationships are more complicated. A couple might agree before marriage that upon divorce the mother or father will retain primary custody of children, and yet circumstances or behaviors during marriage would properly bar that eventuality.
Prenuptial agreements regarding the division of financial assets may also require a judge’s attention even when the law and the language of dissolution are clear.
Still, if all conjugal civil contracts forming families were treated and viewed as any other contract and were required, by law, to contain the necessary language to accommodate most circumstances facing families, the amount of court time required to execute dissolution would drastically reduce.
I am a believer in decentralization of power and local governance; some government programs are best run on the national level. These include FEMA, social security, single-payer health insurance, the military and intelligence organizations, environmental protection, etc.
States rights are in fact already legion, since most governance that directly affects the lives of Americans is decided on the local level.
The State is in between the individual and the Federal government in terms the decentralization of power. Counties are between families and the State.
Eventually, we seek to give as much personal freedom to the individual without trampling on the rights and privileges of other citizens. Therefore, it is counterintuitive and dishonest to argue for States rights as a means of stripping individuals, especially minorities, of personal freedom.
The legislation of a narrow moral vision, whether on the Federal or local level, is the worst form of centralized power.
I am a staunch and unrelenting advocate for the right of women to choose what they do with their bodies, whether it is to sell sex or use contraception or have abortions.
Abortion can’t be practically barred from women anymore than drugs can be removed from society. Outlaw abortion and abortions will still happen; only they will be more dangerous for women.
At the same time, I do not see abortion as a form of contraception, or at least they should not be viewed or used in that way. From condoms to the morning after pill, women and men have plenty of alternatives to abortion if a child is unwanted.
If an abortion is a woman’s only choice to end pregnancy, then it should never be barred from her; but if that is the case, then she should be able to perform the abortion in the first trimester.
Abortions after the first trimester are, I feel, permissible if the life, safety, and health of the woman requires it.
That is, I place the life of the woman over the life of the unborn since only the former has social rights.
In my estimation, a fetus or even more fully-grown unborn baby does not have social rights. Social rights come with social responsibilities, and the first responsibility of an infant is to breathe. Until delivery, when the baby breathes on its own, it cannot be said to shoulder any responsibilities.
The right to life is a social right, not a right bestowed by nature or the wild. We, as human beings, have agreed and established the right to life in our society. It is not technically inalienably independent of society, but is currently inalienable within the society by its own standards.
So, a fetus has no inalienable right to life any more than we do. We have a right to it bestowed by society and, while I personally am not in favor of capital punishment, in some States that social right can be stripped from those convicted of crimes.
Without a social or inalienable right to life, the fetus relies on the rights the pregnant woman has in society. She breathes for the infant. She works to eat and support herself, she obeys social laws, and she carries her social responsibilities.
This means, point blank, that if a pregnant woman is found guilty of horrible crimes in a State that carries the death penalty for such crimes, the so-called “life” of the unborn should carry no relevance. If she has abrogated her right to life, then pregnancy is not a defense.
But I say this only in that it should give pause to those who advocate for a death penalty. I am against all capital punishment regardless of particulars.
We must never, ever ascribe social rights to a nonentity that holds no social responsibilities. To do so invariably strips the rights from some other socially observant individuals, which are always women when abortion is restricted.
Further, it is contradictory to sentence a woman to death after stripping her of her social right to life, only to grant her life due to the life of her unborn who has no social rights or responsibilities.
This principle dovetails with the right to die. Most people have the capability of ending their life through suicide. An individual, for whatever reason, must not be compelled by society to continue to live.
A god or creator or invisible spirit does not give life. Life, whether it resides in or out of society, is daily earned. If this was not the case and religious advocates were right, starvation would be impossible. Accidents would be impossible. Indeed, even murder would be impossible. Others can take life at any time, but we must continually give it to ourselves every day within the context and safety of society.
Society defends the right to life that is daily earned by the observation of the laws of nature and social laws. This defense of life is a positive one. It must not be confused with the negative right to relieve oneself of life.
That is, we defend each other’s right to life from the infringements of others. We do not and must not go too far and defend that right from our own selves.
As a fellow citizen, I ask of each citizen, as we all do, to defend my right to life from those that might seek to strip me of that social right. I have earned that right by living according to the laws of the land. This does not mean, however, that I ask of any citizen to strip me of my own right to terminate my life.
Just as a woman’s body is her own, each of our bodies is our own. We don’t have life or breath on lease. We earn it every day. It is un-American and unlawful, in my estimation, to deny each other the full use and disuse of our bodies.
One caveat to the above must be voiced. If a woman is pregnant and plans to deliver her child, then the child is understood, by its capacity to begin to carry social responsibilities, to enjoy the protection of society. It is also understood that as a member of society, that child’s capacity to serve society, uplift others, learn and grow, and develop naturally and healthily is to some degree dependent upon the behavior of the pregnant woman.
An unborn baby’s body is the mother’s until it is born, but as it is its own after birth, and as it is of society henceforth, a woman cannot be at liberty to engage in any behavior without concern for the consequence to the unborn child.
The term illegal immigrant is a contradiction. If an individual is in the United States illegally – meaning s/he entered without a visa or passport – then that person is not an immigrant and will enjoy none of the benefits that immigration bestows. We might call them unlawful trespassers or transients, but they cannot be both illegal and immigrants at the same time.
Like the term itself, the issue of immigration is a red herring largely designed to foment anger in minds prone to racial discrimination. Without a single yard of fence between Mexico and the United States, we still would not see people pouring into our country. The people that are here both legally and unlawfully want to be here; and little evidence suggests that they are taking jobs from hardworking Americans.
If the Federal government were serious about stopping unlawful trespass, it would not build a wall but would lay a minefield between the two countries. It would be a lot cheaper and more effective. It doesn’t because it knows that the American public is not that serious about the issue.
Another serious move would be to amend the Constitution such that birth on American soil does not automatically insure citizenship.
Instead of fighting the inevitable, which is something Americans have become very good at, we can embrace it by providing an easy means to Mexicans who wish to enter the country. By applying for a temporary visitor’s card, they can be here legally without the benefits of immigration, and in the process will be on the government’s radar. If they then want to immigrate, they can follow protocols already in place.
Americans are very fortunate. We have oceans on either side of us, Canadians to the north, and it is very difficult to boat or fly into our country without attracting attention. As for the southern border, Hispanics are generally hardworking people that embrace strong family traditions. If marijuana were to be nationally legalized, a great deal of crime associated with the border would vanish overnight.
The government should not harass Americans for provisionally hiring non-immigrants as low-cost labor; the great gap between the privileges of immigrants and temporary visitors will compel visitors to seriously rethink their transient standing in American society.