Business I Lesson 100: “Would it be moral to grade exams, so that all students get C’s? If not, is it moral for the state to redistribute incomes?”

No it is not moral, in both cases.  If you grade all exams to be C’s, then what does that do to the motivation of the students?  The students that might have been studying and trying hard in class then have no motivational reward.  Also, the students that weren’t making an attempt to study or participate see this as an excuse to do exactly what they’ve been doing.  This overall reduces the quality of education and initiative of the students.  This same concept applies in the free market.  If the government redistributes incomes from those who have worked hard to those who haven’t worked as hard,  the same results will show.  The hard-working individuals find no initiative to continue working hard.  Why should they?  If working hard to earn more money means that their taxes will continually rise, then I don’t see why they should.  The government is plundering the individuals that have worked hard to become successful, and simply giving it out to those who don’t work hard.  If stealing from your neighbor is immoral, then why is the government an exception to this morality?

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Government 1A Lesson 85: “Is there a difference between state-subsidized churches and state-subsidized schools?”

I believe that there is no difference between the two.  In both cases, state subsidies should not be there.  When there is a state-subsidy involved, then there is a dependence on the government.  When there is a dependence on the government, the government has gained control over the church or school that is being subsidized.  If this happens, the government can then control what happens within the church or school.  In both education and religion this is immoral.  The school should have the freedom to teach children in their own ways, and churches should have the freedom to worship or teach in whatever manner they wish to.  If the given church or school happens to be failing, the government should not support a failing system.  Here is one of my favorite quotes about government subsidies:

“The government should not prop up a failed business.  That would be like giving food to a mortally wounded animal instead of slitting its throat and properly utilizing its meat and pelt.”

-Ron Swanson

Government 1A Lesson 70: “Which promotes greater personal responsibility, the free market or the welfare state?”

In this case, a very easy way to compare the two is to follow the money.  In the free market, an individual has to work in order to earn his/her pay.  In the welfare state, the individual receiving the money does not have to work in order to acquire the money.  The money is given to him by the state.  The way that the state gets this money is through taxing those that actually do work!  The entire system is constituted of plundering those who earn their money, and giving it to those who don’t.  That brings us then to the main point of responsibility.  The ownership of capital or money places a responsibility on the holder of that capital.  The value of that capital to the owner is determined by the amount of work put into acquiring it.  A good example of this is comparing a self-made millionaire and a lower middle class individual who wins the lottery.  The self-made millionaire is going to be a much wiser with his money because he invested the hard work to acquire it.  The lottery winner will not be as wise.  The winner will most likely go spend the money within the first few years of receiving it.  I realize this is a rather large comparison concerning money, however even on the small scale it is very true.  I personally have seen people that are on welfare, and you know what I see them purchasing with the money they receive?  Alcohol and cigarettes.  A very large portion of the welfare recipients are addicted to drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol.  They do not know the value of hard work, because the money they are using is being handed to them at the expense of someone else.

Government 1A Lesson 65: “Is the state the source of human rights?”

No.  If we are talking about human rights within the U.S., then some might say the rights come from the Constitution.  I believe this to be halfway correct, but we also have to look at where the Constitution came from:  God.  I believe that human rights, even those not within the U.S., come from God.  That is where the phrase, “God given rights” comes from.  Not only does the Constitution state the rights that God has given to humans, but the Bible does as well.  Romans 13: 1-7 says :

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (NIV)

This not only speaks of judgement and consequences, but of being free from the authority of the state.  It also states that the authority that has already been established has been ESTABLISHED BY GOD.

Business I Lesson 60: “Which three time-allocation changes could increase my productivity the most?”

I could reallocate my time in a few different ways.  One area would this would be the case is my entertainment regiment.  I tend to spend a little bit too much time playing videogames on my computer.  I could instead use this free time to study for CLEP exams before I go off to college.  This could benefit me once I get to college and lighten my workload once I get there.  Another area I could reallocate my time is in my mornings.  Because I am homeschooled, I’m not really bound by any start time for my schoolwork.  This being the case, I tend to spend a lot of time just lounging around before I start my schoolwork.  If I were a little bit more concise with my breakfast and didn’t take a 20-minute shower every morning, this could open up more time for me to do my schoolwork.  That would give me more time after I finish my schoolwork, during the afternoon, for productive uses.   Considering right now I’m not actually planning on starting a business, I think the first change would be a little bit more useful, in order to prepare for college.  However, both areas would be very beneficial and productive in my life.

Government 1A Lesson 60: “Is restitution to victims better for society than jail sentences for criminals?”

There are many parts to this question.  First of all, the victim of the crime committed SHOULD be reimbursed by someone.  Who better to pay them for their loss than the criminal himself?  Not only does it help the victim recover from the crime but also it teaches the criminal a lesson.  If you send a criminal to prison or jail, what punishment is that?  They get to sit around all day, they get free food and drink, and have the option to do recreational activities all day.  That is not a punishment.  Studies show that 52% of criminals return to crime within the first year of being released. ( http://www.crimeinamerica.net/2010/09/29/percent-of-released-prisoners-returning-to-incarceration/ )  Apparently something isn’t being done correctly.  The only thing that prisons and jails do is create BETTER criminals.  Usually the criminals lift weights, and by the end of their sentence they are even more dangerous than when they began their sentence.   If you make a criminal work, and repay their wages to the victim of their crime, it makes them think twice about recommitting a crime.  Usually if you force a criminal into working a job in order to pay restitution to the victim, they learn a useful skill in the process.  So not only does this repay the victim, but it gives the criminal something to turn to other than crime when he gets out.  The prisons and jails of today do not turn criminals away from crime, but only give them time to prepare for their next crime.  It’s like sitting a child in time-out instead of making that child fix what he/she did.  Instead of throwing criminals in time-out for a few years, how about we start making an effort to fix the behavior of criminals by teaching them a lesson.

Business I Lesson 55: “What can I cut out of my weekly schedule in order to increase my efficiency?”

Right now I have three main parts of my life:  school, swim team, and my job as a gymnastics/tumbling instructor.  My schoolwork and my job are the two most important things right now.  In order to increase my efficiency in both areas, I could cut swim team out of the picture.  Right now the only reason I am doing swim team is to stay physically fit and stay in shape before I enter the Army.  I could also cut out several parts of entertainment in my free time.  I play a lot of computer games in my down time, and I also spend a lot of time on my phone and on Facebook.  I could cut back considerably in these areas in order to focus on the more important areas of my life.