Friday, July 13, 2007

It's my mind and I'll think like I want


The fanatically LiberConservatarian Orange County Register wants you to Test Your Freedom IQ:
Are you a rock-solid freedom lover, a closet authoritarian or an in-your-face socialist? Take the Register's first Freedom Quiz and see. It's devised with new graduates in mind, to help them understand their political philosophy as they head out into the real world or back into the not-so-real world of academia.

Right. So those are the parameters. First, in my opinion most authoritarians are pretty in-your-face. And the few socialists I know are pretty closeted, and are no part of the Left today. And that "rock-solid freedom lover"? Old paranoias die hard, it would seem.
We believe in limited government, respect for the individual, self-responsibility, free markets, free trade and property rights.

Um kay. But as might be suspected, the crap starts flowing fast and deep:
3. A small coffee shop owner is upset that a Starbucks is moving into the same shopping center. The owner has organized a campaign to stop the new store from locating there. Such action is:

a) Laudable. Small-business owners always are being driven out by the big corporate bully. Such a fight represents the struggle of average folks against corporate behemoths.

b) Good to the degree that it represents the will of the people. If most members of a community don't want a Starbucks, then Starbucks should not open up there. Put it to a vote.

c) Reprehensible. Companies should be free to compete as long as government doesn't get involved. Let the best coffee win.

Know up front that the right answer in all cases is C. So Starbucks, or Walmart comes to your neighborhood, flexes its muscle, and the local business owner is SOL. Because the mighty Market has spoken. In other words, they want Government off your back, but it's OK to for you carry the yoke of Big Profit. Makes sense.

But then:
7. A large retail company, such as Costco or Wal-Mart, has offered a city significant tax benefits if the city uses eminent domain to take an older strip mall of small businesses and give the big-box retailer the choice location. City Council members:

a) Have every right to do so, and should proceed. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld such takings in the Kelo decision last summer, and city officials need to maximize tax revenue on every plot of land.

b) Should hire a firm to do a study and hold public meetings to see what the public prefers. If the majority wants the property for a big retailer, then the majority should rule.

c) Should tell the big retail company to find another city to hornswoggle. Property rights are the foundation of American life – whether you're a single homeowner or Donald Bren – even if, in Kelo, a slim high court majority was too foolish to see it.

Keeping in mind the "right" answer is C, here, the 'big bad' For-Profit mega-retailers are the predator. Huh? Against who? Oh, the local property owner. Let's get this straight. In question 3, the Big Corporation is good. But in question 7, the Big Corporation is Bad.

Only difference I see is that in the first case, the assumption is that the Mom'n'Pop coffee store is in leased property, while in the second, the insult is directed toward the property owner.

So I guess everyone is not exactly equal under the law:
1776
White men with property have the right to vote but Catholics, Jews, Quakers and others are barred from voting.

1790
The Naturalization Act bars Asian Americans from becoming citizens.

1792
New Hampshire eliminates property ownership requirements, which gives more white men the opportunity to vote.

New Hampshire becomes the first state to eliminate the rule that only property owners and taxpayers can vote. Following New Hampshire's lead, other states begin to shift away from such restrictions in an effort to open the electorate to more white males.

So it would seem, if I analyze correctly, that the OCRegister would favor a return to the truly original intent of the Constitution in 1776.

Sweet.