Get Civically Fit This New Year
by Jason Bradley
Happy New Year!
We have now been thrown headlong into 2013, and are left to find our way through its veritable wilderness, hoping to come out on the other side in a better position than when we entered it. Many people “start over” by resolving to eat less sugar, drink less caffeine, or spend less money. While these promises may help to make minor improvements in our current state, we often fail to look at the root of the issues that cause us discomfort.
Let’s face it. Exercise is a great idea, but it is an incomplete picture of a total health solution. Diet is just as important. The problem is, most of the food low and middle income people can afford is full of filler and preservatives, which can often cause food allergies, obesity, and other ailments. It’s hard to fathom buying half of an organic cow or shopping exclusively at farmer’s markets. It’s expensive. You could grow healthy food yourself, but are often restricted by ordinances that limit your efforts. Not all cities currently allow you to raise chickens for healthy eggs, or have a goat for healthy milk.
Say you just decide, “Well, I’ll make more money by having a second job- I know how to do woodworking, plumbing, musical recording, roofing, etc, and can do it in my spare time”. That sounds great, in theory, until you research ordinances that limit your sign size, number of customers, hours of operation, require permits, investigations, or to be on a list of accepted business to operate in a specific city.
You see, there is too much government interference in our lives. Heck, we’d have more cash in our pockets if the government kept their hands out of them. Consider not just your federal and state income taxes, but sales taxes, property taxes, vehicle tabs, gas taxes, road tolls, construction permits, business permits, and the list goes on and on. In fact, I would guarantee that taxes eat up more of your income than you think they do. We’ve got to not only look at, but resolve, to remove more government influence from our lives.
Granted, there are necessary laws. They are the ones that keep us from infringing on the rights of others. Taxes keep our cars on decent roads, and pay for fire fighters and police. They, too, are necessary. But we’re way past necessary levels. How many of your tax dollars go to these things, and how many go to keeping bureaucratic butts in government chairs? How many go to subsidizing the lifestyles of others? Why others, and not you? Why can’t you buy organic food (or raise it), or start that home business? It’s because government has too much control over your life.
How do we fix this? We need to be diligent in watching what our elected officials do. We’ve got to know what’s being passed in the City Council chambers, how our congressmen and women vote on certain issues, and what the future plans of our County and Metro Council are. It’s a little work and time, but so is exercising a few times a week, or reading ingredients on food packaging… or calorie counting. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to be able to live more freely? Don’t we owe it to our children to teach them how to live with liberty?
Indeed, we may be physically out of shape, but we are even more civically out of shape. It is time to get lean and mean, understanding our rights, responsibilities, and the difference between how government should and does operate. Improving the freedom in our lives will lead to a more positive outlook on life, which will help you to achieve all of those other goals too. What should be your New Year’s resolution? To become civically fit, that’s what. Try it and see if it doesn’t change your life!