Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Rules

Today's Hump Day Hmm asks us to write about "The Rules" of life. What are the rules, mores, or ethics of life, do we all have to follow them in the same way, are they applied equally to everyone... all great questions. I believe in following certain rules myself, and I believe certain laws do apply equally to all, but I realize that not all rules are followed or applied equally. For instance, the guys who drove drunk, did drugs, raced cars, and made doughnuts in parking lots were more likely to catch a break from the police in my hometown than I was because those officers said things like, "Hey, take it easy. I used to be crazy like you when I was this age, so I'll let you off with a warning this time." I got read the riot act, even on occasions when I wasn't guilty (as found by the judge). We also had what is commonly referred to as a "hanging judge" who loved to throw the book at underage miscreants, but his own children got their tickets fixed and their accidents were never written up. That is, until a neighboring DA decided to prosecute one son who nearly killed himself in an accident involving drugs and alcohol (no one else was found with the car, but it was a single car incident). I have read numerous reports on trucking companies that are repeatedly written up for violations on the road that are never evaluated by a DOT inspector in their office, but my company has been audited five times in eight years, even though every audit has shown we remove any violators from our company.

So what rules should we live by? I think we should all be decent to our fellow man, and work to do good in the world. I believe we should all provide for our own well being and try to help those who cannot help themselves (my definition of "those who cannot help themselves" differs greatly from that of the welfare department, though). I believe we should have laws that maintain order and protect life, and we should prosecute those who violate those laws. I believe laws that are unenforceable or are simply for show should not be passed or should be repealed. I believe that individuals should be taxed at a reasonable level (my definition of reasonable also does not agree with the government's) to provide for the various administrators of justice (police, judges, etc.), legislators (though their compensation should be re-evaluated), and national defense (military). I do not believe corporations should pay income taxes because those taxes only serve to raise prices, lower wages, and reduce the opportunities for employment. I believe market forces govern most interactions between buyers and sellers, but governments have a habit of altering the natural mechanics of those forces to create false opportunities or damage otherwise good opportunities for two parties to agree on a price. I do think some government regulation has a purpose when it comes to product standards, but it has gone far beyond what is necessary in most cases. I can accept that those who mete out justice are imperfect and therefore apply it imperfectly, though I prefer they keep the unfairness as far away from me as possible. I do believe that doing more good in the world than bad (and doing as little bad as possible) will come back to someone in the end. That end just might not be the end of the day, year, or even lifetime. I would rather have a "balance owed" than a "balance due" in my "goodness account" at the end of everything. I do, after all, believe in a divine justice that is perfect and which will be properly meted out when the time comes. That is enough for me to continue striving towards a better me.

I am sure my response to this Hump Day has been overly simplified thus far. I would like to write something deeper. I'm just not up to it as I head off on vacation, and since this is a very busy time for me anyway.

-- Robert


Julie Pippert said...

I don't think it's oversimplified. You haven't arrived at your own personal code in a thoughtless manner. It is inequitable, because in the end, it is politics, like the cop examples you began with. But your final point---to do good anyway---is definitely not simple, though true.

Robert said...

Thanks. I am glad it came across. I concluded it somewhat hastily because of our trip planning and packing.

berto said...

Well, it is ok. Do you have more photos of your equipments.. i have visited the site it sells a lot of used machineries and heavy equipment. Iam still searching on the internet who sells machineries with the Caterpillar brand.