The basic accounting equation is A = L + OE, or Assets equals Liabilities plus Owner Equity. In accounting the books gotta balance and everything is either an asset, a liability or owner(s) equity. That’s all we got folks! If you understand that then you are on the road to understanding accounting! A very long, winding, Byzantine, complicated, circuitous road that always follows the simple equation: A = L + OE.
This simple formula can also be used to examine our political social contract. To examine our, as Thomas Jefferson called them, Unalienable Rights, lets substitute the Basic Accounting Equation with my Human Rights Equation; R = O + F/L, or Rights equals Obligations plus Freedom/Liberty. In accounting assets and liabilities (plus owner equity) balance, and in Human Rights rights and obligations (plus freedom/liberty) must also balance.
T.J. described our Rights as being “endowed by our Creator,” or God given, but we can substitute the phrase Natural Rights for God Given/Creator endowed and speak of exactly the same Rights. Atheist, monotheist, pantheist or omnist, we can all declare that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Tom wrote these words almost two-hundred-fifty years ago; back then “Men” was commonly used to mean “Mankind” aka the human race. He meant women too. Mostly.)
Please note the last phrase states that we have the right to pursue happiness, not that we have a right to Happiness. Gotta work for that one, or at least traditionally we’ve had to work for it. There is a growing constituency that confuddles, confuses and muddles, Rights with Desires. Jefferson is rolling in his grave.
Natural Rights are not given to us by the government. Whoa! Let’s say that again. Natural Rights are not given to us by the government. We are endowed with them from the moment of our creation and it is in their removal that a crime is committed. There is no Natural Right to government provided schools, highways, housing, food, living wage, birth control, health care, retirement income or whatever Right du Jour is currently leading the ever expanding menu of RIGHTS! that so many insist are owed us. We confuddle Rights with expediency.
We the People have an interest in making We the People “better.” Better as in safer, more highly educated, more mobile, better defended, better cared for, able to pay our own way, and to reproduce if and when we choose. For the moment cast aside compassion and human decency, it is propitious, it makes sense and CENTS, to invest in We the People so We the People can become better citizens. But let’s not confuddle an investment with a Right.
And how does this equate to R = O + F/L? It equates because R = O + F/L is being ignored. We are running in the red because we are screaming RIGHTS! while ignoring OBLIGATIONS! and freedom is being lost.
There is a fascinating school of thought that believes we have achieved the necessary technology to provide for everyone’s needs without human labor. I think this school is overly optimistic concerning our current abilities. If needs could be provided without human labor then providing for said needs would be a (highly disruptive, currently unimaginable for me) boon to human-beings. But we ain’t there yet, folks and that means people must work to provide for wants and needs.
Relying on government, thinking of it as a fairy-godmother, wand waving entity that can suspend natural law because we’ve clicked our heels together and whispered, “I do believe in fairies!” over and over is not government By, For or Of The People, it is a pipe dream and as with most drug induced deliriums only the first hit is free. Our dealer’s gonna make us pay.
And who is our dealer? The government that so many insist owes us Rights for which we have no Obligations. Can’t be so. Equation’s gotta balance and somebody has to pay.
Someone is paying for all those important enumerated in paragraph six investments plus a host of additional ones. When I said that we have Natural Rights from our moment of creation I did not say we have a Right to force others to provide for our wants, for our “happiness:” That would be fairy-godmother, wand waving, natural law suspending, I’ve clicked my heels together and whispered, “I do believe in fairies!” over and over territory.
If We the People do not understand that Rights must be balanced with Obligations and Freedoms and that Assets do equal Owner Equity plus Liability then we are headed for bankruptcy, whether intellectual, moral or fiscal.
Now where did that fairy dust go?