With Ron Paul’s second consecutive straw poll victory, are we seeing a beginning of a tide shift in US politics? Recent trends in the US have been toward bigger government with our latest President being a proponent of such. Talk of universal healthcare has been at it’s highest point since the Clinton years and the US’ involvement in the Middle East has not died down much, turning this into what many already predicted it would be, another Vietnam. The anti-gun movement has grown steadily; and, as would fit a big-government President, Mr. Obama is certainly part of that crowd. The vocal minority seem to support the current big-government approach; but, as they say, actions speak louder than words.
I will examine this from my personal experiences. The politically correct things to say seem to be that everyone should be entitled to healthcare, guns are bad, and everything should be equal. Those who do not support such ideas are often viewed as greedy and heartless. In reality, people’s actions seem to go in the opposite direction. I have lived in both Philadelphia and New Jersey, both highly-taxed, relatively anti-gun places to live with plenty of government intrusion into the lives of their citizens whether they like it or not. Where has this gotten those places? Philadelphia has had years with almost 500 murders within city limits and reportedly has more illegal guns on the street than New York City despite having several million less people. Most years see at least 300 murders and it’s neighboring city, Camden, NJ, is actually a more dangerous city overall. On the New Jersey side of things, the larger cities in that state are extremely dangerous and the tax burden is overwhelming for many there. I have a friend who is paying approximately $8,100 per year in property taxes for a house on a quarter of an acre in a regular, middle-class suburb. People are fleeing that state like it is going out of style…as I did.
Where do people tend to move to? They move out of big-government places like the Northeastern US and California to places with lower taxes and less government. I see it happening right now in my current state of residence, Texas, which is being invaded from every angle, especially from California. Texas, unlike the previously mentioned locations, is known for it’s gun-friendly laws and does not have a state income tax. When I first moved here, I asked a colleague how many murders there were in Austin in the previous year. She said “About twenty.“ There have been more murders than that in at least one week that I can remember in Philadelphia, despite the anti-gun mentality that pervades much of it‘s populous. It seems that only the law-abiding citizens there are hassled about gun ownership and find it difficult to defend themselves. As far as taxes are concerned, whether you earn $15,000 a year or $15,000,000, the State of Texas does not take any of it as an income tax. Somehow, the state is still afloat…and has the third least debt of any state out there. Tennessee is first and Georgia is second. What do all three have in common? They are all traditionally smaller-government states.
In conclusion, while I examined this from my own experiences, it seems that Mr. Pau, who is the most notable advocate of small government in the federal government today, may be a serious contender in the next Presidential election. Maybe Americans are ready to shun the political correctness that has spread it’s tentacles throughout our society and vote the way they already act – as free individuals who desire a limited government.