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What it would take to make me a Democrat

Lead Summary
Note: Jim Thompson's column will resume in a few months. Meanwhile, The Highland County Press is republishing some of "the best of" his columns. This one was first published in May 2012.

By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Democrats, and most of today's version of Republicans, are of the same ilk. Spend more, let us solve your problems. The parties are virtually indistinguishable.

They believe in bigger government and "social justice" – whatever that means (I think it means if you have more than I have and if you give me some of yours I will experience social justice). Of course, you will experience a loss, not unlike being held up at gun point, but that is not important – you are just a big meanie, anyway. It is high time we teach you a lesson for getting ahead.

So, Democrats, do these and I'm yours:

First. Respect the Constitution. The whole Constitution as written, especially the Bill of Rights. None of this "living document" nonsense. I think most of us can read a sentence and figure out what it says.

Second, respect personal freedom. This is the cornerstone that has distinguished the United States from every other country.

Third. Live within the budget you promised to live within when you persuaded Congress to pass one of your grand "social justice" schemes. This starts at Social Security and comes on down through the 75 years of tomfoolery we have seen since then.

Fourth. Hold government employees accountable. Get more work done with fewer employees. Everyone else is doing this, why isn't the government? Shrink, on a per-capita basis and on a total numbers basis, the number of government employees from year to year. Follow the example of the military (in the field, not the Pentagon) – they can deliver far more lethal force with far less boots on the ground than ever before. Efficiency is the watchword.

Fifth. Train the employees you have to treat me like a customer. They work for me, not the other way around.

Sixth. If, despite honestly doing what I have asked above to the highest standard available at the time, you still have a program that goes a bit off track, then fix it, don't defend the status quo.

Seventh. Believe real, scientifically conducted statistics to determine the course forward. Dragging out one person who has been treated to an injustice plays well on the evening news, but it has nothing to do with what the country's direction should be. Although it makes for riveting television, one person represents 0.00000033% of the population. Fix the problem for them if it is egregious, but don't burden the other 99.99% of us with the solution.

Eighth. Make it a goal to reduce the size of government – assets, services, employees (see No. 4 above) and so forth as we find better ways to do things. For instance, Disney knows far more about how to run a physical, on-the-ground experience more efficiently and with a better outcome for the guests than the National Park Service ever has.

Ninth. Get the government out of the energy business (see No. 10 for why).

Tenth. Put our currency back on the gold standard. Every time in human history the currency has been taken off the gold standard, economic chaos and depression follow. Politicians hate the gold standard because, in the short term, they can make themselves look good by manipulating the currency. In the long term, off the gold standard is a disaster.

When was the last time we abandoned the gold standard (technically, the "gold exchange standard")? Nixon did it to us on Aug. 15, 1971.

An example of what I mean. What was the price of gold on the open market in 1971? $40.62 per ounce. What was the price of oil? $2 per barrel. Or, it took about 0.05 ounces of gold to buy a barrel of oil.

In 2012, an ounce of gold was around $1,600. A barrel of oil was $100. It takes 0.0625 ounces of gold to buy a barrel of oil. That is an inflation rate of 0.56% per year for 41 years (measured in the purchase price of the gold). What has been the average inflation rate of the dollar since 1971? A: 11.41 percent per year. We don't have an energy problem – we have a politician problem.

So, hopefully, I didn't get you too far off track with the gold discussion, Democrat friends. However, now you know where the problems are. Fix these, and I, along with many, many others, will be right in line with you.

And notice, I didn't have to say anything about race, women, gays, birth certificates, contraception, immigration, Wall Street, religion, death panels or any other headline items. It is simple – the headlines are merely smokescreen foisted by politicians for their own self-serving (not your) purposes.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga., following decades of wandering the world, and is a columnist for The Highland County Press.

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