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Golf Rules - Redistribution, Fairness, Equality and Oh Yes, Those Bush Tax Cuts

I happen to play golf. For the past two years I've been under the tutelage of Joel Suggs. Joel's advice has done wonders for my game. Not only is he getting me to hit the ball with my club in the swing plane, but he's also explained the game is about distance, not necessarily direction. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

I know how hard Joel's worked through the years to become a PGA Master Golf Teaching Professional. I've not asked him, but I'll estimate that it's well over 45,000 hours.

Do the math yourself. How many hours have you toiled at your profession? Were you a stay-at-home mom your career? I'd say you've got over 100,000 hours in that. Did you work at a job for 25 years? Then you probably have 62,000 hours in that investment.

My very good friend Russell Waters sent me an email with a pretend news story. Imagine how Joel would feel if this appeared tomorrow or next week in the national news feed:

President Barack Hussein Obama has recently appointed a Golf Czar and major rule changes in the game of golf will become effective in January 2011. This is only a preview, as the complete rule book (expect 2,000 pages) is being rewritten as we speak. Here are a few of the changes.

Golfers with handicaps:

- below 10 will have their green fees increased by 35%.
- between 11 and 18 will see no increase in green fees.
- above 18 will get a $20 check each time they play.

The term "gimme" will be changed to "entitlement" and will be used as follows:
- handicaps below 10, no entitlements.
- handicaps from 11 to 17, entitlements for putter length putts.
- handicaps above 18, if your ball is on green, no need to putt, just pick it up.

These entitlements are intended to bring about fairness and, most importantly, equality in scoring. In addition, a Player will be limited to a maximum of one birdie or six pars in any given 18-hole round.

Any excess must be given to those fellow players who have not yet scored a birdie or par. Only after all players have received a birdie or par from the player actually making the birdie or par, can that player begin to count his pars and birdies again.

The current USGA handicap system will be used for the above purposes, but the term 'net score' will be available only for scoring those players with handicaps of 18 and above.

This is intended to 'redistribute' the success of winning by making sure that in every competition, the above 18 handicap players will post only 'net score' against every other player's gross score. These new rules are intended to CHANGE the game of golf.

Golf must be about equal outcomes. It should have nothing to do with ability, hard work, practice, and responsibility. This is the "right thing to do, because it's fair".

Heck, this sounds great, don't you agree? Let's have equality in everything.

Let's redistribute your money and half your clothes. Let's say you don't have too much. You may have far more than a homeless person. Well then, let's take all your money and give it to the homeless. After all, you'll still have your house, furniture, car, and credit cards.

You get my point. This redistribution thing just doesn't work. It's not fair. We live in the Land of Opportunity. I'm all about offering opportunity to everyone. It's no different than a foot race.

We're all at the starting line. But several have trained hard, run hundreds of miles, and watched their diets. But others have done nothing. Those who have diligently trained to run the race fast deserve to be rewarded for their effort.

Those who've done nothing to work deserve last place.

Oh, I can hear it now. "Tim, what about the poor souls that can't race. They're physically challenged. What about them?"

Well, I'm sorry about that. Mother Nature deals those cards everyday. Just look around you. Look what happens naturally each day. We need to play by those rules.


Many physically challenged are still outdoing the apparently physically intact. For example, we now have military members who lost limbs who are still on active duty, who returned to the cockpit as qualified pilots, who are back in combat having met all the requirements--why? because they worked at it, and would not give up. Classic American. One year I had the opportunity to be what I think was called a guide for an "assisted skiing" group. It's been a while, so I may have the terminology wrong, but I sure kept the memory of these skiers. We were trained to help them get on and off lifts, as that required a bit of help, so I did that. One guy, a paraplegic with use of his arms but no feeling below the waist, out-skied me all day long and I was a pretty good skier in those days.
So, in my opinion there's a lot many handicapped can do and do well, including making a living. For those with severe handicaps not their own fault--born with severe damage, or in accidents or attacks from others--I would and do contribute to help them along, and would to more if the government wasn't already taking my taxes to pay for them as well as the ones who have handicaps due to their own behavior.

Every time the government takes over a charitable function, it ends up costing more, benefiting the real needy less, and becoming a cash cow for the cheats. It takes more employees to create and run more bureaucracy, which costs more, and therefore takes many more dollars for the same beneficial outcomes for the recipients as charities provided for far less.

Ro on December 7, 2010 7:39 PM

I needed to get a new Social Security card since I lost or misplaced my original card.

I went to the Social Security office in Flint, MI and was shocked at what I found. The place was full of individuals too drunk to stand up straight, that "smell" from grass, crutches gotten out of the trunk or off the back seat then used to hobble to the lobby, and so on.

I can no longer look at a donation cannister as a means to help the "unfortionate".

What's that old Biblical saying: "The Good Lord helps those who help themselves". Show me your effort, then I'll show you some of my money.

Alpena Bob on December 7, 2010 9:25 PM

Well, as far as I've read, *nowhere* does the Bible say anything like "The Good Lord helps those who help themselves." Sounds good, as a hackneyed old phrase, but it ain't so. It does say in many ways and places "God helps those who give up trying to be their own gods and call upon Him for help!" Then He has certain commands (Ten!) among which are "Don't steal" and "Don't covet your neighbor's possessions." "Love your neighbor as yourself." In order to correctly reflect the image of God (in which we were created), we should love others, including showing mercy to those who are in emergency straits or severely or permanently limited in some fashion. Old and New Testaments commend charity to the poor, sick, travelers, etc. but not the crook or the lazy. We shouldn't go out stealing from our neighbor to help the poor, nor should we be using the law to take from other people what we want, justifying covetousness as some kind of "need." The New Testament says to give generously, but such giving ***is not to be made a necessity (by compulsion, by church or state!)*** because God loves a cheerful giver. In another place it says "he who won't work, don't let him eat." In other words, no loafers among the able-bodied. Jesus himself loathed the Pharisees of his day who gave to the poor in public, crowing about their own goodness and religiosity in the process. They were using the poor for their own self-aggrandizement, hoping to impress man and God. Jesus told his followers to give to the poor in secret, and let God reward them, not public opinion.

So much for Bible lessons, what has this to do with tax-supported charity, which is the heart of the humanistic welfare state, the deadly fad of Western nations? It seems to me the people in the days of the Founding Fathers, right through the early 20th century, were far more Biblically literate than we are today, and much more active in applying its outlook. Charity was the work of the people, who gave of their own good will to those they determined were needy, and not to get their names in the papers or use their "records" to amass votes in a run for public office! (Anyone doing this would have been regarded as pretty seedy.) Fast forward to today: Congress if full of Pharisees crowing about how they will help the poor, and our taxes are diverted to their selfish image-making campaigns and the poor are made into dependent political footballs. If you don't agree to their programs you are painted as "uncaring." Charity was never the function of state or federal governments to run using tax money, not in the old days. Taxes are taken by force --- by law, by necessity --- which contradicts the Biblical principles the older generations all understood.

I have read in various places that sometimes in the past, Congress would get upset over some natural disaster somewhere and pass a bill to help out the afflicted. Repeatedly, other Congressmen objected, and Presidents vetoed the bills, saying tax money shouldn't be used for charitable purposes. If Congress wanted to help, fine, pass a hat and put some of their own money in it, or go home and raise money themselves, but never use tax funds for such purposes. It was just plain wrong.

Fast forward to today, the byword among the secular Pharisees is "fairness." Hah! Fair according to whom? Don't apply to God for support of this idea. The Bible says he makes the rich and he makes the poor --- is that fair? Not according to the equalizers (who will have little luck fighting God I think.) If "fairness" were the issue, we would all be in Hell for being sinners, because that is what God's justice would demand, no exceptions. So if you have 2 cents or 2 million dollars, you aren't dead and in Hell, and you should be thankful for God's mercy, as far as it is extended to you. But to whom much is given, much may be required. Wealth isn't just for you to cuddle to yourself and think how much better than the poorer person you must be, it is to be put to various uses. You can't take it with you beyond the grave, and if you believe the things Jesus said and did, then you have far better things awaiting you than anything this world can offer anyway, be you rich or poor. So why treat this world's wealth as if it were an ultimate good? (That's how the modern statist treats it.) If you hoist that on board, what have you to lose by helping others here, on your own initiative, not forced by the state under some "get-your-name-in-the-papers tax-everybody sensationalistic welfare program." What you do with your money, time or possessions is between you and God, never the election polls, the tax man, political prostitutes, or even your "neighbor." Failure to follow this corrupts the entire motive, effect and outcome of charitable work. Just as Ro cites above, when government takes over a charitable function, it inevitably becomes a jobs program for bureaucrats, a political campaign issue, and a conflict of interest for lazy, drunk or self-impaired voters who go to the polls and vote your overtaxed wallet's contents into their pockets. If there were a shade of ethical consistency in those who promote the tax-supported welfare state, they would deny the vote to anyone who receives tax-supported charitable benefits. It is unethical to sit on a corporate or tax-exempt board and vote for a project you benefit from financially. Why is it okay for a citizen to vote himself tax money out of someone else's hard-earned wages? Mention this to someone now, and they'll scream that I would deny them the right to vote! "Wealth redistribution" is a personal responsibility, never one for the state.

In the end, I don't think the modern welfare statist really trusts "the people" to take care of the poor on their own, unsupervised and uncontrolled by some statist nanny. The Washington politicos just don't like us helping our neighbors unless **they're** in control! (They don't want "the people" to have this responsibility --- we're too infantile, incompetent, uncaring, ungenerous, unloving, selfish, I suppose. How do you like that slap in the face, voters?) Frankly, what a private individual does or doesn't do for charity is none of any politician's doggone business, and it isn't his business to take my money and apply it to people I don't know or approve of. Somehow the poor got taken care of in the old days, long before the elitist liberals took over charity for their "good purposes" and their political power. That said, I think it should still be a function of government to ensure that private organizations formed for charitable purposes actually apply the funds for those purposes, rather than lining the pockets of embezzlers and crooks. Not everyone passing the hat is honest, unfortunately. I suppose that could be one reason the welfare statist thinks the government should run charity, as if politicians were more honest than others . . . !!!

Given our current deficits and the national debt, I wonder who will have a buck left to help themselves or anyone else once the bozos in Washington are done with us in the next 10 yrs. :-)

Richard on December 8, 2010 12:19 AM

Are we talking again about redistribution of wealth here like the countries woes are all becuase of some welfare cheats ? If so, and if you look at the facts, the average middle class person in the US is losing ground while the WEALTHIEST 2%, not the poor, are gaining ground in leaps and bounds. That is the true fact when it comes to redistribution of wealth in the US. The rich are getting richer while the rest of the country struggles to keep our heads above water. While I am all for cutting back on aid to people who don't deserve it or feel entitled, shame on those who simply take handouts without attempting to make an honest living, the Bush tax cuts that look like they are to be extended for two more years are taking BILLIONS that we have to BORROW and putting it in the pockets of MILLIONAIRES while the rest of the country may gain a few bucks in tax breaks. Please check the facts. I'm no far left liberal progressive type as some might think either but this makes no sense to me when our debt is simply unsustainable. What sacrifices are truly being made to reduce the debt and to take the US back to a position of power and strength? Who is ever going to step up and put country first and stop the pillaging? Nobody wants a welfare state. Nobody wants abuse of systems set up to help those in need. Goverment just simply doesn't police these programs enough to stop the abuse, plain and simple. We could all point to those who have more babies because it means more food stamps and money, the system is flawed that allows that to happen. When the day comes and we stop fostering this type of behavior, things may change, but until then the leaches of society will figure out a way to get something for nothing. But that is not the root of all evil here and nobody is promoting that this country 'redistribute wealth from hard working people to lazy poor people as painted. There are much bigger fish to fry and everyone knows it. The corporate world OWNS America and is taking it straight down the drain. Follow the money. Or better yet, now that the top 2% have their beloved tax cuts, lets see how many jobs they create in the next two years. I can't wait.

Tom Angell on December 8, 2010 9:26 AM

I am reluctant to say much on this blog anymore, but I have to give a thumbs up to Tom Angell for taking a stand on the truth. Very well said. I am right with you. People need to check the facts.

Coincidentailly, I came across a good website earlier today that has some interesting information regarding supply-side economics and the deficit, among other things. It also has a debt clock counter that everyone should see. I've listed two URLs below, but you should click around and check this site out in detail. Pretty interesting stuff.

You won't see many comments from me until January, if at all. I'm taking time away from the vitriol here and focusing on the wonderfulness of the Christmas spirit. This Christmas is the first for my new wife and I being together. It's been almost six years since my first wife passed away. While I'm pensive about the past, I'm trying to focus on the moment and be serene.

But 'm sure things will heat up again in January when one of the big topics at hand will be the issue of raising the debt ceiling.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

Lou on December 8, 2010 1:54 PM

No matter how smoothly and boldly the toxic secular socialism is sold…its still the historical demise of any nation.
The ironic part is the Castro-ites that push this known poison on America always want to be Fidel and never his subjects.
What country is their model? Anyone ever ask them?
Now we have a crew of Castro-ites that in 2 years stopped an economy in its tracks and jacked the U6 jobless number to 16% while amazingly blaming others. The national socialists learned nothing from Jimmah Carter either. Now, after happily plunging Americans 13 trillion into debt they are screaming “fiscal crisis, we need taxes”. Notice they never do much as far as the monster federal government that hired 250k new highly paid unionized folks that will mostly vote to keep the monster fat. Not a word about the federal “baseline budgeting” system that adds 4-12% regardless of efficiency. Does your company do that?
History should teach thinking voters that virtually every large gov-meant program ends up being 3-9x “the selling price” to voters. OzBama Care cannot and will not be an exception. Of course, those swearing transparency rushed it thru and those paying were not allowed to even read it.
Despite being hammered in a record loss the last election, the national socialists still maintain their “policies were not rejected”! They still maintain “Americans demand or deserve” this or that new socialist proposal. They never “get the memo” no matter how many elections they get creamed. They must be sent home!
Such is that evil slimy beast socialism which MUST always be (and always has been) pushed by distractions, lies and smears.

Doug Schexnayder, PhD (ret) on December 10, 2010 9:02 AM

Be careful where you buy your insurance !!


Roger on December 13, 2010 10:57 AM
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