John Andrist: Privacy, A Thing Of The Past


With the prospect that we may have to sort through as many as 20 potential candidates for president, you no doubt will be happy to know I will not be one of them.

But the field is pretty impressive. I’ve only been able to eliminate a few of them One for certain will be my Libertarian brother Rand Paul, who I felt went too far in bullying Congress not to pass the Patriot Act.

Much as we all like privacy, I think it is essentially impossible to attain, and that regulation is grossly overblown.

When a neighbor of mine is driven by ambulance to the emergency room, they won’t tell me anything in this place. The bad guys can always find you. Only the good guys are denied information.

HIPAA is a joke. That’s the piece of paper they hand you at the medical clinic or hospital, and make you sign before they will resuscitate you. Not their fault. It’s federal rules.

Truth be told I don’t know a single soul who is not more concerned about security than privacy. If giving away access to my phone records and e-mails can make me feel safer, have at it.

Technology trumped privacy a long time ago. Of all the things that make me feel distrustful about the federal government, protecting my privacy is a long way down the list.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Truth be told I don’t know a single soul who is not more concerned about security than privacy. If giving away access to my phone records and e-mails can make me feel safer, have at it.[/mks_pullquote]

Cutting corporate taxes

Perhaps the least favorite idea among the masses is lowering corporate tax rates.

Most of us detest corporate welfare, and we don’t like corporations much better, except for the jobs they provide and the lower prices they can produce.

And yet there is a lot to be said for cutting, perhaps even eliminating, corporate taxes.

Excessive CEO and executive salaries may turn our stomach, but the companies pay those off the top. The workers come second, and the coffers (and stockholders) get what’s left over.

Higher corporate profits fuel jobs, innovation, and competitiveness in our brave new world.

Our U.S. corporate tax rate is 35 percent, among the highest in the industrialized world.

Cutting rates even 10 percent could make a huge difference in our ability to export product and create jobs. Even the high-tax Scandinavian countries have lower corporate taxes than we do.

When those nasty Scandinavian corporations start spending their profits, giving them to executives and stockholders, that’s where they whack ‘em — personal income tax rates up to 80 percent.

In the end it is always the little guy, the family at the end of the chain, who pays the taxes, no matter where they are collected.

Tax corporations? We are simply taxing ourselves, payable when we shop or when they hire us.

Change happens, inevitably

Most older people curse change. But it happens anyway, the things we like, more often the things we lament.

So I was a bit fascinated when I ran across a list of 15 social changes, or perhaps we should say morally acceptable attitude changes, that are evolving in our lives.

Only two on the 2001 to 2015 comparison list were negative. We are less supportive of the death penalty and medical testing on animals.

But 63 percent of us, up 23 percent, now are morally receptive to gay and lesbian relations, Moreover, 61 percent of us say having a baby outside of marriage is okay, 68 percent think sex between the unmarried is okay, 71 percent support divorce, 64 percent now give the nod to stem cell research, 56 percent support doctor assisted suicide. All of these are higher than they were 15 years ago.

On the other hand attitudes on abortion have not significantly changed. There is still majority opposition. And by a huge majority Americans still find affairs among marrieds to be morally objectionable.

How’s the old saying go? “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics!”