The Madison County Journal
May 30, 2001
Gov't should return
more of our money
A number of people have expressed their approval of the Bush
They often say, "It is nice of the government to give us
Well, I am here to tell you that the government is not "giving"
you anything. They are simply taking away a little less of what
is already yours!
Governments have no independent source of income. Every cent
they spend, waste, or return to the citizens comes out of someone's
Value is created by workers who create or extract valuable goods
or services. The sole purpose of money is to facilitate the exchange
of these goods and services from creators to consumers. When
a shoemaker makes shoes, he sells those shoes to someone for
cash. That person takes the money to the grocery store and buys
apples that another worker picked from the orchard. That worker
takes the money and pays a mechanic to repair his car. The mechanic
can then go to the shoe store and buy new shoes.
That is the way it is supposed to work. The problem is that the
government takes a cut out of each transaction. As a result,
the shoemaker must accept less food than the value of the shoes.
The grocer has less money to pay for apples. The farm worker
has to work longer hours to pay the mechanic, whose new shoes
cost far more than they should.
Taxes always hurt the economy because they interfere with the
natural flow of money from producers to consumers. Without the
confiscatory tax system we now have, all goods and services,
including gas and electricity, would be far less expensive. We
would be able to earn enough money to cover the cost of living
in fewer hours, leaving more time for family, church and hobbies.
Not all taxes are bad. When government provides a valuable service,
the taxes we pay contribute to the economic health of the nation.
The national security provided by our military protects the freedoms
we hold so dear. The roads and bridges government builds are
essential to our economic and social lives. But when government
takes the result of our hard labor and gives it to people who
produce nothing of value, or pays layers of bureaucrats to interfere
unnecessarily with our lives, we are all harmed.
Therefore it is always good when government reduces the amount
of money it takes from us in taxes. It is our money. We work
for it. We should decide how to spend it, or which deserving
people to give it to. When government cuts taxes, it is not giving
anything to the taxpayers. It is simply taking less away.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison
County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net.
His email address is email@example.com.
The Madison County Journal
May 30, 2001
He was just a half grown dog.
Friendly yet shy, he wound his way in and out of the parade at
the Hull Spring Festival last Saturday, wagging his tail and
making many folks, including me, smile at the sight.
On closer inspection however, it was obvious he was a stray.
He was so hungry. His ribs were beginning to show through his
coat and a skin infection - possibly a flea allergy, or maybe
the beginnings of the dreaded mange - were beginning to show
on his legs and hindquarters.
I watched him as I walked through the crowd taking photos for
the paper. He stopped often, looking up into people's faces,
wagging his tail shyly. Most folks ignored him; a few had harsh
Some were kind. I saw one couple sharing their potato chips with
him and I gave him the remains of a biscuit.
I stopped under the shade trees to listen to the gospel music
and watch the dog at the same time.
There's no animal shelter in the county yet, so I, like most
folks, was at a loss to know what to do about him, having so
many animals of my own already.
So, after saying a few kind words to him, I turned away. But
I have thought of him often since then.
For one, he looks exactly like the dog "Honey" I heard
about just last week.
Burned by a 17-year-old kid in Atlanta who threw gasoline on
her and then set fire to her, Honey has made headlines with her
sweet and trusting disposition despite all that has happened
to her. If she survives the numerous surgeries she will need
to go through to recover, Honey will have a good home as hundreds
of folks have asked to adopt her and money has poured in to cover
her medical expenses.
But what about the young dog in Hull, who seems to be very like
her in temperament and in his life situation?
How did he come to be there? Who threw him away and why? Where
is he now, and if I or someone else don't help him, what will
happen to him?
What makes us treat other creatures, and our own kind, so cruelly
I don't know these answers. I wish I did.
I'm happy to be on the committee that is helping to get an animal
shelter constructed for this area, but I know this will not be
an answer to my questions of why.
Once the shelter is constructed it will undoubtedly be the last
stop for many of the animals brought there. Granted, that will
be an improvement over their being hit by a car, or dying of
disease and starvation, and in the meantime breeding still more
unwanted animals. But to anyone with a sense of compassion, it
is still a terrible injustice for any living creature.
Since January of this year, according to an article I read recently,
415 animals have been euthanized (put to death) at the Northeast
Georgia Animal Shelter in Lavonia. Why? Because there have been
many more animals brought in than there is room, or homes, for
A woman told me recently of finding three kittens in a sealed
sack along a busy highway in Madison County - thrown away like
garbage, she said. Sealed in the bag, it seems, to ensure they
would not survive. The woman luckily found them in time and is
working to find homes for them.
Recently, it has been my pleasure to talk with a group of middle
school students and their teachers that are doing more than asking
why, they are working to make a difference.
Patricia Karol and Tracy Bailey's Madison County Middle School
class recently obtained a grant to help them create a project
to help with the county's problem of stray and unwanted animals.
The class has named the project P.U.P. (Prevent Unwanted Pets)
and is now working to raise money to pay for six spays or neuters.
By doing this, they will prevent the births of literally thousands
of unwanted animals that will end up like Honey or the stray
pup in Hull. The class has been researching the topic of pet
overpopulation and learning about the Madison Oglethorpe Animal
Shelter building soon to be under construction next to the transfer
station. In addition, they are learning about responsible pet
ownership (which includes spaying and neutering) and are designing
a brochure on the subject to be placed in local businesses.
Karol and Bailey say that since beginning the project, they have
seen a change in attitude and awareness in many of their students.
The class has discussed what happens to pets when they are thrown
away and what impact this can have on a community - as well as
on the animals.
These teachers and these young people are to be commended for
their efforts and I encourage everyone to support them.
This is the way we make a difference, for the animals and for
ourselves - a little bit at a time.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison