Open Thread Question of the Day: To Whom or What Do You Pledge Your Allegiance?by Stephen Littau
I was listening to the local talk show host on my way to work this morning and the topic was the ongoing saga surrounding the auto makers. This particular talk show host is a very pro-union “buy American” (and therefore anti-free trade) kind of guy in the mold of Lou Dobbs. As I pulled into my parking space, he posed 2 questions 1.) To whom or what do YOU pledge your allegiance and 2.) To whom or what do these multi-national corporations pledge their allegiance?
My response was an immediate “to myself and to my family, but certainly not the federal government of the US!” (for many of the same reasons that tarran so eloquently explained). I’m quite certain that this is not a response this talk show host would appreciate. I’m also quite certain that in his view, these corporations are supposed to “provide American jobs” no matter how costly and no matter how much the federal government punishes them with taxes and regulations. To suggest that a business should make its first loyalty to pursuing profits for shareholders would be heretical! These populist propagandists ask such questions of these businesses but fail to ask the question of government “to whom or what does Washington pledge its allegiance?” (Hint: it certainly isn’t to free market principles or liberty).
After thinking about the question a little longer, I concluded that my allegiances are as follows: myself*, my family, and the defense of the principles of life, liberty, property and justice for all**.
Now I pose this question to you, the reader: To whom or what do you pledge your allegiance?
*The fact that I put myself first may be shocking to those who haven’t spent much time studying the philosophy known as Objectivism.
** “Liberty and Justice for All” – This is at least one part of the Pledge of Allegiance I can keep, but when I say “all” I mean all individuals irrespective of color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, rich or poor. All individuals are entitled the rights of life, liberty, property and justice (justice meaning equal treatment under the law).