What is Occam's Razor?
By Dr. Robert Owens
According to the physicists at the University of California, Riverside Occam's (or Ockham's) razor is a principle attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Ockham was the village in the English county of Surrey where he was born.
The principle states that "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily."
Many scientists have adopted or reinvented Occam's Razor, as in Leibniz's "identity of observables" and Isaac Newton stated the rule: "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances."
The most useful statement of the principle for scientists is "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better."
This is the one that is generally used on the wall-to-wall news shows which so often describe our world for those who are information junkies and current event addicts so this is the one I will go with today.
Our ruling Elites try to convince us that America's problems are too complex for we mere mortal taxpayers to understand. They want us to allow them and their acolyte bureaucracy to decide everything behind a veil and then hand down their infallible decrees on stone tablets from Olympus on the Potomac.
This arcane process raises the question, "If the running of our government is too complex for us to understand how can we expect low information voters to choose who is best to do when we cannot even know what or how needs to be done?" If this is truly the case than we have reached the limit of the American experiment, and government of the people by the people and for the people does not work.
As the Historian of the Future, as someone who has spent more than fifty five years studying and thinking about History, Political Science and current events I believe this seeming conundrum is an illusion. I believe we should apply Occam's Razor to what remains of our social contract to preserve what is left of our heritage.
Here are what I believe to be simple solutions to the threads the Lilliputians are using to bind the American Gulliver to an express to oblivion.
First, jettison the Empire to save the Republic. Currently the United States has armed forces in over 130 countries. We're committed to defend most of these countries against aggression. Where were these allies on 9-11? Where were they in Afghanistan? Why do we have treaties binding us to go to war to defend those who refuse to support us when we're attacked? If these policies are counter-productive are there any alternatives?
Close the foreign bases and bring our troops home. Station them on the border to protect us from the on-going invasion of illegal immigrants who're overloading our systems. If we need to project American power use the carrier battle-groups designed for that purpose. Protect America and rebuild our infrastructure. When asked what to do with the American Military after World War I Will Rogers said, "Get 'em all home, add to their number, add to their training, then just sit tight with a great feeling of security and just read about foreign wars. That's the best thing in the world to do with them." Jettison the Empire to save the Republic!
Second, declare our energy independence. Did any President ever have an energy policy which effectively dealt with the problems of oil production and supply? Did it work?
Reagan said, "The best answer, while conservation is worthy in itself, is to try to make us independent of outside sources to the greatest extent possible for our energy."
Ronald Reagan also said, "Our national energy plan should not be a rigid set of production and conservation goals dictated by Government. Our primary objective is simply for our citizens to have enough energy, and it is up to them to decide how much energy that is, and in what form and manner it will reach them. When the free market is permitted to work the way it should, millions of individual choices and judgments will produce the proper balance of supply and demand our economy needs. "
As soon as he became president, Ronald Reagan ended the price controls on domestic oil first imposed by Richard Nixon; these controls had contributed to both the 1973 Oil Crisis and the 1979 Energy Crisis. Almost immediately the price of oil fell, and during the 1980s America didn't experience the gasoline lines and fuel shortages of the 1970s. In addition, the removal of price controls ignited a boom in domestic drilling which arrested America's slide into energy dependence.
As to the energy questions: How do we end our dependence on foreign oil? How can we achieve the energy independence which every President since Nixon has said is a matter of national security? Using Reagan's approach as a guide stop wringing our hands and moaning about our situation, stand up like our ancestors and boldly declare our Energy Independence! In practical terms we should: take the shackles off our domestic oil industry, build new refineries, develop better distribution of natural gas, expand the use of nuclear, wind, solar and every conceivable form of energy, and drill baby drill!
Third, end the de facto amnesty. Our President has made no secret of what his end game is. Remember him with Joe the plumber? Mr. Obama wants to spread the wealth around. He is perhaps not an avowed socialist however based on everything he does; he is effectively one. Yet he has won two elections one way or another and he is coordinating the end game of the Cloward-Piven Strategy. This is not a conspiracy...it's a strategy to bankrupt America by overburdening the system....and it breaks my heart that as America dozed on the couch watching the game these Progressives have turned the American dream into a nightmare.
Now the Southern border has been all but erased by pre-arranged catastrophes. What does America's Community Organizer in Chief do in response to these manufactured assaults by the children's crusade and others? He unilaterally grants amnesty through executive edict to millions if not tens of millions while holding the door open for millions more.
Does the GOP move to block these unconstitutional acts of national suicide? Do they mount a national campaign to harness the vast majority of citizens who want to save America for Americans? No, the congressional Republican leaders let everyone know they are for amnesty too.
How can they not know that amnesty for millions of undocumented democrats is suicide for the GOP? Call it executive action. Call it comprehensive immigration reform. Call it anything you want. Amnesty under any other name is amnesty and amnesty with open borders is a siren call to the tens of millions who haven't already come to come now. Our leaders are actually working on a plan to merge the United States with Canada and Mexico into a new super state of North America. Our children and grandchildren will grow up in a third world hellhole that was once the land of the free and the home of the brave. Close the borders or we give away our country.
Fourth, end the centrally planned welfare state. The most insidious result that central-planning and the overabundance of government control that it requires is not the maladjustments that it inevitably creates in the economy. It is not the crony capitalism and bureaucratic nepotism that it always fosters. It is not the smothering blanket of nanny-state regulations that strangle creativity. It is not even the tendency to one-party rule even when camouflaged behind a two party system that is in reality two heads of the same bird of prey. It is not a system which may actually contain only two parties if you believe there is the government party and the country party.
No none of these missteps on the way to an illusionary utopia are the most insidious result of any system no matter what it is called that is some variation on the socialist theme of "From each according to their ability and to each according to their need." Instead the most insidious result of the effort by some to control all is a change in the character of the people.
When government regulation becomes an all-embracing web of minutia that requires lawyers, accountants, and other translators of government-speak to comprehend, when safety-nets become hammocks, and when the do-gooders believe that they know what is best for everyone reaches a tipping point people begin to expect others to do for them what they used to do for themselves. A nation of self-reliant, go-getters can be changed into a sea of slugs on the dole constantly crying and voting for more.
The descendants of the pilgrims and the pioneers are content to wait for their government check and their food stamps as long as there is a game on their flat screen and minutes left on their Obama phone. Militant apathy has ossified the sinews of a once great people. So many people don't care about anything beyond their creature comforts, the most basic of which are guaranteed, that the will to succeed has been squashed.
Cut the strings of the hammock and people will learn to stand on their own two feet again.
And though the list is much longer, the last entry for today is one last simple solution for what we are told is a complex problem. Grow the economy instead of the bureaucracy to bring back prosperity, opportunity, and hope.
Business is like water. It follows the path of least resistance. A fact which should birth shame in the hearts of all Americans is that for the last decade American Businesses have been in a mad rush for the door. They've left America, once the epitome of free enterprise, choosing instead to establish them in Communist China. Today Federal red tape and taxes are strangling American free enterprise.
Innovation is like lightning. It comes in a flash, burns white hot, and is impossible to bottle. When free enterprise is stifled by government interference in the marketplace the incentive to develop and produce are stunted. Americans have always been the can-do people. We've always been the leaders in invention and innovation. Our entrepreneurs have traditionally led the world in new patents and processes. Back in 2011 many sources predicted China would take the lead in high tech patents applied for and new industrial processes pioneered and now they do. It takes thinking outside the box to find the new and provide the best. In America today the Federal Government has set to work making the box stronger, to weaving a mesh of regulations and taxes, and turning the box into a cage.
This isn't rocket science. We aren't trying to figure out the orbit perimeters of a sling-shot around the moon to reach Saturn. This is Political Science and Economics: the arcane arts of who gets what, when, and how.
If we want manufacturing and innovation to grow reduce taxes to the lowest in the world and take the steel boot of regulation off the throat of free enterprise and watch our manufacturing base and our industrial output soar. If you want more jobs stop stifling small business with uncertainty and watch the unemployment rate fall. If we want more consumer spending instead of the next round of bail-outs and stimulus pay-offs to campaign contributors give the American people a one year federal tax holiday and watch consumer activity go through the roof. In other words grow the economy not the bureaucracy.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens