(1) Find Your Journey (based on a course I taught for 8 years at Seton Hall University). Especially suited for high school seniors and college freshmen or women
Students will soon be out in the world and on their own,. They will have to make countless decisions about their careers, friendships, romance, sports and entertainment and just how to spend their free time. How will they make those decisions?
(a) they can do what they feel like doing because they feel like doing it. But their emotions tell them what they feel like doing, not necessarily what's in their best short or long-range interests.
(b) they can do what others expect them to do because they expect them to do it. But others may know no more about what's in any individuals interest than a person's fleeting emotions.
(c) they can apply common sense rationality to reach the key decisions of life. What does that mean?
It means being honest, i.e., seeing the world as it actually is, not pretending that what is, isn't or that what isn't, is. If we don't see the world as it is, how can we possibly cope successfully with its complexities and challenges?
It means practicing the virtue of independence, being willing and able to stand on one's own feet, look at the world through one's own eyes and form critical judgments, accordingly.
It means being productive, discovering what one loves to do and figuring out how to make money doing it. Having a productive purpose not only allows us to pay our own way in life but furnishes the healthy pride that makes life worth living.
To illustrate and concretize these moral rules, students will watch relevant movies (e.g., The Blind Side, The Sound of Music, Malcolm X),
(2) Civics 101 (America as originally conceived)
Every person's success depends on more than what he/she brings to the "game." He/she must be afforded the opportunities to succeed and thrive that only a prosperous economy can offer.
Since we elect the men, who write the laws, that create te conditions in which we prosper or perish, each citizen needs to practice a special virtue. America's founders called it civic virtue and believed that only if future generations pay close attention to what their leaders are doing can men expect to be free. Otherwise government will grow and grow until liberty is but a faint memory.
This course will look at contemporary issues from the founders' perspective. What were they thinking when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and Constitution? and what does that mean for us, today?
(3) America's Founding Principles: Understanding the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
"All men are created equal" Is that true?
What is a right? Are the existence of right self-evident and unalienable?
What is the significance of the phrase, "life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
What does "liberty" mean?
What is the relation between the Declaration and the Constitution?
The Declaration declares that "all men are created equal," does the Constitution do the same? ][yes, Congress shall make no law . . no personal shall be deprived . . . .
Which is the "law of the land"?
(4) The Tragedy of Our History; How the PATRIOT'S America Became the PROGRESSIVE'S America
What is a patriot?
What is an American patriot?
What do American patriots believe about the role of government
What do American patriots believe about the economy
What is a laissez faire economy?
What is a progressive?
What do progressives believe about government and the economy?
What were the Progressive reforms?
Were the Progressives right in their critique of American democracy
Were the patriot's belief ever enshrined in U. S. law?
What causes boom-and-bust, business cycles?
What precipitated the Panics of 1792, 1819, 1837, 1873, 1893, 1907,
What caused the crash of 1929 and the Great Depression?
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((5) A Civilization Open to the Talents: The Six Men who taught mankind how to live.
This course will explore the world-turning contributions of Aristotle, Cicero, Sir Francis Bacon, John Locke, Montesquieu and Adam Smith to the development of Western Civilization and, in particular, United States culture.
((6) The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
What is the relationship between political philosophy and political science?
What European ideas washed up on American shoreline in the 18th century?
What historical contest led to the writing of John Locke's Second Treatise of Government?
What led to Montesquieu's writing of The Spirit of the Laws?
How does Locke's philosophy relate to Montesquieu's political analysis?
How did Locke's ideas wash up on the American shoreline. Who brought it there?
((7) Defund Big Government: The Case Against Welfare
The progressive left wants to grow government. Where is the movement to shrink government?
The growth of government is why (1) taxes are so high, (2) the national debt is so great ($31 trillion) (3) the Federal Reserve is pumping barrels of new money into the economy to finance the spending (4) inflation is raging and (5) burdensome regulatory costs are driving business to the brink of bankruptcy. or otherwise preventing business from doing business, (e.g., the ban on fracking, oil exploration and pipeline construction).
Every penny a government spends must be financed. Government can tax, borrow or have the Federal Reserve print the sums it needs to pay for its spending.
We are just beginning to see the dead end that is the result of reckless public spending. And that is the problem. VAT or BAT, FAIR or FLAT, tax reform won't fix a thing. There's no safe way to pay for a runaway welfare state.
The pivotal question is this: What exactly must government do for us, and what must we be allowed and expected to do for ourselves and one another (e.g., neighbors in need)?
Government performs two basic functions. It can serve as a PROTECTOR and/or a PROVIDER.
Today, a mere 25¢ of every $1 Washington spends goes for national defense, law enforcement and justice (the essential protection services). 75¢ is money taken from some and given to others - any organized special interest that decides to hire lobbyists to plead with Congress for special "assistance. "
American politics is where counterfeit capitalists and entitlement enthusiasts go to get special benefits at their neighbors' expense.
When did the country first go amiss and how did we get from that day to this? A brief history of the American welfare state from the founding forward.
The so-called "boom-and-bust," business cycle, caused not by free market activities, but by corporate welfare policies, alone, created the "need" and demand for social welfare reforms from the Progressive Era, to the New Deal and beyond.
If not welfare, then what?