Observations of an Irishman: The Idea of America Is the Ultimate Experiment

The Beginning of an Adventure

It's 5am.

I am not an early riser, so most mornings I struggle to get out of bed. It is especially harder in the winter --- it's dark, it's cold and the days are shorter.

I am also a believer that the snooze button is my best friend --- every time my alarm goes off, I am convinced just eight more precious minutes will refresh me. I forget logic and reason at this moment. I forget that I have been asleep for six hours and am still tired, but I know just another 480 seconds will make that big difference.

Today is different.

Today, I lie in my bed wide awake, refreshed and ready to take on the world. I am lying in my bed looking at my iPad, waiting for it to go off and wondering what’s taking so long. I watch as it goes from 4:58am to 4:59am and finally to 5am.

So why is today different? Today is the start of an exciting and a unique adventure. I feel like a child on Christmas morning, because today I will board a plane and head towards the only country I truly love, where I feel like I belong and that I long to call "home."

The idea of America is the ultimate experiment of mankind at its finest.

As I rise and finish my packing, it becomes easy for my mind to wonder about the adventures that await me. I am excited to see some old friends again, intrigued at making new friends, as well as the prospect of visiting new places and experiencing different parts of America’s vast culture.

America has changed my life so much by providing answers to how life should be and its history has provided so much inspiration. The idea of America is the ultimate experiment of mankind at its finest --- an example of freedom, hope and what people can achieve when they are free to pursue their dreams.

If I had to give America a slogan it would simply be:

America = making the impossible possible!

Behind all the excitement and joy is a sense of fear and apprehension. I experience these feelings every time I do a public speaking engagement, talk on my show or write a column.

What happens if I cannot give back to America by helping inspire someone as I have been inspired? What if I can’t reach Americans and help them see their own great history and the principles that made America exceptional? What if I can’t explain why both parties are on a path towards European-style big government, which has never and will never work? How can I make a connection with people and help them understand the only solution is America’s Founding Principles? This is my constant challenge.

Outrage of the Day

With the creation of social media, it is easier than ever before to learn the news of the day and share your reaction. Today, people on all sides love to get outraged, achieve social justice and destroy someone on the other side.

As I flew into JFK and had a five-hour layover before my flight to RDU, I came across the latest outrage, which was an attack on capitalism.

There was a report of price gouging as someone was charging $100 for a case of water during the hurricane season. As you can imagine, there was plenty of outrage --- calls for government regulation to make such practices illegal, demands for pricing controls, a resurgence of the narrative that all businesses are evil and probably a fancy hashtag campaign along the lines of #DownWithCapitalism.

(Before I continue, let me state clearly I am not defending or promoting this price for a crate of water.)

I know this may shock some people, but I believe in life, you are entitled to nothing, and you certainly do not have a right to any product regardless of your situation. If I own a crate of water (or any product or service), I can choose to sell it for any price I see fit, and you have a right to purchase it or decline my price.

If you understand economics, you know there are two ways this problem can be solved.

The only solution is less government, less regulation.

Firstly, the laws of supply and demand help determine the pricing of a product --- if there is a surplus, prices go down. If there is a shortage they go up. If a business puts a price of $100 on a crate of water and enough people say "no," eventually the business will have to reduce the price until enough people are happy and decide to purchase the water, because business cannot make a profit without sales.

The second way has to do with your personal mindset. A growing number of people today will look at a problem and that is all they will ever see. Others will see the problem and focus entirely on finding the solution and possibly get rewarded for their efforts.

In this case, if someone is charging $100 for a crate of water, it opens the door for a new or existing competitor offer a similar product for a cheaper price. Another business might still be profitable by selling crates of water for only $80 each, which would greatly disrupt the market. The original business would then have three choices, keep his pricing the same, match his competitor’s price or beat the price. This simple solution may result in a price war between the businesses, and generally, price wars lead to greater outcomes for the consumer.

If you truly care for the consumer and have their best interests at heart, the only solution is less government, less regulation and letting individuals innovate and compete with each other for the opportunity to make a profit.

That Time I Was Price Gouged at the Airport

There's another reason I was frustrated by the "outrage" of the day. While sitting in JFK, I suddenly realized I had a price gouging situation of my own to deal with, and government regulations were making matters worse.

If you have traveled through an airport recently, you know government regulations with the assistance of the TSA make it illegal for you to bring any fluids through security gates. As a result of this regulated market, I ended up paying $8.04 for two bottles of Powerade at Hudson on the inside of the security gates.

Crazy, huh?

If you are doing the math, that adds up to nearly $90 for a crate.

Photo by Jonathon Dunne.

The above price list is from Hudson, and as you can see, a crate of water would cost $72.

This happens every day to tens of thousands of passengers as they travel through JFK, and yet where is the outrage to fix this? Where is the fancy hashtag?

Thankfully, there is no outrage, because I was not really price gouged.

Nobody was beside me with a gun saying, "you must buy this product at this price," and I could have said "no," but I was thirsty and wanted a bottle of Powerade.

Hopefully one day, airports will be open to more competition, which will bring pricing down and then once again the consumer will win.

Until then, may the idea of America continue to see us through.

Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman with a lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. After waiting for over 13 years, Dunne received a job offer from Glenn Beck so he could achieve his dream, but unfortunately, he did not meet the requirements to apply for a visa. Unless laws change or Dunne decides to break the law (he won't), his American dream is dead. Despite this setback, he still loves America and seeks to be a positive influence on society by promoting the idea of America and God-given freedoms. While on a recent vacation, Dunne delivered sixteen presentations (for free) in eight different states across the U.S. During this time, he kept notes and we asked him to share some of his experiences. As you read the column below, imagine the words are being spoken in a thick, Irish accent. If you're having trouble imagining how that sounds, you can hear it for yourself by tuning into Dunne's free weekly podcast, "Freedom's Disciple," on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play and Stitcher.

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

Dates:
June 15-17

Location:

Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.