Sep 022020
 
 September 2, 2020

 

Neither wholly federal nor wholly national
Our genuinely American form of government surpasses all other types. The evidence of this is indelibly etched in our history. A great analysis of it can be found in the writings of James Madison.
In Federalist # 39, Madison goes through a very detailed explanation of the form of government proposed in our Constitution. Remember, the Constitutional Convention proposed an entirely new document rather than just amending the original Articles of Confederation. So, although components of the Articles were used, there was a lot of wrangling over every word and meaning of this new document. I will go over some of JM’s main points and try to convey his message. However, there is no substitute for doing your own homework. It’s worth reading Mr. Madison’s words in order to gain a better perspective of the genius of our system.
James Madison had to calm the fears of many who thought the Convention was steering away from the idea of a confederation of states. Although most understood and agreed with republicanism, they were not very cool to the idea of nationalism over federalism.
So let’s quickly define the terms national vs. federal so we may better grasp their meanings as they pertain to governing. National government relates to the nation as a whole whereby a central power is exerted. A federal system constitutes government in which power is distributed between the central authority and a number of constituent territorial units (states) in a compact.
Mr. Madison starts out by comparing several governing systems that used the term republic. He makes a good point in that, although places like Holland, Venice and even England defined parts or all of their system as republican, they were far from it. He goes on to point out that it is essential for this system to derive its power from the great body of society. The main thrust here is to accurately define a republic and, above all, to avoid placing power in the hands of a few. There are plenty of current examples. For instance, North Korea is officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Although the term republic is in their name, they are so far removed from being a republic or what any freedom-loving American would accept.
So later in Federalist # 39, Madison takes on detractors who were critical of the new Constitution claiming it was abandoning federalism. He gives some precision to his rebuttal and what follows is one of many brilliant political treatises in Madison’s treasure trove.
Madison not only doubles down on the necessity of maintaining, on the whole, what was already authentic republicanism throughout the states, but he also expresses how the power being vested to the federal government will be delegated by the people. He then gives a complete rundown describing the proposed complex system as neither wholly federal nor wholly national in nature. It is a mixture of both, and depending on which branch, what act or what power is being exercised, will it be national or federal in its form. His last paragraph in this particular paper sums it up concisely.
It is without question one of the best explanations of federalism and nationalism in our system; one built on ideas from generations going back way before our founders. Additionally, during this great time of enlightenment and discourse, the brilliance of our founders offered the people a better solution for organizing society. It is the longest standing constitution in history for a reason and its ratification gave it the stamp of approval by the states and the people of the states.
You can see why there was some question as to what was going on within the Constitutional Convention. Three important characters, however, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, helped with transparent inspection and left us some solid political meat in those fantastic Federalist Papers. Chew on that, America!
In Liberty,
Ray
Sep 012020
 
 September 1, 2020

I’ll Take Freedom to Fail Over Big Government Care
Now that we have a new president, there have been more discussions in the office about the direction of our economy. In general, predicting future outcomes, whether on a micro or macro economic scale, is virtually impossible. The best we can do is take educated guesses based on trends of the past. The one beneficial thing a president can do is steer our federal government on a more market-friendly course.
Previous economic policies have not been conducive to freedom and have put us in a state of urgency. What once was a free market system has become a hybrid of crony capitalism and government control. Especially over the past 10 years, we have seen our federal government become a ball and chain to economic freedom. This Marxian-Keynesian mix is not good. Shifting away from this command-and-control system and back to good old fashion capitalism may send short-term shock waves through our economy, but will benefit us in the long-run.
Stability in government is a key factor in a free market if the goal is economic growth and prosperity. Arbitrary laws, which punish some and favor others, should not be made by our government. We have yet to see what the current federal government will do in regard to domestic policy. However, if in after four years, we see a booming economy, nobody will care about the media coverage of the current administration or what may have been said by our president. If the economy doesn’t improve, we’ll see another person in the White House. Let’s hope this present administration will take heed and adhere to sound economic freedom principles.
Manufactured panic can also affect human behavior and the economy. If the media hypes things to extremes, creates the perception of chaos and continues to negatively shape public opinion, segments of our economy will suffer. Groups causing destruction and mayhem can disrupt businesses and cause market instability as well. There have always been coordinated efforts to destroy America from within, but we are now seeing these efforts rise to new heights. Unfortunately, there are misguided enemies of capitalism living among us. Our government has a duty to bring justice to the culprits of violence and destruction. Without real justice and the rule of law, chaos and instability will continue.
Of course, capitalism can have its own natural disruptions. There are all sorts of market fluctuations that can cause hardships, but the ability to refresh is there. It is still the best system for bringing jobs and opportunity to the masses. Even the freedom to fail is freedom after all. Innovation and technological advances can at least have a chance in a free environment. Contrast that to socialism where economic stagnation is the norm. Getting back to our Constitution and the fundamentals of Liberty is the answer.
Even though a shift to free market principles will eventually make for a better economy, change will bring resistance. Hate and fear motivates many miscreants. So, hang on to your hats because we are in for a wild ride. Filter the news coverage with extreme caution and don’t fall for everything you see and hear.
A current example where some filtering is required is the continuing argument about Obamacare. The media is hammering Congress for an answer on the replace part of their insipid “repeal and replace” phrase. It’s sad to see the lack of any intelligent discussion by either side. Not only is the replace part unconstitutional, but it’s also a bad idea to allow government intrusion into the market like this. It’s so typical. The media frames the argument and our legislators fall for the faulty premise. The real question is, in a free-market system, should the government even be in the business of health care or health insurance? The answer is no. The best thing government can do is steer clear of being a competitor in the marketplace. If we really want to see America at its best, we need to be free to do so.
In Liberty,
Ray
Sep 012020
 
 September 1, 2020

 

Supersized and Politicized
I’ve shared many of the fundamental principles of Liberty with you. They are those upon which our nation was built and are easily discovered in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and numerous writings by our Founders. Concepts such as rule of law, self-governance, separation of powers, checks and balances, natural rights and freedom are etched forever in our American history.
So why aren’t these concepts etched into our hearts and minds today? Why don’t those in government positions realize how detrimental it is to ignore our Constitution? Where did we go wrong and allow our government to become so supersized and politicized? The cost for allowing for it is very high, and not just monetarily. It is slowly but surely costing us our Liberty.
There are many examples of people and agencies going awry in our federal government. Most of it stems from either ignorance or downright corruption. Ignorance can be handled with education; and corruption? Well, there’s a place for corrupt people….prison.
But, where did we go wrong? Yes, there have been those who have ignored the rule of law and who have been corruptors within government since our founding. But they were dealt with handily. However, the ignorance and corruption have reached new heights and we now live in a society where there are no consequences to those who act contrary to our American standards.
One of the things we can point to is the expansion of agencies within our federal government. And with this expansion comes lack of accountability. It’s hard to point the finger at any one person when the web is so complex.
Since our inception, a dozen or so cabinet offices have been added. Bloated departments sprout up within them and grow even larger. The fiefdoms within these agencies are numerous with their own hierarchy of mini-despots and sets of rules. Of course, there are necessary departments and cabinet officers that have existed since the beginning. An Attorney General is important to enforce Constitutional laws, although it seems to have grown into more of an overstaffed political appendage. A Secretary of Defense is needed to deal with our enemies. The Secretary of State position handles foreign relations and is considered an essential post. We certainly need a Treasury department to manage our budget. These departments are supposed to carry out functions that apply directly to the responsibilities of our central government. But therein lies the problem: we have seen agencies pop up that are extra-Constitutional. We even have rule-making bureaucracies that preside over things like education, marriage, farming, transportation, water and energy, all of which, should be handled by we the people, and our local or state governments. Do we really need the federal government (or any government for that matter) to tell us how to learn, play, build, think and act? As long as we’re not stepping on others’ rights, the government need not be involved.
Besides the obvious added costs, we see the rise of un-elected bureaucrats implementing rules by which the people are forced to comply. Rules, by the way, that are way outside the bounds of our Constitution. This goes against our ideas of government within a Republic and those principles upon which it stands.
We must move away from a government that demands compliance and back towards a government based on the principles of Liberty instituted by the consent of the governed. After all, it’s on our dime!
In Liberty,
Ray
Aug 292020
 
 August 29, 2020

More Liberty Messages are on the way!