I’m not really intending this to be a political treatise, nor am I trying to be an ideologue. However, let me say that I’m not that opposed to the size of the Federal Government, per se. Now before you starting tuning up, let me finish. Given a nation the size and complexity of ours, it takes much more than the generalized premises of the US Constitution to facilitate and make it go. The founding fathers knew that the document they were drafting was simply an outline of what was to follow. The reason it was written in such general and broad language, and some would perhaps use the term vague in places, is to allow formulation and adaptation to time, prosperity, and the unknown. I’ve heard it spoken more than once that the Founding Fathers could have never conceived the scope and breadth this country has grown in to in the past 236 years, their approval or disapproval thereof aside. Then take a look at The Federalist Papers. Three writers, only one of which would eventually become President, but they each offered comprehensive insight into what the intent was behind the document for what the Central Government was to be and the ideals thereof. All three were in a position to know and convey what the framers of the Constitution had in mind and those pleas and arguments came forth in that collection of documents. But the point is, it is the compromises and contrasts between these men and their ideas which has brought us the government we have; for better or worse. And thank God that all were honorable men! The Constitution as ratified had no Bill of Rights and yet the promise to so amend the Constitution was made on the proposition that it be so ratified. Can you imagine making such an agreement today among politicians or business people to adopt a literal foundation of something so inclusive first and then amend it after passage, based on a promise and verbal agreement? That was the gee, wow portion of this piece.
Now, can Government stand to be scaled down? I’m sure that it can. Can government likewise run leaner than it does? Again, I’m sure that it can. In that regard however, I’m going to borrow the next bit from George Carlin. If you’ve ever watched anything about Nazi Germany, then you’ve seen efficient government in action. Accounting for each tooth, eyeglass, piece of clothing, and scrap of hair from each prisoner sent to the gas chambers. Gentlemen, that is efficient government and quite frankly, I’m glad we have waste. Bean counters want a strict accounting of debits and credits, the problem is, you have to be able to plan with foresight and that includes factoring the unknown. So government and business are imprecise entities. They depend on measures of precision to set and achieve goals, but they themselves are not.
Not to pick on anyone’s views and I certainly don’t mean to sound as if I am, but I want to examine two groups proffered in another piece in a bit of detail, without taking away from, or making any inferences about, that message.
Those groups would be the Libertarian Party and Tea Party Patriots, Inc. Both groups profess an adherence to small limited government and free markets. Well, let me point this out first of all. Government doesn’t have to be small to be limited, nor large to be overbearing. Now, reading the platform (http://www.lp.org/files/platform-2010.pdf) of the Libertarians, I find their views a bit more palatable than those of the Tea Party Patriots, Inc., because the Libertarians at least try to explain what they’re for and the ideology they have. In fact, the Tea Party doesn’t even seem to have a platform, just a corporate philosophy: “Tea Party Patriots, Inc. as an organization believes in the Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets.” That quote is taken directly from their website and I find that statement… confusing. They don’t go on to define what those terms mean to them or even what they are. So ambiguity of purpose seems to ooze from that entire splinter faction of the GOP. But, since both use or make inference to, the premises of, “Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets” lets look at what those terms would mean in implementation.
Fiscal Responsibility. Okay, to most everyone, that means not spending more than you bring in. That works as a general premise for everyone in the United States. However, does anyone know how many years, since the United States has been a country it has been debt free? The debt incurred from the Revolutionary War was finally paid back in the 1830’s and for a brief period of time, the US was relatively debt free. Then the War Between the States rolls around and the United States has experienced some level of indebtedness ever since. Now, not to the level of indebtedness we are currently experiencing for sure. However, we have likewise not taken on as many commitments, foreign and domestic, had as many citizens, or maintained a standing military the size and breadth of the one we presently have in the field. So fiscal responsibility in the form of debt abatement has only occurred once in the history of this nation since 1788. Now think if you will about subsidies, farmers, businesses, emergency loans for catastrophe, none of that is fiscally responsible nor provided for in a responsible nation whereby all persons and corporate entities are held accountable for the decisions they make. It is not the responsibility of government to act in the capacity of safety valve. All of the ‘welfare’ is gone and off the table. It is now sink or swim and there will be no life preserver or rescue boat coming.
Small Limited or Constitutionally Limited Government. A reduction in the number of persons, scope, and authority across the two terms seeking to restrict or throttle back government. Very well. First of all, what are the implications for you? For me, it takes everything off the table and puts back only those things provided for in the United States Constitution. Now, you’re going to have read the Constitution to grasp what things are provided for. Basically if it’s not in the Constitution, you don’t get it. You as a citizen have the freedom to make decisions and you are thereby held responsible for any consequences, good or bad, for the decisions you make. That’s called rational choice theory and it posits that every individual always makes a rational choice to do everything they do or not. Hurricane? Didn’t stock up on supplies? Sorry about your luck. The airplane you just boarded sounding a little bit out of tune or there is a delay in it getting off the ground? I guess that ‘first come, first serve, everything clear your way Bob’ take off and landing process needs some manners or a cop to stand at the intersection and direct traffic. Maybe they could just install a yield sign. But that’s what they talked about after the last 3 crashes. Took all of your spare pennies, since there is no social security to invest in the stock market… until it crashed, did you? I really hate that for you. You should have chosen a better financial adviser. Can’t afford to send your children to school because there is now no public school or education system? I certainly hope that you have time to devote to the education of your children. Perhaps you will be able to enter into a cooperative with others in order to share education responsibilities. Of course, there is no telling what they may be taught, but that’s the way it goes I’m afraid. Are those all gross exaggerations of outcomes? Perhaps, in those exact words and phrased in that manner.
Free Markets. The market dictates what pricing is in the marketplace. It runs wild and free with no controls whatsoever. It’s also known in some other circles as laissez faire economics. No such thing as market stabilization on price (see fiscal responsibility above for elimination of that). No such thing as anti-trust, or rules against monopolization of the marketplace. The pricing is based on whatever the market will bear. To illustrate that, look at some of the local gas stations around town, belonging to the same company. Look at how they each price gas at different levels, based on what their competitors are selling fuel at around them. The market and competition has shrunk from being town wide now to district or within a few blocks or each other. Price fixing runs rampant…on the upper side. Since it isn’t now based on competition in the marketplace, but rather, what your competition is selling at and you’re neither going to over price or severely undercut them. And we all know that ABC gas is paying the same rate for each gallon they sell at each of their stations. And yet, the price variation can be as much as ten cents on the gallon. Lose your crop because the fields flooded? I guess you should have seen that one coming. Now you can sell out to cover your losses and go to work for Mr. Corporate Farming Cooperative. It’s a buyer beware state of affairs now. That new medication that you were just prescribed for your latest malady? The one you have to have the med for since you won’t live without it... Well, since it is the only medicine on the market for what you have, it’s $1,000 a tablet and you need 3 per day. How free are you feeling today? Since there is no such thing as Medicare/Medicaid, or healthcare… you lost all your money in the stock market, remember? Yes more exaggerations.
Am I trying to scare you? No, because the groundwork for those things is already being laid and has been talked about by some of the players now in contention for positions of power. The problem, particularly with fuel at the moment is how can you do without it? Electricity, and the overall cost of energy, is projected to increase by as much as 33% across the next decade. And living isn’t going to get any cheaper for you. And in this world, how can you do without those things and live? Most of you have never had to and don’t know how. That is a raw fact that isn’t lost on those that provide those services.
I’m trying to enlighten you just as much as Thom and Harry are on this blog, to what is going on right before your eyes. Right now, those in control are brash enough to not care if they conceal what they’re doing or not. They have the money and resources to do as they pretty much please and they know it. Right now, there is a fierce competition for your vote because votes are going to decide the course this nation is going to travel. Those same upper echelon elites are trying to get you to freak out and make irrational choices, under the guise that there is something that you can immediately do to change this, that, or the other; but erstwhile, they are trying to ensure that politicians vital to their cause and their agenda are in seats of power. They want you to look short term, while they have a long-range vision in place. The only glimpse of the future you are given reference to is, that your children will be saddled with the payments on the current debt. The only way of doing that is by hoodwinking you into electing those who parrot those hot button topics and buzz words. Fiscal Responsibility, Small Government, Free Markets are broad categories of terms that are given no explanation or specific meaning. Is that done intentionally? There is a reason that no one has talked about the specific implications of what will happen if those policies are put into place, only how much the debt will be reduced and how much money will be saved.
Judge for yourself however. And I say that a lot. I leave a lot up to you to read, research, and understand. Why? It is not my intention or purpose to sway or influence you to any appreciable degree. It is merely my intent to make you curious enough that you will want to go and search for the facts and truth in the things you hold as important. Not information from political pundits, or speechwriters, or those who skew the facts or tell half-truths in order to influence. Just the facts, both sides of the issue, so that you can inform and enable yourselves to make the decisions you need to make. That is what I implore you to do, not only for yourselves, but this City, this State, and this Nation. If you want to take this country back, that is what you have to do. If not, someone else will be happy to do your thinking for you and you become the mindless automaton that is stuck with the outcomes of your actions, based on someone else’s capacity to think. Another amazing revelation there isn’t it? You are implored to think and consider only those things that you are told or prompted as important, but just those things. Ironic don’t you think? The choice, as they say, is yours.