Jump to content
The Declaration of Independence is focused on separation from a tyranny. The Constitution is focused on how we would govern ourselves, and is the relevant document of the two. You likely agree. The Constitution of course has a preamble stating its intended purpose:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Several parts there describe the people's common interests. The actual body of the Constitution is largely about the relationship between federal and state level governments. Individual rights were an afterthought, coming as amendments in 1791.
We can discuss many things, but it seems the point of the whole will be your opinion that the federal government is in several regards illegitimate. You've said the Civil War was an illegitimate act of the Federal Govt. Of course there are other illegitimate steps made. Hard to understand where you see yourself as a citizen. What is current U.S. law to you?
Typo: "I have this wrong in one area"…. the tax code. Everyone understands the tax code needs simplification - probably because we all engage it annually.
A good conversation. I think a basic difference, expressed above, is the difference between a simple society and complex society, a simple government and complex government.
Real society is incredibly complicated, and real government equally so. A path to fairness, and indeed a path for fairly applying the Constitution through time and changing circumstances, is not a simple or static path. Society doesn't have to record and obey a path. Government does. Weighing basic decisions every decade since 1778 presents a varied circumstance behind each decision, each decade. You can expect changes in the metrics of the decision, it's legal parameters, legal precedents, unintended affects… It is inevitable that you end up someplace different than where you started 2, or 20, decades before.
The less you carry your ideas into the government process, the harder this is to see. I have this wrong in one area.
15 years ago I helped lead a very liberal group in Steamboat. We called ourselves the Peace and Justice Center. For two years we had monthly meetings of 12-20 people, usually at my house. We all agreed on the issues. Solutions were easy to see. But only 2 or 3 of us did the work of presenting those ideas downtown or at the county. That is where we found the harder boundaries of practicality, unintended consequences, costs, etc. Some ideas made it through that phase, to next meet the doubts of conservatives a public conversation. Of 10 items we sought to address, we did arrive at general city agreement on one P&J item, locating future big box stores West of Steamboat Springs.
That 1 in 10 summed the difference, in my experience, between a dreamed society and the reality of governing it. I'll give conservatives better credit, your ideas may be more realistic. But until you take them into actual practice, you have little way to know. One area I agree with conservatives would be the tax code. That complexity serves bad ends.
None of this really matters. We will continue to view those parts of our nation differently. It is constructive to recognize where we agree, notably that our government is swayed away from the people's bidding toward corrupt, special interest errands. Shouldn't we we fix that first? Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders have some views in common, but let's be realistic. Unable to elect an independent soul as president, our redemption will probably have to come by correcting the electoral and redistricting apparatus that insures power and incumbency at the state level, and then work our way up.
I think you missed my point. My argument is guns are hopelessly inadequate and counterproductive as a response to our government in this day.
Pollution is a stronger case. How would I prove the source or chemistry of the haze in my sky, or the source or chemistry of the foulness in my water. I do not have access to the factories and their emission information. The ONLY way to address these problems at their source is government oversight and regulation.
Government does pollute, and too much. That has no bearing on the argument above. The Hayden power plant was successfully sued by the Sierra Club to reduce its emissions. That lawsuit only succeeded via standards placed by the federal government.
You've caused me some interesting reading. Yes government has been active in monopolies. The subject reaches easily to include trade tariffs (steel) and courts picking sides. There is still ample room for harm in monopolies aside from government effects, and room for endless debate.
Monopoly: the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.
The condition creates benefits, as Microsoft's dominant platform set the architecture whereby vast and random designs were aligned to a common frame. The result was better than having 4 or 5 frames confusing the effort. But the condition also creates harm - Microsoft had no competition on pricing. In the case of natural monopolies that you discuss, where high costs to entry are followed by low costs to produce (railroads), low prices are expected as necessary to keep others unable to enter and compete. These lowered prices are not a rule. Often prices are dropped below margins of profit when a new party has invested in the market entry costs. Once the new competition is broken, prices rise. There are many examples of prices reduced by monopolies being broken. The lowered prices you mention were often facilitated by technology as much as business model. Steel processes advanced in Europe play a role in the Carnegie pricing example.
The Articles of Confederation offered a "less united" states. We're much stronger when "united" by the Constitution's larger role for a government.
Of those Articles, the 13th said the Articles are perpetual, and can only be altered by approval by all the state legislatures. I've had LLC business experience where unanimous partner consent was required. It was a deadlocked disaster. We were forced to reorganize and give power to one manager. Another reason the Constitution was a good move, eliminating the possible veto of only one state.
Beyond the question of government size, I still think your stated politics favor the wealthy and big business. That is why I maintain "The People" are worse off in your political preferences.
Monopolies - You write, "Free market competition has a way of eliminating Natural Monopolies." The opposite is common sense. Wikipedia agrees: "A natural monopoly occurs where the average cost of production "declines throughout the relevant range of product demand". (Think electricity, petroleum, coal, utilities, transportation)... When this situation occurs, it is always cheaper for one large company to supply the market than multiple smaller companies; in fact, absent government intervention in such markets, (a natural monopoly) will naturally evolve into a monopoly." Monopolies, unregulated, serve only the wealthy and big business.
Pollution - "the U.S. government. It shouldn’t be regulating pollution which is a violation of property rights. In a free society property rights violations are handled locally by courts. Penalties for violations should be so onerous that large corporations fear the consequences." Most pollution is not a local or one-owner condition. Harsh violations in one locale mean nothing when your air and water are fouled upstream in cities, counties or states where pollution brings profit but no penalty.
There are other failures. The Hayden power plant was mercury polluting our Steamboat air. The state government of Colorado did not care. The EPA did, and that's a good thing.
There are egregious cases of industrial pollution of rivers that all states have ignored. General Electric on the Hudson River is simply the worst I've read. Enter the EPA We have way too many superfund sites. Yes the Feds pollute too. Too large a Defense Dept is a big reason. The radioactive sites from weapon manufacture now in the news are disgusting.
Above posts offering our calamitous proximity to tyranny make no sense. Even you write, "As it now exists the federal government is wholly illegitimate." And, "Guns are a viable defensive response to a despotic government that operates outside the constraints of the Constitution that created it." Joe, if our government is so bad, show me a country doing better.
If you cannot point to a better governed nation, why even speak of using your guns to correct ours?
Joe, I'll respond with detail later. Your post is how things "would be" with smaller government. Vision is the easy part, as much a fantasy as a reality. Making it work fairly is the hard and ugly part.
Mark, talking was the above. Your last post is something else. There is an abundance of internet sources for complaints against either side. I don't bring that stuff because it ignores reality to make the largest stain possible. I'm thankful other "liberals" typically avoid it as well.
For instance, the gun walking across the border was run by 2 or 3 agents who defied existing protocols against that practice. Other agents complained but were overruled by a supervisor. Serious error in judgment in the effort against crime, yes. Indictment of the top Justice Dept leadership? I don't think so.
My last post was something else too. I don't know where to go from the "cringe" remarks. Your honest opinion, that I'd rather not judge. But its a hypothetical terrain to me. Don't know how to calmly discuss violence against today's government.
We disagree. Talking through differences is better than the alternatives. Probably enough said.
Last login: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2015 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.