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April 24, 2011 – Comments (11)

Have you ever asked what exactly are we talking about here? Just a King? No legislative bodys, no Justice department, no checks and balances?

240 years ago a King made rules for his own benefit, and enforced those rules with a privatly paid army at his beck and call.

230 years ago a newly freed people chose a much bigger Government. They chose a balance of Federal, State and Local governments in the fear that a concentrated power would become oppressive. They seperated religion to prevent one group from dominating others. They resticted the charters of corporations, and their renewals to legislative vote. And then they diluted that power even further with legislatives bodys to write law. Not satisfied they created an additional branch of Government to seperate those who made laws and those who enforced them. They created civil servants to reduce the financial pressure private interests could apply, and they created the ability to plead your case to a Supreme court removed by geography from local corruption.  They seperated religion to prevent one group from dominating others. They imposed time limits on the charters of corporations, and their renewals to legislative vote lest wealth gang up to dominate the country. And finally they created elections, and made as many men as possible all part of Government.

They did not choose "small".

Best wishes,

Steven

11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 24, 2011 at 10:29 AM, whereaminow (20.94) wrote:

240 years ago a King made rules for his own benefit, and enforced those rules with a privatly paid army at his beck and call.

What do you mean "privately paid?"  Do you mean that the King financed the British Army with his own money?  That would be incorrect. The Army was paid for through taxes and currency debasement.

the British were in a better position than the Americans to finance a war. A tax system was in place that had provided substantial revenue during previous colonial wars. Also for a variety of reasons the government had acquired an exceptional capacity to generate debt to fund wartime expenses (North and Weingast, 1989).  

They taxed, borrowed, and debased their currency. Hey, that sounds familiar!

230 years ago a newly freed people chose a much bigger Government. They chose a balance of Federal, State and Local governments in the fear that a concentrated power would become oppressive

That would be true if the government they overthrew did not have local governments under the Federal umbrella. England had already established local governments. They were already there. So the people didn't chose to add them in order to make a bigger government.  They chose to shrink the Federal government and leave the State and Local ones in place, for better or worse.

This is not a judgment of which system is better. It's a fact that the American government in total was significantly SMALLER than the British colonial government it replaced.

But at least you are starting to get the concept of dual sovereignity. I don't think it works, but that's what they wanted.

They created civil servants to reduce the financial pressure private interests could apply

LOL, WHAT?

You are becoming the Fabian Alstry. I gotta stop here. Thanks for the laughs.

David in Qatar

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#2) On April 24, 2011 at 10:29 AM, dbjella (< 20) wrote:

Good post.  One has to wonder how far "they" intended gov't to grow.  Once tax dollars are directed to larger and larger voting blocks you essential get the mob.  I am not sure what the right level of gov't is, but this sure feels like too much.

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#3) On April 24, 2011 at 10:44 AM, buffalonate (94.74) wrote:

I think we don't necessarily need a bigger or smaller government, we need a govt that does their job.  Regulators are either in bed with the people they are supposed to be regulating(oil&gas, SEC) or they don't have the power to force businesses to behave(food safety, coal mining.  The food and drug administration didn't have the power until recently to enact food recalls even if they knew food was poisoning people.  They had to rely on the company to do voluntary recalls.  Massey Coal constantly broke safety laws but safety violations only incurred small fines so they just kept doing what they wanted to because it was cheaper to pay fines than be safe.  The regulators didn't have the power to do anything about.  We need to give regulators the power to enforce the laws and hold the regulators accountable for actually doing their job.

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#4) On April 24, 2011 at 12:32 PM, devoish (98.57) wrote:

David,

I mean that the "king" owned the land and property and was effectively nothing more or less than a private self interest serving himself. 

dbjella,

Thank you. I kind of agree that size as measured by a percentage of GDP, or number of branches, or number of civil servants is not the measure. I think preventing a concentration of power is. I think that is why they put such heavy restrictions on corporate charters. To prevent any three or four or dozen people from incorporating and ganging up any one.

buffalonate,

#3, I agree with you. But since Reagan we have voted for "small" government. We have voted not to impose law on business. We have voted in favor of deregulation.

Public discourse has promoted what I consider to be the false idealism of "small" government.

So the problem is how do we get those things? There is no "free market" or "small government" example anywhere in the world that comes close. Unions once provided those things. By organising, employees could balance the impact executives had on employee income by being able to impact executive incomes and power was diluted. But even organised it was never easy. And some unions grew corrupt, but that is not the case today, and were the exceptions then.

Multiple agencys, each with overlapping authority over the financial industry might have allowed one to say no. But the Federal Gov. used interstate commerce to prevent individual States from excersisng their own authority to regulate mortgage brokers. I supported a Single Payer healthcare plan, and got a handout to private insurers who can still ask you to find the missing coverages in 200 page long documents. They call that having "choice" and want the States to not be allowed to set their own minimum standards of what coverage should be included. They call that "being allowed to compete across State lines".

There needs to be a minimum standard for what is covered, and there needs to be a standard that says no elected official can have any treatment that is not in that minimum. No matter how much money they accumulate. Because if they are in my boat, we will all try not to sink.

Equality, not an elitism.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#5) On April 24, 2011 at 9:42 PM, ChrisGraley (29.76) wrote:

Are those the only choices? Big, monsterous, gigantic, uncontrollable to the point of being corrupt, government or king?

Are you so polarized that something in the middle isn't even thinkable? 

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#6) On April 25, 2011 at 2:15 AM, FleaBagger (29.74) wrote:

I don't see the big difference between a king who has a huge, expensive bureaucracy, jack-booted thugs who collect his taxes for him, and who arrogates to himself the authority to unilaterally sentence someone to death, and King George III. 

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#7) On April 25, 2011 at 2:16 PM, Melaschasm (56.93) wrote:

Nice strawman arguement.

Small government people in the USA are not calling for an end to congress and a declaration that Obama is to be king for life.

What the small government people are doing, is demanding that powers which once belonged to the individual States are returned.  Just as the American revolution transfered many powers from the king to the colonies, so to would the tea partiers like to transfer power from the federal government to the States.

 

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#8) On April 25, 2011 at 4:58 PM, devoish (98.57) wrote:

Melaschasm,

I hope so. Do you support the freedom of States to set their own standards for what must be included in a healthcare policy, or do you think the Federal government should pass a law that forces each State to accept the standards of another for its citizens?

I also think the Constitution allows us to decide for ourselves, in our world, what balance between Federal, State and local is appropriate.

Fleabagger,

?

ChrisGraley,

Are you so polarizing that you have to call names? Big, monstrous, uncontrollable, corrupt.

By the way? Can you imagine any other choices? I thought I left that open for each to consider on their own what size Government was appropriate? I challenged, and very well I thought,  the marketing campaign that we are founded on some ideal of "small" Government. I thought I made a pretty good case that we founded upon the ideals of a balanced and shared Government.

Everybody gets to vote. Everybody is Government and that is not a small Government.

Best wishes,

Steven

 

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#9) On April 25, 2011 at 5:56 PM, ChrisGraley (29.76) wrote:

I don't think I was name calling, just describing how bad the situation is. 

Yes, I can imagine a thousand other choices.

It's really funny that you say "everyone gets a vote" in my post and promote the federal government overiding state rights in health care policy in your post to Melaschasm. I guess they only get a vote if they agree.

It's also funny that you missed the King George III joke.

When government is bigger than the people, it's too big.

 

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#10) On April 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM, Melaschasm (56.93) wrote:

#8

States have a right to regulate businesses within their borders.  Citizens have a right to purchase goods and services (health insurance) from other states and bring them accross state lines without restriction (interstate commerce clause, early Supreme Court ruling).

If California wants to create healthcare laws which result in the people of California going out of state to buy insurance, that is the way the Constitution was designed.

Another popular conservative arguement is to limit punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.  This is a policy which should be a State issue, not a Federal issue.  However, if we are going to have a huge interventionalist government determining the details of healthcare policy, it makes much more sense to limit lawsuits than to restrict competition like Obamacare has done.  

In other words, freedom works, but once you abandon freedom, you sometimes must support a bad policy to limit the damage of an even worse policy.   

I do agree with you about the Constitution allowing us to decide what balance we desire between local, state and federal government power.  It is called the amendment process.  If you do not like a part of the Constitution, amend it. To change the Constitution without passing an amendment is a dangerous habit that we have fallen into.  

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#11) On April 27, 2011 at 8:20 AM, devoish (98.57) wrote:

When government is bigger than the people, it's too big.

When Government cannot restrain the financial industry, and allows corporate profits to supersede the welfare of its more productive citizens it is to small, or poorly applied.

Best wishes

Steven

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