A problem of regulation?

by Mark Thornton, Mises Economics Blog

The financial panic that has engulfed the planet is considered by politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and mainstream economists to be a problem of regulation. I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to agree with this gang of opinion makers, but it is not a problem of insufficient regulation, inadequate regulation, unenforced regulation, out-dated regulation, or anything of the kind.

The problem is with regulation itself. With regard to financial markets, government regulates everything. There is the Federal Reserve that regulates the money supply, interest rates and everything else. There is the Treasury with its array of regulatory powers.

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The Role of “The People” in Protecting Inalienable Rights

by Ed Noyes, SuperLiberty.com

It is interesting to know that many of the attendees at the Constitutional Convention held in 1787 were OPPOSED to including a Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Why would this be so? The chief concern was that if a written bill of rights were included, the people would, over time, think that these rights were the ONLY rights they had. They were wise enough to know that the people would not understand how vast this body of “inalienable” rights was, and would therefore allow the government (especially the federal government) to dictate, and invade, the sacred domain of self-government that was to remain with the people.

As a result, the Bill of Rights was not included in the original Constitution, but was later introduced by James Madison in 1789 to the First United States Congress as a series of amendments to the Constitution.

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For The General Welfare Of The Country

by JR Dieckmann, Great American Journal

For far too long, Congress has been violating the Constitution by passing legislation that gives them powers that were never authorized by the Constitution. In every case, those powers represent rights that were intended to be reserved to the states and to the people.

How has Congress committed these grievous violations and gotten away with it? By claiming that “to provide for the common defense and general welfare” is an enumerated power granted to Congress under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It is not. It is a general statement describing the section content and justifying the need to levy taxes.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

If “[to] provide for the general welfare” were intended to be an enumerated power, just that one statement alone would render the rest of the article unnecessary. It would allow Congress to do whatever it wanted, so long as it could be explained as being for the general welfare of the country. The framers’ intent in writing the Constitution was to limit the power of government, not to grant it unlimited power.

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National vs Local Government

by Clay Barham

If you reflect back on how the institutions of governance grew in America, from 1620 to the present, you will see that National Government grew into its present level without much public support.  The settlements starting in New England, as well as Jamestown, were small and managed more from a town hall perspective than any formalized institution.  Every hamlet, town and county was an almost informal, non-national government.  None of them existed as the means for special interests to capture the loyalty of some inhabitants, nor was there any treasury worth plundering.

They existed mainly for peacekeeping and settling civil disputes.  Town and hamlets wrote their own laws or ordnances to establish behavioral boundaries acceptable to the majority of citizens.  On occasion, when special interests did gain excess power, or criminals were more powerful than the peacekeepers, vigilante groups formed by citizens corrected those conditions.  Each colony acted as its own governing institution as it related to currency, infrastructure and relations with colonies and nations outside of its boundaries.

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The Real Purpose of the Constitution

by Neal Ross

Two hundred and forty five years ago a small percentage of citizens stood up against a superior force and declared their independence from the tyranny under which they lived. This revolution for independence spawned men such as Patrick Henry, who declared, “…give me liberty, or give me death.” These were men who realized the inherent danger in their actions and were willing to risk all for that most precious gift, liberty.

The successful war, and the ensuing Constitution, which created our republican form of government, gave these men that gift which they had been willing to risk all to obtain. Yet they realized that to hold on to that gift the people of this country must remain vigilant to prevent tyranny from again ruling the people of this land.

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Washington DC’s Intervention Addiction

by Rep Ron Paul

One problem with politicians is that when problems they create come to a head, they typically feel this irresistible urge to DO something, rather than to UN-do something, or to simply back off to avoid exacerbating the situation.

Too often, that which they end up doing has very little connection to the cause of the crisis, but plays well in the press and superficially makes everyone feel better.  Bills that are rushed through Congress under duress are never studied enough, providing too tempting an opportunity to quietly slip in unrelated provisions that erode freedoms in ways that would never pass as a stand-alone bill.

We famously saw this with the PATRIOT Act, but Washington learned nothing from that.

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Limit Government, Not Liberty

by Neal Ross

“Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.”
–Woodrow Wilson

Power is something that is often sought. However, once it is obtained it is like a drug that constantly demands an ever increasing amount of it. Most often it is wielded in a way that only benefits those who have it, with little regard for the welfare of those who do not.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.”

Our Founding Fathers were wise when it came to the temptations which came with unbridled power. Anyone who has taken the time to research the writings of Jefferson, Madison, and the other founders would know that they were wary of a government with unlimited power.

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Cut Government Down to Size!

by Clay Barham

Easier said, but it can be done.  It starts with the new CEO of the Federal Government, the President, telling all those who work for the Executive Branch there will be no more hiring, except for the military.  That means when people die or retire, they will not be replaced by anyone from the outside.  If necessary to replace them, it will be from people already working in other departments of the government, like musical chairs.  That is when you will see impending shrinkage of the bureaucracy.

In addition to that, you eliminate the Cabinet Departments by telling them they may neither hire nor replace at all, ever again, for certain, and if done, heads will roll. Each Cabinet chief comes into the administration for the sole purpose of eliminating the department in, say, four years.  The result is departments will ultimately disappear and have to share necessary functions, if there are any, with the states until they are out of the loop.  This is kind of a Tenth Amendment thing, gradually accomplished by deaths and retirements, and no replacement of those working in the Departments.

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Rights Belong to You

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Those few words, from the Declaration of Independence, are as close as one might find to be the sum total of the principle of liberty. 

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