January 07, 2007

Guns vs. Butter

"Guns make us powerful, butter just makes us fat!"~Hermann Goering
Somewhat over 200 years ago, our nations founders put forth a plan for govornment which was narrowly adopted by all 13 colonies. The necessity for this new"Constitution" was to redress certain inadequacies which became apparent under the old "Articles of Confederation". Chief among these were issues related to the national defense, property and States Rights, and taxation as a means of funding the new government and repaying the late "War Debt". If one reads both the "Federalist" and the "Anti-Federalist"papers, one readily discerns that both sides in the debate held the same general opinion of government, best summarized by the sentiment"That Government which governs best, governs least". The very lengthly and highly intellectual debate concerned just how little government could be established and still be effective while maximizing individual liberty. These two goals are like opposite poles of a magnet: the closer they are moved together, the more force they repel each other with. The proper role of government as established by our nations founding documents are mostly described as prohibitions against what government must not do. It must first ensure individual liberty. To do so it must be able to protect it's citizens from physical force from without and within our borders. The Militia having proved inadequate to defend the country during the war of 1812 led to the creation of a standing army. This has proven just and necessary by history. It was also found necessary to establish a court system to protect property rights, and to promote the general welfare a national banking system was created. That is essentially all that is required of a federal government. All other powers should remain under local control as explicitly outlined in the 10th amendment. The insane Leviathin which has grown from these simple seeds has devoured its parent and become a near all-encompassing, omnipresent, self-declared omniscient, and utterly irresistable monstor. Every facet of life from how much water per flush,to how many miles per gallon, to how many and what type of caloric intake is allowed is now dictated by this mindless yet all-powerful entity. Once I was what we called an "Objectivist", Philosophical disciple of Ayn Rand, whose simple message was, if you want man to be productive-keep out of his way! Still, taxes and entitlements race each other to the finish line of bankruptcy and our elected officials prattle on about Stem cell research and gay marriage. What an absolute travesty. I have now come to the final -ism. That -ism that naturally follows the structural collapse of productive capitalism. I have become one with Nietzsche and understand his loathing of contemporary man and society. Nihilism is the only thing that is left, only unlike the marxists of old we do not need to destroy society to remake it. It is destroying itself. It is destroying you and it is destroying me. Get out while you still can. John Galt Lives!


Basil said...

Agreed. The executive branch needs three departments: treasury, state, and defense. The duties of each, respectively, are to maintain a stable currency, avoid war through diplomacy, and win wars when diplomacy fails. Sadly, we live in a nanny state. Thus will it be until the collapse.


Aethelred said...

Granted that the Federal government is a freaking mess that provides little except power to its own officers and wealth to their cronies (particularly in the Executive branch), the three branches of our bloated tick of a federal government are nonetheless necessary if we are to avoid dictatorship.
Proof? A weak and complacent Congress and a Judicial branch that owes its position to the Executive has brought us the least responsible, most un-Constitutional Administration in my memory (which, like your own, includes the best part of five decades now!).
I agree that the Federal governemnt needs to be pared considerably, but only if the [intended] functions and funds of the bureaucracy can be transmitted to the local level.
Local government - City/County level government, can be effective, and given the limited resources of many local governments, they are surprisingly effective.
Tip O'Neill said "All government is local government." I would take that a step further and say that all government SHOULD BE local government, except where the scope of the task exceeds the capabilities of the locals.
While the Federal Government may be bloated, that fat man in DC is the only entity capable of funding the building dams, bridges, highways, spaceships, cures for [disease of your choice], and all the other goodies that the Fed currently funds, as well as those all-too-necessary tanks and battleships (Defense), exchangeable currency (Treasury) and embassies full of dipplemats in their demisemimidafternoon puce cutaways (State).
See, while you mountain-toppers and desert-dwellers may be real self-suffient survivalist types, some of us still see hope in advancement, in new technology, in new medicines and new science - which (under our current system) are the babies of that same bloated tick of a Federal gummint.
Departments of Energy, Education, Interior and such should have been life-limited commissions, not cabinet posts. But then, the Appalachian Commission was supposed to be a ten-year program, too!
Muninn/Basil, if y'all want Mayor Bob to have the (proportional) financial resources of Prezzy Dubya and Senator Gotbucks, I might think that was OKAY (when we set up the newnited states gummint), provided you left the Federals with the wherewithal to keep the big projects going.
You know, Muninn, "Memory" is a great tool, but should not be confused with "thought":
opposite poles of a magnet ATTRACT!

muninn said...

Well, I knew the magnet thingy was gonna get me in trouble when I wrote it, but the point was philosophy and not physics so I did not want to lose train of thought doing a re-write.I'm, sure most people would get the analogy.As far as all politics being local, lemme tell ya a local political story. As you know, Senator "Sheets" Byrd, the oldest known fossil ever unearthed in the senate chamber, is (in)famous for bringing more federal money back to Wesbygod per dollar taken in than any other congrescritter that ever lived.How is this misbegotten state doing? 49th out of 50 in education. Worst infrastructure(more deaths per mile on state roads).52% of residents live on the dole.45% work for the gummint, and they claim that unemployment runs around 4%.Figger thet one out.During the last election two new levies were proposed.Now supposedly, we were to receive up to $9.00 of federal money for every extra dollar we ponied up in new taxes. One was for the schools(no new programs, just raises for staff, so we can keep quality people from fleeing to "better" opportunities.) The other was for the fire department(vote for us or your house will burn down). "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh my!!" Only problem there was that all politics are local. The extra fed money would get "bundled" with our new levy funds and all shipped to Charleston to be divvied up by Mr. Byrd and his legion of cronies according to "our needs". The locals knew it and resoundingly voted down both proposals.Same thing happened last election, but that was the "Library levy". Pay us or junior wont be able to read! Also voted down. We do have a wonderful new highway(corridor G or something like that). It cost about a zillion dollars and stretches all the way from the ohio border to...well...nowhere actually. But boy is it a great road.Four lanes and absolutely no traffic.Here in Romney we got a brand new 120 room Hotel and conference center. No on knows exactly why, and no one has ever used it, but, hey-all politics is local y'know. We also got a 34 million dollar "Wellness Center", which must have been built next to the hotel for convenience(the contractors convenience that is). Why then do I still have to drive over 50 miles of single lane, poorly maintained and dangerous as hell country roads to get to the nearest Wal-Mart? It is because the biggest employers in hampshire county are Food-Lion and Pilgrims Pride. Both belong to the food workers union and have a lawsuit against wal-mart. Hooray one more time for local politics.To top it all off, the teachers union,unhappy with the levy loss simply decided to hold the election over again at an undisclosed location. This was too much even for the local cronies to hide and the idea was summarily pronounced D.O.A. We also have a 5% tax on food which our neighbor state Maryland does not have. Wonder when they'll fix the roads so we can drive there.The only thing I find local government good at is lining their own pockets with sweetheart contractor deals,and ever increasing taxes, providing goods and services that nobody ever wanted or asked for. No my friend, gov't is not the answer, even on a local level. Private enterprise does it all quicker, better, and faster. Ever heard of the Dulles Greenway?

muninn said...
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