Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Wisdom of the Constitution

There is a question on the table that strikes at the core of every American who cares about the future of this country. And left unresolved, this quandary may result in the failure of our nation to heal its chasmic ideological division. Is the Constitution of the United States of America a living document?

Does it possess the ability to evolve without regard to the self-imposed restrictions listed within its very text? Quite simply, and for the record, I say no.

Make no mistake, it is not my intention to imply I am a Constitutional expert or that anyone should take my word for it. But in my opinion no, it does not possess this aforementioned ability, it never has and it never will.

Furthermore, I think it is much easier to arrive at this conclusion than those who disagree would have us all believe. One need not spend years studying the Constitution, the complete written doctrine of each of the Founding Fathers, and every applicable ruling of the Supreme Court to intelligently discern for oneself this pleasantly simple truth.

It merely requires the acknowledgement of the fact that the Founding Fathers did not write the Constitution in an effort to create something new; they wrote it to prevent something old.

The Founding Fathers studied history and the abundant failures of nation after nation throughout, many of which came into existence under the guise of good intentions. Coupled with the experience of having been ruled by a selfish tyrant, they resultantly came to a simple and categorical conclusion; these countless governments had fallen because they failed to enact and enforce a set of strict limitations on their own power. They had declined to preclude man's fickle tendencies from overcoming the steady wisdom of logic and forethought.

One could easily surmise that the Founding Fathers were as versed in the inevitable tendencies of human nature as anyone in their day. Through this understanding they were able to bestow upon us a plan by which we could preempt these self-serving inevitable tendencies.

They understood that the irresistible allure of power was sure to invite malicious intent born of greed and disguised as false altruism. They knew man had been man for an immeasurable period of time and would remain so equally as long. Thus a clearly defined standard must be deliberately enacted, inexorably enforced and tirelessly defended as long as these inevitable tendencies of human nature persisted.

This standard is the Constitution of the United States of America. And nowhere in it will you find it written, implied or intimated that each generation of Americans is at liberty to reestablish its meaning or redefine its intentions.

The inimitable wisdom of the Founding Fathers did not end at their recognition of the potential for malice inherent in mankind. They foresaw the possibility for the birth of ideas and intentions which, appropriately adopted as part of this standard, could serve to further its sole intent of preserving Liberty and Freedom for all.

If you wish to term the application of Article V as the mechanism for evolution of the Constitution than I will enthusiastically join you. But if you try to tell me there is any way outside these strict guidelines by which the governance defined in this document can be altered, changed or otherwise reformed then you are not only on your own, but sadly mistaken.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Problem with Taxes

In a free market economy, individual people get to choose winners and losers. We do this by purchasing goods and services at specific privately owned businesses that provide us a good product at a good price. Businesses that do not provide that aren't patronized, and eventually go out of business. Businesses that cater to their customers grow.

It is this free interaction between individual citizens that makes the system work -- through millions of individual interactions every day.

No private business can force individuals to purchase their product or service, nor can the business force anyone to work there. Their product must be something both affordable and desired. Likewise, employment at a private business is an individual contract between the employee and a representative of the business owner to perform specific tasks for a set fee.

The individual wanting the job must decide how much the portion of his/her life he is giving to the employer is worth, while the employer must decide what that person's experience, skills, and effort is worth to the business. If one or the other decides it is not worth it, they go their separate ways.

The individual holds all the cards under the free market.

Government businesses and services are different. Doing business with the government means you have no choices. They can force you to pay for a product or service regardless of whether or not you use it. It is able to seize a portion of your life in payment for services you don't even receive.

We are not forced to send our children to local schools. We are allowed to personally pay for our children's education at private schools or to teach our children ourselves.

However, home owners are forced to pay for the education of the masses, regardless of whether or not they use that government service.

Government holds a near monopoly on primary education in San Angelo. They don't have to turn a profit. They can charge whatever they believe they can get away with, as they can force people to pay for an inferior service. They can lavish employees with benefits not found in private businesses, such as free health care and defined benefit pensions. Their budgets never take into account economic fluctuations that private business has to consider.

When government competes directly with private business, private businesses generally lose. The government doesn't have to turn a profit. When government holds a monopoly on a product or service, they have all the power.

The worst part is that every dollar seized by government is a dollar that cannot be spent by the individual in the local economy. It is largely a "zero sum" game.

When the local government (or government school district) raises taxes, that money can no longer be spent in the local economy. Writ large, the federal $800 Billion "Stimulus Package" failed precisely because most of the money went to state and local governments. That provides very little impact on the economy, which depends on individuals, not government, having the money.

The government's role in the economy is the same as it should be in other aspects of one's life: to protect the individual from those who would infringe on their rights by force or fraud.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Agenda for the June 20th Meeting

The next regular meeting of the Libertarian Party of Tom Green County will be held June 20 th 2011 at Hidalgo's West on Sherwood Way.

The meeting room will be available at 6:00pm for dinner and socializing before the meeting and the meeting will start at 7:00pm.
  1. Future Meetings
    • The July meeting will be held on July 11 th 7:00pm at Hidalgo's West. Future meetings will be tentatively scheduled for the 2 nd Monday of each month at Hidalgo's West.
  1. Introduction of the executive committee
    • Each member of the executive committee will give information on their involvement with the party. Volunteers to fill a vacancy on the committee will be recruited.
  1. Preliminary goals for the local party will be discussed. These include
    • Running for and winning local offices.
    • Lobbying for City Council meeting times that are friendly to citizen work schedules. There should be evening and weekend meetings to encourage greater participation in the process.
    • Engaging younger audience, especially at ASU.
    • More letters to the editor by Libertarians and from a libertarian point of view.
  1. Volunteer Training
    • If there is enough interest, we would like to conduct a short letter writing class with some simple reference materials.
    • Let us know what other training our local Libertarians would find useful.
  1. Request for Ideas and input
    • We plan on ending future meetings with ideas, input, and feedback from the people at that meeting. We especially need to update our statement of principles. Please let us know what you expect, what you hear, what you see, and what you need.

Hope to see you all there.