At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delegate, followed Benjamin Franklin from Independence Hall. He recorded a question asked by a lady, directed at Dr. Franklin.

The lady asked, "Well Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic," replied Dr. Franklin, "if you can keep it."


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cleaning Up America

H/T Gunslinger

"I have little interest in 'streamlining' government, nor in making it 'more efficient,' for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to 'promote welfare,' for I propose to extend Freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is Constitutionally permissible. And, when attacked for 'neglecting my constituents interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is Liberty, and in that cause I am doing the best I can."
--Barry Goldwater, 1960


Opus #6 said...

I don't remember Goldwater being referred to in loving tones. However, this quotation makes GREAT SENSE.

LL said...

Barry Goldwater was a true conservative and the Johnson (who wanted to spend tax dollars building a "great society") Administration demonized him.

It gives me pause to wonder what the country would have been like had Johnson been defeated in 1964.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

Unfortunately this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Gov't sucks... Republicans get in power... "see how bad it is!? We fuck up everything. Vote for me again and I'll decrease my own power."

I noticed that you don't define freedom and neither does Goldwater. That's odd because freedoms often clash. For instance the economic freedom of an individual conflicts directly with the freedom of the market.

LL said...

Freedom means that the government should confine itself within the legal framework of Constitutional constraints.

CP: I know that everyone has a different definition of freedom, however in this context, the most possible freedom means the least possible government involvement in the lives of the citizens. EVERY law on the books narrows freedom. And Congress loves to pass laws. Some are important. Many are not.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

That's just not true. The less the gov't is involved in labour the more wage slavery, more unpaid overtimes, more excuses for not raising wages, etc...

A business persons freedom is their employees loss of freedom.

I agree with you on most laws. I believe in civil liberties.

LL said...

Why can't you collectively bargain for wages, working conditions, overtime rates, etc.? Do you need the government to set arbitrary wage rates?

A smart employer pays a wage that motivates and provides adequate conditions. That employer prospers.

Slave drivers usually go out of business.

LL said...

You have one perspective as an employee.

When you are an employer, you'll have a different one.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

No, my dad is an employeer. Decent people don't take advantage of the people working for them. Unfortunately there is a scarcity of decent people, so regulattions, minimum wages, etc... are pretty necessary.

Slave drivers might, usually go out of business but I know of many that are prospering.

There reason the gov't needs to step in is because employeers have power over their employees. For instance in the case of the weakest employees (minimum wage, unskilled labour), the employeer could just fire them and hire the next bunch and hope they wouldn't be so rowdy, expecting breaks and such.

Conservative are not just missing a heart of this one the brain is gone too. Read Adam Smith. He's on my side.

LL said...

The minimum wage in this country increases very rapidly and in some sectors (young people particularly) it creates a system where summer employment is not available.

What is wrong with unions and collective bargaining? It's not a government program and it's shown to have worked.

Bitmap said...

I wish we had a statesman that would say something even remotely like that today.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

It might not be a gov't program but the gov't has to enforce - and incidentally - also protect worker's rights.

Summer employment is always available for young people. How many 40 year olds work at mcdonalds?

Increasing the min. wage is about protecting the immigrants who just get here and will take any job they can (and not allowing employeers to take advantage of them) and also young people who have to start at the bottom in a lot of cases so that they're not taken advantage of either.

Its just far more often the case that employeers are taking advantage of low min. wages than any job shortage situation you're talking about. Shit jobs will always be available.

LL said...

If you were in the US, you would see a number of 40 year olds working at McDonalds.

If the immigrants don't want to work for the prevailing wage, they don't have to immigrate, do they?

Union rules are not a function of government in the US. They are agreements between labor unions and companies. The executive branch of government doesn't enforce the agreements, they are enforced by civil courts. The government has no role in union contracts in the US.

Canadian Pragmatist said...

I didn't know that. We have a federation of labour for each province. That sounds even worse than I thought that the US doesn't even have that.

Some immigrants do have to immigrate. They're called refugee immigrants. You do understand how what you're saying sounds xenophobic, and/or down right cruel and mean, right?

Why are you interested in politics. So you can harm as many people's lives as possible?

LL said...

CP- Refugees are immediately put on welfare and have access to free healthcare at government expense. It's called MEDICAID. There is free government funded healthcare in this country. I don't think you're aware of the way things work in the US. The Obama plan is not about healthcare, it's about control.

ILLEGAL ALIENS are another matter. They have not asked for or received asylum.

As far as taxpayer dollars going to fun ILLEGAL immigration (not refugees, not people on immigration parole with a well founded fear of persecution should they return home), I think the word ILLEGAL says it all.

And by the way, Canada is cracking down on illegal Mexican immigrants. It was a major issue of contention at the most recent Guadalajara Summit with US/Canada/Mexico. I was surprised. I had hoped the US would set up a "freedom train" where illegal immigrants could board at the border and be transported (comfortably) across the US and released in Canada. I guess all Canadians don't feel the way you do.

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