America’s Woes, Old Or New?

It seems that whether we are arguing about state rights or our personal civil rights or liberties, this is certainly not a new issue in the United States. The fact that the preamble to the Constitution starts with, “We the people,” sets the tone of more to come as opposed to, “we the states.” Samuel Adams said, “I confess as I enter the building. I stumble at the threshold, I meet with a national government, instead of a federal union of sovereign states.” There were people arguing against ratification of the Constitution. Patrick Henry was one of them. He spoke, “who authorized them to speak the language of, “we the people, instead of. we the states. States are the characteristics and soul of the confederation.” The phrase, “we the people, reinforces John Locke’s postulate more than a century earlier in England, the power to rule or govern is derived from the people that are being ruled or governed. It is simply the people’s choice to place the power into sovereign states, to be part of the federal government. Can anyone, in the present question the validity of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The answer to that is obvious. However, there was much debate and rancor when this constitution was being formed and ratified. There was much disagreement on states rights and even the term, “we the people,” was questioned and you can read here. Hamilton said in this phrase in the 1784 Federalist, “Here in strictness, the people surrender nothing and as they retain everything, they have no need of particular reservations.” Thus the term, “we the people,” came to represent John Locke’s postulate that the right to rule or govern is derived from the people they govern or rule. Locke’s political philosophies have stood the test of forming the new American Republic and have stood the test of over two hundred years of America’s wars, immigration, prosperity, depression and greatness. Will the American People believe in America’s greatness and uphold the blood and sweat of our forefathers or will they believe their fears and lack and succumb to weakness and abandon our Republic Whatever we argue or debate now, I will guarantee, has been argued many times before throughout our 250 year history. It has been argued in much the same manner by many different people to prove many different points. The fact remains that our founding fathers were adamant about what they argued, whether right or wrong. They argued both forcefully and at times with anger and passionate verbal tirades. Their conclusion was a working Constitution and Bill of Rights. Yes, there were hard feelings for those who didn’t agree but they came together and made it work. The end result was a great nation, that many generations later they found, that indeed, “all men are created equal!”

29 thoughts on “America’s Woes, Old Or New?”

  1. Nice Don. We are a great nation. All men are created equal. It’s not just flowery words. It’s our deeds that honor the Founders. We spend public money and pass laws to make sure disabled people have equal access. I think we, in our time, are as wise as our Founders. But I think we temporarily lost our way a bit in recent years. There’s a reason the Founders plastered E pluribus unum all over everything. The national seal, the money. All that latin about a new world order and one people out of many. From many one. In union, strength. The Founders knew all about the tribes and sects and classes and religions and divisions constantly warring in the Old World. E pluribus unum is The Key to our future. Trouble is E pluribus unum is very taxing on the ego. You have to give up not getting everything your way. I have great faith in our Government.

  2. Letter accompanying ratification of the Constitution:

    WE the Delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly, and now met in Convention, having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention, and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us, to decide thereon, DO in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified, by the Congress, by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any capacity, by the President or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes: and that among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by any authority of the United States….

    Sept., 1787

  3. So, Rick, for the decades after the Constitution when slavery remained illegal, that was not too oppressive. When women couldn’t vote, that was not too oppressive.

    But, holy cow, if someone you didn’t like is elected president, then it’s time to call the whole thing off!

  4. think123
    Every generation in our great country has been confronted with their unique problems and have risen to the task. Whether the problem was war, depression, or bad representation, the people finally acted as one to solve whatever hindered America from moving forward.
    I believe that it will be no different this time. We must find common ground and take action to once again remain solid and emerge as leaders in the world.

  5. But, holy cow, if someone you didn’t like is elected president…

    It’s not that I ‘don’t like’ him- he’s corrupt, incompetent and a Marxist. But, that’s not the point. Virginia’s ratification letter clearly states that when the people– not the courts, not the legislature, not the press- if the people perceive federal oppression or the institution of extra-constitutional powers, it is their right to dissever their association with the union, and construct a new government.

    It cracks me up when people say that secession is ‘illegal.’ It should be obvious that if a state secedes, they are no longer bound by the laws of the entity from which they have declared themselves to be absolved.

  6. Rick
    Secession is a serious step and we were reminded of this very issue in the 1860’s. It was a prolonged and bloody war that didn’t need to happen. Secession was the absolute right of the south to preserve, what they thought was their way of life but it was also the Unions right to preserve what they thought was the more important issue, a United American Republic and a republic that is free of slavery.

  7. Nitpicker, it’s not about one man. There is an entire wretched criminal class that occupies the nation’s capital and subverts our Constitution.

    I do not think the time has come for so drastic a remedy as secession, but it is clear that the States must fulfill their duties as the stalwarts of liberty and interpose between the unlawful activity of the national government and the people from whom it has usurped much authority.

  8. Secession? Gosh just working out a trade agreement with the United States would be problematic, not to mention having to set up your own missile defense system. Would your new State have any aircraft carriers? How about a Secretary of State and embassies. And what about I-95? Would you turn that in before splitting? Or do you picture the new State more like mountainmen living in the wild, free as a feral hog? The good news would be you would not need anybody to check your hamburger meat for e coli and the kiddies could eat lead paint without anybody bothering them.

    Rick, I don’t know why you call Obama a Marxist. That is not even close to being true. Hope you don’t mind if I say Rick is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. A satanic worshipper. Just my opinion. You kind of express yourself like one. I just have a hunch. No proof. Rick, you can’t just go around making up the worst lies about people like it was nothing. Like it just some loose conversation. It’s just plain nuts to say that about the President. You have some kind of obsession like a fetish about communism. I knew a guy who used to steal women’s underwear from clothlines, so I know some people do have these uncontrolled fetish/obsessions. Do you have some writings of Marx that you sniff at?

  9. think123
    I am not certain that Obama is a Marxist but he certainly is a socialist and would strip power from, “we the people,” in a New York second, wherever he finds an opening. He has made his intentions crystal clear.
    The American Citizenry’s protection is the Constitution and we need to remind the Obama Administration daily that we elected him and he works for us.
    Obama is an elitist and wants to redistribute America’s wealth. We the people, need to give him a message in 2012.

  10. Don, we have been redistributing wealth in America since day one. Can you imagine what kind of country this would be if we did not redistribute wealth? Are you saying Obama invented the progressive income tax and Medicare? It was Obama who instituted the Estate Tax. Everybody from Adam Smith to Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin spoke on the American imperative not to let static wealth concentrate in the hands of too few. So yes we do manage wealth in America. We take the gap between the rich and poor very seriously. Otherwise we would grow to be like the Old World we escaped from. An aristocracy. Say what you will about income redistribution, but one thing is for sure Obama did not invent it. Why keeping harping like Obama is some new kind of proponent of wealth redistribution?

    I will ask you, as I have of others, to back that statement up with facts or numbers. Tell us what President Obama has done that is different from other Presidents when it comes to “income re-distribution”. I honestly think you believe that because you have heard that lie repeated on the radio so many times you actually think it must be true. It is not true. If you see income redistribution as bad, then pick on Theodore Roosevelt, or FDR, or LBJ, or Ronald Reagan. They all participated in either devising the progressive tax systems or endorsing it without repeal.

    Income redistribution, in the most rudimentary form, means a person making $10 million dollars a year pays a hefty tax, and part of the money goes to schools, and highways, and medical research and food for poor people. It is the essence of American greatness. Who we are. How is it you have been taught differently? You are advocating for what? A society where there is no income redistribution? How would that work? You are asking for a fundamental transformation of America? Change it from the wealthiest paying most of the burden, to what? For why?

    After you provide some proof where Obama is different than other Presidents on this re-distribution myth, then give us some facts to back up your claim about the President being a socialist who would strip our freedom if he could. Please use examples, facts, numbers. Otherwise it’s just hot air.

    I hope you agree socialism means the government owning and operating an enterprise. Like the military. The post office. Veterans hospitals. Airports and air traffic control. The GPS system. Schools and colleges. Highways and bridges. Water treatment plants. The GPS satellite constellation. The Hubble telescope. These are just a few of the pure socialist operations at work in America.

    An accusation that the President has socialist intentions means to me a President wants the government to own and operate enterprises that are currently a traditional part of our free enterprise system. I see no evidence of that.

    If you are sensitive to such intrusions you must admit the single most blatant exercise of Government taking over private enterprise came in 2008 when President Bush declared his intention to have the Treasury buy equity in the nations private banks. President Bush also gave to green light for the government to buy into General Motors.

    Did you ever once suspect President Bush was a socialist? I doubt it. You were not conditioned to believe a white guy from Texas who talks conservative talk could possibly be associated with “socialism”. Yet it was President Bush who nationalized the banks and GM. The single greatest leap in the direction of socialism in my lifetime.

    If Obama was white. If he was Republican. If he was doing and saying exactly what he is doing and saying you would most likely be a fan of Obama. So far, he has proven to be far less of a socialist than President Bush. Now if you disagree, please just give us some examples.

    And I hope you agree America is part socialist part private enterprise, America has always had socialism and income redistribution. It’s all good.

  11. Don, I should mention that President Obama has set a new path for NASA. It is the path towards privatization. Changing NASA from a purely socialist operation to a hybrid private public thing with an eye on turning commercial space operations over to the private sector. It is quite a departure this de-socialization of NASA. If the President believed the Government owning and operating everything was the way to go, why not let NASA control everything? Why would a Socialist want to privatize anything?

  12. “I am not certain that Obama is a Marxist but he certainly is a socialist and would strip power from, “we the people,” in a New York second, wherever he finds an opening. He has made his intentions crystal clear.”

    Whenever conservatives are challenged to point to something socialistic that Obama has done, they resort to being able to see his “crystal clear intentions.” In other words, Don and Rick and lots of other like-minded people ask us to believe that they have the ability to read minds.

    That’s quite funny, considering that a few threads ago people here were complaining about liberals who think themselves godlike.

  13. “…we have been redistributing wealth in America since day one.”

    Blatantly false.

    “Everybody from Adam Smith to Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin spoke on the American imperative not to let static wealth concentrate in the hands of too few.”

    Which is where free enterprise, competition, and market freedom come in. This is not achieved through state control of the market.

    “Otherwise we would grow to be like the Old World we escaped from. An aristocracy.”

    Look around you. The money powers grow stronger every day. The income tax, the Federal Reserve, American fascism/socialism throughout the 30s, wage and price controls, complete abandoment of sound money in ’71, TARP, et cetera- none of these things benefit the individual, but empower the government’s ability to redistribute wealth from the people to the favored moneyed interests.

    “Tell us what President Obama has done that is different from other Presidents when it comes to ‘income re-distribution’.”

    That’s the point exactly. It’s been going on for a long time and didn’t start with President Obama.

    “It is the essence of American greatness.”

    The essence of American greatness is freedom; freedom to associate, freedom to communicate, freedom to travel, freedom to create, freedom to contract; all guaranteed by a government whose sole purpose is to protect these rights against injury by the villains among us, not some scheme that abandons the natural rights of the individual in favor of government coercion.

    “I hope you agree socialism means the government owning and operating an enterprise.”

    Socialism is common ownership of the means of production. There is an agreement that details what enterprises the federal government may pursue. It’s called the Constitution, and it may not be changed merely by the whim of those in power.

    “An accusation that the President has socialist intentions means to me a President wants the government to own and operate enterprises that are currently a traditional part of our free enterprise system.”

    Such as medicine?

    “If you are sensitive to such intrusions you must admit the single most blatant exercise of Government taking over private enterprise came in 2008 when President Bush declared his intention to have the Treasury buy equity in the nations private banks. President Bush also gave to green light for the government to buy into General Motors.”

    Do you realize that the Tea Party, or however you’d like to characterize the populist resentment against the machinations of a villainous government, arose in opposition to TARP and the bailouts?

    “Yet it was President Bush who nationalized the banks and GM. The single greatest leap in the direction of socialism in my lifetime.”

    Agreed. It was a great tragedy.

    “And I hope you agree America is part socialist part private enterprise, America has always had socialism and income redistribution. It’s all good.”

    It has not always had income redistribution, and it is not “all good.”

  14. Look around you. The money powers grow stronger every day. The income tax, the Federal Reserve, American fascism/socialism throughout the 30s, wage and price controls, complete abandoment of sound money in ’71, TARP, et cetera- none of these things benefit the individual, but empower the government’s ability to redistribute wealth from the people to the favored moneyed interests.

    That’s the real wealth “redistribution” going on.

    But at least we have “socialist” GPS now….

    Of course it actually arose as a side effect of government performing a limited and specified role which has little to do with the vague claims and moral bankruptcy of socialism. In fact, history shows that the redistributive schemes typical to socialism take no account of the human spirit, prevent invention and generally result in misery and death.

  15. Whenever conservatives are challenged to point to something socialistic that Obama has done….

    He moved toward his apparent goal of nationalizing health insurance when what people really wanted was jobs.

    On another note, to the limited degree that a “stimulus” could work if it was actually focused and managed correctly it hasn’t due to his incompetence, corruption and combination of stupidity/ignorance/pseudo-science. (E.g. Solyndra) So not only is the limited benefit and limited role that “socialism”/coercion/tax based labor could have had being wasted, it’s also distorting the free market of liberty based labor.

  16. Delaware Farmer, I hope you would agree that in spite of contrary fears, more Americans have more freedom than at any time in American history. Remember, it was less than 100 years ago that women and blacks could not ever vote in America. Our freedoms have grown over the years. Your comments lead me to ask:

    Is there anything about the USA that you like? You make it sound like this exceptional nation is nothing more than some kind of a corrupt hellhole with a lousy government, bad money, rotten policy. My eyes do not see that. I see us as the shining city on the hill. A place where our seniors live great lives because we distribute wealth their way. The beacon the whole world looks to for inspiration. The world’s biggest market for goods, just 4% of the world’s people. The whole world is clamoring for our technology, our Google and Amazon and Apple and Microsoft. Our movies music and TV. This is an exciting time for America and the world. We are still the world’s number one manufacturing nation (I think).

    I agree with you that whatever is going in America has been going on for long time, way before three years of this particular President.

    Regarding how different Presidents tend to look at things differently I recall Abraham Lincoln and the Homestead Act of 1962 granting 160 acres of “free” land to would-be small farmers. By the end of the Civil War, some 15,000 land claims had been filed. By 1900, that number had risen to 600,000 claims for some 80 million acres of formerly public lands, often acquired by newly arrived immigrants.

    I am not sure how you would label that kind of giveaway program on such a huge scale. Basically a huge gift of free stuff to poor people. As far as the Founders and redistribution of wealth, a lot of what I read about the Founders and Adam Smith et al talks about how great free enterprise is and how all the wealth it would bring cannot be permitted to co-exist in the same realm as abject poverty. That our riches would have no meaning if we had to walk past starving people in the process. I get the feeling we knew we were on the road to great national wealth but had to be mindful that wealth without a heart and soul is not wealth at all.

    We all know how free enterprise works. Why free markets produce widespread prosperity. I do. You do. President Obama does. It’s economics 101 in America. Sometimes I get the feeling there are those who think they just discovered that making a profit is why people do stuff. We all know that. Cherish that. Money and profit was certainly the core ingredient of my ambition as an entrepreneur. So it bugs me when folks talk like they need to explain – much less defend something as basic as why free enterprise is good and communism is bad. We have been there done that. It’s over.

    Regarding TARP, I mentioned Bush did it – not as criticism, more like praise. Just pointing out Bush is the godfather of 21st century American socialism so far. Certainly not Obama. But it’s not really socialism anyway. It’s just America. Hey the banks and car companies are imploding – we help them get back on their feet. It’s just the American way, part of the e pluribus unum deal. Why would we sit back and let the financial sector or the auto sector implode? For what purpose would we sit back and do nothing? To exercise some theory? We don’t do theory in America. We are a pragmatic people. People’s life savings and jobs were at stake. The FDIC insured savings accounts up to $100K. So what? We let the banks say they are bankrupt? No money left. It disappeared. Then we sit idly by watching a run on the banks like in the 1930’s? Why? The FDIC would have to step in dole out $100k to millions and millions of people, the rest would lose everything? To what punish the guys who went bankrupt, I lose my life savings? What purpose would that serve. Freedom? And GM. Are you saying we would be better off if China stepped in purchased GM. So we could slap GM and say see . . you are being punished. I don’t get the logic of not saving American industry when there is a crisis.

    We are living according to the Constitution. To say otherwise is to put yourself above the Constitution. As if to say you and me decide what is Constitutional rather than the system laid out in the Constitution. The Supreme calls those shots, and so far, contrary to you or me, it looks like we are living exactly Constitutionally. It is art, not science. The Soviet Union was scientific government by theory. The United States is government by art. We bob we weave. What was constitutional yesterday might end up unconstitutional tomorrow. The Constitution was never meant to set our feet in stone. It is not a religion. Is is not the Bible.

    Healthcare does indeed fall into the public domain. Unless you think Margaret Thatcher was a devout socialist or the Conservative Party in Canada is socialist. Thatcher and her Conservative Party are staunch advocates that every person regardless of wealth or status in life is entitled to health care from birth. British National Health Service was the creation of conservatives, has been nurtured by conservatives, and Margaret Thatcher won election based on her promise to spend even more on NHS. So how you label people is not as simple as you hear on the radio. Don’t be so down on America. This is nothing compared to what our ancestors went though. These are the best of times.

  17. think123
    Obama’s solution to our debt crisis is to spend his way out of this mess, instead of building a healthy working middle class that would contribute to the nation by paying federal income tax instead of sucking off the federal and state teat.
    The problem that we have is that more people are drawing benefits from state and federal agencies than are contributing to the nation by paying taxes.
    Obama’s solution to the job situation is to tax the wealthy that create jobs so they don’t have the money to hire more employees. He has created an adversarial climate for the businessman that hires the unemployed, then complains that the wealthy aren’t paying enough taxes, and lays a plan of idiocy, before the American People to increase the tax load of the wealthy.
    We are competing globally for our own manufacturers. Obama should be organizing a summit of businessmen and manufacturers that have fled the country because we’re not offering an opportunistic business climate in America. At this summit he could find out what it would take to entice our manufacturers back to America to build our working middle class, so they may once again be contributes to the economy instead of takers.
    Your right about one thing think123, Obama didn’t only redistribute our wealth, he flat gave it away and continues to do so.

  18. “…we have been redistributing wealth in America since day one.”

    Blatantly false.

    Really? You think “giving” land to settlers did not constitute a redistribution of wealth? Interesting.

  19. “more people are drawing benefits from state and federal agencies than are contributing to the nation by paying taxes.”

    Laughably untrue.

    “tax the wealthy that create jobs so they don’t have the money to hire more employees”

    Again, laughable. The notion that “the wealthy” create jobs is unsupported by anything resembling evidence.

  20. Uh-oh Geezer – I think you are now in for about forty column-inches, cut and pasted from some obscure German theories of property ownership.

  21. Geezer
    “…we have been redistributing wealth in America since day one.”

    “Blatantly false.”

    “Really? You think “giving” land to settlers did not constitute a redistribution of wealth? Interesting.”

    Geezer
    Obama’s so popular because of his failed policies that his own party is attempting to draft Hillary Clinton to primary him for the Democratic nomination. The guy is a Rock Star and a lousy community organizer that conned America into believing in him.

  22. Don, you are writing as if history started yesterday. Like something new and different is happening. Government spending is exactly how Ronald Reagan rode his way out of the economic doldrums in the 1980s. President Reagan spent $2 trillion more than the government took in during his eight years. A huge stimulus. Reagan was the first President bold enough to break the Trillion barrier, taking the debt over the magic $1 trillion mark. I presume you know that. By the time Reagan left, he tripled the debt, left us with huge scary deficits. I voted for him twice. I figured they knew what they were doing. As a matter of fact I kind of agreed with Cheyney when he said “deficits don’t matter” as they once again double debt adding $5 trillion in just 8 years. So when I hear you writing like the new guy is just sooooo out there with these deficits – of course I might ask – is this the first time you noticed? The debt is 15 times more than 1980. Going up by leaps and bounds for 30 years. Now three years of this President and bingo – this guy is wrecking things. Okay. But that really does not hold water.

    Maybe you didn’t hear the new plan – we need to cut spending and raise taxes to cut deficits. That’s the plan Don. Starting nipping away at this. Cut spending, raise taxes. It’s a tried and true all American way of doing things. The old theory is not working for us. We are moving on. We are trying a new theory. Call it the plain math theory. We cut spending and raise taxes. That way Don, there is less going out, and more coming in. That’s the Obama plan. I am inclined to think that’s the way to go. I don’t see any benefits coming from continuing with the old theory.

    You say Obama has created an adversarial climate for the businessman that hires the unemployed – but you offer no evidence. Have you read the American Jobs Act? I have no doubt you are sincere, but you need to give some examples otherwise it’s just blowing smoke.

    I looked into this for you Don, and I see this year employees pay less payroll tax, and Obama is proposing both employers and employees get reduced payroll taxes for 2012. Then he proposes tax credits for hiring unemployed. There is a whole lot of other things being done, including the recent modernization of Patent Law so companies can take new inventions to market faster than before. It’s the first update to the Patent laws since the 1950’s. Remember GDP was sinking like a rock in 2008, it’s much better now.

    I really don’t know where you are getting your information from. Can you tell us what you mean about Obama being an adversary of business? You might have some fun going to the American Jobs Act site and reading the bill summary. I don’t see too much I don’t like in there.

  23. think
    “Don, you are writing as if history started yesterday. Like something new and different is happening. Government spending is exactly how Ronald Reagan rode his way out of the economic doldrums in the 1980s.”

    Well maybe spending his way out of it worked for Reagan but it certainly isn’t for Obama.
    It seems that if Obama were qualified to be president he would know when to stop attempting a method that was obvious to everyone but him, wasn’t working. This guy wasn’t even qualified to be a community organizer, much less a president. Most five year-olds know enough to stop when when their actions are not getting them what they want; they immediately try another method, but not our president. (I use that term lightly)

  24. think
    “I looked into this for you Don, and I see this year employees pay less payroll tax, and Obama is proposing both employers and employees get reduced payroll taxes for 2012. Then he proposes tax credits for hiring unemployed.”

    I watched the whole report on Foxnews less than a week ago. The tax credits for employers are for hiring returning servicemen, not persons that were laid off and didn’t serve in the military.
    I have nothing against our men and women that served getting a break but the men and women that stayed and worked need to raise their families and eat as well.

  25. Don, there is a lot more to it. The President’s plan will completely eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or increasing the wages of their current workers capped at the first $50 million in payroll increases. There’s a $4000 tax credit for hiring workers who are long time unemployed.

    And a major major reform in the unemployment insurance regulations including innovative new ways to help the unemployed start their own small business.

    Extending 100% Expensing into 2012:The President is proposing to extend 100 percent expensing, the largest temporary investment incentive in history, allowing all firms – large and small – to take an immediate deduction on investments in new plants and equipment.

    Now the small business person who wants to purchase new trucks or new computers can write it all off in the same year. This was started awhile back. There’s a lot for small business to like here.

  26. Don: Obama’s popularity or lack thereof has nothing to do with your purported ability to read his mind for his true intentions. Stick to reality and dislike him all you want, you won’t hear boo from me. Start mind-reading again and get called on it.

  27. Geezer
    Your out of line. I have no desire to read Obama’s mind, and you can take that to the bank. His socialistic actions are indicative of what he has in store for America, if we don’t kick his sorry butt out of office in 2012.

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