Is Bigger Better? Government And Constitution
Is Bigger Better?
Although the framers the United States constitution planned for the Federal Government to be small and limited, it has tended to grow constantly and extend it grasp for power. The United States Constitution states that the Federal Government should have only those powers given to it by the states, more accurately that the states shall retain all powers except what they delegate to the Federal Government. The founders envisioned limited power in the Federal Government whose main purpose is to defend the country in times of war, to maintain order and perform tasks that cannot be done by the states or the private sector. Power should be limited in order to maintain freedom and avoid tyranny.
In my opinion the Federal Government has for some time been infringing on the rights of the people by preempting powers that were never intended to belong to it. The name of the game is power. Politics is always linked to power. If the people do not guard their power it will be lost. I find it disturbing when politicians and others act as if the Federal Government is wasting our money on military things, whereas that is the legitimate business of Government. Mostly they want it for things the Federal Government has no legitimate business in.
In respect to war, what we should be concerned about, of coarse, is the legitimacy of any particular war and the authority for going to war. Politicians make reference to a “war of choice.” What is that? A war is either necessary and must be fought. If it is not necessary than it should not be fought. The decision to make that choice is the business of congress.
One of the dangers in government growing and intruding on more and more aspects of life it becomes less useful for the very thing it was created for. It can perform its basic functions less effectively for the same reasons that corporations become less effective when they grow too big. In many ways the government is like a corporation and subject to some tot the same problems:
· Diminishing Returns: A dictionary definition is: benefits that beyond a certain point fail to increase in proportion to extended efforts. In other words. Beyond a certain point putting more effort into something results in less return for the effort, dollar or whatever.
· Parkinson’s Law is a theory presented satirically by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in a 1955 book by the same name. He was a British historian and political analyst who pointed out that The British Admiralty was growing bigger while the number of ships and sailors was decreasing. His “law” is stated as “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” In any organization a worker will find that he or she is overworked and feels the need for an assistant. He or she will need two assistants, however, because if there were only one assistant that person would soon know everything that the first worker knows and become a competitor. Later, each of these workers will feel the need for their own assistants. As Parkinson notes. No additional productive work is accomplished, but they are all busier than ever. Note how today, in addition to the regular elected officials and advisors to the president he now has a number of Czars. These Czars, as far as I know have no accountability except to the president.
· Peter Principle was put forth in a 1969 book “The Peter Principle” by Canadian author Dr. Laurence J. Peter. The principle states that in a hierarchy people tend to rise to “their level of incompetence.” He explains that people are usually promoted because they do well in the job they have. Eventually the reach a point where they are no longer effective, and thus go no higher. According to this, in large organizations most people are in jobs that they are not really good at.
· The Dilbert Principle. Dilbert is a current cartoon feature. It satirizes the idea that incompetent people are promoted to the top. This tends to be true in government sometimes because it is a way to get rid of employees that are hard to get rid of because of various reasons. Working in the government I have seen people get fired and then go to court and get their jobs back. Sometimes they were fired for bad reasons. Other times there were good justifications.
Is a big federal Government desirable?
Over the years the Federal Government has intruded on many aspects of our lives in which they have no business. What’s worse is that politicians and the Supreme Court have lost contact with the Constitution. Some of the reason is that politicians seek power. They some times seek power by buying off the people. Sometimes it is plain intrusion on the rights of the states and the people. The people are at fault for allowing it.
It is the responsibility of “we the people” to control the government and not let the government control us. If we continue on the current track we will be living under a tyrannical government. I think, “Smaller is better”
When politicians said that certain corporations were too big to fail, they had already failed. What business does the government have in bailing our private firms? The government has no money of its own. It seems to me to use our money for such a purpose without getting a vote of the people on it is misappropriation of funds. The corporations should be responsible for their own success or failure. What we had were firms that had met their level of incompetence and the bailout didn’t really change anything. It is only substituting government incompetence for private incompetence. Investors were cheated and robbed by the government and unions given unjust gains.
Thomas Jefferson said:
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
Aritole France, French Writer 1844-1924
“America, where thanks to congress, there are forty million laws to enforce the Ten Commandments.”
“Just what is it that America stands for? If she stands for one thing more than another it is the sovereignty of self governing people.”
I do not know what the ideal size of government or business or any other organization should be but I do believe there is a point where all organization become inefficient. Often time an organization becomes corrupted, be it business, government, religions. For any organization, I believe is to get back to basic principles and founding principles. In the case of our government we have gotten way to far away from the constitution. Businesses have gotten away from sound business and financial principles and churches seem to have drifted away from their principles.