What should the role of government be in helping the 8.5 million Americans out of work?
"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity."
This man knew his stuff!
I would sooner believe that two Yankee professors lied, than that stones fell from the sky.
Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President, on hearing reports of meteorites, 1790s(?). Yes, he was intelligent, but not omniscient. He knew the 18th century well, but we can only guess as to how much his views would change if he lived in the 21st.
I don't know Ron, I think he was a good observer of human nature. He was well read and knew much about Greek Philosophy.
"I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us."
There is much to learn from the past and the great scholars of the past have much that is even relevent today.
Jefferson had a progressive view of Government with very defined rules of how it should conduct itself. Unfortunately our government acts outside of the constitutional boudaries and that probably bogle Jeffersons mind. Especially as to why we allowed it to happen.
He and the other founding fathers, especially Adams, Franklin, and Madison did many incredible, things and they deserve our admiration. They also had dark sides and failed to reconcile their revolutionary thoughts with the moral challenges of their day. They left much work undone, and that has been and continues to be the work of future generations. Franklin I believe would be especially appalled at the inequities produced by our economy. Madison would be happy with the balance between our Federal and State governments. No one would be happy with our national debt.
Adams hated the public's desire to cannonize the founding fathers and instead wanted them thought of as mortal, flawed men who accomplished much, yet failed to meet many other challenges. I think that modern amateur historians tend to dishonor his wishes by looking to the past for solutions much more than to the present and future.
I would agree with your take on the situation. The constitution was meant to be a framework and not something that could not be made to keep up with the times. I read once that if the founding fathers could come here to the present day and see that we are still using their mostly original text they might be surprised as it was meant to grow.
I too am aware of the founding fathers shortcomings and that they were indeed human as the rest of us. I am just very much in awe of how there is evidence in much of their writings how far reaching their understanding was of the pitfalls and stumblings a republic is prone to encounter. That and the provisions they made to deal with them.
They didn't have internet porn or chatrooms then. I'm not theorizing that that was the cause of their great abilities,I'm just sayin...
I get it. I think they would be uneasy with the internet porn but the chatrooms I think would be well worth a conversation or two with them.
No, the point being if internet porn was available, they would have had fewer hours in the day to study.
Thomas Jefferson was human, and constrained within the historical limits of his society. He did not foresee the extent to which modern governments exceed the constitutional boundaries simply means he was more of an idealist than a thorough-going historical materialist. His views reflect the dominant social class of his time...
Well said Ron Montgomery
The social conditions that allowed Thomas Jefferson to make his pronouncement no longer. We must revise the our notions of right and just based on the new social conditions in which we find ours. The governments Jefferson's era did not have digital technologies and could not repress the citizens in the manner that modern government do.
Just govern the country according to the constitution, unfortunately most of the leaders are busy with the role of developing their own political career and promoting their agendas...
According to the Supreme Court - you know, the guys hired to determine what is Constitutional? They are doing just that.
That's like asking the fox to police the hen house.
So... We are all helpless chickens waiting to be devoured by Clarence Thomas?
P.S. Love your hubs.
I'm not suggesting that, but do you not see a conflict of interest in a government institution ruling on itself? It's a little like a soccer team coach playing and refereeing the same game, no?
I detect some sarcasm, I just joined and still have to write something. I'll get around to it eventually once I figure things out.
You detect correctly young Jedi, that's my M.O.
The Constitution of the United States is a carefully balanced document. It is designed to provide for a national government sufficiently strong and flexible to meet the needs of the republic, yet sufficiently limited and just to protect the guaranteed rights of citizens; it permits a balance between society’s need for order and the individual’ s right to freedom. To assure these ends, the Framers of the Constitution created three independent and coequal branches of government.
That this Constitution has provided continuous democratic government through the periodic stresses of more than two centuries illustrates the genius of the American system of government. The complex role of the Supreme Court in this system derives from its authority to invalidate legislation or executive actions which, in the Court’ s considered judgment, conflict with the Constitution.This power of “judicial review” has given the Court a crucial responsibility in assuring individual rights, as well as in maintaining a “living Constitution” whose broad provisions are continually applied to complicated new situations.
While the function of judicial review is not explicitly provided in the Constitution, it had been anticipated before the adoption of that document. Prior to 1789, state courts had already overturned legislative acts which conflicted with state constitutions. Moreover, many of the Founding Fathers expected the Supreme Court to assume this role in regard to the Constitution; Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, for example, had underlined the importance of judicial review in the Federalist Papers, which urged adoption of the Constitution.
Hamilton had written that through the practice of judicial review the Court ensured that the will of the whole people, as expressed in their Constitution, would be supreme over the will of a legislature, whose statutes might express only the temporary will of part of the people. And Madison had written that constitutional interpretation must be left to the reasoned judgment of independent judges, rather than to the tumult and conflict of the political process. If every constitutional question were to be decided by public political bargaining, Madison argued, the Constitution would be reduced to a battleground of competing factions, political passion and partisan spirit.
Despite this background the Court’ s power of judicial review was not confirmed until 1803, when it was invoked by Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison. In this decision, the Chief Justice asserted that the Supreme Court’ s responsibility to overturn unconstitutional legislation was a necessary consequence of its sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. That oath could not be fulfilled any other way. “It is emphatically the province of the judicial department to say what the law is,” he declared.
In retrospect,it is evident that constitutional interpretation and application were made necessary by the very nature of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers had wisely worded that document in rather general terms leaving it open to future elaboration to meet changing conditions.As Chief Justice Marshall noted in McCulloch v. Maryland, a constitution that attempted to detail every aspect of its own application “would partake of the prolixity of a legal code, and could scarcely be embraced by the human mind ... Its nature, therefore, requires that only its great outlines should be marked, its important objects designated, and the minor ingredients which compose those objects be deduced from the nature of the objects themselves.”
The bold points indicate the areas where most conservatives find themselves to be lacking in comprehension.
Under your scenario, the chickens would elect a president chicken whose duties include appointing foxes to safeguard them.
Not really an accurate analogy is it?
I don't know about that or the legal mumbo jumbo involved I'm just looking at it from a common sense perspective. Here we are expecting the government to police itself. The supreme court isn't elected, they are appointed to a job they have for life. Seems to me those people don't have to answer to voters but have a debt of gratitude to those that appoint them.
It's like having the board of directors of Exxon-Mobil appoint you to be CEO and one of you duties is to develop environmental legislation and your other duty is to decide on the legality of it.
To get what you are advocating, you will have to throw out the Constitution and start over.
Let me know how that goes...
As I understand it the Law is above government - it can rule on new laws themselves that the government makes. The original idea is the opposite of what you describe, but the judiciary themselves are appointed by each President - largely based on their political views. I guess the idea was that they outlast any one administration to provide an elderly bi-partisan check on things.
Oh, so the Supreme Court has given their blessing to the liberal position of the political issues of the day? Must have missed that. Had no idea the Supreme Court was giving opinions outside the court.
You apparently have missed a great deal.
The Supreme Court gives no opinions - the members of the Supreme Court give opinions that form the illusion that an institution has a mind. And being human those members of the Court exist outside the institution
I would say opinions constructed by the members of Supreme Court exist outside the court because people cite them in every day life...
Actually, the Supreme Court does give us opinions, in Court, as we all know.
My point a day or so ago was that the Supreme Court has not even been called upon to grant any opinions on much of the political positions of the current party in power, which seemed to be the assumption? Would have to read thru the priors to recall. Nobody seems to have understood that,my bad.
Any constitution is a document that changes over time, hence all of those amendments - the constitution was never perfect, will never be perfect, and will always fall short of provide a perfect society because the social conditions in which people live are constantly changing. The constitution should change to reflect the new social conditions....
The role of government is to maintain domestic and foreign peace.
It is not to pursue it's own agenda, other than peace of it's citizenry.
It should not be involved in many different aspects of an individual citizen, and should remain a good distance monitoring from afar.
Too many groups pounding on individual rights, as if they want to continue the "status quo", which is to divide the nation, based on specific topics, some topics should not even be topics.
It is ridiculous!
I don't think so.
Then there would be no law, no police, no protection for the citizen? and they certainly already do monitor you from afar, which is one thing that definately should be stopped !
I think he just meant in general, not in Almost Anarchy(TM).
Why would there be no laws/Police/ or protection for the citizen? Those are acceptable and reasonable functions of Government. However they do not need to be involved in the say of how much a business can pay someone,what you can and cannot do with your property and many other restrictions they place on us.
Yep - that is what I thought when I read through the posts in this thread, a bunch of right wing drivellers - who are mostly one person - again.
How do you know that it's only one person?
I think I said 'mostly' one person -
and I make this assumption because I am reading the same right wing drivel in the same wild and insubstantial language, and the same rude comments to posters who put up actual information and reasoned argument.
Oh yes - and the same wild claims of being rich or a policeman or having served the country - without any evidence of this in the words.
Only one person, mostly one person - close enough when viewed from a great distance and set on fire.
If you have a problem with them, you could just ignore them.
Yeah I guess - I just don't like to see genuine contributors to discussion played by immature game-players is all.
This has to be Lita, you're still just as entertaining as you always were.
My favorite part is the need for proof, let me help you through this, I don't care if you believe what you read or not.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Son of a gun . . . you must be right!
Now we can watch her and TK clutter up the forums with their bickering again.
According to the rhetoric of liberal democracy the government is representative of the people. I do not believe the rhetoric matches the practice, and government for the people, by the people never existed. At the time of the formation 'representative democracy' in the USA 'the people' were an elite group - natives, slaves, women, children, criminals were not represented. And today the special interests of corporations with large lobby-groups outweigh the individual interests of any one citizen.
I think it's quite possible to recognize and admire them for what they did, for their remarkable minds and their drive to do what they did DESPITE their failings and weaknesses, especially as defined retroactively by those of us living in a society they made possible. As an example of academic rigor, eloquence, and public service, they stand up quite well for us today. Doing so does not in anyway diminish our modern need for forward looking new solutions. You can't separate the past from the present any more than you can recreate or relive it.
the same role as the parent of an adult child.
help as needed while providing direction
self-enabling theories and practices only
yeah, that kind of role would be good.
The government is NOT our parent and any suggestion of such a relationship is a giant leap in the wrong direction.
'Down-under' our federal and state governments took that one step further - they run the country and the state like corporations. However, the corporate view of a nation was first put into practice by Benito Mussolini - the Italian Fascist.
The view common to the country as a family and the country as a corporation is the conflating of all different interests into the one mythical common interest.
Viva la difference!
"The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. ... Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." --Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811. ME 13:41
Thomas Jefferson was a prolific writer, and you can find a quote to support your opinion. This one clearly endorses providing for the middle class - or as Jefferson says, 'farmer'- "by the contribution of the rich alone".
Why don't you try Venezuela?
Your life seems to be all about getting money from someone else so you don't have to do anything except put your hand out.
Your kind are a dying breed and will always find a way to die faster, thank God for that!
Jefferson didn't say the rich would feed and clothe and medicate and send government checks to the poor and middle class. Education and infrastucture are the only government paid things he points to in your quote.
In no way, does this quote support "providing for the middle class", in the clearly general way you intend.
Buckie - The opinions I quoted are those of Thomas Jefferson. Maybe you aren't familiar withhim. He is the author of the Declartion of Independence and the 3rd president of the United States. He's dead and can't move to Venezuala.
Dougie- This isn't your first post is it? I think I have read many of yours telling us the rich don't pay their fair share and you want yours!
Go back to sleep
Yeah Doug, what are you thinking? - we'yall don't want to have to read any actual information, or actually think now would we y'all
I certainly don't like to read how Doug needs to put the squeeze on the rich man.
Getting the rich man to pay into the society that makes him rich is not putting the squeeze on him. If you feel the squeeze of taxes you are not rich I suppose - the rich that I know don't even notice the millions that fall away from their stack, the tax rate is generally less than the profit rate that they get just from having the money.
AP - I think Buckie has hurt feelings ove a post of his where he said the rich guy is paying 60% - and I pointed out that the top bracket for income taxes is only 35 % - and that the REAL top bracket doesn't work. Their money comes from capital gains, not a paycheck. The super rich only get taxed at 15% for capital gains. Most Americans don't understand how the super-rich have a lock on taxes, and Buckie doesn't like that the average guy might start to understand how he's getting screwed - and how we can fix it.
" the rich that I know don't even notice the millions that fall away from their stack"
I don't believe that for a second.
Simple, stop spending , concentrate on getting jobs for the private sector ,the economy and start cutting the size of government.
Stop the rising price of oil and gas .
The only thing simple about your proposal is the language you use.
The pragmatics of implementing your 'simple idea' are extremely complex and cut-through with contradictory interests. Your simplification rests on several ideological presumptions. For instance, 'getting jobs for the private sector' without acknowledge the value of public sector employment; 'cutting the size of government' without taking account of how that would impact on the economy.
Probably the biggest cost to the government of the USA is 'the war machine'. Are you willing to cut that cost?
biggest cost to the government of the USA is
International monetary fund IMF
and other woorthy causes
The good old USA is still the most generous nation in the world today, apparently many in other countries haven't noticed as yet.
You live in a nice country, be proud of it.
Hi John - I am glad you post here, you brighten the place up !!
It is unusual to see someone with such a lack of grasp on reality you sound like one of those missionaries explaining to the native that taking all their gold is for their own good and their reward will be in the kingdom of heaven
What documents are you citing?
And I prefixed my sentence with 'Probably...'
But whatever the proportion - every government would save a bucket of money if they stopped waging wars...
And cities would save a bucket of money if they stopped paying their police forces.
Yes, a bucket of money...
...well, only as long as everyone decided not to commit any crimes I guess...
If people had no need to commit crime we would need no police service
and IMO people commit blue-collar crime because they cannot satisfy basic human needs...
Also, statistics indicate that the costs associated with white-collar crime exceeds those of blue-collar crime; fraud and corruption is more costly than larceny and break-enters...
That's not teabagging, if you are going to use the word at least know what it means.
Perhaps MadamX wil bless us with an exact description.
How you get away without a temporary vacation in HP timeout is beyond me. Hmmmmm
You know you would miss me. Try not to waer out the report key on EVERYTHING I write.
So, you can be reported for saying dumb things? Ouch, have to remember that... but, if so, why are you here?
Reminds of me the relationship between government and industry!
It's a graphic description of how one becomes a TK clone.
How would you even know who Lita is if you've only been here 3 days....
Oh Wait...Troll Alert!
Well done Ron - you seem to have got its three faces to appear here at the same time
The rich and upper middle class business people pay little tax.
As a kid in my early twenties I built a very profitable business and was happy to be paying 46 cents in the dollar tax.
I took some holidays and decided to appoint an accountant to control the finances in my absence.
My accountant told me you are paying too much tax. I said that is what I owe.
He told me that under the law it is my right to reduce my taxation legitimately and that I should do so.
After my business was made a PTY LTD company and was restructured I paid almost no tax.
I later learned of other larger businesses with hundreds of millions in profits paid none!
The rich do not generally pay much in taxes at all in my experience, and the mechanisms to avoid tax are still in place in most developed economies as far as I know.
All you need is to be big enough to take advantage.
I guess that will be Ron's big brown dog then
"The rich and upper middle class business people pay little tax."
Really? Would you like to back that up with a fact or two?
Earnest just did back it up - he said that HE did it ! pay attention!
And I can also add a fact, this is what I also did - and I also paid a lot of tax for maybe 8 years until I got a good accountant and then never paid tax again.
I won the Daytona 500!
It must be true cuz I sed it!
It is true, I have a fair bit of it in my hubs, which are also the truth.
I do not appreciate being called a liar. I am not.
I am telling you about my first hand experience in two countries. If you need to call me a liar to be right I find that to be just sad.
I didn't call you a liar, I asked for facts and you have provided none!
However I did provide facts!
Matter of fact I was not addressing you in that post, so try again.
Like I said
I won the Daytona 500
Its true cuz i sed it!
And no, whatever first hand experience you have does not jive with the facts!
You provided the tax scale!
You have to be in the tax scale to pay tax.
The people I saw simply changed their position to have no exposure to tax, just like they do today!
Sounds to me like both of you are well overdue for a tax audit then. Of course, if the reason you both did not pay income tax during your wealthy years was because you invested in or started up another business (as opposed to that string of vague depreciation scams, offshore ops, and family trusts was it?) that had upfront losses in the first years that offset your main income which you were fortunate enough to earn for a little while, well then by gollies, you are patriots of the first order......as you created JOBS with your wealth.
I bet neither of you had any idea of what help you were to your fellow Americans during those fat years. Instead of paying the IRS, you paid the salary of a working American, and took on capital risk to accomplish this. Sweet the way things work!
That is about the way I see it, I may not have paid tax but I employed around 15 to 20 people for about 25 years - who did. Not for the US but in the UK and I guess Earnest was in Oz.
Yep, in Australia. I employed many people as well, and for about 25 years.
I wound down my corporate structure to one company and a legitimate family trust when I opened my business consultancy with my other businesses running under the one structure through my nicely written 4th schedule.
I did not mind paying tax, hell I was poor before I started my businesses so paying tax seemed fair to me. I had been poor and did not mind if the poor were going to eat too!
Somehow, both you and the Poet have distinctly changed your tune, or should I say rhyme. Good saves. Too bad the libs here who are clueless to what creates jobs in America, New Zealand, or Australia, or anywhere else, haven't 'engaged' you in discussion of the economical benefit your own successes provided to others.
Sure, first hand experience doing business in America and Australia, as soon as the money hit the table on any deal, out come all the "special" linked ownerships from offshore companies, family trust funds, depreciation rackets and other mechanisms that although changing are constant and operating as we speak.
No the pointy end of town get to keep tax dollars while workers, small business pay through the neck, because they don't have the money to build the structure, or don't "qualify."
As soon as I was rich enough to qualify along came the structure to avoid paying tax.
Then who is paying the taxes?
Sorry to burst your bubble with actual verifiable facts but
http://bonner.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/ … n-the-u-s/
buckie - according to your source - the bottom 50% pay 2.89% of federal taxes. Call it 3%. I don't want to make it too hard to understand.
That bottom 50% actually 'owns' in terms of net wealth, less tthan ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT of the net worth of this country. So it looks to me like the poor are paying about 6 times as much as they should.
Looking and deciding on the best ways to manage taxes, tariffs, and NAFTA. Questions need to be answered on, whether or not NAFTA is working in the best interest of the American populace, as they said it would. It is my conclusion that it has not, and has only made big manf. more wealthier. American businesses should employ American workers, to meet American tax credits and write off's. This employment of foreign workers, and still getting American governmental based benefits, is a load of crap.
If it's true that the majority of Americans benefit from free trade then it will be appropriate to do a bit more for those whose jobs have been sacrificed in order to benefit the majority. This could take the form of more money for retraining, longer and higher unemployment and health care benefits and perhaps some form of job insurance for people over a certain age who lose their jobs through no fault of their own due to imports and are unable to find work.
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