Quote of the Day – Government

 

I want a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution. – Harry Browne

The US Constitution is not a long document. As written on parchment it takes but five pages. The original constitution is just 4408 words – the length of a short story. All the amendments add another 3098 words, which still does not get the combined document beyond short story length. Most state constitutions are longer, yet none approach the doorstop-tome length of the EU constitution. It is 70,000 words; ten times longer and about 1/10th as understandable as the US Constitution.

The US Constitution’s framers wanted it that way. They wanted a document that was short and which could be understood by anyone of average intelligence. It also fit the size of the national government they desired: small and limited, with enumerated and separated powers. They knew a small and limited government would be a servant, while a large and powerful one would be a master. Governmental masters were what they had fought a war to escape.

They did not want a weak government. They wanted one powerful enough to protect the people from all enemies, foreign and domestic. But they wanted it limited to that function and a few others: establish Justice, ensure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty – and no more. They wanted a limited government.

Over the last 230-odd years, the government has grown. Slowly at first, then suddenly. On the state level as well as the federal level. It now intrudes into every aspect of our lives, twisting the concept of promoting the general welfare into hobbles that chain us. In a real sense, the Trump verdict is a result of that growth.

It seems obvious that the major goal of the next administration is to start the process of shrinking government back down to a size where it will fit inside the Constitution once more. That requires a change in administration because the current one is delighted with the growth of government and the power it gives them.

Uncontrolled government growth is unsustainable. As government grows it chokes out the economic growth required to pay for it. That is happening right now.  Within a few years, if the national debt and government keep growing, a general collapse will occur, just as it did to the Soviet Union.

Collapse will not happen overnight.  The Soviet Union was on life support starting in the early 1960s, although it was not apparent to the rest of the world until its collapse in 1990. Similarly, even at this late stage, the US may continue on without collapse for another 20 to 30 years.  (Or it might happen next year.)

It is tempting to say that it is already too late. That requires us to do nothing more than party on until the ship of state slips under the surface of the water.  Inactivity is seductive.  If the current world lasts until I die what happens next is the problem of those who come after us.

The harder path is to try and fix things. To roll up your sleeves and get involved and active.  Not just with respect to national politics, but also – and especially – locally.  Fixing things locally is easier than fixing things nationally. What happens locally rolls up to the national level eventually.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Seawriter: It seems obvious that the major goal of the next administration is to start the process of shrinking government back down to a size where it will fit inside the Constitution once more. That requires a change in administration because the current one is delighted with the growth of government and the power it gives them.

    I have absolutely no faith this will ever happen. The GOP loves big government as much as the Democrats. After all, the Department of Education has done nothing to improve educational scores. Nothing. And yet, the GOP can’t eliminate it. They cannot even defund NPR.

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Seawriter: It seems obvious that the major goal of the next administration is to start the process of shrinking government back down to a size where it will fit inside the Constitution once more. That requires a change in administration because the current one is delighted with the growth of government and the power it gives them.

    I have absolutely no faith this will ever happen. The GOP loves big government as much as the Democrats. After all, the Department of Education has done nothing to improve educational scores. Nothing. And yet, the GOP can’t eliminate it. They cannot even defund NPR.

    We can but try.  The alternative is surrender, and that is what the statist Karens want us to do. Also, I think if Trump is re-elected he will be a tad more motivated to trim the federal government than he was during his first term. 

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Seawriter: It seems obvious that the major goal of the next administration is to start the process of shrinking government back down to a size where it will fit inside the Constitution once more. That requires a change in administration because the current one is delighted with the growth of government and the power it gives them.

    I have absolutely no faith this will ever happen. The GOP loves big government as much as the Democrats. After all, the Department of Education has done nothing to improve educational scores. Nothing. And yet, the GOP can’t eliminate it. They cannot even defund NPR.

    We can but try. The alternative is surrender, and that is what the statist Karens want us to do. Also, I think if Trump is re-elected he will be a tad more motivated to trim the federal government than he was during his first term.

    I don’t disagree. 

    But, Voting Harder has not worked!

    Electing Republicans has not worked!

    America was founded in blood. I don’t see how blood is not going to again be shed, for the third time. 

    • #3
  4. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    It takes people capable of abstract thinking to write a constitution which is based on general principles, rather than a long laundry list of specifics.

    The Founding Fathers fortunately had that ability. Most of our present politicians do not.

    St-Exupery:   “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

     

     

     

     

    • #4
  5. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    America was founded in blood. I don’t see how blood is not going to again be shed, for the third time. 

    It may indeed come to that.  In fact after the Trump verdict I find that outcome much more likely; however, I think we still need to attempt to work within the system.  Once we go down the path violence we can’t unring that bell.   Also we have no idea where that path ends.  It is much more likely, if human history is anything to go by, to end in Tyranny and Oppression that a restoration of our freedoms.  My advice is as follows keep working to change the system legally and stockpile implements necessary for survival in a chaotic situation, food, water, and ammunition top the list.

    • #5
  6. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    America was founded in blood. I don’t see how blood is not going to again be shed, for the third time.

    It may indeed come to that. In fact after the Trump verdict I find that outcome much more likely; however, I think we still need to attempt to work within the system. Once we go down the path violence we can’t unring that bell. Also we have no idea where that path ends. It is much more likely, if human history is anything to go by, to end in Tyranny and Oppression that a restoration of our freedoms. My advice is as follows keep working to change the system legally and stockpile implements necessary for survival in a chaotic situation, food, water, and ammunition top the list.

    Yeah, the vast majority of revolutions do not have a happy ending for the common people.  They tend to work out for a tyrant and his cronies.

    • #6
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