Posts Tagged ‘executive power’

Bureaucracy, Law and Separation of Powers.

Monday, June 16th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, nothing can prove the out of control growth of the bureaucratic regulatory apparatus of the Executive branch, than the fact that now the Legislative branch needs to pass legislation to stop regulation they find appalling. Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont is sponsoring a bill that would stop some new regulations, prohibiting cheese from being aged on wooden boards, or in wooden containers. As with most regulations this one is absurd, makes no sense from a scientific perspective, legal or even a sociological perspective, but it is an example of bureaucrats working diligently in the dark, regulating how we do everything and in every way. Their regulations are not subject to the will of the people, and are not Constitutional, but they have transferred tremendous power from the legislative branch to the Executive, undermining the intent of our Constitution’s foundational thesis, that of the separation of power, all for the dubious goal of efficiency in government. As we move further and further away from Constitutional rule, and into the chimeric bastardization of our government, we can expect our leaders, especially the Executive, to act more and more arbitrarily, until we have arbitrary government in all but name.

 

Constitutions are a concept that was invented as a way to limit the propensity of governments to become tyrannical. History shows that there has never been a government, no matter how well devised, that didn’t eventually become despotic. Rome was a republic for century upon century but eventually became a tyranny. That great republic began it’s death spiral the moment the people accepted arbitrary power in the hands of the Caesar, whether wielded by Marcus Aurelius or Nero, that power corrupted not only the man, and the Praetorian guard who protected him, but the society that became dependent on it as well. This is what Constitutions are supposed to prevent. If they are not followed however they loose the ability to limit and instead provide cover for a would be dictator.

 

Separation of power is the primary means the US Constitution, our Constitution, is supposed to prevent arbitrary rule. History shows that most of the time despotism comes from the Executive. Separation of powers is meant to prevent this propensity of rulers by limiting their absolute power and divesting that power in other segments of government, then pitting those segments, (and political factions), against each other, like using a fire line to stop a fire. Federalist Paper number ten explains this far better than I can. The power of a Constitution to reign in the avarice of a leader depends on it’s being adhered to.

 

The power to pass laws was given solely to the Legislative branch in the US Constitution. Our leaders have evolved the definition of the words in the Constitution to allow for a bureaucracy to take over most of the legislative functions of the Legislature. This has ostensibly been done to improve the efficiency of government to regulate the actions of it’s citizens. While it has allowed government to regulate far more efficiently… that regulation is anything but efficient. It drastically diminishes economic growth, personal freedom and US competitiveness, all for some pie in the sky notion of government efficiency. The truth is, the most efficient government is a tyranny, but is that where we want our government to go?

 

Keeping the thousands upon thousands of bureaucrats busy, as well as the hundreds government adds every year, presupposes that reams and reams of regulations must be written, else the need for the leviathan of the bureaucratic government goes away and the bureaucracy becomes redundant. Making those tens of thousands of high paying government jobs all go away. Bureaucrats, who are the modern equivalent of buggy whip weavers, cannot stand for their cushy, pensioned, well paid careers with government go away, and so they have a self interested need to keep the regulatory bandwagon rolling. The deleterious effect on society, our economy and even the destruction of Constitutional rule is irrelevant, and so our Legislature is taking up the all important question, whether cheese should be aged on wood as it has been for thousands of years.

 

Since the Legislative branch has given up so much of it’s power to the bureaucracy, it finds itself in the uncomfortable position where it has to pass legislation, to protect certain politically favored industries from the negative effects of regulation, in this case the cheese industry. When the legislative branch must pass a law to stop a regulation, it is proof positive that the kudzu of bureaucracy, has outgrown the garden. There was a Supreme Court ruling a few years ago that in effect said, since the Legislative branch had willingly ceded their power to the Executive’s bureaucracy, that bureaucracy has now the same power to pass regulations as if they were law, Constitutionally passed by the Legislature and signed by the Executive. That ruling, along with a host of other absurd rulings by the Supreme Court, has evolved our government away from Constitutional limits on the power of government as intended by the founders, to this bastardized inbred monstrosity we now live under. The real problem here, is the disdain and loathing our leaders hold for our Constitution, from the Executive through the Legislative and the Judiciary branches, all the way down to the lowly bureaucrat toiling away in his or her cubicle, for eight hours a day, making rules for the rest of us to live under, without scrutiny, or oversight… and without Constitutional authority.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

 

 

Executive Foolishness

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that If President Obama does indeed use his executive powers to force legislation/regulation on energy, environmental and fiscal matters, as is reported in this article in the New York Times, he will put us, in the US, on the same tracks the European Zone are on. We can read our future in the reports coming from Europe today. Like the devaluation of the Euro. The pending default of Greece and the eroding standard of living in the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) nations.

The New York Times article can be read here;

Milton Freedman claimed that the European zone wouldn’t work largely on the grounds it is failing today. That is there is no incentive for Nations within the Euro zone to keep spending in check. European nations have been on a spending and regulating binge. The chickens must come home to roost sometime.

It is no coincidence that the PIIGS nations are the ones that are in the most trouble. Spain for instance is the farthest along the path to controlling green house gas emissions. The resulting regulation has ham strung Spanish business. Millions and millions of green jobs created notwithstanding.

Greece has a strong Communist party presence in their legislature. Communist philosophy is in fashion at Greek universities. The communist led protest that accompany any cut in spending are testimonials to this fact.

Out of control spending and taxing is no way to improve an economy. Government spending necessarily sops up available investment capital. Doing so lowers the availability of capital for business to upgrade the plant. It is precisely plant upgrades that improve the productivity of the workers. This productivity increase necessarily drives up wages and lowers costs. Making the whole economy more competitive.

Think about two carpenters. One has a stone to pound nails the other has a nail gun. With a nail gun, level, tape measure and circular saw and precut lumber a good man should be able to frame a wall in, say, ten minuets. A man with only a stone, hand saw, string and measuring sticks can frame a wall in say a day. Can you pay the man who, as a result of not having the tools, the same as you can the man who has tools? Of course not. Moreover, as the man with few tools, amasses tools, he becomes more productive lending him a higher and higher wage for less and less effort.

Too much government spending also hurts the aggregate balance of trade. This happens because when government spends money it must tax or borrow. When it borrows it takes money from the available capital markets. If there is demand for capital to improve plant interest rates will rise. This rise will demand foreign capital to make up the difference. The inflow of capital is counted in the aggregate balance of trade. One dollar if capital inflow, to fund government spending, counts against one dollar of value in an export, say a kitchen magnate.

So when government borrows money to provide some good or service to the people, to buy their loyalty, it is like you or I borrowing money and spending it going out to eat. No one would argue this a wise use of borrowed money yet government does this all the time. Borrows money and essentially wastes it.

I have to laugh when people argue, “Well, see the poor guy there, he had no money to spend, now the government has provided him with free health care, free housing, and free food, all at your expense. Look at all the demand that is generated.” To argue that, one must believe that if government did not take money from people, they would burn it. Pile it like leaves and burn it. Because, of course, people will spend and invest money they make. If they spend it demand will rise, if they invest it capital will be available for enterprise to invest in productivity enhancements.

Another unintended consequence of government borrowing and spending on frivols schemes, is it lowers the money available for our children, to invest in tools and equipment (plant). They will necessarily have a lower standard of living as we spend money frivolusly and indebt them for it.

Obama has the ability to make this an American headline;

He has only to follow through…