Posts Tagged ‘good government’

Our Catch Me if You Can Form of Governance

Monday, June 30th, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems to me, no law that is enforced on the people, when broken, has the negative effect on our society, culture, economy and good government, than when our lawmakers violate Our Constitution and their own laws. To argue that robbing a liqueur store has anywhere near the profoundly destructive effect on our society, as an elected leader breaking his own law, is absurd. I challenge anyone to argue differently. To claim that a person speeding along in a car on the highway is a greater threat to public safety than a lawmaker who undermines our Constitution for political expediency, is to assert that up is down and down is up. We all know this instinctively, but we happily go along when the liqueur store bandit is punished with years behind bars, while the lawmaker sees no negative consequences for his much more destructive actions. We shake our heads as we pass the guy or gal pulled over for speeding, and ignore the direct assaults on our Constitution, by those very people who have sworn an oath to protect it. Then we wonder why our prisons are full, our economy is shrinking and we are not even safe in our own homes.

 

We all have a sense of justice. As I wrote in a previous article, justice is a state of mind not a state of being. Justice is treating everyone the same. The speeder faces negative consequences for speeding, in the form of fines, points on their licenses and increased insurance costs. A lawmaker who undermines the protections guaranteed to us by our Constitution faces no negative consequences at all. The worst that can happen to him or her, is to have their usurpation of our collective Rights overturned by a court, and that is only temporary until the court can be stacked with people who also want to undermine that facet of our rights. Clearly, of the two, the speeder faces far more punishment for his minor infraction than the politician who damages our very Constitution and way of life. This is the definition of injustice.

 

The damage to our society, economy, culture and good governance is far worse when a lawmaker violates his own laws. This is because people are far less likely to mimic a masked bandit holding up a liqueur store than we are to follow the example of a leader violating his own laws. The bandit is a person who is outside society, but the political leader is at the top of society. Moreover, no matter how draconian the punishment for holding up a liqueur store is, if people watch their political leaders violating their own laws with no punishment at all, there will be more crime. As Confucius said, “we follow our leaders.” If they are corrupt, especially if they face no real consequences for it, we will follow them and be corrupt ourselves. We don’t follow the lone gunman into criminality we follow our leaders into crime. That is why our jails are so full and we are not safe in our own homes.

 

As lawmakers use their positions of authority to enrich themselves and their patrons our economy is damaged exponentially more than a liqueur store robbery. The thief damages a small segment of our economy, but the lawmaker who passes laws and regulations, to protect some politically favored industry or patron, damages the entire economy, not only now but forever. The market system depends on equal treatment of people, (justice), but when the politically favored get special treatment, nations become polarized into the haves and the have nots. It is not a government bureaucrat that ensures economic fairness, they destroy economic justice, because they treat people differently. Eventually, government does so much damage to the economy, people become stuck in the station they are born into, the poor have no way out because the rich are the only ones who can get through the regulations. The gap grows ever larger and the poor are tricked into supporting a system, socialism, where they are forever poor and the powerful are forever wealthy.

 

You and I are forced to follow every law to the letter, even if we are ignorant of it, but the lawmaker, those who actually write laws, can simply claim ignorance… this is a clear injustice. We have a gut understanding of that injustice, but instead of holding our political leaders to their own laws, we hold them in awe. As our Constitutional Rights are crushed under the jack boot of ever more tyrannical authority, with no negative consequences, the usurpation of them will grow ever more bold and ever more destructive. We are held to the law so our society can function, but when our leaders are not, the functioning of society and the economy, are damaged far worse than any liqueur store robbery. As we look around ourselves, at our crumbling standard of living, the high crime rate, the scourge of drugs, school shootings, the rise of existential threats and general malaise, we must remember, it is not the speeder, the thief or the madman who is responsible, it is the corrupt lawmakers and those who allow and embrace their corruption, who are the real villains. Until we as a society and people learn this, and demand consequences for the political elite who violate their own laws and our Constitutions, the slide to despotism, poverty and chaos will accelerate.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Pepin

 

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

 

 

 

Snake in the Garden of Liberty.

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the true snake in the garden of liberty, is, when there is good governance, people become complacent and stop bothering to vote, those that do, are more inclined to change, change from good governance, is by definition, bad governance, therefore, good governance sows the seeds of bad governance. If you are fortunate enough to live under good governance, this is the blog for you, but if you live under bad governance, this blog will give you ideas…

When people, (lets call them the first ethos), live in a state of general liberty, we become complacent. It is just the way it is. We all are this way, the better we have it, the more comfortable we become. In our comfort we may understand what is in our best interest but we may not act on it. If things are going fine, why fool with them? It is easy to fall into this form of thinking. Especially when we have to specialize so much in our daily work, that we don’t have time to do the proper research it would take, to make a reasoned decision, so we don’t. Leaving those that want change from liberty to statist governance more voting power..

Other folks,( lets call them the second ethos), who are unsatisfied with general liberty, they see their fellow man as a problem, incompetent, stupid, ignorant or what have you, they see it as their atheistically god given duty, to control us, if only to protect us from ourselves. The only really effective means to this end is total government. They believe themselves above the total state they will impose on society. A person committed to this ideology will often die for their cause. By definition this type of person will never miss an opportunity to vote. They understand, all they need to win is once, where you don‘t.

If you think about it, in this way for a moment, it will come to you that this set of incentives and feedbacks, will lead to some sort of frequency. A swinging from bad to good and back again. Except that, once bad governance is ushered in, people of the second ethos will undermine the democratic process, with voter fraud, vote rigging, ballot stuffing, voter intimidation, in short a Chicago style election. So the swing from good to bad will be quick, but, the swing back will be retarded through undermining the democratic process, by those with the second ethos. We, of the first ethos, by definition, don’t seek to control others and so don‘t vote rig. So, once power swings decisively to the second ethos, the pendulum will stop there for some time.

Sometimes the pendulum slowly swings back, but more often than not, it takes violence to get it back to the side of liberty. Statists, by definition, don’t cede power willingly. One Historical example of this process is, Nazi Germany, Hitler was elected in a generally free election. Once he gained power, he consolidated it, and ended the Republic. It took the Second World War to unseat him. Sixty million people died to restore liberty to Germany and Japan. Because of a bad vote.

The future will fall victim, to this pernicious cycle, as we do today. People are people, and we can expect to see, in the future, what we have seen in the past. That is the nature of humanity. We learn very slowly, even when history books, stand open in front of us, with dire warnings. We become complacent, and cede to radicals, our government. Then we complain our liberty is rapidly disappearing. Even as the statist policies cause us to loose our jobs and we become dependent on them.

According to Tzu Ssu, Confucius said, “All men say ‘I know,‘ but they are driven into nets, caught in traps, fall into pitfalls, and not one knows how to avoid this.” We are the people he talked about. We are the ones caught and driven into nets, because we don’t open our eyes. We follow what people who claim to be unbiased say without a glint of disbelief. We look at the cave wall and are mesmerized by the shadows there. Apparently it is in our nature to be this way. To our children’s grave peril.

But then again, if we are so stupid we allow ourselves to be tricked out of our liberty, did we ever really deserve it in the first place? Which would make the statists right, we are too stupid to do for ourselves, we need Big Brother, to do for incompetent us.

Cradle to grave baby, cradle to grave… never to leave the bassinette.

 

Sincerely,

John Pepin