We need a Plan and a Vision to promote to We the People.
The opposition to our Constitution and self-government by We the People do have a plan and they are rapidly fulfilling it. And as they fulfill it, America the land of opportunity, freedom—and all the rest—will cease to exist.
Unless “We the People” get busy at changing our tactics, this nation will be lost.
At the time our Constitution was drafted, our founders were “between a rock and a hard spot” as there appeared no possibility of uniting the individual states with a sufficiently strong federal government without permitting the institution of slavery to continue—at least for the time being. They “kicked that can down the road.”
Our nation paid a heavy price for that compromise, over 600,000 lives lost in the Civil War, and a nation still riffled with strife today over race issues. To grow their power, politicians have passed disastrous law after law to strip us of our liberties, and burden an ever decreasing proportion of taxpayers with the ever-increasing expense of government waste and largesse.
Anyone familiar with the concept of an exponential curve should understand that the regulatory agencies, the entitlement programs, and a myriad of other factors have taken us beyond the portion of the curve (which is deceptively slow in growth) to the point of skyrocketing effect. In regard to the national debt, for years we have heard how we are merely “kicking the can down the road” and placing the burden on our grandchildren. We still hear our useless idiots daily comment how the national debt is placing a burden on our grandchildren. Bullshit, it is placing the burden on NOW!! We will be bankrupt within years if we do not change our tactics.
Business cannot rebound (at least not in the United States) unless we back off on the regulations. Education in America cannot rebound unless we break the back of union and government control of public education. The able bodied on the public dole will not find escape unless we back off on minimum wage laws and government regulation that destroys work opportunity, and the counterproductive fees, restrictions, and taxes that make it impossible for the poor to purchase and develop real property.
Too many people are complacent because they are doing OK for now. If we held onto One Dollar ($1) in 1800 (such as putting it under your mattress), its purchasing power actually increased by at 76% over the next hundred years. What you could buy in 1800 for a $1 would only cost about $0.58 in 1913 (before our wonderful Federal Reserve took over). One Dollar ($1) placed under a mattress in 1913 would be worth about 3 cents today. While the government taxes you on any interest you earn in savings, it reduces the value of that dollar from inflation each year—robbing you of your money. At the same time, our money is no longer backed by anything but public faith and the vested interest of various financial holdings around the world. In fact, I know of no currency that is backed by anything other than such public faith. World currencies these days are as “vapor” held together by a series of financial and corporate entanglements. As the U.S. continues its business of merely printing money, and borrowing beyond its ability to repay – it becomes obvious to the rest of the world that the once sound “U.S. Dollar” is not sound anymore. The smart folk then want to disinvest themselves of U.S. financial holdings before that 1913 dollar worth 4 cents today is worth 3 cents, then 2 cents, then a small fraction of a cent, and then nothing.
We can stop the process by shrinking government, rapidly pulling back on counterproductive regulation, easing up on minimum wage laws (to permit people without work skills an opportunity to develop and get off pure public dole).
We have tough choices to make, ones that politicians are incapable of making:
1) A large portion of America’s middle class are government employees of one sort or another. To cut back on government means that a large share of the middle class face the uncomfortable prospect of unemployment or re-employment in the private sector. Government jobs have been secure and relatively undemanding, while private sector jobs have been scarce and demanding. If we are going to cut back on government, we have to open the doors to private sector growth and that means cutting back on the regulation that is crushing business growth.
2) The proportion of people working and paying taxes is decreasing each year. We must increase the proportion of people who actually contribute to our economy (non-government private sector). To do this, we must amend our minimum wage laws and cut back on government regulation and provide protection against frivolous lawsuits to protect employers.
3) We must decide whether we are going to let the environmentalists determine the future of our nation or whether we are going to wrestle control from them to allow for reasonable stewardship of our resources for the use of the human race. And, when it comes to runaway population growth, it is ONLY the highly developed nations that do not reproduce sufficiently to sustain its population. Thus, if we really want to control human population, we will not drive our economy back to the Stone Age, but instead help to promote economic development world-wide, such that population growth worldwide will subside.
None of the above will work unless we restore integrity to the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution provides a framework for government order and restraint. It is the abuses of the Constitution over the past 100 or more years that have driven our nation to near ruin.
To restore the integrity of the Constitution, we must:
1) Restore the intent of the Commerce Clause. Much of the crushing bureaucracy at the federal level has grown through a distortion of the original intent of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution: the Commerce Clause. This clause was never meant by the Founders to be a blank check for “command and control” economic regulation. The purpose was the opposite. It was to facilitate commerce between the states; to promote trade and not restrict it. It was to prevent states from enacting impediments to the free flow of “commerce” among states, such as tariffs, quotas and taxes. Instead, our federal politicians have used it to gain power over the states, business, private property, and We the People.
2) Help solve our illegal immigration crisis by ending the anchor baby policy. The following phrase in the first paragraph of 14th Amendment to the Constitution was to protect children born to freed slaves following the Civil War: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Notice the word “jurisdiction.” Children of freed slaves were not under the jurisdiction of some foreign government, they were under the jurisdiction of the United States. Children born to an illegal alien are rightfully under the jurisdiction of the nation they are from (such as Mexico) and should not be granted citizenship under this provision in the Constitution—yet, they are.
3) Promote the general welfare, not special interest welfare. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution contains the phrase: “promote the general Welfare.” Note the term is general welfare and not special interest welfare. It is the duty of the federal government to promote the general welfare and not cater to special interests, which invariably is at the expense of the general welfare. Increasing over the past 100 years, the government has been diminishing the general welfare while catering to special interests. As the government robs us of our freedoms, it provides costly perks to special interests. While We the People vote officials into office, once there—it is the special interests, the lobbyists who control the legislation and favors that government doles out. Severe criminal penalties (both for lobbyists and government officials) should be put into effect to end the corrupt practice of lobbying. If a person wants to lobby legally, then lobby the electorate at large via the media or other public processes. Sweetheart deals with special interests results in a corrupt government that no longer promotes the general welfare.
4) Restore the federalist system. The Constitution provides for a federalist system whereby power is divided between a central authority (federal government) and constituent political units (State, local governments, and the people). The central/federal government has been increasingly abusing (often via the courts) the 10th Amendment, which states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” We cannot restore the integrity of the Constitution without stripping the federal government of the power it has stolen from the States and the people.
5) Restore State representation in Congress. The Constitution created the House of Representatives to be a body to represent the people (based on population), and the Senate as a body to represent State interests. Due to the sabotaging of Article the First, which was the 1st of the 12 amendments proposed for our Bill of Rights, and the passage of the 17th Amendment, the rights of the States have progressively diminished, and the central government control has grown as House Districts ballooned in size and since the 17th Amendment was ratified. Just like prohibition, it should be rescinded and an apportionment amendment similar to the original intent of Article the First (capping congressional districts at 50,000) is ratified.
6) Restore the judiciary branch. The federal courts should be upholding the Constitution and not legislating from the bench or otherwise creating new federal law or usurping State and public rights. Congress could act to routinely to impeach any judge who attempted to establish new federal power via the courts, or if needed a new amendment could be established to prohibit such action by the courts. Other than blatant politics, there is no excuse for such decisions as Roe vs. Wade which robbed the States of their prerogatives on abortion and made it a federal issue, or Kelo vs. City of New London that diminished private property rights via eminent domain. And, for California, the unconstitutional judicial overreach of Reynolds v Sims, resulted in the destruction of the balance of power in the California legislature (see California is no longer a Republic).
As Samuel Adams said: "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." If we are to win the war to save America, we must develop a plan of action and push it before the public until we win.
It is absolutely stupid to keep thinking that some politician or a group of politicians are going to “save America.” We the People must save this nation. We must develop a plan: How do we want this nation to operate? Do we want it to be based on the U.S. Constitution? If so, what would it look like as an operating system? Can we paint an effective picture of the United States of America—as a restored, self-governed by We the People (not the divisive self-serving special interests, and political opportunists), a free nation abounding with individual liberty, personal responsibility, fair private property rights, a healthy and competitive educational system, a land of true opportunity for all?
Our founders knew too well that a nation that instituted a central religious system would lead to tyranny. Currently, our nation has been taken over by the religious system of atheistic secular humanism—which is just as much a religion as is Islam, and as dangerous. While preserving religious liberty, we must extinguish such destructive elements from our society. Any religion (even secularism) when given the power of government leads to tyranny.
Similarly, uniting the power of commerce with government leads to tyranny—to fascism, socialism, and communism. Certain laws are necessary to protect society, as is a mechanism for enforcement (such as via the police and courts), but bureaucratic regulation and ever increasing methods to tax the public for an expanding government sector leads to tyranny, to a fascist state. We lose our rights, step by step. Much of the finagling that goes on in government these days is between minority special interests, big business, finance and government. We must break this up to save our nation.
Though it seems a far-fetched idea right now, it may be necessary for us to establish a new basis of valuation of our currency (such as back to the gold standard) and the abolition of the federal reserve as a way to safeguard the hard earned savings of our people—in order to protect the public against the abuses and easy riches afforded to those financial finaglers and wheeler dealers of the current elite, who enrich themselves at the cost of devaluing our currency and thus robbing the middle and lower classes of society.
For WE THE PEOPLE to gain control of this nation (while we still have the freedom to do so), we must accomplish the essential of a Constitutional Convention without taking the risk of doing so. We must develop a plan of action, and then use the ballot box and our existing Constitutional process to make it happen.
1) The VISION – We develop the dream, the vision of what America under the U.S. Constitution should look like and how it would operate. This could be done via pamphlets, videos, movies, books, email, etc.
2) The PLAN – Considering where we are today, we develop the plan, for the next congress, what we need to do to get towards the VISION. What laws need to be rescinded, how do we shrink government in the least painful way for those currently employed by government? How do we change the laws to provide the protection we need for our environment, while providing the restored freedom for the economy to grow? How do we re-open the doors of opportunity for the chronically unemployed and those who have grown up dependent upon government? How do we move to stomp out the destructive influences of special interests as they selfishly steal from the general welfare? How do we protect our freedoms while still curbing the trial lawyers from making a mockery of justice and causing medical and every other cost of doing business to unnecessarily skyrocket? We need a serious plan, at the federal, then State, then local level on how to get things on the right path.
3) The REPRESENTATIVES – Without a VISION and a PLAN, there is no way that we can elect representatives that are committed to We the People. We need to elect representatives who sign on the dotted line and are legally committed to adhering to the PLAN—and not acting as free agents to wheel and deal on their own.
Governments need money and thus it must tax. Many of you have seen lists of taxes that we have now that never previously existed, the list is endless as we have politicians who dedicate their lives to finding new ways to tax the public so they can buy votes and acquire power by wasting hard earned money on government largesse.
Anyone who knows the least bit about efficient production knows that the government is the most inefficient way of producing a product. Government should be limited to those tasks that we cannot entrust to the private sector—for the government to do more is simply to waste the public’s resources and rob us of our liberty and freedom.
Impact fees, property development restrictions, and property taxation (especially for owner occupied private property) is one onerous issue to me. One and two story residential construction is not rocket science. If we still lived in a society where we interacted as a community, it would be a fairly easy task to help assure that private property was developed and improved in ways that are safe and even aesthetically pleasing. Have you visited much of America these days? The newer sections are not very interesting, same ole same ole…same commercial franchises and in the residential: block after block of close to identical homes. Not bad necessarily, but not necessarily good.
If you are poor, what chance do you have? The politicians have made it easier for you to live on the dole than to make a living. If you are on unemployment and seek to take on a job, they reduce your unemployment at a faster rate than you generate income (they take away dollar for dollar on the gross, while your net is less—thus providing a disincentive to work). If you are on any form of welfare or SSI, your ability to earn is limited and they take away your benefits before you earn enough to do as well without them. The bureaucrats want you trapped; it helps provide them with middle class job security: keeping people poor. That is the way they like it. Bleeding heart liberals—give me a break. The only heart that they bleed for is their own, as they stick it to poor, stealing opportunity and making sure that the poor stay poor.
When they raise the minimum wage, they know that a new segment of the underclass will now become unemployable—so what? They get votes, they get more power, and for the fools (of which we have plenty), they feel they did a public good—as prices for fast food and every other commodity soon adjusts via inflation so that there is no net gain for the minimum wage worker, and a new segment of society is unemployable.
How does a poor person get his own home? Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and a number of others helped get people into homes they couldn’t afford and near bankrupted our economy doing so. And politically appointed hacks like Fannie Mae’s Franklin Raines made out with some $90,000,000.00 in ill-gotten gains in doing so (when are these high rolling criminals ever going to get their just rewards?).
The just way for a poor person to gain a home is not to bankrupt the nation, or defraud the world – but to restore opportunity and eliminate much of the restrictions enforced by our “building departments,” excessive regulations, and property tax increases for improving ones property.
It used to be that a person could buy a small parcel of land and just start building a house. I mean how much does it cost to dig a small foundation and set the footings, pour some concrete and purchase the building materials for a small starter house—such as studio or one bedroom efficiency? Not all that much. Even working at WalMart wages a person could set aside the money and bit by bit build a respectable little home, one which could be expanded over time. People used to do it, but you can’t any more.
In the cities, vacant land is turned over to parks, redevelopment agencies, government housing, but it is not developed for the little person to make a domicile. Why not? Do we think everything left to the poor will end up some drug ridden slum riddled with crime? Such as government housing has become?
Mock those of faith in God while indoctrinating the public that Darwinian evolution is a proven fact, then force the public to accept a valueless society where “tolerance” of all deviant behavior is promoted, and any attempt to promote time proven “wholesome” values is not just scorned—but increasingly viewed on the level of hate crimes.
Our society is upside down. Small minorities have the upper hand.
As for housing for the poor: A big problem we have is that as the cities decay, the poor increasingly are stuck in cities, much of it section 8 housing and government owned structures. The government should be taken completely out of the housing business and those structures torn down. Freed up land in cities can be developed (sub-divided into small plots [say 25 ft x 40 ft plots – and on just one city block at a time] with the basic pavement, water, sewer, electric, communications utilities put in place and allow people to buy (at the pro-rated cost of the development) lots on which they can start owner occupied homes. Applying existing building standards (undoubtedly low-cost pre-fab starter units would be made available via the competitive market) island communities in cities can be established. While a 25 ft x 40 ft might seem small compared to suburbia, it is more than adequate to construct a neat little home (say 2 stories max. allowed) and even gardens. Look at old communities in Europe, we could end up with some unique and culturally wonderful little areas in our cities.
And what about the suburbs and rural America? Much of that is off-limits to the poor as building departments and impact fees often make it cost prohibitive to construct anything but a sizable home for the more affluent upper middle class. It can take $15,000.00, $20,000.00, $50,000.00 or more in permits and impact fees to construct a single family residence. Sure local governments justify the cost, but then governments have a pretty good ability to justify anything. How can a poor person contend with this?
I can see the need to do a certain amount of zoning, say for a commercial area, to promote commerce. But only minimal. And, for those rich cats or those who follow the NIMBY principle (as most good leftists do), you know NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard. Windmills are nice, but not in my neighborhood. Poor people deserve a place to live, but not in my neighborhood. For the nice leftist NIMBY person, there exist CC&Rs (Covenent, Codes and Restrictions) that can be placed on a sub-division when it is created, to allow for land use, set back requirements, minimum/maximum house size and other such parameters.
However, to an extent, land should be available in every community that is free of such zoning or CC&Rs. On such land, people should be able to develop to their hearts content so long as they are not creating a safety hazard or public nuisance to their neighbors.
I know that governments and politicians like taxes, but is this fair: You buy a house (and pay property tax on it.) You work at a job, earn money and pay your taxes on it. You take that after tax money and you buy some building material and you pay sales tax on it. You take those building materials and with your sweat equity, you build another room on your house (after paying fees and permits, etc.). Then, they re-assess your property and for all that effort you end up paying higher property taxes for the rest of the time you own that property. Is that fair? Does that encourage the development of private property?
I believe that to restore opportunity for the poor (and middle class) we need to make special provision for owner occupied private property (and this would not necessarily apply to more than one parcel of property owned by a single family)—again this is for owner occupied property:
1) Something like California’s proposition 13 should apply – that the taxes are based on say 1% of the purchase price (counties can add another 0.2%), and then not be able to increase it more than 2% a year thereafter.
2) As long as it remains occupied by the owner, no improvement to the property performed through sweat equity (such as adding square footage to the building, adding structures, pools, etc. would be subject to any increase in property taxes (the government could collect on death or resale of the property) so long as it remains owner occupied.
3) As long as the construction complied with basic codes (such as setbacks, construction standards), the owner could expand his dwelling or even construct a mother-in-law type of additional structure on the property.
4) Building departments could not charge fees, but would be available to provide advice to regarding code standards, and could upon reasonable notice make specific safety inspections if warranted to help assure safety.
With a restoration of freedom in private property, we might discover a new culture of diversity and fun develop in our communities, as each house stops looking like a different color of the same carbon copy – and instead we see more individualistic homes of creative architecture—and some liberty restored to private property. Also with mother-in-law cottages and other creative construction, we may end up with a lot less problems of what to do with extended families and our elderly. Government creates the problems that people can otherwise solve.
If America is to survive as a Constitutional Republic, we need to get serious. We cannot allow a few Mother Earth religious zealots to drive us back to the stone-age.
A comment about minimum wage: How it can be considered Constitutional is beyond me. How in the Hell can we justify that an individual (in America, the land of the free) does not have the right to accept a job at any wage he/she is willing to work for? I would think people would be irate. When I was young, the minimum wage was quite low, and even as a kid, mowing lawns and doing other work for neighbors I had no trouble finding a job. However, I also had a Dad, who taught me at a young age how to do my chores around the house such that it ended as a job well done rather than a shoddy effort. People need to learn work skills and some jobs just are not worth paying the minimum wage.
Aside from making the minimum wage unconstitutional—as it should be in a free society, the solution I have been suggesting for the past 10 years or so is that we make certain exemptions: Each individual would be able to hire two people independent of the minimum wage, and each business should be able to hire 2 people or say 5% (whichever is greater) of its work force independent of the minimum wage. This way individuals could hire a baby-sitter or neighbor kid to do a job (such as wash the car or mow a lawn) that they currently do themselves—as they cannot afford to pay the minimum wage. This helps the young develop work skills that otherwise are missing from today’s society. For businesses, the exemption from the minimum wage would not be a license for the employer to exploit people doing the same job at the same level of competence by paying them different wage scales, but instead provide the opportunity for an employer to hire people to do jobs that would not warrant the minimum wage and to hire people who lack the work skills—giving them an entry to the job market and an opportunity to develop work skills.
Public education is a big issue that gets little serious consideration. The President can make asinine remarks about public education and get away with it. Pouring more money into public education is not going to solve the problem. I would suggest that because so much money is poured into it is the reason for the result in poor student performance, waste, inefficiency, corruption. In the early 1990’s, there were 113 non-teaching staff for every 100 teachers in the California public school system. In my elementary school we had one janitor, one secretary, one principle, and a part time nurse in addition to the teachers. And, none of the teachers had teaching assistants. If we took half the money we waste on sub-standard inner-city schools and provided it in the form of vouchers to parents to select some private school of their choice – we would immediately have an improvement in student performance and a level of competition that could start turning our nation around. What the unions and government have done to public education is a heinous crime against our nation.
In 1963 in-state tuition (student fees) at U.C. Berkeley was around $56 per semester. Even in graduate school in the early 70’s, tuition never reached $100 per term. What is it now? $7,230.25 a semester? More than 100 times as expensive? What has happened is more than an adjustment for inflation—it is a change in the ballgame.
We send kids to school for 13 years and a sizable portion end up unable to read, having essentially zero understanding of history, and turned off to learning. Or, we send them on to college, and they get brainwashed into hating our country and learning nothing that makes them any earthly good to be productive members of society. Our output of mathematicians, physicists, chemists and engineers is on the decline—while we mass produce MBAs who learn to manipulate with their spreadsheets and management techniques rather than create, and lawyers who tie up our courts and businesses with destructive litigation.
Public school textbooks get more expensive each year as the content is dumbed down and made increasingly less interesting in the effort to push the various politically correct ideas to satisfy various special interests. In doing so, the value of the education for society and the student is lost—while the cost just goes up and up. What happened in the distant past (you know: History) does NOT change from year to year, nor does basic reading, writing, math and science. The reason for the costly changes is not to help educate the child, it is to sell books and sell political correctness—to the detriment of society and the student.
Our entire education system needs revamping—at the national and local level. Money taken from the public for the purpose of education—should be used as parents/emancipated minors chose—not as mandated by the government and unions. Liberal hacks cry out “you can’t use government money for private and religious schools.” Hells bells—it is not government money—it is the taxpayer’s money. With the exception that it be used for an academic education and not to promote an ideology incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, the taxpayer should be able to choose the school (public or private). This will enable the lower financial rungs of society to secure sound education for their children, while promoting a new and healthy competitive education environment.
Learning should be fun, schools should reinforce (and not undermine) good values. The emphasis of education should be to create a literate society, able to function effectively and contribute to a healthy society. Not everyone needs to go through a K-12 program; some would be better met transitioning into a work-study program. We need to reassess our culture, which has transformed youth from beings able to be responsible and productive at a young age, into a growing segment of the population that enter some sort of limbo land of adolescence for an extended period of years, and then become responsible adults at what 25, 30, 40, 50 years of age—or as increasingly the case—fail to achieve responsible adulthood during their lifetime.
In many ways, our laws and government education system limits the ability of the young to grow and develop as unique individuals. While it is important that each child have a chance at an education that will allow them to advance to their potential, and we need to protect children from abuse through certain child labor laws—the general one size fits all K-12 system is not working. By creating a period of adolescence that extends through the teenage years—government (and society) enforces limits during a very transitional period of life. As such, we may be destroying a sizable segment of society from ever becoming responsible and productive. For the poor youth, who lack much opportunity, due to broken families, poor public schools, and lack of legal job opportunities—many get lost forever to lives of decadence, crime, and incarceration.
When the impact of communities, churches, charities become less relevant due to government interference, our nation erodes.
Consider the cost and value of higher education: While we do not want to eliminate variety and diversity in education, tax generated revenue should be promoting things that provide a semblance of value to society as a whole. Ethnic studies may be important to gain a perspective, but we do not need armies of graduates with bachelors and masters in such topics, just as we do not need people entering schools of higher learning as hopeful youth and leaving as cynics—convinced that the free enterprise system and the United States is the evil of all mankind.
With the exception of certain curricula, such as laboratory sciences, most of the curricular of a college education requires no special equipment—especially in the age of computers. As a matter of fact, even in the mid-60’s my physics laboratory work was accomplished using CRTs and simple electronic equipment (which could be accomplished much more effectively with today’ least expensive notebook computer). In regard to specialized equipment, there is no reason that getting a bachelor or master’s degree should be so expensive. And, as for curricula demanding more expensive laboratory or field work, much could be accomplished with work study programs can be set up to fulfill those requirements via industry—while promoting real world experience.