My Blog List

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Madison's Big Error

For the past few months, I've been writing a booklet/essay for my two sons (both in their twenties).  It's got at least a few more months of work before it's finished, but I decided to share bits and pieces of my thought process with the folks that stumble by this place.  I'll share the whole thing (probably) when I'm done.

I'm trying to do a couple things with this document.  I want to distill the discussions we've had over their lifetime into a single spot.  I want to set the record straight, so to speak, about what is professed as "the truth" in our public media.  And I want to give them a crystal ball look into their future.  All in the hopes that they can use history and Original Intent and common sense to guide their lives, and to find a way to dig out of the pile of financial crap their predecessors have left them.

The phrase, "Money is the root of all evil" has a lot of truth to it.  It doesn't mean that money is evil,  but that most evil deeds are somehow rooted in money.  I believe that the expansion of government at all levels is evil - it actually hurts the individual - and that the reason for the expansion is money.

Pass more laws, grow the government to enforce the laws.  Grow the government, gain more power.  Gain more power, gain more personal wealth.  Repeat as necessary.

I was searching through The Federalist Papers for some insights into what the colonies were thinking when the federal constitution was being proposed.  My absolute top-of-the-heap favorite founding father, James Madison, wrote Federalist 46:  The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared [link].

In it, he attempted to assuage the fears of the people of New York about how different parts of the federal government would not be allowed to grow out of control.   Here's an excerpt -
But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. A correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance would be concerted. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole. 
 Wow.  Could he have been more wrong?  The states raise a hand to their master?  Surely you jest.  The reason is money, of course. 

Madison continues...
The same combinations, in short, would result from an apprehension of the federal, as was produced by the dread of a foreign, yoke; and unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force would be made in the one case as was made in the other. 

A not so subtle threat that if the federal government didn't get back in its place, they'd get their head caved in by the states, just like what happened to King George.

Madison now proceeds to explain why a federal take over of the states could never happen:  There's more of us than them - 
But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity. In the contest with Great Britain, one part of the empire was employed against the other. The more numerous part invaded the rights of the less numerous part. The attempt was unjust and unwise; but it was not in speculation absolutely chimerical. But what would be the contest in the case we are supposing? Who would be the parties? A few representatives of the people would be opposed to the people themselves; or rather one set of representatives would be contending against thirteen sets of representatives, with the whole body of their common constituents on the side of the latter.  
OK, shake off your History Coma, the good part's coming.  Madison goes on to say that the only way this would be possible is if the federal government built a huge domestic army.  He says it's absurd to think...
That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism.
Yeah.  Who would ever think that the federal government would grow and grow and grow, and take over more and more state power, and everyone would just sit on their hands and let it happen?

Well, we all did.  Every damned one of us of voting age for the past 100 years or so.

Why?  Money.  They didn't need to build an army, they needed a printing press.

We all got a free education.  Free roads.  Free airports.  Many get free food, free money, free housing, free clothing, free contraceptives, free health care.  Free this and free that.

The federal government exerts its wishes over may of us - and all of the states - by controlling the money.

I remember when the Legally Drunk debate was going on.  The feds said the states should drop the DUI number down to 0.08.  Some states balked.  The feds said that they couldn't force the states to change their state laws, but if they didn't, they wouldn't get their share of federal highway tax dollars.

Every state caved.  For money.

That's what Madison and the other founding fathers missed.  How to establish a government where your own money couldn't be used as a weapon against you.  Honestly, I don't know if it's possible.  Perhaps we've just come to the end of our glorious run, and it's time to start all over.  I don't know.

What I want my sons to understand is that it is unlikely to ever change.  Certainly not in my lifetime, probably not in there lifetime. 

Perhaps the US becomes a Soviet-styled communist country, and then dies under its own weight. Maybe people literally start shooting back.  Drawing the line in the sand - as was done with King George - and stating enough is enough.

I think it will be more along the lines of the former - a slow, cancer-riddled death, with an uncertain rebirth.

Regardless, it will always be about the money.  Save it, jealously protect it, hide it.  Keep it out of the hands of the state where the only sure outcome will be waste.

Understanding the root of all political systems is the key for survival and for thriving.  Don't fall for the altruistic visions of happy workers all pitching in for the common good.  Don't fall for the guilt-ladened diatribes about equality, economic justice and equity.  Don't fall for the nauseating righteousness of some community organizer brow-beating you to be thankful for what government has done for you.

They are all nothing more than ways to separate you from your money.  You work;  you pay;  they benefit.

No thanks.

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Adam said...

I think the Federalist Papers should be required reading in school. The only problem is that it would inform the masses that our current "give me" system does not work, which is against the political ideology of those teaching.

I'd love to see that "book" when you're done with it. Especially with your financial background, you know the ins and outs of that better than some of us.

Anonymous said...

The actual quote is "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil". Actually supports your thoughts even better!

Chief Instructor said...

Adam, I don't think I even heard of the Federalist Papers until I was in my 30's, let alone have them be required reading. The whole American Revolution is handled with kit gloves by the largely liberal academics. Fight for individual freedom? Naw. Only fight for the good of the hive. Scary.

I hope to be done with it before the election. As I said, I may share it - it might have too much personal/family stuff in it. We'll see.

Anon - indeed!