Wednesday, April 06, 2011
"The Government is shutting down."
It really depends on your perspective as to how you feel about the above statement. If you are serving in our military and need to take care of your family, getting a paycheck is kind of a big deal. If your work is private sector, perhaps you feel the gubmint has it coming after more than a century of waste, fraud and abuse. Regardless, you should be concerned.
There are a lot of issues swirling around the USA's financial disarray. I'm no economist. But is it really that complicated to fix?
"Riots, revolutions and anarchy plague the nations of the world."
Is that really anything new?
I turn to Thomas Jefferson's inaugural address for comfort and direction.
March 4, 1801, Washington, D.C.
"During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety. But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle."
All Things to All People?
On limited government vs. spreading ourself too thin and taking on too much: Some men fear "that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may possibly want the energy to preserve itself?"
What is "American"?
"Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachments to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensation proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his great happiness hereafter--with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a free and prosperous people?"
Making a Free and Prosperous People
"Still one thing more, fellow-citizens--a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."
General Principles to Follow
1. Equal and exact justice to all men
2. Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none
3. The support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns
4. The preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad
5. A jealous care of the right of election by the people
6. A well disciplined militia
7. The supremacy of the civil over the military authority
8. Economize public expenses, so that labor is only lightly burdened
9. Honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith
10. Encouragement of agriculture and commerce
11. Diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of public reason
12. Freedom of religion
13. Freedom of the press
14. Freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus, trial by impartial juries
What Now? Thomas Jefferson Has the Answer
"These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of the political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which we try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety."
April 6, 2011, Washington, D.C.
The Government is shutting down. Riots, revolutions and anarchy plague the nations of the world.
Let us HASTEN to retrace our steps, unentangled.