Government's Role

Filed under History, Political
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On the latest episode of The Sitter Downers, "Tom Gets Hitched…," Adam and Torri asked me what I think the role of government is.

Torri's question was, "Does the federal government not have a role in society at all? Should we not have laws against robbery and murder and things like that?"

Adam asked, "What powers does the federal government have, that are in accordance with the constitution?"

In a nut-shell, these amendments help express the federal "box" we have a duty to keep them in (air-holes are optional):

Ninth Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment

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.

To summarize these two amendments, even if the right is not explicitly expressed in the Constitution, the people still have that right (ninth amendment). And if the right is not explicit expressed in the Constitution, the federal government does not have that right (tenth amendment).

Thomas Jefferson supposedly once stated:

If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny.

Even if Jefferson did not make that statement, I'm sure he would be against he idea of the FDA. This is just one example of a fundamentally and practically bad idea because its very existence suggests people should abdicate their responsibility to a group of people with a lower incentive to do their job right.

Insofar as federal agencies preventing or prosecuting robbery and murder, the several states are perfectly well equipped to deal with these things. Even now, as a function of percentage, when there is a murder, federal agents rarely get involved.

Of course, the feds step outside of this box all the time. Who's job is it to keep them in this box?

If you have thirty minutes for a complete answer from a real expert, here is an excellent explanation of The Role of Government:

The Economics Of A Free Society by Ron Paul
Download now or listen on posterous

2891 The Economics of a Free Society.mp3 (6690 KB)

If you think Bush acts like a democrat, what do you think McCain would do if he were elected? If democrats act like democrats and republicans act like democrats, doesn't that mean we actually have a one party system?

By the way, you can listen to the audio in my blog from iTunes (or on an iPod).

Posted via email from Anthony Martin's Weblog


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