Monday, January 28, 2013

Separation of Economy and State.. . .

It's become popular in certain self-satisfied circles to justify disregard of constitutional considerations by pointing out that the writers of the constitution just couldn't know how the world would change and couldn't craft a political document that created a government capable of dealing with the modern world.

Well, the constitution does, after all, provide for amending the document.  So to say that the writers of the constitution couldn't provide for the future is disingenuous, verging on deceptive.  They planned for what they couldn't know of the future, by providing a way for the future to amend the document as it would later appear necessary.

In fact, the document was amended almost immediately, for fear that government busybodies would ignore the rights of a free people.  And there was historical justification for doing so, for example, freedom of and from religion leading to a clear separation of church and state.  These early Americans had seen first hand religious persecution and government interference with religious affairs, and they were close in time to crusades pitting Christianity against Islam.  They knew of executions based on religious beliefs and forced conversions, and the dreaded Inquisition.  So, the clear separation of church and state was imposed in response to a known danger of government, as they knew it to be.

Now, we live in modern times, and we see more of the damages a powerful government can do.  We know better, now, in ways our constitutional fathers could not know.  When our smug and self-loving social critics complain that the constitution is outdated, they are probably right.  We know now of a government threat not apparent to the framers of the constitution given the body of information they had, at the time.  We need another amendment to the constitution.

I think we need a clear separation of church and the economy.  No "stimulus" of the economy.  No price supports.  No commodity boards.  No "investment" in businesses.  No security regulations.  No tax-exempt activities or tax breaks to encourage business activity.  No interference to settle labor disputes, other than to respond to criminal activity or breach of the peace.  No federal banking regulations -- federal "reserve" bank.  No picking of "winners and losers."  None of it.  Government is not good at business and the economy, and much too frequently government activity pretextually in aid of the economy amounts to powerful politicians rewarding friends for favors, or spending public moneys on pet projects featuring fat doses of self -aggrandizement.  So.  None of it.  If you can't do it right, the truth of which has been demonstrated adequately, then leave it the hell alone.  Mint hard money and let banks take care of banknotes, privately.

The trouble with government activity in the economy is that it re-assigns risks in unrealistic ways.  Naturally, government activity will affect the economy, as when the navy ships are in port, money flows.  It's when the government tries to do stuff in order to deal with the economy, directly, that is the problem.  So.  Quit it. 

Maybe we can curb some of the bureaucratic temptation to help us, by helping themselves to the public purse.

And I'm getting pretty damned suspicious about government fooling around with education, too.

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