Third Party & Independents Archives

Slowly Goes Our Constitution

How does one know when you have too much democracy and not enough Republic? Look to the many programs run by the federal government. The federal government, aka Corpocracy, wants to control every facet of your life. The Corpocracy needs control of government in order to control you. You can often see the tentacles stretching for more power and control in the way federal programs are administered.

The President announced that he will ask Congress for $1.35B to extend an education grant program for states, saying that getting schools right “will shape our future as a nation.” The recent $787B economic stimulus program included $4.3B in competitive grants for states known as “race to the top” grants. A well used ‘carrot and stick’ approach for gaining more control over public education, states must amend education laws and policies to compete for the grant funds. More than 30 states are expected to ignore the 10th amendment, bend to the will of the fed and apply for the grant money. The first of two rounds will be decided in April. And, be clear, not every state will be awarded grant funds.

The President wants to use some of the extension fund for a ‘similarly competitive’ grant program for local school districts. Meaning, the fed can take tax payer money from any state in the union and dole it out to individual local school districts, primarily to push charter schools. Charter schools operate independently of local school boards but are funded by public money.

More than a dozen states have changed their laws and/or policies and open the way for more charter schools.
IMO, the proper way to reform public education is through taxpayers working with their local and state governments. Indeed, there is nothing in the Constitution regarding education As I recall our schools were performing very well until the federal government began usurping the state’s role in education. The Corpocracy has worked to stymie middle class wages and drive health care and education cost beyond the level at which the middle class can participate. Incrementally, the Corpocracy is taking more control of our country and our lives.

Aptly described: Corporate oligarchy is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative.

Posted by Roy Ellis at January 19, 2010 1:53 PM
Comments
Comment #294065

Roy said: “The federal government, aka Corpocracy, wants to control every facet of your life.”

That is an idiotic statement. The federal government wants to control what the people demand of their politicians, be controlled. In a representative form of government, a republic with democratically elected representatives, the people are the source for the breadth of control the government exerts.

Yes, there are a few in Congress who lean toward authoritarian style thinking, but, not nowhere near the majority. When the people both demand smaller and less federal government and vote out their incumbent politicians in favor of challengers willing to make smaller and lesser government their campaign issue, then, AND ONLY THEN, will we see smaller and lesser government.

Like everything in politics, this is a complex topic, and simplistic statements like the government or corpocracy want to control every aspect of individual’s lives, utterly fails to comprehend and address the complexity of the topic, let alone point to anykind of effective solution.

For every area of control exerted by the federal government, there is either a majority or minority of Americans who expect that control to remain intact. The majority of Americans insist on our maintaining the most capable military in the world. A minority of corporate interests insist on subsidies in return for compliance with federal agencies. Whether they are right or wrong, depends on whether the assessor benefits from the policy or not.

Then of course, there is the megaphone effect of lobbyists. Lobbyists have the ear of the politicians in ways the general and majority of the public do not. Additionally, such lobbyists usually control purse strings of campaign contributions around election time. There are many representatives in Congress who have been fighting to revoke this megaphone effect of lobbyists. But, it is very difficult because in fact, our Constitution’s First Amendment underwrites and protects this megaphone effect, as did the Supreme Court when it ruled that money is speech, and therefore protected by the First Amendment.

Your statement implies a dictatorial evil side of our government that attempts the kind of control Hitler had over the German population in the 1930’s and 40’s. It simply isn’t true, or even close to being true, that our government wants to control every aspect of our lives. The Health Care Reform bill opposition amply demonstrates this fact.

Our government is what the voters elect it to be. And is a product of the demands both minorities and majorities of that public place on it. There is a famous quote which I will paraphrase for lack of memory of the exact words, which says: Democracy is a terrible form of government, except for all the others.

And it’s true. Our government is inefficient, often counterproductive, and nearly always Johnny come Lately to a crisis. But, these weaknesses are inherent to the design of a government that is limited and forced to observe individual rights by its Constitution and through the courts, checked and balanced by division of authority and a Constitution, and distanced from both mob rule by autonomy of elected officials as well as distanced from autocrats who would author and alter laws on nothing more than their personal preferences.

Can our federal government be improved and should it be? Absolutely. But, such changes must emanate from the voters, using the power of their vote to remove representatives until those changes come about. It is a very inefficient way to alter the federal government’s actions, except for all other ways which carry vastly higher costs for everyone, as our Revolutionary and Civil War attest, for example.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 19, 2010 4:40 PM
Comment #294066

Roy said: “states must amend education laws and policies to compete for the grant funds.”

This is a perversion of what is actually taking place. First, the States retain the freedom to accept or reject the federal offer. There is no gun being put to their heads. Your use of the word, must, implies no choice. They have the freedom to choose.

Second, the grant funds are contingent upon and designed to improve the quality of education and produce a more capable and competitive American student, who has collectively been falling behind dozens of other nation’s students in learning quantity and capacity.

Your statement is paranoid, seeing demons where none exist.

You said: “IMO, the proper way to reform public education is through taxpayers working with their local and state governments.”

That is precisely how many states have achieved horrible school systems, crippling the capacity and choices of future voters and citizens. If Alabama insists on keeping their future voters educationally crippled and unable to make an objective decision about their representatives beyond what their parent’s party tells them, Alabama has all the freedom in the world to continue down that road.

If, on the other hand, they are willing to give up that historical educational agenda in favor of assistance to upgrade teacher quality, adopt generally accepted texts on science and history, reduce class sizes, and create equity between school districts in terms of educational quality, they they can choose to accept the federal assistance dollars to achieve those goals.

I am not sure all these conditions are in the offer, but, they should be.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 19, 2010 4:47 PM
Comment #294083

Can our federal government be improved and should it be? Absolutely. But, such changes must emanate from the voters, using the power of their vote to remove representatives until those changes come about. It is a very inefficient way to alter the federal government’s actions, except for all other ways which carry vastly higher costs for everyone, as our Revolutionary and Civil War attest, for example.
Posted by: David R. Remer at January 19, 2010 04:40 PM

Very well said. Thanks

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2010 7:08 PM
Comment #294085

David, we need to get beyond political correctness and call a spade a spade. This Democratic Republic is rapidly becoming more democratic and less republic. History tells us that a pure democracy ends badly. A vocal minority ends up in control of the silent majority. Is that not where we are today? There are about 32k registered lobbyist pumping about $3.5B yearly into buying the best government money can buy. We have another small minority, the progressive movement, who are dragging us down the road to socialism and the Constitution be damned.
Taken together, they create a Corpocracy/Oligarchy that, IMO, if not countered will lead to the destruction of the country, even if by unintended consequences. The ex-GAO, David Walker has a new book out ‘Comeback America’. He believes that we have less than 5 years to address the debt or it things will be far worse than 08/09. Stresses the effect gerrymandering has had on the country. Recommends term limits, 12-18 years, and campaign finance reform.
Far too weak, IMO, to counter the Corpocracy. Our bought and paid for government, even in the face of public outrage, continues to force programs on the taxpayer that is overly burdensome to the point of crazy. Case in point with the HC bill. Voters are being forced to ping-pong between the ‘least evil’ party, at the moment, to try and curb a HC bill that few comprehend. And, we are well aware the progressives will pass something, anything, to allow them to budget for HC and began immediately incrementally changing the policy to achieve their full goal re HC.
From a broader perspective, people have lost trust in government. Reasons are free trade, immigration, decade cyclic economic bubbles/recessions, greatest xfer of wealth in the history, financial system bailouts geared toward a jobless recovery, ad infinitum. A willful intent beginning with the Regan era to establish a new world order, follow Europe into socialism, all the while incrementally trashing our sovereignty, the Constitution and the principles by which we had lived pretty well.
Sure, the effort is toward a utopia, people travel the world unimpeded, a toy wagon can be found in every walmart around the world and bought for the same price, perhaps with the same currency. Problem is, our Constitution is in the way. The Corpocracy may want to harmonize the worlds admin law, security procedures, trade laws, education and etc. But, without debate? Just push globalization laws on the public, like it or leave it?
Incrementally, they have put Corporate Personhood, Money is Free Speech and greased the skids for the Corpocracy. Too far and too fast for me. I want to stop the train and talk about fair trade vs free trade, removing the money influence from government, campaign finance reform and a few hundred other such things.
Starting to ramble… evening David.

Royal Flush, agree. Exactly why we need a 3rd party w/a different political attitude, etc …

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 19, 2010 7:26 PM
Comment #294090

Roy Ellis said: “David, we need to get beyond political correctness and call a spade a spade. This Democratic Republic is rapidly becoming more democratic and less republic.”

I have to respectfully disagree with this assessment. More democracy would mean more legislation reflecting the majority will of the public. Polls show exactly the opposite is happening, the majority of the public is extremely disappointed with the results coming from our federal government.

In a republic, the representatives are free to decide issues without regard for public opinion or public will. And that is precisely what has been happening. The representatives have increasingly for decades been taking their marching orders less from the public, and more from the wealthy special interests and their lobbyists.

Of course, it doesn’t help that America’s voting population is so ill-informed, under-educated, and uninvolved in monitoring the actions of their representatives until a few months before an election when their representative has the advantage of incumbency to speak loudest to their constitutents boasting their own record while avoiding any mention of their failures and faults. And for that reason, I believe America must first improve and reform its educational system before embarking upon increasing the democracy side of the equation.

An underinformed, ill-informed, under-educated, and largely apathetic public will not effect a positive outcome in the exercise of democracy. Educated, involved, and fairly accurately informed voters subscribe to PAC’s which lobby Congress on their behalf. But, these public interest lobbyists exist for all manner of political viewpoints from Socialists to Libertarians to authoritarian oriented groups. Being so splintered, they effect is muted against that of the less splintered corporate interests and lobbyists.

Thus, this more Republic than Democratic oriented government leans toward oligarchy where legislation and policy are concerned, resulting in massive government grants of public wealth to these private sector interests, and a dearth of legislation for the public in areas like health care insurance, meaning insurance against not having any health insurance, education quality reforms, and an effectively managed economy that promotes broad prosperity for the majority of the public. Instead we have a shrinking middle class, increasing permanent unemployment, growing homelessness mentally ill populations, and a national debt more than half way to an unsustainable and bankrupting level.

The voters can force a far better Republic side of the equation, and in so doing, pave the way toward a more responsible share of democracy in the future, if only they will exercise the power of their vote to remove their representatives from office continuously until they get the results from government they can endorse.

The power of the vote was not granted to public to reinstate King George. It was granted to the public to insure that any future King Georges who might be elected to office, could be easily removed without having to resort to revolution or civil war. The power of the vote is to remove those in power. Those in power will use their power to keep themselves in power without any help from the voters, if given the opportunity.

That is the lesson and history of the purpose and intent of the vote in democratic societies plagued with King Georges or Marie Antoinette’s, and defines functional democracies from those which are democracies in name only. America is somewhere in between with term limits on its president, and defined terms of office before Congressional Representatives have to face the voters again.

It is encouraging however, all this said, to watch the ant-incumbent movement grow in our country. The big question is, can it grow fast enough to force the changes of priorities in our representatives in time to prevent our nation from passing points of no return en route to national bankruptcy or, internal domestic demise through splintering and ineffective, compromised solutions, which fail the public’s and nation’s needs for integrity?

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 19, 2010 8:01 PM
Comment #294172

David, a couple of good para’s: “An underinformed, ill-informed, under-educated, and largely apathetic public will not effect a positive outcome in the exercise of democracy. Educated, involved, and fairly accurately informed voters subscribe to PAC’s which lobby Congress on their behalf. But, these public interest lobbyists exist for all manner of political viewpoints from Socialists to Libertarians to authoritarian oriented groups. Being so splintered, they effect is muted against that of the less splintered corporate interests and lobbyists.
Thus, this more Republic than Democratic oriented government leans toward oligarchy where legislation and policy are concerned, resulting in massive government grants of public wealth to these private sector interests, and a dearth of legislation for the public in areas like health care insurance, meaning insurance against not having any health insurance, education quality reforms, and an effectively managed economy that promotes broad prosperity for the majority of the public. Instead we have a shrinking middle class, increasing permanent unemployment, growing homelessness mentally ill populations, and a national debt more than half way to an unsustainable and bankrupting level.”
Seems we agree on many problems but you believe we don’t have enough democracy and I believe we have too much. How could it be that having both witnessed our governments actions over the past 30 years we are 180 degrees out on the reason for our problems?
We’ve seen an attempt to NAU us which was fomented by a wormy communist in the Carter administration. An attempt to follow the EU in unionizing the region, a purely socialist venture, would you not agree? And, this globalization thing, did that not convey from the European think tanks? Socialist in origin again.
I can find no reference to any federalist involved in illegal immigration, cap and trade, healthcare or education. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1669.html Excerpt: “Representing the far left wing are such groups as the Socialist Party U.S.A. That party believes in what is called “Democratic Socialism,” defined as “a political and economic system with freedom and equality for all, so that people may develop to their fullest potential in harmony with others.” The party further states that it is “committed to full freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion, and to a multi-party system” and that the ownership and control of the production and distribution of goods “should be democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups.” Other socialist groups include the Democratic Socialists of America, National Alliance, Young Democrat Socialist, and the Democratic Progressive Party.” But, I can’t find any reference to those who are touting federalist objectives.
I would heap globalization, NAU, immigration, largest xfer of wealth in history, financial industry bailouts, jobless recovery, rewriting our textbooks, cyclic decade economic bubbles, attempt to socialize HC and education, etc on to the democratic socialist agenda.

An anti-incumbent movement would be a good thing. I fully support such a movement. However, I fail to see how an anti-incumbent movement would be sustainable and just voting new and untested people into office with no particular focus is not likely to lead to real reform of government.

We need that 3rd party with a diff political attitude, etc

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 20, 2010 11:09 AM
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