By Russell D. Longcore
Washington DC doesn’t have the “Midas touch,” where everything they touch turns to gold. Washington has the “Merde touch,” where everything they do turns to shit.
Since 2008, we Americans have heard a new meme enter our lexicon. That new phrase is “too big to fail.”
The George W. Bush administration trotted out this phrase with its first stimulus plan and the bailouts of insurance, Wall Street and the car companies. We were all told that these companies were too big to fail, or too big to be allowed to fail.
In economies where the government doesn’t interfere, corporations that mismanage their assets and liabilities declare bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process either liquidates the business and pays off creditors, or allows the corporation to reorganize the company, renegotiate their debt and move forward with a new business plan. But the corporation is allowed to bear the weight of the choices they made and live with the consequences of their failure.
All the companies/entities who got bailout money should have been allowed to experience free-market consequences. All of them. Instead, Washington placed the market risk squarely on the backs of the American taxpayer.
Let’s not forget the $3 Billion “Cash for Clunkers” program, in which over 690,000 new cars were purchased, and about the same number of perfectly serviceable vehicles were destroyed. Once again, America….YOU got stuck with the bill to help your neighbors buy a new car. The destruction of used cars distorted the used car market, driving up used car prices while creating used parts shortages. Thanks, Congress.
All we’ve heard for months…years…even today…is that some business entities and government programs are too big to be allowed to fail. The licitness¹ of an activity is being determined by its scale. But no entity is too big to fail. However I can think of one entity that is too big NOT to fail.
That entity is The United States of America.
All of Washington, regardless of party affiliation, only makes decisions that perpetuate Federal power. If an action doesn’t directly benefit Washington, it does not occur. Washington doesn’t care if it destroys the purchasing power of the Dollar by printing paper money and causing hyperinflation. They just don’t want to have unemployment spike over the bankruptcy and reorganization of big employers.
When the US Constitution was written and enacted, it planted the seeds for massive Federal power. The nation/states of North America were actually better served by the Articles of Confederation. For most of the time between 1777 (A of C drafted and used to govern) and 1789 (new constitution), the New Federal Government was ineffectual and got little accomplished. That is because the nation/states were sovereign and acted based upon their sovereignty.
But even under the inferior US Constitution, the nation/states of North America which comprised the United States of America, could have controlled the new Federal government by nullifying and interposing on behalf of the individual states and The People. But the states and The People allowed themselves to be enslaved by Washington.
At this time in our history, most Americans consider themselves to be Americans, not Virginians or Floridians or Oregonians or the like. Washington has exhibited genius in convincing Americans that they are ruled by Washington, and that their state capitols are inferior and subordinate legislative bodies.
But the US Constitution was never meant to be the organizing document for a nation of 306 million people. Apportionment for Congressional representation, done correctly for our population, would result in thousands of Congressmen in the House of Representatives. Yet we’d still only have 100 Senators. And that would be even more ineffectual than the DC mess we have at present.
A fifty-state confederation, adhering to the strictures of the original Constitution, would be capable of governance on a local level. However, we do not have such a confederation today. The USA is a kingdom with 50 county-like jurisdictions.
So the United States of America exists in a condition that is unsustainable. The founding documents have been…and are presently…merely iconic parchments kept under glass that have no bearing or influence whatsoever upon the machinations of the US Federal Government.
The United States of America is too big NOT to fail. Small government is manageable government.
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¹“Licit” means authorized, sanctioned or morally permitted, as opposed to “illicit.”
© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.