In the field of Economics there is a term commonly used to express the sheer hopelessness of our current predicament, it’s “Keynesian Endpoint.” Supposedly, this is the point where our society is so deeply in debt that any amount of further borrowing to “stimulate” only causes counter-stimulative effects. That is, borrowing 50 billion more to “stimulate” the economy will cause inflationary effects that completely counter any stimulation of aggregate demand which spending that 50 billion might cause. Thus, the main underlying assumption behind Keynesian economics is no longer true – that government spending in all cases is good. I believe we have already reached this place in time.****
However, that is not the point of this post. I believe that we as a nation have reached another endpoint, a Hamiltonian endpoint. The Hamiltonian premise is that the Federal Government may do anything which is not specifically forbidden by the U.S. Constitution (regardless of the clear language by the founders in the Federalist papers/ratifying conventions). This system has an endpoint because it is inherently unstable.
First, we must define Hamiltonian-ism. This is from Websters online dictionary:
The political principles and ideas held by or associated with Alexander Hamilton that center around a belief in a strong central government, broad interpretation of the federal constitution, encouragement of an industrial and commercial economy, and a general distrust of the political capacity or wisdom of the common man
I am speaking specifically of the broad interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Roughly speaking Hamiltons paradigm seems to have been as long as leaders are chosen from amongst the populace, corruption could never creep into government. In addition to this the thought is that we could vote them out, and as long as the state governments claimed any control over internal matters, the state governments would interfere in the effective governing of the country. The country started barreling down this slippery slope over a hundred years ago, and we have essentially proven Thomas Jeffersons axiom ”I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: “That ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people’ (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition.”. We have now interpreted the Constitution so broadly that politicians boldly make assertions that the Constitution no longer limits them in any way…. such as this one:In this clip, the politician expresses what the vast majority of the D.C. apparatus believes. That there are no limits placed on the Federal Government, whatsoever. How could that be? A written Constitution which places no limits on Government should be an oxymoron, shouldn’t it? Constitutions are written to limit government. This is the Hamiltonian endpoint of which I speak. The point at which the Constitution has been interpreted so broadly that there is literally no tax which cannot be levied, no activity which may not be regulated, no place which may be private, welcome to the end of Federalism in America. Truly… as the D.C. crowd has interpreted the Constitution… we no longer have any rights to life, liberty or property. I don’t know about you but I view this as an absolute despotism
Like the Keynesian endpoint of which I mentioned earlier in this article, the Hamiltonian endpoint will have dire consequences for our country. The lack of any acknowledged limits on government means (as the video above suggests) that there can be no blanket prohibition AGAINST slavery! The era of freedom is OVER. The only option (short of outright revolt) is Nullification. We need to insist that the Federal Government abide by the plain meaning of the U.S. Constitution in the common law rules of construction which it was intended to be interpreted. We need to put all the pressure that we can bring to bear upon our respective state governments and insist that they start interposing themselves between ‘we the people’ and the tyrannical arbitrary power of the Federal Government. We need to collectively try and put the Federal Pitbull back on it’s chain – which it broke over 100 years ago. We must never forget that politicians are but employees- they work for us, not the other way around!
Tim Reeves is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center.
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