20 November 2010

Consider Westphalia

In 1648 the 30 Years War was ended with the Treaty of Westphalia, also known as the Great Peace of Westphalia, which changed the order of how Nation States were viewed.  The older order of States revolved around the Imperial State or the Monarchical State, which was ordered from the top downwards by an over-arching authority.  Prior to the Imperial State or that of the Monarchy there were other Nation State forms: the City State and the Republican State, with varieties of cooperation types for both (federations, confederations, oligopolies, etc.).  Additionally for internal ruling the variances within States were wide, from authoritarian sole leaders with a cadre of sub-leaders to rule over the State to representative democracies to direct democracies to indirect representational democracies to theocratic non-elected.  Imperial States gathered in multiple other States and imposed a uniform rule from the top, usually via acquisition (purchase or military) of the smaller State units.  For the larger part of man's history, since the beginning of the written record, there has been an Imperial or top-down form of rule over mankind for that period which goes to Ancient Sumer, Babylon, Egypt and the smaller entities in China and India as well as in North and South America, all the way to the present day with China, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Burma and other Nation States imposing authoritarian or totalitarian rule from the top.

In Europe the Treaty of Westphalia would set a clear dividing line between the Imperial State and the Sovereign Nation State as entities, and exclude the latter from being acceptable to creating a peaceful civilization.  This was done to separate the religion of the rulers of Nation States from the religion of the people in those States.  During the 30 Years War many Principalities and even Nations changed sides, switched religions and then forced obedience to the new religious form or forced exile or execution upon those who would not conform.  This was done under sub-types of Christianity: Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism.  The State's religious stance was separated from interfering with the religious stance of the people of the State and would, via that disconnection, allow freedom of worship amongst those three religious sub-types in the signatory States.  This is not 'separation of church and state' but an individual freedom from the State's religion and freedom of worship is recognized as an individual liberty to exercise your right to worship as you choose.

While many Ancient States might recognize an individual as having such rights and liberties, the Treaty of Westphalia set this religious freedom and respect of it as a touchstone of civilization: without such recognition of individual rights and liberties the State would be free to force a moral order upon individuals without their consent.  This would set up a type of State rarely seen before, and put in place the order between Nation States that would then come from that Treaty: the Secular State.  The Secular State can function with a religion, that is not prohibited.  The Secular State is to respect the religious beliefs of the people of the State and is to function in a way that is neutral to them by not imposing religious requirements, mandates and teachings into their churches.  Thus laws must be compatible with the religious beliefs of the people of the State and not impose a religious moral order within their churches nor mandate adherence to the State's religion.

From this the Sovereign Nation State is seen as having rule over the temporal territory on Earth, with its own religious outlook, but takes the civil means to make laws that are amenable to all citizens and infringe on the religious beliefs of none of them.  Prior to this much of the outlook of Imperial States or Monarchical States, and even some Republics, was that the State was all-powerful in the temporal domain of life.  This is the beginning of the disentanglement of the State as sovereign entity from being an all-powerful temporal construct and to it being a limited construct that must be fully in accord with the personal rights and liberties of its people.  The Ancients had started this work, of course, but through the Dark Ages (not only of Rome but of Greece before it) the meaning of that understanding had become side-lined, even though it was an intrinsic part of daily life for all mankind.  If Westphalia is the first major instantiation that codifies this limitation by Treaty, then it is the ability for Nations to sign Treaties and have them be respected that points to the underlying understanding that pre-existed it.

Humans, when we form into a cooperative group called a 'family' creates the first bonds of civilization which are those of self-restraint.  Nature gives all creatures abilities and as part of Natural Law all creatures have the entire suite of positive and negative rights and liberties given to them.  The rights are absolute and cannot be taken from any creature, and all have those rights from the smallest to the largest, to exercise as their will.  Liberty, that utilization of rights, is voluntary and must be put forward as an active proposition so that the right can be exercised.  When one is free to use all of their rights they are an animal and exist in the savage state of Nature and under Natural Law.  When we choose not to use our Natural Rights so as to protect others from our own savage nature, we create civil activity, civil understanding and create the basis for the Nation. 

While each creature is a sovereign animal it is in community, in consciously putting some Natural Rights aside for the safety of our fellows that allows us to create the sovereign nation as an entity in our cooperative understanding of the society we have created.  From this we build government to house our negative Natural Liberties and utilize them on our behalf under our common watch as they are too dangerous for society for each of us to exercise on our own.  As these negative Natural Liberties accumulate, the power of our agreement for them to be used on our behalf creates a structure that would also allow it to be used against us as these are negative Natural Liberties, after all, not positive ones.  We create a positive moral climate in our agreement not to use these Natural Rights, as individuals, government does not create any positive moral climate and, in its function can only be a punisher of crimes upon those who seek to destroy or corrode that morality: government upholds no morality, but punishes the immorality of individuals.  As such government is a necessary evil as allowing ourselves to become savages in our activities is no good at all, but it in no way is an instrument of perfecting our selves, it is only good in that it protects us from others.

As this moves up in the size of governments, we get to the size where one government is in contact with another, and these are sovereign entities designed to protect us by holding our negative Natural Liberties in common.  In the creation of this entity of government to hold our animal attached negative Natural Liberties, we do a task that is common to all peoples of earth and, indeed, any who are civilized.  From this we can see that civilization has universal requirements on the formation of a civil society via the individuals within it agreeing not to wield their full suite of positive and negative Natural Rights and only utilize their positive Natural Liberties for the benefit of themselves, their family, their society and their Nation.  When two created holders of our negative Natural Liberties meet there can be a wide array of interactions: they can be agreeable to each other, they can be disagreeable to each other as their societies are different, they can fight each other by utilizing the negative Natural Liberty of war and empowering citizens to form up in war against this other sovereign Nation.  At the end of this contact there will be final agreement, no matter if it is peaceful cooperation, agreed-upon indifference, or the final cessation of hostilities by victory, defeat or stalemate.  How these Nations get along must be available to all of those we call citizens in both Nations and this is done through this thing we call a Treaty.  Each and every Treaty done by a sovereign nation commits the individuals within that society to that Treaty, and yet the people can enjoin their government to dissolve such Treaties when they are injurious to society or contrary to the positive moral climate of the nation.

There is no written law about how these things work, and yet it is common to all mankind that forms society at the lowest of levels.  From the Ancients we came to realize that this unwritten law could be defined, its outlines given and how Nations worked circumscribed and delineated.  This magnum work of Nations and how they come about and work is call the Law of Nations and it covers all Nations from the very earliest created to the most modern as the creation of Nations is for the same function across all time.  This is a Universal Law that is unwritten.  It is created by creatures seeking to consciously put aside their use of negative Natural Liberties to create a civil atmosphere and society, thus it is not pre-ordained in any way save by that common urge for community.  From this we can say that all creatures, indeed all beings, who seek to create civil society are beholden to the unwritten Law of Nations as it is the result of creation for a given end: it is the means to an end and the only way to construct civil society is via this means.

If our Nation is created via our ability to self-govern and withhold our use of our negative Natural Rights, then Westphalia is the first instance in which a non-martial agreement to withhold the use of the negative Natural Liberty invested in the Nation is performed: the negative Natural Liberty to impose religion by force against one's own people is held in abeyance by those Nations and all individuals in those Nations coming under that Treaty.  This destructive negative Natural Liberty is agreed upon, by Treaty, amongst Nations as being too awful to utilize in any way, shape or form upon any citizen within their territories.  This formulation of Treaty is also universal to its holders and timeless: once you sign up for it, then it holds to all parts of your territory unless the action is taken to walk away from it and in any event once you fall under it you will continue to be under it until the end of your days.  Nothing like it has been seen before or since it was created.  It has been expanded upon to a concept of the universal recognition of the necessity for individuals to choose their own religion, beyond those three sects within Christianity, but that is only done in those Nations that put that forward for their own people.  Westphalia endures via the function of religious tolerance by the Nation State and the people within it who uphold the Treaty in their daily lives.

Attempts to found other human rights via Treaty have not fared as well, as nothing is as primal as one's own spiritual belief and their view of how they fit in creation and Nature.  Even those who disdain a belief in the Divine are coming to terms with that in their own way, and in those Nations where this most civil of concepts rules, they are given that leeway for good and ill because to do otherwise is now recognized as injurious and uncivilized.  We can still witness the brutal repression of those Nations that enforce a single religion or doctrine upon their people, be it deistic or communistic, and there is no good at all to be had via that route and it is a signal point of human suffering when it is performed.  This does not mean that religion is divorced from the secular Nation, quite the contrary as a common agreement on what must be punished in the way of actions must be upheld widely across a Nation so that laws can be made to protect the moral climate. 

These laws do not create a moral climate, for if they did we would have easily gotten one by this point in our history if they had the power to do so as the immoral would recognize their punishment and change their ways.  Quite the contrary happens as laws punish those seeking to degrade the common morality, thus laws are a punitive function, not a positive function of society.  The positive function, that of atonement, is not given to the punisher, but to those willing to work with the punished to show them a better way for their lives to work in harmony with their fellow man in society.  That is why outreach programs by religious institutions have shown success in helping those who wish to reform to do so, and even in convincing those who have not thought through their actions to do so and then seek a better life.  Secular institutions have some success in the former, little in the latter, as they cannot assert a positive moral climate as that is not their function.  Helping those seeking to atone to do so is relatively easy, asking those who have not examined their lives requires far more than punitive capacity or directing the willing to suitable help: it requires showing, demonstrating and living in a positive moral way that then shows how a good life can be had without threatening one's fellow man.

Thusly a treaty that posits self-restraint for a Nation and for oneself can only operate if the moral climate is such that it is a demonstrable necessity to do so.  With as much as 20% of Europe dead just due to the 30 Years War, not including plagues and such, the proof was available for all to see: religious authority vested in the secular Nation came to no good end at all.  The self-restraint of governments to agree to not do this had to have a firm foundation in the peoples they represented, and that was available only after the horror of the 30 Years War.  Even the Second World War did not see such a high percentage of a regional population dead, and that is counting the gas chambers, civil prison work camps, starvation due to loss of agriculture, mass bombings, nuclear devices, destruction of cities by airpower and ground power, and even having to draft children to fight for one of the Nations involved: none of that was equivalent to the religious wars in the form of pure loss of life from the totality of local populations across so many Nations.  The 'never again' at the end of WWII against genocide did not stop Mao or Pol Pot or Stalin from slaughtering millions more of their own people after the war.  Nor did it stop even small actors like Saddam Hussein from doing so. 

Indeed the post-war institutions of the 20th century can be seen as serial failures when compared to the enduring success of the Great Peace of Westphalia.  Apparently our revulsion of genocide of minority populations was not enough to stem the tide of hatred that sets man against man due to differences in ethnicity, society, culture, and wealth.  And for those societies outside of Westphalia the practice of religious intolerance and religious slaughter continues to this day.  As we are no longer taught the meaning of Westphalia we lose sight of its purpose and the positive value for creation that is self-restraint.  Since we cannot teach religious tolerance and respect, we are now losing it, yet again, and no laws by government can uphold a faltering positive moral climate when the people of the Nation no longer uphold it themselves.  No amount of rules, no amount of punishment can do that.  Only individuals can do that.

Civilization starts with you.

16 November 2010

QE2 or Titanic?

The question of the Quantative Easing Part 2 being done by the Federal Reserve is the Reserve printing money to buy US Treasuries through 3rd party resellers (like Goldman-Sachs) at a mark-up so as to try and get liquidity into the markets.  To this point in time easy credit policy has not 'stimulated' businesses and the business climate remains unsettled due to government policies being unknown on a day-to-day basis.  Such things like the cost of Healthcare Reform, the Financial Reform bill, and tax policy have all put forward an array of new federal agencies that will, perforce, eat up money and increase regulation while showing very little in return for their work.  Each piece of paperwork needing to be filled out in the private sector to meet some new government program or regulation is time spent not doing something productive.  With the threat of taxes going up, actually keeping a business afloat is a major problem as no one can forecast what taxes will look like even one year down the road.  On top of all of that Social Security is operating deeply in the red, cashing in its Treasury obligations, which takes money from both the federal government via direct payments (FICA and general revenues) and needing to pay for those cashed out Treasuries years before anyone expected them to be cashed out.

Thus the federal government is insolvent: it has burdens that it needs to meet that eat up all available cash and then needs to borrow more money at interest.

It is finding the borrowing climate hard as the economy is in the doldrums, and no one sees how the US can pay for all of its 'entitlements' or even just the few mandatory government functions necessary to run the National government.  There is, actually, cash for the latter, but only if you shed all the 'voluntary' parts of government at the federal level.

With no political willpower to do that, the un-elected Federal Reserve (which will get autonomous powers under the financial reform bill as Congress can no longer to its job) has decided to start buying some Treasuries to help keep things going in the name of liquidity: in order to try and pay for today we are devaluing our dollar in hopes that this will jump-start the economy.  There are, unfortunately, no success stories for that worth mentioning.  Thus this is a failed monetary policy with high-end risks and very few tangible rewards unless the idea is to survive until the next election to be thrown out of office to blame the incoming people for your mess.

Still this idea has its backers on the Right like Ramesh Ponnuru, at National Review Online and he points to others who are backing it under the ideas put forward by Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. At one of the sites linked to, at Marco Market Musings is an article by David Beckwith on 08 FEB 2010 that a JMCB article by Larry White discussing this topic (pdf document here).  In that article is an analysis of Brad DeLong's look at Hayek's views on this... following this?  From Ponnuru to Beckwith to White to DeLong, about Hayek!

Right!  Lets take a look at the first summary point of White reviewing DeLong's work (boldface mine unless otherwise noted throughout):

(1) The Hayek-Robbins (“Austrian”) theory of the business cycle did not in fact prescribe a monetary policy of “liquidationism” in the sense of doing nothing to prevent a sharp deflation. Hayek and Robbins did question the wisdom of re-inflating the price level after it had fallen from what they regarded as an unsustainable level (given a fixed gold parity) to a sustainable level. They did denounce, as counterproductive, attempts to bring prosperity through cheap credit. But such warnings against what they regarded as monetary over-expansion did not imply indifference to severe income contraction driven by a shrinking money stock and falling velocity. Hayek’s theory viewed the recession as an unavoidable period of allocative corrections, following an unsustainable boom period driven by credit expansion and characterized by distorted relative prices. General price and income deflation driven by monetary contraction was neither necessary nor desirable for those corrections. Hayek’s monetary policy norm in fact prescribed stabilization of nominal income rather than passivity in the face of its contraction. The germ of truth in Friedman’s and DeLong’s indictments, however, is that Hayek and Robbins themselves failed to push this prescription in the early 1930s when it mattered most.

The 'liquidation' policy was that of putting failing banks to rest via letting them fail in the 1920's.

Things that pop out?

- Re-inflating price levels is questionable: that is trying to get price levels up to a sustainable level after bubble bursts.  In other words don't try to re-inflate the bubble.

- Corrections to money requires some allocative corrections when easy credit has inflated prices.

- The goal is to stabilize nominal income, not prices.

- All of this is done with a fixed gold parity money supply.

The last point is telling, and anyone trying to use Hayek or any other economist from history must review if they are talking about a 'stable' currency (that is gold, precious metal, or other substance backing) or a 'fiat' currency that has no fixed value and has only relative worth over time.  The prescriptions of Hayek for a fixed parity currency do not apply, necessarily, to a non-fixed value currency and any prescriptions for the former cannot be given to the latter as the monetary value of the currency means there is an absolute adjustment level for the fixed value currency and no absolute value to the non-fixed value currency.

With a non-fixed value currency when you attempt to 'stabilize' the currency by pushing bank notes into the system, you get nominal inflation of the currency, meaning it is worth less than it was before the printing of money.  From that inflation and deflation of non-fixed value currency cannot be definitively addressed by monetary policy alone: other adjustments need to be done so as to stabilize the value of the currency so that it has stability.  When more is printed and money is worth less over time, there is increased instability in the markets and pricing adjusts to meet the de-valued currency.

Can government spending on 'work' projects help?  This is point 2 that is examined:

(2) With respect to fiscal policy, the Austrian business cycle theory was silent. Hayek and Robbins did oppose make-work public programs, but they opposed them because they believed that the programs would misdirect scarce resources, not because the programs were financed by public-sector borrowing.

Governments get money via taxation or the printing press.  When money is taken from taxpayers it is not available in the economy to be used in an economic fashion to address the needs of individuals and businesses.  When money is printed the value of it is lessened when it is a non-fixed value currency, which creates additional instability for pricing and valuation of goods, services and income.  Thus government cannot 'stimulate' an economy as it is not utilizing funds in an economically efficient manner.  Non-economically efficient things can be done, yes, but that is a political case not an economic one that needs to be made, especially during times of downturns: they are not a 'cure' for an economic downturn and must meet some other need of the State.

Mr. White then goes on to look at Hayek's theory and monetary policy norm, and its a bit of a long section:

Hayek’s business cycle theory led him to the conclusion that intertemporal price equilibrium is best maintained in a monetary economy by constancy of “the total money stream,” or in Fisherian terms the money stock times its velocity of circulation, MV. Hayek was clear about his policy recommendations: the money stock M should vary to offset changes in the velocity of money V, but should be constant in the absence of changes in V.4 He accordingly lamented the shrinkage of M due to the public’s withdrawing reserve money from banks (as had occurred in 1929-33), referring (Hayek 1937, p. 82) to “that most pernicious feature of our present system: namely that a movement towards more liquid types of money causes an actual decrease in the total supply of money and vice versa.” He declared (1937, p. 84) that the central bank’s duty lay in “offsetting as far as possible the effects of changes in the demand for liquid assets on the total quantity of the circulating medium.”

To stabilize the volume of nominal spending, Hayek (1935, p. 124) urged that “any change in the velocity of circulation would have to be compensated by reciprocal change in the amount of money in circulation if money is to remain neutral toward prices.” Thus Hayek (1933b, pp. 164-65) held that an increased public demand to hold (i.e. to “hoard” or not spend) deposit balances would have undesirable deflationary consequences unless offset by deposit expansion:

Unless the banks create additional credits for investment purposes to the same extent that the holders of deposits have ceased to use them for current expenditure, the effect of such saving is essentially the same as that of hoarding [of base money] and has all the undesirable deflationary consequences attaching to the latter.5

Hayek (1937, p. 93) was as strongly opposed to contraction in nominal income as he was to excessive expansion:

Whether we think that the ideal would be a more or less constant volume of the monetary circulation, or whether we think that this volume should gradually increase at a fairly constant rate as productivity increases, the problem of how to prevent the credit structure in any country from running away in either direction remains the same.

Hayek’s ideal (ibid.) was not a do-nothing monetary policy but “an intelligently regulated international system.”6

Do note that when talking about the 1929-33 banking problems it is with a fixed value currency.  Thus a 'run on the banks' means that the currency is being taken out of circulation.  Thus both M (the amount of money) and V (its movement through the economy) are lowered simultaneously as there is less of it to lend as more of it moves back to the individuals that removed it from the banks.  Shifting some reserves from the vaults and into circulation makes sense with this, so long as it is still a fixed value currency as this is a replenishment of lending stocks.

This is a description of a liquidity problem.

Today there are investors not investing money, and individuals who are paying off debt (a good thing) so as to be more solvent in their daily lives.  There is plenty of money to lend, there are very few people wanting to borrow it.  The borrowing problems are from the instability, and if low cost loans are not an incentive to borrow money at its current value, then how will decreasing the value of it make it attractive to borrow?  In theory, yes because you will pay it off with devalued currency. That devaluation trend will shoot the original investment value to hell in short order: that investment you make in plant, equipment and materials will be worth less tomorrow and you will then have to charge more for what you are doing which causes an inflationary spiral.  Pumping money in to 'prime the pump' makes everything more expensive in the short and long run, and while loans can be 'paid back' your living standard declines unless your wages chase the increases in cost... which also add to the inflationary spiral.

This is the opposite of 'stabilizing' a currency which could only be done with a fixed value currency, and then in relatively small amounts.  With a non-fixed value currency the ability of all that money to have a real world value decreases, thus this is the effect of decreasing the value of M even when increasing the number of notes in circulation.  Worse, still, is if that amount then is not used for borrowing, because borrowers don't see how they can pay it back lacking things like jobs, and if employers don't borrow it because they have no idea what fiscal, monetary, tax, and social policies will do to them in weeks, months and years, then it just sits there without adding to V. 

During a major economic downturn with a non-fixed value currency, that downturn, itself, needs to be corrected for via the simple expedient of letting things continue via the rule of law: that adds stability to the markets as well known processes will continue and assured outcomes are understood.  Doing anything to try and 'prime the pump' with a non-fixed value currency runs the high risk of not encouraging economic growth (due to uncertainty) which means that you do not lower unemployment (via marginal production expansion) and that prices go up because of inflation.  The word coined for this: Stagflation.

And you get that when the government still has some solvency left to it, as was the case in the 1970's.  Today the US government is insolvent, and unable to make its bonds attractive due to the amount of debt and structural costs of government spending on entitlements, the military, and the entire federal bureaucracy that stretches from medication safety to subsidizing sugar producers to paying for entire Departments that can't improve the criteria of what they were made to do one iota, like Education.  That is why the government now has trouble selling bonds: we are overburdened with too much government trying to do too much and it is costing us all dearly.  A non-fixed value currency adds to that by giving an illusion that doing something to loan rates, changing criteria for lending, inflating money supply, indeed a host of things added in since 1911, will actually allow the government to better 'regulate' the economy.  By all of its activity, however, it has done just the opposite.

What will QE2 get us?  Stagflation, at best.

Why? The unsettled economic climate means no one can forecast the economy as those in government try to 'regulate' it from positions unattached to the economy for political reasons.

What is the answer? 

  1. Announce a change to a fixed value currency, exchange current notes for gold backed ones on a 10:1 basis so everyone can just move the decimal point one place.  This will require new bills and coins, many struck from gold and silver.  At that point an ounce of gold might be around $100, which sounds about right for fractional quantities.
  2. Keep 'entitlements' like SSA for those in the system, end it for those not in it, remove the 'retirement age' and admit that 'retiring' is best planned for by individuals not governments.  End FICA and fund the remains directly from tax revenues.  This is a major part of the insolvency problem.
  3. Remove Medicare/Medicaid by adding them up, dividing by 2 and block granting that to the States and phase it out over 5 years as a payment.  Remove all subsidies for medical care via the tax code.  This is the other major part of the insolvency problem.
  4. Stop the federal spending by shedding government agencies and functions wholesale and selling off the remains. What the government is actually required to have is short: State, DoD, Commerce, US Coast and Geodetic Survey, a Mint, USPTO for limited duration patents, copyrights and tracking trademarks, and a much downsized IRS.  This gets some liquidity into the system for government to operate and pay off our debts.   This includes the Federal Reserve, Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie, Sallie, SEC and a host of other 'regulatory' agencies that are nothing but political means to meddle in the economy.
  5. A balanced budget amendment that requires the American People to directly sign off on deficit spending.

Then you can do all the fixed value currency analysis you like.

Yes, this would be wrenching to us, conceptually.  But it would offer firmness of process, an understanding that nothing is 'too big to fail', that the rule of law guides what happens at all points in the economy, that politicians should not try to 'regulate' things they don't understand and then 'fix' their 'regulations' with more ill-founded political beliefs, and that the best people to decide what to do in the economy are those that make it and run it at the lowest level.  Their election to do so was pretty simple: they got a productive job.  Politicians, not so much.

03 November 2010

The Historic Divide

At New Geography there is an article by Joel Kotkin (28 OCT 2010) Suburban Nation, but Urban Political Strategy, and it looks at a theme I have been pointing out for awhile (like I did with this article) and what, exactly, it represents.  The demographic shift from the US being a rural and agricultural nation to an urban and industrialized one was finishing up just as the Great Depression hit.  How else could so much manufacturing go south and have such a huge impact on a Nation that was based on agricultural output?  The shift in population was largely finished by the early 1930's, and the Dustbowl drove others out from the agricultural areas that had utilized poor farming techniques pushed by the US Dept. of Agriculture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to 'settle the land'.  In two generations masses of people left from those areas and Appalachia, where they followed railroad work and then took the railroads to the new urban industrial centers in the North East.

These two groups, the settlers, western mountain peoples and eastern mountain peoples all represented a common ethos of US culture: a DIY spirit, the attitude of being able to fend for oneself, and disliking having a boss over one who told you what to do and how much you got paid to do it.  The urban political machines of Chicago and New York, as well as other cities, exploited this and tension between the industrial sector and the incoming rural workforce and got political clout via pushing unionization and alleviating the worst of urban ills.  The 'Toddlin Town' of Chicago had been so from before the turn of the 20th century and the incoming European immigrants who stayed in the major east coast cities tended to bring with them Old World views on corruption and unionization.

But who were these people?

The migration across the Great Plains, westward, was a diverse set of peoples ranging from Hispanic origins (Spain, Florida and Mexico) in the Southwest to far Southeast, to Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, French and others moving first from the east coastal areas through the areas settled by the prior wave of settlers and picking up some of their attributes and attitudes towards this new Nation.  While the Southwest would garner its own groups with similar acculturation, it is those coming from the Old World, experiencing America on the move through the Appalachia region and heading westward that would begin to spread the earlier ideals of the Piedmont, Yankee backwoods and central states Hillbillies and brewers forward with them.

Those people we refer to as the Scots-Irish to represent the long term shift of peoples over nearly two centuries from Scotland and Ireland (and Scots living in Ireland) to America.  This would be more Irish towards the coastal areas, more Scots in the backwoods of New England and become an amalgamated culture in Pennsylvania.  If anything can be used to define this entire swath of post-Dutch, post-English settlers it can be seen in their attitudes towards the family, religion, self-defense and alcohol.  This potent combination was a result of the Clan fights in Scotland and then both Scotland and Ireland having to deal with the shift of the English into their lands.  That culmination of beliefs would become touchstones that would help put down a solid foundation of a new land: religious tolerance and freedom, limited government, ability to have a family unimpeded by government dictates, defending one's land and property as they represent the work of one's life, and giving a lot of leeway, socially, in a 'live and let live' atmosphere.  These were not Puritans, nor Amish, nor any other Protestant group back in the days of the Colonies and Founding, although the change from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism would take place in many non-urban settings and that would be influenced by that second wave of poor people from the Old World coming over through their lands.  To these first settlers ownership of the land was paramount, having a family and raising them right was mandatory, and being scandalized by one's neighbors and, in turn, them finding you scandalous was a way of life.

Note the role of government in that?

After the Revolution these would be the people who nearly brought the US under the Articles of Confederation down with the Shaysite Rebellion, and many similar to that demanding that the government actually pay out on its obligations to the unpaid soldiers of the Revolution.  They demanded reform and got the 1787 Philadelphia Convention which would form the US Constitution to help show that those in political power were not going to try and shaft the common man with the debt of the Revolution.  The Nation that took on debt with the French to win the Revolution, nearly went bankrupt and broke the poor rural farmers in the North East with that debt, now had to reconcile the prosperous South with the relatively poor North in a common Union.  Do remember it was the US South that held the economic cards for the Nation, not the North as this was before the Industrial Revolution.  In essence the Shayesites, although never a proper rebellion, brought down the Articles of Confederation and got a government that would stick to its obligations and not stick it to the little guy.

Note the role of government in that?

These would be the peoples that supported Andrew Jackson, POW from the Revolutionary War and war hero of 1812, as their icon and representative and the staid, puritanical, blue-nose, coastal elites have been trying to deal with them for decades before that and ever since.  They stand on the dividing line of the Nation and it is not Red nor Blue, Left nor Right, but Urban and Rural.  The political Left in America will point to the 'Trail of Tears' as the great disgrace to President Jackson's two terms and vilify him as 'racist' although he had adopted a Native American child into his home, told Congress to properly fund Native American trusts held by the government, made treaties and agreements with Native Americans, and then faced the nasty problem of the Georgia militia being larger than the US Army (as I went over in large part in this posting).  The political right has forgotten the signal achievements beyond that (as I go over here), as the vapors of the Left have clouded them: that States which have Representatives do have to pay federal taxes, which he threatened his home State of North Carolina over and kept the Union together, and the signal achievement of getting the political class out of banking by vetoing the National Bank of the United States.  That veto of the National Bank is one of the most far ranging documents on the problems inherent in the government attempting to guide a National economy that has come out of the 19th century and is still, to this day, perfectly understandable to any who wish to find out why a 'strong' federal government creates a weak Nation:

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics, and laborers-who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles.

Nor is our Government to be maintained or our Union preserved by invasions of the rights and powers of the several States. In thus attempting to make our General Government strong we make it weak. Its true strength consists in leaving individuals and States as much as possible to themselves-in making itself felt, not in its power, but in its beneficence; not in its control, but in its protection; not in binding the States more closely to the center, but leaving each to move unobstructed in its proper orbit.

Experience should teach us wisdom. Most of the difficulties our Government now encounters and most of the dangers which impend over our Union have sprung from an abandonment of the legitimate objects of Government by our national legislation, and the adoption of such principles as are embodied in this act. Many of our rich men have not been content with equal protection and equal benefits, but have besought us to make them richer by act of Congress. By attempting to gratify their desires we have in the results of our legislation arrayed section against section, interest against interest, and man against man, in a fearful commotion which threatens to shake the foundations of our Union. It is time to pause in our career to review our principles, and if possible revive that devoted patriotism and spirit of compromise which distinguished the sages of the Revolution and the fathers of our Union. If we can not at once, in justice to interests vested under improvident legislation, make our Government what it ought to be, we can at least take a stand against all new grants of monopolies and exclusive privileges, against any prostitution of our Government to the advancement of the few at the expense of the many, and in favor of compromise and gradual reform in our code of laws and system of political economy.

That is directly taken from the 19 JUL 1832 National Bank Veto Message (Source: The Avalon Project) and yet it reads like a summary economic analysis done by a modern scholar.

It is at this point that the analysis of Angelo M. Codevilla on America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution (Source: JUL-AUG 2010 American Spectator) comes into play.  He does an excellent job in outlining the Gentry Class, that is those in the ruling Elite precincts in politics and residents of the urban climates, and the Country Class which is the Do It Yourself common man who does not want to be interfered with by government.  The Country Class in the United States would now transform from its generic Scots-Irish roots (influenced by English, Roman Imperial and Nordic cultures) into the Jacksonians.  For the Elite Gentry Class it is who you know that is important: how well connected you are, what degrees you have, what institutions you are affiliated with will define you as being in the Gentry Class.  The Country Class exists via Meritocracy, honesty, hard work, and expecting that your voice will be heard and your liberties will not be trodden upon by government.

By comparing an earlier piece by Walter Russell Mead on the The Jacksonian Tradition (archived by Steven Den Beste at his site) the extreme similarities of honor, family, community, religious adherence, openness to civil movements, and rejection of elitism point to the cornerstones that identify the Country Class in America as Crabgrass Jacksonians.  From Mr. Mead the playing out of the Jacksonians in the US becomes a clear shift, over time, from rural precincts before industrialization to urban ones during the early industrial period and then the mass migration from the urban centers to the new suburban areas after World War II.  This echelon of the Country Class would support the Democratic Party for generations, starting in the 1830's and go through the 1960's and the party mascot represented the Jackass Jacksonians.

This block of voters are not 'conservative' in the sense of supporting a regime system mindlessly.  Nor are they 'retrenchment' minded as they believe that wherever they are is the embodiment of human liberty and freedom, and that it is the simple recognition of one's responsibilities towards oneself, one's family and one's society that makes each individual the most powerful thing in their own lives.  As Mead points out this can be co-opted, to a degree, by government if it can push the banner of 'help' on the actualization of one's liberty and freedom to use them.  Acceptance of such 'help' is not a co-opting of ideology, however, but of actualizing circumstances, thus the entire Elitist and Gentry Class mindset does not get backing from the Country Class and any misreading of that by the political class will lead to long-term problems as overbearing government bears down upon the civil right and liberties of individuals to succeed and fail by their own hand.  When 'help' becomes dictation as to who can and cannot succeed by political fiat, the Jacksonian Class begins to walk away from that 'help' as it is not worth any cost to lose liberty to government.

Machine Politics of the late 19th and early 20th century was a creation of the inculcation of the Progressive mindset with the corrupt, urban Gentry Class using a spoils system to 'reward' the working class in cities.  As the cities swelled with people, their political power became vested in the corrupt Machines that 'ran' cities.  In Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago these Machines would cross party lines and co-opt both parties via their spoils systems.  Those seeking partisan favor could run 'against' the Machine of the 'other' party, but that Machine was the same for both parties and as faces would change the policies would remain the same. 

It is in this era that the transformation of the Constitutional system of the United States was altered so as to establish more power in the hands of the cities and urban areas under political Machines.  I wrote about this transformation of the system in The 10 years that changed the path of America, and it was a decade that radically altered the Constitution and legislative structure of the federal government, along with the application of regulatory power that is still with us to this very day.  This system we have for politics is one that is highly altered from the period of the Framing to the Progressive era and represents the instantiation of Progressivism as a system that displaces the system of Individual Liberty and Freedom from the Founders.

In the wake of the collapse of the structures set up by the Progressives in Banking with the Federal Reserve (reversing Jackson's removal of the National Bank style system), they continued under Hoover and FDR to push government as the 'solution' to problems caused by that structure: SEC, Social Security and National Firearms Act.  This would create drains on the economy, put heavy regulation on top of failed regulation by the Federal Reserve on businesses, and create new bureaucracies to do things that had never been seen in the US although they had been tried in places like Germany under Bismarck.  Under FDR the first National form of policing with the FBI would come into being, ostensibly to fight organized crime which had been deprived of its ready cash source via the repeal of Prohibition.  The NFA would see the first move to restrict weapons to the people, something never thought of beyond traditional localized State militia rules and requirements until the excuse of organized crime was cited for it. 

Only World War II would shake this system up enough to make it work, but what happened after veterans returned home was without precedent in US history: soldiers with their back pay married and bought houses outside of the cities and cars to commute to and from work.  The industrial boom in the one Nation to escape World War II unscathed would reshape the global economic order and landscape while, at the same time, putting down the roots of an unsustainable system within the United States as government extended its intrusion into home mortgage lending and then into other areas of regulation where it had never been before that post-war era.

The other major post-war shift, however, was fully supported by Jacksonians as pointed out by Mead, and that is the civil rights movement.  This movement was a continuation of a long-lasting presence of blacks seeking political equality and having it waxing, during the Revolution, waning in the South, then resurrected in the South after the Civil War, then repressed during Reconstruction and the Progressive eras, and then coming forward once more as part of the post-war shift that started with, of all places, the US Army.  Woodrow Wilson re-segregated the US Army during his highly racist terms and that remained through following Administrations up to FDR.  FDR wanted to continue racial segregation of the military, but the US Navy would have none of that as it is necessary to have an integrated crew on a naval vessel.  The US Army, however, succeeded in forestalling this via its command structure and outlasted FDR, the war and Truman only to have the Eisenhower Administration de-segregate the Army.  What followed was the US intervention in Korea with a largely de-segregated military that then had veterans return home to highly segregated societies in the US South.  These comrades in arms who fought, bled and died for each other re-forged the ties between them that traditionally last beyond enlistment or conscription with the men and their families after the fighting is over.  Racial intolerance in society would be in stark contrast to that comradeship as these men knew they were equal as all their blood was the same color.  While the Left will lionize those college students from the North, very few will ever look at the returning veterans from Korea some years before the Northern activists showed up and examine their work at the lower end to change the tenor of Southern culture.  In any event the civil nature of the protests, standing up for one's rights and an equal opportunity in society spoke volumes to the white Country Class, to the Jacksonians and to Americans as a whole.  Progressivism in support of racism and 'Jim Crow' laws via the Democratic Party were being confronted by those same individuals who were the back-bone of the party which would lead to contention within the party heading into the 1960's.

What is rarely pointed out is that JFK's Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had worked to water down and substantially change the bill that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1957 via committee as he saw it as divisive inside the Democratic Party, especially in the South.  By stripping teeth from the enforcement of the provisions for voting rights the abuses of the South would continue and party unity retained by doing that.  When LBJ became President he pushed for the expansion of the Progressive structures put in place by FDR and Eisenhower to start the 'Great Society', Medicare and Medicaid.  The programs combined in the 'Great Society' to start the destruction of inner-city neighborhoods which represented the attempt of the poor and black Americans in urban settings to own their own part of the American Dream.  What this did was remove the basis for an ownership society from the inner-city and turn prior home owners into renters.  The addition of welfare services and rewarding those who did not work but had children became an intense system to break up the poor and black family structure and create a permanent urbanized class beholden to a single political party.  Protecting black voting rights and creating an enforced urban environment to keep blacks in that environment is not one of a civil rights leader, but one of a person using civil rights towards political ends.

With so long in power the Progressives in both parties had started to put in place a structure that threatened not just black Americans but all Americans by disintegrating the older system of schooling, housing, mortgages and then rewarding individuals based on race and ethnicity by an enforced system of racial quotas in education.  This was continued through multiple Administrations from FDR through to Obama, and while there have been attempts to reform this system or otherwise bring it back under the older ideals of personal liberty, they have been thwarted by the structure put in place to remove localized control of banking, home ownership and even such things as medical care and centralize them at the National level.  In examining the current 'housing bubble' the underpinnings for it date back to the FHA and the changes it was seeking through the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development brought in under LBJ as I looked at in It seemed like a good idea at the time.  The very first time the appreciation rate in homes increases above its post-war baseline is right after HUD is created, and that would start the idea of the home as an 'investment' not as property that provides shelter and is to be passed on to one's children. 

If the suburbs is where the Country Class was fleeing to, then they were beginning to get federal 'attention' to the fact that they were no longer behaving as good, urban residents in Machine politics.  At the behest of HUD President Nixon would create Ginnie Mae to 'securitize' home mortgages, which would start to change the Loan to Value ratio create a 'national' market for home mortgage lending that put the local and regional banks into direct competition with the heavily capitalized national banks.  Home mortgage rates rose during the 1970's mostly due to economic factors, but the belief that a home could become an 'investment' was further backed by the IRA system which would create investments beyond the reach of bankruptcy courts.  Thus your IRA was now a safer investment than your home was.  This did not stop the shift from urban to suburban venues, however, and even hastened it as home values rose so did government encouraged Loan To Value rates via the Community Reinvestment Act.  This was noted not only in some commercial venues, but in the FDIC in the 1990's as they were trying to figure out just where all the risk injection was coming from in the home mortgage market and how that impacted banks and covering deposits.  They identified the coincidence of events between the traditional S&L's getting hit by the hammerblows of lower interest rates from national banks and being unprepared to invest in profit making venues to help keep their local concerns afloat.  In other words the federal government was liquidating the local economic markets for housing and banking in one shot, and putting larger banks down with 'securitized' risks graded by the federal bureaucracy.

And this brings us back to Mr. Kotkin!

He identifies the clear distinction between suburban and urban political landscapes:

Now the earth is shaking under suburban topsoil -- in ways that could be harmful to Democratic prospects. “The GOP path to success,” according to a recent Princeton Survey Research Associates study of suburban attitudes, “goes right through the suburbs.”

The connection between suburbs and political victory should have been clear by now. Middle- and working-class suburbanites keyed the surprising election win of Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts in January. Suburban voters were also crucial to the 2009 Republican gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey, two key swing states.

This is not 'white flight' suburbia, but modern suburbia in which a fraction of the black upper and middle class have been able to get out of the urban environment away from the corrosive influence of federal 'help'.  And yet this is Ground Zero for the home mortgage lending bubble spurred on by the CRA, 'securitization' and the gaming of loan risks at the behest of both parties so as to make your home something more than just 'property'.  Who gets rewarded for this activity?  The home owner or the lender?

Much of the suburban distress, of course, stems from the still perilous state of the economy. Obama’s mix of fiscal and monetary policies has provided much succor to Wall Street, where stock prices have soared 30 percent, and to big corporations, whose profits have risen by 42 percent. This has been great for Manhattan plutocrats -- but not particularly helpful for the suburban middle class.

Indeed the indicators most important to suburbanites – private sector employment, weekly earnings, home prices and disposable income – have all stagnated or even fallen since Obama took office. Fifty-three percent of suburban residents, according to the Princeton study, described their financial situation as “bad.” The vast majority have either lost their job or know someone who has lost theirs. Almost 40 percent have either lost their home or know someone who did – up from 27 percent in 2008.

President Obama is trying to play both 'Good Cop' and 'Bad Cop' with the banking executives, bailing them out and then saying he is the only one to stand between them and the pitchforks.   Yet he is no obstacle to pitchforks as he is also telling the general populace that it is those banking executives who are to blame, while he never, once, addresses the toxic policies that led to the crisis in the first place.  Instead he seeks more power over the entire economy via unread, huge bills that create autonomous government offices beholden to no one and accountable to no one, but funded by the Federal Reserve.  Anyone caught 'underwater' will see this as a pure hoax and feel that they have been played by politicians.  They are right in that assessment and it dates back to HUD and Ginnie Mae, brought in under Progressives in both parties to the benefit of their backers.  The backers know that the 'Good Cop/Bad Cop' is a charade as they seek to eliminate the lowest level of banking and finances, those run locally, and secure the market share under a guaranteed oligopoly that is enforced by the financial regulations that decides who is 'too big to fail'.  They get guaranteed market share and the ability to work out with government just how much you will pay for the privilege of having your cash held by someone else.

What this is, all of this charade with banking and mortgages, is to do to middle class America what was done to poor and black Americans back in the 1960's: force it into State designed and run housing schemes.

When the president visits suburban backyards, it sometimes seems like a visit from a “president from another planet.” After all, as a young man, Obama told The Associated Press: “I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”

More recently, Obama made clear that he is more interested in containing suburbia than enhancing it. In Florida last February, the president declared, “the days of building sprawl” are “over.”

Much of the Obama policy agenda – from mass transit and high-speed rail to support for “smart growth” policies – appeals to city planners and urbanistas. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has spoken openly of “coercing” Americans out their cars and the Department of Housing and Urban Development is handing out grants to regions which support densification strategies that amount to forced urbanization of suburbs.

Isn't that sweet?

Inner-city life coming to a suburb you aren't in because you need to be 'densified' closer to a city and since you already unwisely had a home mortgage that went under you can't really help the need for 'affordable' government housing.


I mean the black community successfully waged a campaign to end the worst of the housing complexes... twenty years after the destruction of the traditional black neighborhoods and family structure had been accomplished.  If that is what the Progressives want to do to the poor and black of this Nation, imagine what is in store for the middle class of all colors!

Utopia, isn't it?


What is at work is the conception known as a 'fantasy ideology' at work, and I examined it for this concept of cities in the piece Fantasy Ideology and its fallout.  A 'fantasy ideology' is the belief that taking certain actions will, under a belief system, yield definitive results that are unconnected to the actions.  Thus al Qaeda had a belief that the US would crumble with massive attacks on the business and military centers of the Nation, not just rile up the largest Nation on the planet against them.  It is an unconnected belief system in which a given effect is believed to have a cause that, if you can just do it, will get you the effect.  To do this requires creating a fantasy of reality in which anything that fits with what your ideology agrees with is lauded, out of proportion, and anything that doesn't is ignored or explained as contrary actions by those you disagree with trying to stop you.  Thus standing up and spraying bullets around from an AK-47 is seen under the direction of Allah, while a sniper from a mile away depends on his skills to take out said person standing up on the 'spray and pray' method.  Skill trumps ideology and knowledge of cause and effect as seen from real world evidence trumps ideologically based actions in pursuit of given effects.

To reprise my previous piece, the creation of an urban setting is one that puts the works of man over and on top of the works of nature.  Thus we 'control' nature on the local level.  Cities come together for needs from various societies for business, government and other purposes that are suitable to those domains.  Thus cities arise from trade routes, ports, or center on a local, regional or National capitol.  Other investments for transportation also take place there due to the ready market that is within a city for goods and services outside of it.  Due to the number of people in cities, the government needs to be involved in road, sewage and other systems to keep the infrastructure of the city running.  That begets urban planners who know how to plan cities ever so well, and then can't explain why some projects just never do work out to be cost effective.  The growth of suburbs vexes urban planners because these people aren't listening to them and build what works for themselves in an uncontrolled environment.  To those inside cities the idea of having centralized services makes sense, like sewage maintenance, say.  In suburbs that is a less centralized proposition as each community has to work with neighbors to get things achieved, and there is, from that, diversity needing to come to common agreement.

Cities have top-down control structures being highly integrated constructions.

Suburbs, small towns and rural areas have lateral control structures needing to work in agreement with each other.

The love of cities creates Homo Urbanis and the strange belief that everything can be well controlled from a centralized system, which is a very European idea that comes from the old cities of Europe and the Roman Empire and, indeed, every city ever made as that is what is required with highly dense human living conditions be it in Mayan cities, Chinese cities, African cities, Imperial cities, or your struggling hometown of 80,000 trying to keep city status.  The idea of regulating life is seen as an artifact of cities, not rural and suburban communities, as the idea that you can perfect man, just as you have perfectly covered over Nature, means that all you need is the right circumstances and right regulations and mankind will be perfect.

In cities.

That is a fantasy ideology and even in cities it doesn't work as it creates the other form of human that you get when you have so many regulations that you have to become a law breaker just to get anything done:  Homo Criminalis.  Situational criminalism is where the environment sets up the preconditions that require criminal activity to occur and that is the perfect description of the highly regulated system that Progressives of any stripe strive towards.  Progressives detest individual liberty and want to see you controlled, as an individual, in all aspects of your life so that you are restricted from doing anything, at all, outside of the Progressive mindset. 

This they call 'good'.

Everyone else calls it 'tyranny'.

Thus, as Walter Russell Mead predicted, the next great movement from American culture would be a Crabgrass Jacksonian one.  Or a Country Class one, as they are the same thing in American culture.

Remember that in everything you do, every form you fill out for government, every tax you pay and every goody you seek to get from government: that is their control on you.  You might want to keep track of that for a few days, and mark it down on a piece of paper with hash-marks or keep a clicker handy... you just might be surprised to see how controlled you actually are, already.  And you have, probably, broken at least one law amongst them over a week. 

Don't worry, its not as if they want to 'densify' you or anything, right?  Or find some way to deprive you of property, money, and coerce you into a different life.

Oh, wait...

01 November 2010

Day of Decision

Tomorrow is a day of decision for Americans and a day of history.

It is a day we vote for our representation in our National government in the Legislative Branch, and for the past four decades and more we have become lax in this exercise of our franchise right.

Congressional Election cycle graph percent

Presidential Election cycle graph percent
Source: US Census

Our ancestors who founded this Nation fought hard so that we the people would get the franchise so as to be able to have a say in our governance.  To have that say we elect representatives to Congress, so the Nation may know about itself via those who represent us.  Voting is not about parties 'winning' nor about ideology, but a simple means for the Nation to know about itself in its National government so that all the views of the people can be heard and given airing for the people to know about.  This is the role of any government, but is particularly the case in a representative democracy in a republican form of government: we get wide say in our representatives and our government comes to reflect us in our voting for representatives at all levels of government.

We crossed the boundary of 50% for Congressional elections in 1974 and only approached that, once, in 1982.

Worse is that our turnout for Presidential years has been in a steady decline, as well, so that we passed the point of claiming even a plurality support for government, that being over 35% support via 'winning' of the entire population, some time ago.  Not voting is not a vote to support any 'party' or, indeed, our form of government and counting only those who do vote have left out the plurality, turning into a majority, that do not do so.  Winning even 50% of 60% turnout is 30% National support of all those eligible to vote and that was last seen in 1984 with 1992 being a 3-way race.  It follows then that the actual plurality that does not vote is sending a message that they do not support our government enough to exercise the right that so many around this planet give their lives for: a simple say in their government.

When such small segments of the polity come to power there is great trouble in any form of government as the oversight of the few with that power diminishes.  The history of this is such that we can no longer claim the necessary validity that some tyrants have had coming to power based on far larger turnouts, with even more parties to contest elections.  That history is not inevitable, however, as it is the people who give legitimacy to representative government, not the government that takes it or assumes it for itself.

America turned away from the regular cleansing of government when the Progressive movement took hold so as to concentrate power and slowly distance the people from their representatives.

Courtesy: thirty-thousand.org

It is a set of graphs that we will all come to rue if we do not assert our will as a people upon our government and, instead, feel that our voice has no say and that those in power will forever be re-elected to the point that they rarely concern themselves with those they represent.  Distant governors are tyrannical ones, as they have to stake in those they govern and thus feel that they are fit to rule, not govern, over people.

Thus tomorrow is a day of exercising our hard won rights, fought and died for, marched for, and that has left a bloody trail behind it so that we can, indeed, have a say in our own government.

Tomorrow we the people can make history and vote in more than a mere plurality but in a majority, and begin to place legitimacy back into government of, by and for the people.  To get a government for the people it must be supported by the people and consist of representatives from the people.

Voting for a candidate that reflects your outlooks on life, your viewpoints and who will protect your way of life is paramount at all times.  A people willing to govern themselves will hold their government accountable to the same high standards they hold themselves to, and change that government when it fails to meet those standards.  If you can find none in the parties to represent you, then your own name needs to be written in on the ballot so that you, at least, vote for someone who can speak to your needs, wishes and wants in life so as to be free to exercise liberty and create a better society without the interference of others to tell you what to do, how to live and what is right and wrong.  You had parents for that, and government is no fit parent to anyone, especially you as an adult.  Your vote is never 'wasted' even if cast for yourself: you have done your duty to your neighbors and our Nation and honestly voted for a better representative.  No matter who 'wins' your vote is the right one to cast because it comes from your own hand, guided by your mind which is governed by your heart.  There is no 'wrong' vote in voting as the act itself is good and necessary to protect ourselves from the tyranny of government.

I encourage all citizens of the United States who are eligible to vote to do so, as their voice is necessary for all of us to hear.  In our multitudes we come together as one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Only you can form this Nation by taking part in our governance so that you may be free to govern yourself.

May we be the most civil people on this planet able to guide ourselves so as to hold this Nation's honor as our very own.

I thank you for your time.