Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You Can Quote Me...

In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -- James Madison, 4 Annals of congress 179 (1794)

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."-- Alexander Tyler

"A wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."-- Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

" The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."-- James Madison, speech in the House of Representatives, January 10, 1794

"[T]he best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." - Benjamin Franklin

My objections to Socialism in America are not new. The problem is that Socialism is highly addictive, and we have had a taste of it now.

Most people do not know that America has tried Socialism (or more acurately, Communism) (Same economics, different methodology...) before. The Pilgrims originally set up a system by which all property was communally owned and shared. According to the Colony's Governor, William Bradford, "This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”

When they realized that this system was going to starve them all to death, the Pilgrims switched to a "Free Market" style economic system, by which each settler was allotted a parcel of land, and allowed to use, keep, or sell whatever they produced on it.

According to Bradford “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious.” In fact, “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been” and productivity increased. “Women,” for example, “went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn.”

One last quote:

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

The Founding Fathers remembered the lessons of the past when they set up this Nation, but now I am afraid that we are going to have to re-learn them.

Special thanks to the website of economist Dr. Walter E. Williams.

P.S. Tommorrow night, I promise I will post on something other than the evils of Socialism...

No comments: