Elite Government, A Natural Progression?

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The following is an interesting piece from Monty Pelerin discussing the natural tendency of Democratic governments to transform from what public choice theorist’s term a principled government (the government of our Founding Fathers) to a pragmatic government (concerned primarily with fulfilling special interests at the expense of the people).  The implication is that if certain controls are not instituted on government, its natural evolution entails the destruction of liberty.

“The Founding Fathers would not recognize what has transpired in this country. Their creation and ideals have been savagely distorted if not destroyed forever. In its place stands the detested evil that results from increasingly unbridled power. The image of Leviathan ruthlessly ruling over its citizens is faintly visible. Each violation of The Constitution and The Rule of Law only strengthens the growing monster….”

“From a short-term perspective, the deterioration in government is barely noticeable. It proceeds slowly, in the same manner and to the same effect as rust or erosion. Looked at from a wider time perspective it is easy to see as some of these examples illustrate:
In the late 1800s, President Grover Cleveland, when criticized by a member of his own party, responded: “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?” Contrast that with Rahm Emanuel’s statement in 2008: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” In Cleveland’s time there was still a sense of “doing the right thing.” Today politics and self-interest are the ends. “Right” is anything which advances a political agenda.
Prior to 1913, there was no permanent income tax or Federal Reserve in this country. Government ran mostly balanced budgets, funding operations via excise taxes and tariffs. When government debts were incurred, they were usually paid off within several years.
Inflation was an oddity before the Federal Reserve. During the nineteenth century, arguably the fastest growth period in our history, declining prices were the norm. Only during the War of 1812 and the Civil War in the 1860s was inflation a problem. Even with those wars, prices were lower at the end of that century than the beginning.
Since the formation of the Federal Reserve about 100 years ago, inflation is a constant. The Fed has systematically destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar and with it many types of savings. This institution, sold to the American public as necessary to protect the dollar, has destroyed 95 cents of every dollar since its formation.
The nature of government and our attitudes toward it have changed dramatically. President John F. Kennedy’s views would not be acceptable to today’s Democrat party. He could be considered too conservative for many modern-day Republicans.
The humorous definition of a “great statesman” used to be a “dead politician.” For politicians who have expired within the last fifty or so years, there are few great statesment, even by this gratuitous definition.”

Full Article

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About Jeremiah Dow
I have a B.S. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a minor in Economics. I finished school in 2010 and am currently working on independent research in various areas including political and economic philosophy, government, and history. I am also currently looking for work in research, particularly the social sciences dealing with public policy work. I aspire to a top-level graduate institution, but would first prefer some professional research experience. Some of my primary influences are Ayn Rand, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn among others.

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