To Rescue the Future

To Rescue the Future

America’s Founding Principles were sound (if not universally applied). They simply sought to restrain Power so that free men were free to live and be left alone, to live and let live. That’s what the Founders called Liberty.

Government was to be a PROTECTOR not a PROVIDER. For, as Jefferson insisted: “The first principle of society is a guarantee of the free exercise of industry and possession of the fruits acquired by it.

Locke taught the founders this: “No one can transfer to another more power than he has himself; and No one has a power to take away the . . . life or property of another.

What does that imply? Government gets its power from the people. No person may take away or give away what is not his. Ergo, government may not restrict the liberty or take the property of SOME in order to benefit OTHERS. It could TAX the people but only as much as it cost to PROTECT the people.

Unfortunately, the Founding principles didn’t outlive the Founding Era

The second bill signed into law by our first President, the Tariff Act of 1789, was intended to raise revenue, fine. But it gave Congress the power “to encourage domestic manufactures.” A succession of progressively higher tariffs schedules ensued, all benefiting domestic manufactures, but raising costs for farmers, planters, businesses and families and taking the jobs of thousands employed in the once-brisk, now politically crippled transatlantic seaport trades.

How did we get from that day to this?:

Once a nation decides that some of its citizens have a right not to go out and get, but sit still and be given, it finds itself torn by two questions: Who shall be given? And just how much should they get? There’s only one answer: POLITICS. As the demand for assistance rises, so shall the supply. IT’S POLITICS. (and it has left US an $18 trillion DEBT – and counting). Protective tariffs, subsidies to private firms for Internal Improvements, commercial privileges and monopoly rights proliferated – along with the expense of government.

A Brief History of Welfare: A government that could assist the “greedy” in the 19th century could assist the “needy” in the 20th.

But whenever government confers special benefits on some, it denies “equal protection under law” to all. When a candidate says vote for me, I’ll bring home the bacon, it isn’t democracy, it’s bribery. That is the “rot” the Founders anxiously hoped their federal republic of enumerated powers, check and balances, etc., might forestall. It didn’t

The only thing standing between US and a full restoration of liberty, i.e., the Founders’ America, is the American Welfare State.

So why not let CLASSICAL liberalism do to DC what PROGRESSIVE liberalism did to Detroit: DEPOPULATE THE PLACE. Make government a PROTECTOR not a PROVIDER. In time, it’s how to cut federal spending 75% without cutting any “essential” services. And it’s what the Founders would do.

What of those in distress, those in “need?”

To say without a Welfare State millions will suffer for want of a helping hand is to propagate a libel on US unsupported by a smidgen of historical evidence.

We are the most caring, compassionate and giving people who’ve ever peopled the planet. A free and prosperous America certainly will possess the benevolence and generosity to relieve undeserved suffering near and far.

But, as Lincoln said: “You cannot help a man permanently by doing for him what he could and should do for himself.

What liberals call compassion consigns able-bodied men and women to an effort-free wonderland of stigmatized indigence. It’s 3-D clear: Dependency signals the Death of Dignity. It’s why social welfare merely perpetuates the poverty the war on poverty was designed to end. No thanks.

To Rescue the Future We’ll Have To Retrieve the Past

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Jerome Huyler is a former assistant professor at Seton Hall University. He earned his PhD in political science from the New School University in 1992 and his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, where he majored in philosophy. He is also the author of: Locke in America: The Moral Philosophy of the Founding Era. And Everything You Have: The Case Against Welfare.

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