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Minyan Mailbag: Hollowing Out Checks and Balances

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Note: Our goal in Minyanville is to remove intimidation from the financial markets and encourage an interactive dialogue among the Minyanship. We share this next discussion with that very intent.

Scott,

I believe that we both believe in the free market. The problem, likely not fully envisioned by the Founding Fathers, is the extent of corruption, mislabeled as lobbying, campaign contributions, Congressional vote trading, and other actions done in the name of a few to suppress the many.

Americans wanted a chicken in every pot, and they got pork instead.

Best,
Minyan Ron

MR -

I disagree strongly that the problem was not fully envisioned by the founding fathers. The founding fathers absolutely understood the nature of man: this is the reason they laid out the enumerated powers, made sure of separation of three branches, etc.

Where I think they may have underestimated was in how much the populace would allow the defined strictures on federal power to be hollowed-out.

Lincoln's civil war started the entire process of gutting the original (profoundly insightful) constitution.

Lord Acton wrote to Robert E. Lee the following:

"I saw in States Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will [of the majority]...Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles for our liberty, our progress and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo."

The destruction of states' rights - that critical check on federal power and thus authoritarianism - started with Lincoln.

I would strongly encourage you to check out the following books as a starter. We cannot appreciate where we are now without first understanding where we left course...

Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War
by Mark Thornton and Robert B. Ekelund.

The Real Lincoln
by DiLorenzo, Thomas J.

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