Sunday, May 26, 2013

James Madison on democracy


[1:422; Madison, 26 June]
[Mr. Madison.] In all civilized Countries the people fall into different classes havg. a real or supposed difference of interests. There will be creditors & debtors, farmers, merchts. & manufacturers. There will be particularly the distinction of rich & poor. It was true as had been observd. (by Mr Pinkney) we had not among us those hereditary distinctions, of rank which were a great source of the contests in the ancient Govts. as well as the modern States of Europe, nor those extremes of wealth or poverty which characterize the latter. We cannot however be regarded even at this time, as one homogeneous mass, in which every thing that affects a part will affect in the same manner the whole. In framing a system which we wish to last for ages, we shd. not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce. An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labour under all the hardships of life, & secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. No agrarian attempts have yet been made in this Country, but symptoms of a leveling spirit, as we have understood, have sufficiently appeared in a certain quarters to give notice of the future danger. How is this danger to be guarded agst. on republican principles? How is the danger in all cases of interested coalitions to oppress the minority to be guarded agst.?

The Founders Constitution

9 comments:

F. Beard said...

"How is the danger in all cases of interested coalitions to oppress the minority to be guarded agst.?" James Madison

With justice, of course! And a government-backed credit cartel is NOT just nor even philosophically consistent with "liberty."

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Matt Franko said...

F.,

How do people get the "money" to buy a car when they enter the workforce in order to get to work?

govt just gives it to them up front?

(Make mine a Corvette?)

rsp,

F. Beard said...

How do people get the "money" to buy a car when they enter the workforce in order to get to work? Matt F.

I'm not against honest lending, even at interest (since the definition of "foreigner" is flexible), but a government-backed credit cartel does not lend existing money but instead steals purchasing power from all for the benefit of some - the banks and the so-called "credit worthy."

I'm all for endogenous private money creation. Common stock is an ethical form of endogenous private money.

But I can't imagine that "sharing" with the "rabble" crossed Hamilton's (or Madison's?) mind.

F. Beard said...

govt just gives it to them up front? Matt F.

That's a thought. And low cost public transportation is an option too.

But why can't the worker afford a car in the first place, in the world's richest country? ans: Most likely because he (or his ancestors) has been looted by the same counterfeiting cartel you recommend as the solution to his problems!

system failure due to insufficient evolution? said...

Middle class civil war in Greece: latest update and conclusions

http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2013/05/middle-class-civil-war-in-greece-latest.html

paul said...

"But why can't the worker afford a car in the first place, in the world's richest country?" - F.Beard

This impies a system where we inherit the money to buy the stuff we need to start out. Our parents "loan" us the money.

That already happens but it isn't enough to build the personal infrastructures needed for a middle class.

Workers can't afford cars (or houses) in the first place because they have to save first…and that takes time.

We need transportation and shelter in the meantime.

Of course, we could make do with less…we don't need massive drywall castles and a new car every three years, so we could (should) make do with a lot less credit.

But then we are faced with the reality that for the past 50 years or so employment in the US has been driven largely by construction.

Somethings gotta give…

F. Beard said...

Paul,

An essential part of monetary reform, imo, is a universal bailout of the entire adult (plus a trust fund for existing children?) population with new fiat (combined with at least a temporary ban on new credit creation and metered appropriately to preclude significant price inflation). So many would have a "patrimony" and/or trust fund to help them get started. They would not need credit.

paul said...

F.Beard,

If what you are saying is...give everyone a savings account to start out with...I don't see any possibility of such a thing ever happening.

If it somehow did happen, after that money was spent, we would be right back where we started from...needing credit to fund long-term investments, either business or personal.

The top end of town would still end up with all the cash...that's THE feature of capitalism, not a bug.

Credit is an essential part of a capitalist system. Credit helps smooth out the bumps.

The big thing wrong with the way we do it is a poorly managed distribution system (wealth-wise).

That's what progressive taxation does for the system...we have been making it less progressive for decades...and reducing the bargaining power of workers to boot...

...which is how we got to where we are.

How can anyone be surprised with the outcome?

Giving everyone a pile of money isn't going to change anything over the long term.

Unplugging the TV won't make the picture better...and giving it jolts of electricity won't do it either. It needs a constant flow of electricity that meets the needs of the TV subsystems to function properly.

Flow, not jump-starts.

F. Beard said...

No, Paul. The universal restitution would be a one-off, combined with fundamental monetary reform.

And I have nothing against purely private credit. But a government-backed credit cartel? A thousand times No!