Saturday, May 20, 2006

F. A. Hayek Said this Would Happen

I read a comment that turned my 40 watt bulb on at Free New York
Contrary to the concept of three independent and co-equal branches of government, government is now dominated by the executive branch at all levels simply because the executive controls the most jobs.

The first book I read after seeing that temptress Libertarianism, was "Road to Serfdom" by F.A. Hayek. After I read it I asked my father several questions about Germany during Hitler's rise to power and what he thought of the book. Not that I didn't believe the book but just to get an opinion from someone that was "there". He confirmed what Hayek had said about why/how Hitler came to power and the mindset of the general population.

The one point that sticks out is Germany's council was trying to control the economy. Hayek pointed out that to do so you needed to react quickly and that large groups of people with equal votes (democracy) couldn't, due to debate and compromise. In a business it is usually one powerful man (leader) who makes quick decisive decision (Along comes Hitler).

Is there a pattern that once the people look to government to solve their problems it seems a dictator or authoritarian government soon follows? During the 20s and 30s it would seem so, Germany, Italy, Russia, and later China. In each case it was the cry of "The Oppressed People" or "well intentioned intervention" of their governments that caused these men to gain power. We could add Cuba, and several African countries to the lot also.

History seems to show Hayek knew what he was talking about. Lets hope "Road to Serfdom" isn't a prophetic book about the Republic we live in. But with the "executive branch at all levels" becoming stronger by the year it's not looking good.

Some food for thought, the US Constitution says,
Section 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

So if the budget and laws are Congress' responsibility, why is it called the "President's Budget", and he gives Congress Bills?
The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they outht to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

Adam Smith

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