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  1. #1
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    Two different visions for America

    Well, it is Friday evening, I am sitting at my desk doing Proposals. Looks like I may be busy this summer...

    An Email was in my box when I got home, this is from Hillsdale College (www.Hillsdale.edu)
    The subject was two different (and opposing) commencement speeches given to graduating classes recently... Below is a copy/paste of the Email, enjoy:

    "Which Vision for America Will Our New College Graduates Embrace?"
    By Burton Folsom
    Charles Kline Professor of History and Management
    Hillsdale College
    Originally posted May 13, 2013, at BurtFolsom.com.
    Students all over the country are graduating from college this month. Two commencement addresses at these graduations are worth noting because they illustrate the two major but very different visions for our country: first is the constitutional vision of limited government, and second is the statist vision that looks to government to solve problems.

    Senator Ted Cruz presented the constitutional vision at Hillsdale College last Saturday. Cruz began by noting that most people in history have had very little freedom because they have lived under monarchies. The Founders broke that tradition. They declared independence from England and wrote a Constitution that enshrined the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights, the Founders argued, came from God, not government. Government was instituted to protect those natural rights that God has given every human being.

    Cruz argued that the story of America is the story of liberty and prosperity that have flourished under the constitutional protection of limited government. The free market is, Cruz said, that “engine of prosperity.” He noted that the U.S. has 4.5% of the world’s population but produces 22% of the world’s output. And the American influence is even greater in entertainment, science, and the internet.

    The freedom given to Americans has meant that many Americans have started poor and ended up rich; and other Americans were born into wealth, but have lost much of it during their lives. Freedom produces a churning effect. But Cruz likes what he called “opportunity conservatism,” the notion that public policy should look to ensuring that poor people always have the chance in a free society to work hard and improve their lives. Government often gets in the way of this. Therefore, government needs to be limited to keep it from harming those in society who are most vulnerable.

    At Ohio State University, President Obama argued something quite different. He contended that government needs to be large and has done good things when it has been increased in size. To some extent he did a sleight of hand. He often mixed individual achievement and government achievement as though they were the same thing. What is accomplished under “self-government” is not at all the same as what is accomplished under “government.” “The Founders left us,” the president said, “the power to adapt to changing times. They left us the key to a system of self-government–the tool to do big and important things together that we could not possibly do alone.” That included, among other things, the president said, “To stretch railroads and electricity and a highway system across a sprawling continent. To educate our people. . . .”

    The Constitution did not provide for government to do “important things together,” like building schools, railroads, electricity networks, or highways (except to deliver mail). Government, the Founders believed, should only be in the business of protecting liberty through national defense, the enforcement of contracts, and free elections. Private citizens invented and built railroads and discovered how to use electricity. Schools and highways were private or state functions. The federal government was given the power of protection, not the power of action within the economy.

    In President Obama’s example of railroads stretching across the country, many people in the 1850s wanted those railroads to be entirely private. It was not a group effort of doing “important things together.” When some politicians proposed a federally built railroad across the country, southern states strongly opposed the idea. Only when they left the Union could Congress find the votes to build the road. The resulting Union Pacific Railroad proved to be an expensive disaster, and then it went broke. However, James J. Hill built the privately-constructed Great Northern Railroad with no federal subsidies; it never went broke and was built exceptionally well.

    The president also used the example of education as an achievement of government. A key point here is that many politicians early in our history wanted to fund a national university, another “let’s do important things together” moment, but Congress would not pass the bill to set up the university because the Constitution did not allow it. “Self-government” never meant an intrusive government. Also, when we look at public or “government” education today, we often see the wisdom of our Founders in keeping it private.

    If the United States is to continue as a beacon of liberty and a fount of prosperity, Senator Cruz argued the U.S. must have limited government. People inventing, creating, and helping other people is a better recipe for success than exchanging our freedom for bigger government, and then asking that bigger government “do big and important things together” that the Founders never intended it to do.

    Burton Folsom is Charles Kline professor of history and management at Hillsdale College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and he is the author of seven books, including The Myth of the Robber Barons, and New Deal or Raw Deal? His most recent book is FDR Goes to War, which he co-authored with his wife Anita.
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  2. #2
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    Cant argue with that!

  3. #3
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    Three words - Interstate Highway System.

    What would it look like and how much would it cost to travel if the "free market" built it?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by netsalt View Post
    Three words - Interstate Highway System.

    What would it look like and how much would it cost to travel if the "free market" built it?
    This could be argued as part of the defense of the country that the government is supposed to provide.
    Don't worry zombies are looking for brains, you're safe...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by netsalt View Post
    Three words - Interstate Highway System.

    What would it look like and how much would it cost to travel if the "free market" built it?
    Funny the free market did build it through competitive bidding with taxpayer funds. They weren't state or federal workers doing the work just the inspection so they can pay the private market to build and maintain the roads. You need some help there salty to understand how things work. Thank you, thank you very much
    "I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle."
    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution."
    Barry Goldwater

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennac View Post
    Funny the free market did build it through competitive bidding with taxpayer funds. They weren't state or federal workers doing the work just the inspection so they can pay the private market to build and maintain the roads. You need some help there salty to understand how things work. Thank you, thank you very much
    So by your definition the whole project was socialized construction. Specs were drawn up and inspections were conducted to ensure compliance of the "free market" companies. All paid for with taxes. Kinda like ObamaCare.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by netsalt View Post
    So by your definition the whole project was socialized construction. Specs were drawn up and inspections were conducted to ensure compliance of the "free market" companies. All paid for with taxes. Kinda like ObamaCare.
    As far as that goes I defer to Controls post and the fact that was and is a vital use of our Federal Government funds for the defense of our country and public means of transportation and not health care, welfare, education (state concern only), etc. Thank you, thank you very much
    "I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle."
    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution."
    Barry Goldwater

  8. #8
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    These rights, the Founders argued, came from God, not government
    Which is funny, God never did anything to protect people under the Monarchies over time but the government instituted this whole freedom thing. (Actually freedom of the average person in the English speaking countries in the last 900 years flows from the Magna Carta.

    The 1215 charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary—for example by explicitly accepting that no "freeman" (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right that still exists.
    Cruz argued that the story of America is the story of liberty and prosperity that have flourished under the constitutional protection of limited government. The free market is, Cruz said, that “engine of prosperity.” He noted that the U.S. has 4.5% of the world’s population but produces 22% of the world’s output. And the American influence is even greater in entertainment, science, and the internet.
    Much of the prosperity also came from the U.S. being situated in the Goldilocks climate zone and the multitude of resources available from an untouched land. Not too hot and not too cold allowed for agriculture to feed and clothe the world, free labor also helped. With the advantages bestowed by the land even a feudal society would have flourished.

    ” the notion that public policy should look to ensuring that poor people always have the chance in a free society to work hard and improve their lives. Government often gets in the way of this.
    Most public policy is to aid the poor to to make it easier for the poor better themselves. Whether a person works hard to take advantage of the opportunity is really up to the individual.

    many people in the 1850s wanted those railroads to be entirely private.
    Most of all railroad barons.

    A key point here is that many politicians early in our history wanted to fund a national university
    And not doing something is proof that it should not have been done? Interesting logic.

    If the United States is to continue as a beacon of liberty and a fount of prosperity, Senator Cruz argued the U.S. must have limited government. People inventing, creating, and helping other people is a better recipe for success than exchanging our freedom for bigger government, and then asking that bigger government “do big and important things together” that the Founders never intended it to do.
    Without the U.S. government and its military much of the advantage the U.S. has enjoyed would not have befallen on its citizens.




    Not that I am for big government, just pointing out that just because someone says something is true, reality might have included much more than one man's version of the truth.
    Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. —Mark Twain

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