Why the People

Some people wonder at my support for initiative and referendum. They don’t place much trust in their neighbors to run their lives. They fear what de Tocqueville called “the tyranny of the majority.”

And hey: I don’t trust fellow voters to run my life, either. But I trust voters to let me be free to run my own life more a lot more than I trust politicians.

Voters will choose less government more often than their representatives will.

And less government, in today’s context, means better government.

This was most notably demonstrated in late September. The U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Bush administration’s proposed bailout of the mortgage industry, the biggest takeover of private property in world history.

To politicians, it made a whole heckuva a lot of sense. To Americans who wrote and phoned Congress, the bailout appeared just as it was: a quickie, panic “fix” that merely lined the pockets of a sector of the investor population.

It was a subsidy, socializing risk while letting profit remain private.

Enough Americans notified enough of their reps to convince them to take a stand, defeating the bailout. The letters came in, ten to one against the bill.

Of course, the next week Congress voted in the bailout, adding injury, in the form of a bigger price tag, to the insult of ignoring constituents.

Once again, politicians ignored the people. That’s never good government.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct
    29
    10:20
    AM
    Cheryl Blomstrom

    These same voters are, right now, voting to upend their/our way of life. How can this possibly be a good thing?

    They are not voting for less government. They are voting for substantially more.

  2. Oct
    29
    10:20
    AM
    Bob Heltman

    Right on.

    BUT, aside from the time delaying and time consuming method of voting such legislators out of office, or trying to get term limits installed, WHAT ELSE CAN BE DONE IN THE “IMMEDIATE” time frame to stop such utter nonsense???????

    Evidently the 10 to 1 against the bailout letters didn’t do the job.

  3. Oct
    29
    10:52
    AM
    S. Glen Larson

    I find your comments very insightful.Keep up your good works!
    Glen

  4. Oct
    29
    3:01
    PM
    John Frohnhofer

    You have again hit the nail on the head. How can we take action to get the elected dolts to stop lying and to represent us?

  5. Oct
    29
    6:06
    PM
    Dr. T

    “How can we take action to get the elected dolts to stop lying and to represent us?”

    But, by lying and being dolts, they are representing us, since those are traits of many people. To get better democracy, we need better citizens.

  6. Oct
    29
    11:54
    PM
    CWWJ

    I agree in principle with your concern over the bailout, but in this case it was necessary to prevent a much worse calamity. Remember that it was government that created this crisis by promoting and even legislating risky loans to non-creditworthy home buyers, all in the name of “fairness.” And it was government’s responsibility to help clean up the mess it created. The other point is that this “takeover” is indeed temporary, and the government shouldn’t want it any other way.

    Just a Congress under the Carter Amdinistration created the S&L mess whose chickens came home to roost under Reagan, the Clinton Administration created the real estate/credit crisis that Bush inherited.

  7. Nov
    4
    6:55
    PM
    melvin polatnick

    Let those earning over 150 thousand a year pay the costs of national health care for all Americans. It is not fair for some people to live large while others cannot afford the cost of a medical checkup. If a person earns big money they owe America for giving them that opportunity—paying higher taxes to help those with medical problems is a pay back. A separate medical tax on high earners would make sure the money goes for national health care costs. Easier living is on the horizon with the new Democratic congress. Poor people will soon be seen everywhere. A nation of poor people will be good for the economy. Poor people use every dime they have on food and shelter, and do not hoard their money. Under these bare boned conditions consumer needs would be known by food markets and every store in advance. This would be a Bonanza for big business—they could predict what their profits would be with minimal investment. Healthcare would be provided at no cost and paid for by taxes on individuals that make over 150 thousand dollars a year. Extreme poverty will be eliminated and free love will fill every bedroom. It sounds too good to be true but we will soon be blessed by great new leaders that will help us cross the river Jordan into the land of milk and honey.

  8. Dec
    28
    10:56
    AM
    Jeff Greenlee

    Very good…

    I have not written to you since I excoriated you about your contention that voters are not stupid (several months ago) and you wrote me back.

    I apologize for the tone of my past comments. You took my criticism well and answered me. I respect that.

    I am a 61 year old Reagan conservative who is deeply disturbed about the increasing movement of the federal government to nationalism, socialism, Marxism, communism, or whatever you want to call it.

    I am writing a book called “Boiling Frogs”. I also write blogs. I am looking for a way to get my thoughts to the people, and I have come to respect your ideals and work as synonomous with my own hope for reversal of government encroachment. I would like to contribute to your legal fund in Oklahoma, and I would like to get involved some way in helping you achieve your goals.

    Let me know if I can help.

    Jeff Greenlee
    Phoenix

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