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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is America Too Big?

This is a fascinating video about how our government has gotten too large.  Refreshingly, the video does not have the usual Establishment Conservative banter about Big Gov't Liberals destroying the United States.  This is a cogent look at the size of the government relative to the population of the US.  The House of Representatives, ostensibly the branch of the federal gov't that represents the people, has 435 members.  If we follow James Madison's recommendation that each representative should represent about 30,000 people, we would need 10,000 representatives.  That is simply too cumbersome and chaotic.  As it stands now, each representative represents over 700,000 people.  This is not indicative of a representative republic.

One of the concepts lost today is the idea of centralized power and its dangers.  When I was young, in the 1970's, there were many bumper stickers talking about 'small is beautiful' and 'question authority'.  The left, in those days, understood the danger behind large, organized power.  Now, neither side of the Establishment Political spectrum seems to understand anything.  Now it's akin to cheering for your favorite sports team.  "We" won the election and everything President X does is great because 'he's one of us'.  The only time the decentralization v. centralization came before me in school was the Anti-Federalist vs. Federalist debate presented in US history.  The Anti Federalists, who lost, did not get to write the history books, ergo I learned that the Federalists were right and a 'centralized power' was necessary for a functional country.

Now I see how the Federalists were wrong.  It seems to be an aspect of human nature that a concentrated power source is a dangerous - in all of its forms.  I have found it fascinating over the last few years that when it comes to corporations, the centralized power is easily spotted and vilified, but when the same concept is applied to government, people don't seem to notice.  I think they are still under the delusion that the government is filled with unnaturally altruistic angels who think of nothing but serving the public and ignoring their own desires.

I highly recommend this video - originally seen on the always informative Tom Woods page:

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