July 16, 2010

Jefferson Emphasized the Role of Strong Local Self-Government

Thomas Jefferson probably said it better than anyone when he wrote:

"The way to have a good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to perform best.
Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation and its foreign and federal relations;
The State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally;
The counties with the local concerns  of the counties, and each ward (township) direct the interests within itself. 
It is by dividing and subdividing these republics, from the great national one down through all its subordination, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.

"What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun?  The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, not matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or the aristocrat of a Venetian senate."

July's Title Swap

Wee Sing America by Pamela Beall and Suan Nipp  - CD
A Patriot's Handbook by Caroline Kennedy  - CD
Principles of Liberty by National Center for Constitutional Studies - DVD
Latin for Children by Classical Academic Press  -  CD and DVD
The Declaration of Independence, The Words that Made America by Sam Fink
The Gettysburg Address, Inscribed and Illustrated by Sam Fink
Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By by Jeanie Brady

July 3, 2010

That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen

At one point, Bastiat offers this little question, "Which of the two is the most exacting parasite, the merchant or the official?" He then goes on to show that government involvement always costs more. He makes a case for keeping charities private and for the government to take a hands off approach to commerce. He demonstrates that frugality benefits a community more financially in the long run. This book is a fantastic read for every American. It can help us evaluate economic policies of our government.

My takeaway from this book: We must always look for the hidden result of any public or economic policy. We must use wisdom in government, just as we utilize wisdom in our private decisions. We must look at long term results not just short term benefits.