In part one of our discussion of Republican government (First Principles: Coconuts) we created our own little republic on a tropical island and ratified our constitution. Our constitutional republic is the most humane form of government in the history of the world, because we “the people” specifically empowered the government to do certain things and forbade it to interfere in other things. We called that our Bill of Rights.
For most of human history life was horrid and people suffered under tyrannical governments. They lived their entire lives to enrich the sovereign(s) or ruling classes of that particular nation state. Even earlier republics like Athens and Rome had constitutions, but they all enabled ruling classes that looted the population. The Kings were the sovereigns and the entire population worked to protect and enrich the King. Not until the Magna Carta in 1215 was the power of a King restricted allowing a ruling noble class to emerge. The populations of those European states were looted to enrich the ruling class and the sovereigns. It wasn't until 1777 when the little country, The Republic of Virginia, ratified its constitution in a legislative body selected by the people.
Constitutions are your protection from the natural tendency for men to concentrate power to themselves. Our Founding Fathers knew that some men were inherently bad and Constitutions protect the people from bad men in power. This power enables men to loot the population and enrich themselves. In order to loot the people the Constitution must be violated, even though it was ratified by the people being looted. The most common way to loot the people is to use the force of government to re distribute wealth to special interests and cronies. Let's consider a few examples.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created after 9/11 in November 2001. It has over 58,000 employees and costs $8.1 billion per year. It is a wholly unconstitutional creation of government designed to bailout the airlines. This is a direct subsidy to the airlines. The airlines have the greatest incentive to ensure their airliners get from point A to point B safely. No other organization has more motivation to set up security to ensure that passengers are safe. The TSA is an $8.1 billion yearly subsidy, because without the TSA one would assume that the airlines would find a way to deliver these services cheaper and more efficiently. Otherwise people would travel by differing means. Government intrusion protects the airlines from lawsuits should a terrorist successfully get on board, but it prevents better security procedures from being invented. The same game is played with the big pharmaceutical companies.
As much as I may scour the United States Constitution I can't find any reference to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). There is absolutely no authority in the Constitution for the federal government to regulate pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The FDA employs 9,200 people and costs $4.36 billion per year doing all the things the pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers should be doing. These companies have the greatest incentive to ensure their pharmaceuticals and devices are safe and effective. The FDA subsidy ($4.36 billion per year) of these industries provides no incentive to find the least costly drugs and devices. The FDA subsidies cause the cost of drugs and devices to rise, requiring the government to then introduce price controls or Medicare Part D type of legislation. Government intrusion also protects the companies from lawsuits should another thalidomide tragedy occur. But again the intrusion prevents safer development procedures from being invented. Yet this is nothing as compared to the subsidies with Obamacare.
The medical insurance business is marginally profitable. A combination of government meddling with Medicaid and Medicare and tort laws have driven up the cost to cover groups and individuals. They just can't raise premiums enough to make it very profitable without driving themselves out of the market. People will buy something else. Obamacare fixes this for the insurance companies even though it is totally and absolutely unconstitutional. The state exchanges whether set up by the state or the feds will include seven handpicked very large national medical insurance companies. The offered plans include services and products normally covered and those not normally purchased by customers (contraceptives, lower deductions, and abortion). Mandating those coverages drives up the premium and the insurance companies reap more profits, but the real bailout is the risk pool. With Obamacare the taxpayers in the states now assume the risk. The insurance companies no longer need to reserve for potential risk, because the state is paying the claims and the insurance companies are just processing the paperwork. The insurance companies boost profitability with higher premiums paid and subsidized by the taxpayers, plus the risk is passed off to the taxpayers and the insurance have no reason to reserve for the risk.
A republic is very difficult to maintain, as it’s difficult to find representatives who will hold fidelity to the Constitution, which protects you. These designing men purposefully subvert the Constitutions enabling them to loot the people and enrich themselves. Next month we'll learn about some great Republicans and some not so good.
Introduction: I made the decision to register Republican in 1979 and as a Young Republican at University I worked to help elect Ronald Reagan as President. While at University I read the works of Hume, Locke, Montesquieu, Hobbs, Plato, Cicero, and others. I made the personal decision that I wanted to live under a Republican form of government, because I believe it is the most humane. Now that I am running for 2nd Vice Chair of Georgia's 7th District, Republican Party, I want to share a series of articles that clearly define my understanding of republicanism and the principles of the Republican Party.