A Republic, If You Can Keep ItSubmitted by Lao Tzua on Wed, 05/18/2011 - 14:34
*(I plan to email this to my friends and relatives, and thought you might like to do so also. It's a fantastic education in a short essay.)*
A Republic, If You Can Keep It
by Jacob G. Hornberger, November 2001
AT THE CLOSE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Regardless of one’s judgment concerning the type of government that the Constitution brought into existence in 1787, no one can deny that it was truly the most unusual and radical in history.
Consider: With the tragic exception of slavery, the United States was a society in which people could, by and large, engage in any occupation or economic enterprise without a government license, permit, or regulation.
Where people could travel anywhere in the world without restriction (no passports) and trade with whomever they pleased without the permission of their government officials.
Where people could accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth without government interference, because the Constitution did not permit the government to levy taxes on income.
Where people were free to do whatever they wanted with their own money — save, spend, donate, invest, hoard, or even destroy it.
Where government was not permitted to take care of people — no Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, education grants, or foreign aid.
With a few exceptions (e.g., 1850s Massachusetts), there were no compulsory public (i.e., government) school systems.
No wars on drugs, poverty, or wealth.
Continued in its entirety here: http://www.fff.org/freedom/1101b.asp