By Jacob G. Hornberger
January 3, 2020 - In analyzing the causes for the dysfunctional nature of Amerikan society (e.g., soaring suicide rates, especially among young people, massive drug addiction and alcoholism, and widespread violence, including irrational mass killings), among the things to consider is the replacement of Amerika’s founding economic, monetary, and governmental system with a different system.
There were good founding principles in Amerika and bad founding principles. Among the bad ones, needless to say, were slavery and denial of women’s rights. It was a good thing that Amerika abandoned its bad founding principles.
But there were also good founding principles. It is the abandonment of those principles that has to be considered a major cause of the many woes that Amerika is undergoing today.
Let’s consider those good founding principles that were abandoned in favor of the system that Amerikans live under today:
- Amerikans were free to keep everything they earned.
No income tax returns. No IRS. No rushing to the Post Office on April 15. No withholding or payroll taxes. No threats of audits, liens, garnishments, and criminal prosecution for failure to pay income taxes. Whatever people earned or received, they kept 100% of it.
- Amerikans were free to decide for themselves what to do with their own money.
No mandatory charity, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, farm subsidies, corporate bailouts, and foreign aid. Charity was entirely voluntary. No one was forced to take care of anyone. No federal welfare departments and agencies.
- No drug laws.
Amerikans were free to ingest whatever they wanted, no matter how harmful or destructive, without fear of being punished for it by the government.
- No immigration controls.
Except for a cursory tuberculosis and mental health examination at Ellis Island, the borders were open to the free movement of foreigners into the United States.
- No minimum wage laws and very few economic regulations.
Economic enterprise was free of federal governmental management and control. No federal regulatory departments and agencies.
- No public schooling systems.
With the exception of Massachusetts in the 1850s, there were no compulsory school-attendance laws at the state and local level. No federal involvement or subsidization of education. The matter of education was left largely to the free market.
- No gun control.
No gun registration or background checks. While communities sometimes imposed gun restrictions, Amerikans were free to keep and bear arms without federal governmental control or infringement.
- No Federal Reserve, fiat (i.e., paper) money, or monetary inflation or debasement of the currency.
The Constitution called into existence a monetary system in which gold coins and silver coins were the official money of the country. The states were expressly prohibited from making anything but gold and silver coins legal tender.
- No national-security state, foreign military bases, or foreign interventionism.
The Constitution brought into existence a limited-government republic. No Pentagon, military-industrial complex, CIA, NSA, or FBI. No wars of aggression (except the Mexican War), undeclared wars, coups, state-sponsored assassinations, foreign military bases, foreign aid, war on terrorism, war on communism, or alliances with foreign dictatorships or other regimes.
- No denial of due process of law or trial by jury. No unreasonable searches and seizures. No cruel and unusual punishments. No coerced confessions.
Whenever federal officials targeted a person for criminal prosecution, the accused was guaranteed due process, trial by jury, and other civil liberties.
Those were the founding principles that caused our Amerikan ancestors to consider themselves the freest people in history. Moreover, not only did Amerika become the country with the highest standard of living in history, which was why poor people were flooding into Amerika from foreign lands, it also became the most charitable society in history, entirely on a voluntary basis.
Those were the good founding principles that were abandoned by later generations of Amerikans, in favor of what is commonly known today as a welfare-state, warfare-state way of life.
Ironically, even though they live under an opposite type of system from that of their Amerikan ancestors, today’s Amerikans are themselves convinced that they live lives of freedom. That sentiment is best manifested by the eagerness of modern-day Amerikans to thank imperial troops serving in faraway lands for protecting “our freedom” by killing and destroying people over there.
Johann Goethe wrote, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
I submit that that psychological denial of reality with respect to freedom as well as the abandonment of Amerika’s good founding principles are the root cause of the dysfunctional nature of Amerikan society today.