Thursday, February 26, 2009

The United STATES of America

The United States of America.
What does this name mean? Why didn't our founding fathers come up with a new name for the country? Why not just call everything America? I never thought about this until recently, but I think the answer is important. The history of the United States must not be being taught in enough detail for people to grasp this immediately.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -Thomas Jefferson

Our nation was founded by people. Originally 13 colonies of people, who governed themselves locally. They realized that they needed some agreement among the colonies.

The constitution was written.

I am working on reading and understanding the constitution. From what I have seen so far. We created seperate states for a reason. Each state was created so that they could govern themselves, in a manner that was fitting to the people in that state. Without the assumption that what is good for one, is good for another, the states were kept seperate; with the idea that each would 1) honor the other states rules and regulations, 2) promise to not house refugees from other states, 3) will not be affected by the addition of another state, and 4) protect one another against violence and be governed by the republican form of government. (see article IV)

I want to talk about the "republican" form of government later. This is a sadly forgotten ideal that must be restored.

Five states in this country are pulling the "housing crisis" into a tailspin. The numbers below (listed in the New York Post) highlight two concerns.

- The message of fear that has allowed our country to react so quickly has been blown out of proportion for those of us outside the biggest bubbles.

- Where has our independence gone? Is my state now being forced to prop up the indulgence and excess of the state next door?

Am I simply crazy? Am I dreaming? Is our federal government melting the borders of every community into one state that will be forced to follow the same rules. I want to hear the other side.

The message for myself here has been to get involved with local government. As communities, we need to guide ourselves and let our state and federal leaders know how they should be involved. We should not sit back and let our federal government dictate to us, rather we should dictate to them the extents of their power and their role.


  1. Sounds like a great speech that a "statesman" would give!

  2. Don't be so quick to blame states with large numbers of foreclosures without understanding why the loans were made in the first place.

    Banks and other financial institutions would not have made those risky loans in the first place without coercion from the government.

    The financial institutions weighed the risk of being penalized for profiling the unqualified applicants (read poor blacks, poor hispanics) and decided that they could either accept the financial risk and lend to unqualified buyers, or avoid the financial risk and open themselves up to litigation.

    Then government-controlled FannieMae and FreddieMac stepped in and agreed to underwrite those loans with bailout in case of foreclosure. This eliminated the lending risk and created a safe market for the lenders. The mortgage business exploded with creative financing options, including interest-only loans.

    The latter allowed speculators to get into the housing market with minimal risk and low payments. The practice of "flipping" was a way to make large amounts of money in a short amount of time. Many of the foreclosures were caused by these folks getting caught pants down.

    Many other foreclosures resulted from folks borrowing more than they could afford with "creative financing." A very large number of these loans were made to illegal immigrants as well to avoid racial profiling.

    The states listed in the NY Post aren't what caused the collapse. It was the US CONGRESS that interfered with the free market and basic economics and forced the lenders to play a losing game.

    Grampa M. would be proud of you. Drop me an email at my website, and I'd be happy to tell you a story or two.

  3. Thanks for the clarification; keep me honest here, I don't want to spread erroneous fact and opinion. I have some ideas for later posts about the Central Bank(s), which is perhaps even behind that coercion from the government.

    This helps me to refine what I am writing. I want to highlight the values and rules that made America prosperous and how we have strayed from that path. One being the independence of our states.

  4. Andrew--

    I'm only voicing my opinion and I'm not criticizing you. I'm not an expert on these matters, but neither are most of our elected officials.

    The rights of individual States, although clearly defined in the Constitution, were first trampled upon by Lincoln when he disallowed secession.

    Ever since, States rights have been relegated to the back shelf and regarded as an ugly stepchild to the fed's power. The States are partly to blame for tolerating it so long.

    If a State goes rogue and decides to do their own thing, they risk the wrath of the feds and will lose federal tax support for, well, you name it. All federal tax money that goes to States or ANY entity comes with strings, and if you don't follow the protocol, no buckos, bucko. "Don't eliminate the snail darter habitat preservation public education programs or we'll cut your soy bean subsidy in half. Capice?"

    Actually, I'd like to see a lot of states go rogue!