Friday, July 01, 2011

What's So Special About the 4th of July?

A libertarian-inclined columnist for Forbes answers that question.

He notes three specifics which set this nation apart from all the rest at that time--and still, mostly.

One of them which is evanescing:

  • The Rule of Law. For about 99% of human history, political power has been exercised at the unchecked capricious whim of a few individuals. The great innovation of western countries like the US, and before it England and the Netherlands, has been to subjugate the power of government officials to the rule of law. Criminal justice, adjudication of disputes, contracts, etc. all operate based on a set of laws known to all in advance and applying equally to all.

Today the rule of law actually faces a number of threats in this country. One of the most important principles of the rule of law is that legality (and illegality) can be objectively determined in a repeatable manner from written and well-understood rules. Unfortunately, the massive regulatory and tax code structure in this country have created a set of rules that are subject to change and interpretation constantly at the whim of the regulatory body. Every day, hundreds of people and companies find themselves facing penalties due to an arbitrary interpretation of obscure regulations.

Worse, with the growing power of the Federal government, it has become an increasingly accepted practice that Congress or the President may selectively violate the rule of law to benefit their particular constituents. Just ask secured bondholders at Chrysler (who had their legal rights wiped out by executive fiat in favor or the Administration’s pet union) or restaurants burdened with Obamacare compliance (whose competitors with better political access have gotten cost-saving waivers), what they think of the rule of law

Meyer could have written a small book of examples from the Obozo Administration alone. Like, for example, the EPA's sudden decision that CO2 (your exhalation) is a Clear and Present Danger to the Universe, or its decision to--illegally--spend money on ACORN.

Then there's its blatant and willful Operation Gunrunner/Fast and Furious....

And, oh, yah, the matter of the Inspectors General who were all fired.

Meyer mentions two other benefits of the Founders' vision; you can click through, too!

No comments: