Children are a defenseless minority facing civilization killers created by a Tyranny of the Majority $30 trillion more in benefits than we are willing to pay in taxes. Debt is just one of the civilization killers we created by asking for unconstitutional Federal highways and other "internal improvements". The purpose of this document is to identify the threats, repeal the 17th Amendment, restore liberty to innovate sustainable infrastructure, and restore state sovereignty over "internal improvements".
First, the civilization killers that will replay the near collapse in 2008 some time in the 2020s:
- Peak Oil was in 1970 (oil energy per American). Life requires energy. Less energy less life. Yet Federally mandated "internal improvements" burn oil at 188 times more than is economically sound. Links to:
- Admiral Rickover's 1957 "energy slave" speech.
- Eight US Presidents calling for a 50% reduction in oil consumption. Nixon, 1974: “At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need. We will hold our future in our hands alone.”
- Dallas Federal Reserve report of September 28, 2022 indicates 85% of oil executives this gasoline prices will be much higher by 2024. One quote they chose to publish: " Shale core exhaustion and inventory concerns are mainstream and well-documented issues. Shale will likely tip over in five years, and U.S. production will be down 20 to 30 percent quickly. When it does—this feels like watching the steam roller scene in Austin Powers. Oil prices in the late 2020s will be something to behold."
- Oil-wars since 1991 and oil-dollar funded terrorism (warning of the Joint Forces Command to all US military commands on the risks that are unfolding in the Ukraine).
- Climate Change. Only fools pee in their children's only well. We have a usufruct duty (to use for profit without harm) when using a resource to return it in like or better condition for Posterity.
- Debt is the tax on future labor. To provide taxpayers with $30 trillion more in benefits than we are willing to pay in taxes, the future labor of each child is mortgaged for $94,186 (2023-01-12).
- Debt is the tax on future labor. Debt beyond 19 years repayment is a debt imposed on children without their consent, Taxation without Representation.
- Thomas Jefferson summarized our duty to usufruct (to use for profit without harm) in a Letter to James Madison, Sept 6, 1789, the Earth Belongs to the Living:
"Then no man can by _natural right_ oblige the lands he occupied, or the persons who succeed him in that occupation, to the paiment of debts contracted by him. For if he could, he might during his own life, eat up the usufruct [to use for profit without harm] of the lands for several generations to come, and then the lands would belong to the dead, and not to the living, which would be reverse of our principle."
"...nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19. years?"
- The only moral difference between mortgaging the future labor of a child for $94,186, and selling a man's labor into slavery because of race for $94,186 is the use of government debt as a means of delaying and confusing accountability.
Some will say that debt imposed on children cannot compare to the personal brutality of slavery. In the short-run this is true. But later this decade, access to oil will drop 20-30%. This is similar to the decrease in energy during the 1840s Irish Potato Famines, a brutal 24% reduction in population. Life requires energy. Less energy, without increased efficiency, requires less life.
My guess is historians will place the first wave of "Oil Famine" in 2008. The Arab Spring was trigged by hunger and mass migrations. In the US rising gas prices since 1998 forced more and more families to use their mortgage payments to buy gas to keep their jobs. In September 2008 foreclosures collapsed the banking system and nearly the economy.
As gasoline climb to over $5 a gallon, we are likely to see a more violent replay of 2008. Children cannot carry the debt we have placed on them as energy costs increase.
We are in a race between unaffordable oil and our exercising the self-discipline to be energy self-reliant and end our mortgaging of children.
Following is documentation on why Federal infrastructure policies created a Tyranny of the Majority and how we can correct the defects by enforcing the Constitution's Divided Sovereignty. Specific actions:
- Repeal the 17th Amendment to return governing "internal improvements" to state sovereignty.
- Restore liberty to innovate in transportation and energy infrastructures to repeat the success of restoring communications to free markets in 1982.
Liberty is the objective objective of the US Constitution.
America's Founders were shaped by rare circumstances that forged practical awareness in wars and rebellions between 1754 to 1816. They were guided by the Enlightenment's understanding that governments based on the consent of the governed, not the divine rights of kings. The wrote and rewrote declarations and constitutions that were better than they could politically deliver:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"
Liberty is the objective.
Democracy is the essential and flawed tool.
America's Founders recognized the defect of democracy in their slave economy and the period of "wild democracy" following the Revolution.
Federalist #51 (Madison): “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
Benjamin Franklin: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
John Adams: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
John Quincy Adams: "Democracy has no forefathers, it looks to no posterity ; it is swallowed up in the present, and thinks of nothing but itself."
Federalist #10 (Madison): “Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths...
Sovereignty is a monopoly of violence within a territory. Sovereignty is necessary to minimize violence from war and crimes by coercing compliance with laws. The opening paragraph of Thomas Paine's Common Sense states clearly the difference between our community and government:
“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher…”
In notes we must control both the lust for power by the governing and the lust of a Tyranny of the Majority:
Federalist #51 (Madison): "Ambition Must be Made to Counter Ambition"
Federalist #51 (Madison): "It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure."
Federalist #46 (Madison): The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes.
Federalist #28 (Hamilton): “Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. How wise will it be in them by cherishing the union to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized!” [We the People have found it necessary to use these two types of governments to wage war on the other in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. And troops in the Civil Rights Movement].
The Constitution of the United States of America is a compact between "We the People". By our consent, as limited to the enumerated powers in written Constitution, we Divided Sovereignty in a compound republic so democracy could be made a tool in securing liberty:
- "We the People" for all sovereignty and liberties not enumerated as sacrificed in written Constitutions.
- Federal sovereignty to coerce actions that threaten peace and to win wars. Within the Federal government further check and balances were mandated between the branches of the government.
- State sovereignty to coerce crimes, resolution of civil disputes, internal improvements, and other powers granted to them in written state constitutions under a republican form of government.
Liberty was to be secured by Divided Sovereignty in our compound republic.
Federalist #45 (Madison):
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."
Democracy is an essential and flawed tool with two aspects:
- The Wisdom of the Many is brilliant aspect of democracy. The aggregated wisdom of all of us, with each of us acting in our own self-interests, is wiser than the wisest of us at choosing between choices.
- Tyranny of the Majority is vile aspect of democracy. A "needful" majority that will unthinkingly sacrifice any minority.
Federalist #10 (Madison):
“the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.”
In America, "needful" majority, Tyranny of the Majority accounts for:
- Race based slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, and inequity caused by Federal highways. These inequities:
- Resulted in the Black Lives Matter riots in 2020.
- Are documented in:
- Highway to Inequity: The Disparate Impact of the Interstate Highway System on Poor and Minority Communities in American Cities
- How Race Shaped America's Roadways And Cities
- Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism and New Routes to Equity
- Boston Globe article in 2017: That was no typo: The median net worth of black Bostonians really is $8. The article goes on to note that the average net worth for white families in Boston is $247,500. The primary driver of this racist outcome is a century of Massachusetts and Federal transportation construction through low-income neighborhoods that repeatedly destroyed businesses, built linear barriers to commerce, and moved jobs to the suburbs for the outsized benefit of the politically powerful at the expense of the politically weak.
- The annihilation of the American Indians.
- The Internment of Japanese Americans.
- Age-based Tyranny:
- The mortgaging of children, voters giving ourselves $30 trillion more in Federal benefits than we contributed in taxes.
- Depriving children of energy and a secure environment with US Peak Oil in 1970 and Climate Change.
The importance of Divided Sovereignty can be seen in breaking previous Tyrannies of the Majority:
- In how the diversity of state economies forced an end of Federal support for the expansion of slaver. States nullifying the Fugitive Slave Laws and demanding free labor in the western expansion excited those wanting a slave-based economy to wage war on the Constitution. To secede from the Union required an Article 5 Amendment to the compact between "We the People." (additional detail)
- In how the diversity of state economies, the integration of the Army, and the Civil Rights movement forced an end to Federally mandated Jim Crow (Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision of 1896).
The early 1900s experienced a huge wave of socialism resulting in Communism, Fascism, and consolidation of powers in central governments. In the US President Wilson used this wave to openly support the Ku Klu Klan and the Federal government support for the KKK was his and a majority's support for the:
- The 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913 to allow Federal taxing of incomes.
- The Federal government has a single mandate as stated in the Preamble to "provide for the common defence". It has unlimited taxing authority for this limited sovereignty to prevent wars when possible and win them when necessary. Rich people have more to lose in a war than working people and working people provide the bulk of soldiers in war. So it is reasonable that the wealthy pay more to secure their wealth.
- Federal taxing of imports disproportionately burdened working Americans.
- 1913 Tax Rates, Revenue Act of 1913 set taxes at:
- A 1% tax would be paid by those with incomes above $3,000 (or $78,000 today.
- Up to 7% was to be paid by those with incomes exceeding $500,000 (or $13 million today)
- Today's Tax Rates:
- American pay 34.3% of our income to income taxes.
- Consolidation and Tyranny of the Majority Defects:
- The 16th Amendment did not change the Preamble, the mission of the Federal government, to only "provide the general welfare". The Constitution still prohibits it from taxing to "provide" welfare.
- We the People "provide the general welfare" as two aspects of our liberty to intertwine in a Darwinian Crucible: tolerance of Disruptive Minorities offering choices and tolerance of the Wisdom of the Many sorting those choices in free markets and free speech.
- There can be Federal welfare programs such as Social Security, highways, etc.... But taxing for them and holding them accountable is state sovereignty (www.postRoads.com).
- The Federal government confiscating 1/3rd of income constrains our ability to offer choices and choose between choices. It is a Tyranny of the Majority to confiscate 1/3rd of all wages to accomplish what only a majority want.
- The 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913 to change the election of Senators from State Legislatures to popular election.
- Powerful copper interests in Montana used their influence to buy half the state legislature to obtain a Senate seat.
- Corruption, deadlock in state legislatures, the desire to increase government accountability, and a belief in democratic principles that advocated for direct representation and involvement of the electorate in the selection of U.S. Senators.
- Unintended Consequences:
- Cost of political corruption was reduced from buying half a state legislature to merely contributing to a Senate campaign.
- By 1916 Special Interests bought enough support to begin violating the Constitution's "post Roads" enumerated limit.
- Enumerated restriction
- Federalist #45
- 21 President veto messages enforcing the "post Roads" enumerate limit.
- Confederate States of America clarifying the "post Roads" restriction in their version of the Commerce Clause.
- State constitutions forbidding the highway monopolies that a since developed.
- Federal taxing and building highways since The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916 resulted in:
- Foreign oil addiction
- $31 trillion in Federal debt increasing in tandem with foreign oil imports and funding oil-wars.
- Oil-wars since 1991.
- Oil-dollar funded terrorism.
- Replacing 45% of 470 ton-mpg freight railroads with 25 mpg roads.
- High probability of Oil Famine as access for affordable oil ends in the 2020s.
- The 18th Amendment granted Federal powers to police citizens for commercial activities(selling a beer).
All are examples of the majority voting to force a minority to comply with their wishes. The unintended consequence are:
- 16th Amendment: Income tax rates are now between 10% and 37%. What started as an attempt to tax only the rich has resulted in working people paying a higher rate than some billionaires. The 16th Amendment should be amended to its original purpose of taxing only the rich to pay for national security. The rich have more to lose if the county loses a war. When there is war, the poor supply most of the soldiers. Federal taxing of all but the top 30% should not be allow except in times of declared war.
- 17th Amendment was intended to reduce political corruption. In reality it reduced to cost of political corruption from buying half a state legislature to merely contributing to a Senate campaign. Instead of Senator protecting the interest of their state, they cater to the interests of special interests, corporations, and unions that fund their getting 51% of the vote.
- 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment. But Federal taxing to apply police powers against citizens for commercial activities continues. The failed War on Drugs is an example.
The focus on this paper is the unintended consequences of the 17th Amendment adopted in 1913. By 1916 Congress began systematically violating the Constitution ("post Roads") to monopolize transportation energy, and communications. The cost of political corruption was reduced from buying half a state legislature to merely contributing to a Senate campaign. Senators abandoned their duty to their states to vote to tax to build infrastructure to support the sale of products from special interests, unions, and corporations.
Prior to 1913 there are 21 Presidential veto messages that enforce the Constitution's Divided Sovereignty with states responsible for "internal improvements" (infrastructure).
Since 1916, Federal policies caused 46% of 470 ton-mpg railroads to be replaced by 25 mpg roads. The cost of political corruption was reduced. Federal policies force Americans to spent twice as much on transportation as people in other economies with similar standards of living. Federal policies mandate Climate Change, oil-wars, Peak Oil, and debt.
Federalist #63 (Madison):
"so there are particular moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn."
Ending the Federal communication monopoly allowed the Internet to replace a century of rotary telephones. Ending the Federal transportation monopoly, restoring state sovereignty over "internal improvements" would allow local traffic problems to be solved by local solutions.
Following is a 30 minute presentation on:
- How the Constitution was written to use Wisdom from the Many while limiting Tyranny of the Majority.
- How the 17th Amendment unleashed Federal consolidation of power and Tyranny of the Majority.
- Civilization Killers created by violating the Constitution.
- How the Constitution can be used to mitigate these Civilization Killers.