Constitutional “What ifs” (part 2)


Continuing on from yesterdays post.

The constitutional parameters have been set. At least along the lines of what needs to be “pruned” from government, and limitations placed on terms of office. One note along these lines, thanks to an input from “The Curtal Friar”, in the previous post’s comment section, the term limits would be adjusted a bit more. The current length of a congress critter is two years, it may be better served to have that extended to a four year stent. But once you did a turn in office, that’s it. Stagger the congressional elections every two years, so there is even less a chance any sort of “empire building” would be allowed to take place.

Our military also needs to be addressed. The maintaining of our Armed Forces is considerably more complex. There are four branches of service, vice the two noted at the time of the founding fathers, (Five, if you include the Coast Guard, and they deserve to be formally added to the mix, no longer treated like a freckle faced redheaded stepchild.) Each has a responsibility toward the defense of this nation, her interests, and if need be – her allies. Their needs are far more complex, demanding, and costly, than anyone could have foreseen 230 some odd years ago. To be sure, the current methods of procuring, bidding, and supplying our Armed Forces, along with the massive bureaucracy which has developed since WWII which enable this, needs to be revised or reconfigured. And applicable (amendments) changes reflecting this need to be made at the Constitutional level. This is not meant to prevent our Armed Forces from having all they need (be it ships, tanks, aircraft, guns, ammo, bombs, or chow … you get the drift) but finding better ways in which to provide it to them.

And now, having addressed a few loose ends from yesterday, forward into the breech!

What would Americans of the year of Our Lord 2010 do with the restoration of their birthright of liberty? Would there be large changes in:

The day-to-day life of a typical American family?
Americans’ relations with their neighbors and local institutions?
Americans’ patterns of sustenance and employment?
The economic makeup of the United States — the percent of commerce dominated and Americans employed by Fortune 1000 corporations, for instance?
Our demographics, for example the rate at which we bear children?
Our savings rate?
Our indulgence in the various pleasures and vices?

Source: Eternity Road

What would Americans do if everything Constitutionally, was restored?

Well, we have already set (at least some of) the parameters needed in realistically “fine tuning” the Constitution, based on what has happened with abuses of power in the political arena, the changing international landscape (and the massive “shrinking of the world”). These would not effectively change “the spirit” or original intent of the Constitution. Indeed, all changes would be done either via amendment, or in enforcing the limits as already set forth by the Constitution.

So, assuming this is done, what happens next?

I think you would see a return to civility in almost all actions and transactions at all levels of society. There would have to be, because the other side of the coin in allowing citizens to once again become unfettered in their pursuit of “Life, Liberty, and (the pursuit of) Happiness”, would have to be the return (hurrah!!!!) of one being responsible and accountable for their actions. Thus, unless you wanted to be sporting a “shiner”, or perhaps being “rode outta town on a rail” wearing the latest in “tar and feathers”, you are going to learn how to correctly interact with your neighbor, your fellow townsfolk, and any other public gathering you elect to be a party of.

There are going to be areas of the larger cities which may not conform as willingly (if at all), they will be either removed, shunned, or find some manner in which to interact enough to be allowed to stay where they are. This will be a return of “tolerance” in the the real sense of the word. “We will put up with you as long as you do not become a problem for (or to) the rest of us. We don’t have to like you or deal with you, but you are not directly effecting us, so you can stay … for now.” Chances are however, over time, most folks will adapt.
And that last part is what the majority will (or would) do if the Constitution was restored to it’s former glory. They would adapt.


Taking each point above one at a time:

1. The day-to-day life of a typical American family?

The return of civility in society would also see a return to the family unit. Though we may not see the family unit limited to “the nuclear family”. The bottom line in any familial group will be manners. For the same reason you have them when dealing with outside of the family, you will need them here as well. And with the return of children’s status to that of being “a child”, one who is in the custody and care of a responsible adult, there will be a return (at least to some extent) to parents being able to be parents again, without the fear of the having the state intervene should Mrs. Grundy (in any of her guises) try to stick her nose in their familial business (in this case child rearing).

This will also demand that parents assume the position of parents. In other words, if your kids are a constant source of trouble, either at church, school, or the neighborhood at large, YOU are going to be held accountable for them and their actions. For example; bullying will be there always, but gone will be the day, when a father has to fear reprisal if he goes and confronts the father of said bully (or a group of fathers do so) and requests he take care of his problem child, or we will take care of you.

Conversely, a large number of what today are considered ADD/ADHD children (back in the day we were called “day dreamers”) those of the supposed “short attention span” who are currently told they need to be medicated, may be in for a rude awakening. It was surprising (back in the old days) how much a whack or three to the bottom of said child, helped to focus their attention to any given task at hand. With the unions losing their government sanctions, and the Dept of Education a thing of the past, chances are you will see a return throughout most of the country to a re-emergence of traditional styles of education. These would focus on teaching “the basics”. And where and when applicable, especially at the grade school level, an even stronger homeschooling presence … or something akin to the “one room school”, where families group together having their kids taught at one house, in a more informal environment. Larger cities and towns may very well stay with the current school set up, logistics being logistics. But in either case expect to see (hopefully) a shedding of the psychobabble regarding “self estime”, “children have rights too”, (formal and semi-formal) “social indoctrination”, and other diatribes which have infested our educators and educational system. All this going back to the “assuming responsibility for ones actions” line of thought.

I think there will be a lot more talking (by the parents) and listening (by the children) going on. (There will, specifically with the older children, some talking and listening going on by both parties, but the “parent as your friend” meme is going to die a welcome death, and none too soon.)

2. Americans’ relations with their neighbors and local institutions?

See the “return to civility and manners” thoughts above. Over and above this, your actions with your neighbor will most likely be pretty much as they are now. The exception being, with the 2nd amendment back in full flower, if he is in need and you have the means to do so, it would -in most cases- be expected that you help him out. (Defending against a common threat for example.) On the other side of the coin, if the neighbor is a constant pain in the ass, in the exercising of his “rights”, you now have the option of being able to “explain” to him just how far his “rights” really go, with out fear of reprisal from over zealous lawyers seeking to line their pockets with your hard earned cash on “half assed assault charges”.

As far as local institutions go, well …
Mr. Banker does not owe you a loan if you fail to meet the requirements. If you fail to make your payments, then you will go in debt, lose your assets/house. The government will no longer be in the business of providing various classes of people unwarranted approval(s) for loans, nor will they be guaranteeing payments along these same lines (with the possible acceptation of VA home loans … assuming this is Constitutionally sanctioned).

Welfare will be done away with, at least in its current form. The same goes for Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. (again assuming these items are not amended or grandfathered to some extent.) This only applies to the Federal level of support. What may happen is either the State of ________ (fill in the blank) will allow for some sort of program to be made available (depending on the whim of the voters), or you will see a resurgence in private charitable institutions; the church, Salvation Army, private endowments enabling non-profit groups to form addressing the above. But the free ride will be over.

You may see a return to volunteerism in those who have the ability to do so, becoming firefighters, EMTs, or even “deputized” LEO’s, as all these institutions are going to feel the crunch to some degree, as federal funding is no longer an option. (Again, assuming the particular State in question is not picking up some of this itself.)

3. Americans’ patterns of sustenance and employment?

Substenace … four words, “No more food stamps”. However, expect to see an increase in local food pantries, and more people raising not only their own crops, but chickens, and perhaps a cow or two, in the more rural areas.

Employment will find the worker at the will of his company, especially if it is a larger corporation. To be honest, there may have to be some sort of check and balance developed to honestly address the legitimate concerns of the working man, as unions are not the answer, and EPA/OSHA/FDA, along with all the rest of the regulatory agencies, will be history. However, on the small business side of things, with more deregulation, will come greater chances for the employee to become better paid, and if he or she is willing and able, to become a better asset to the company, thus making more money. What was once more of a traditional “We are one big family here at ______, and we are glad you are a part of our team.” in small business, may see a resurgence.

4. The economic makeup of the United States — the percent of commerce dominated and Americans employed by Fortune 1000 corporations, for instance?

Depending on how they treat (or continue to treat) not only the “blue collar worker”, but all levels of management short of senior management, will dictate some of this. If federal minimum wage laws are found to be unconstitutional, then you could see (perhaps) a return of some jobs to this country. If the regulatory agencies are done away with, you might also see a return of jobs, as some of the old rust belt companies may return, if they can realize a profit by doing so. In any case, expect to see the wages drop considerably, if at all possible (from the corporate standpoint). A lot of this will depend on what is newly amended (assuming it passes) to the Constitution regarding this.

One example of what could transpire. Big pharmaceutical company, no longer has to keep the cost of its prescriptions down, so they raise them to as much as the market will bear. However, now there are no regulatory agencies, so “Small Start-up Pharmaceutical Company” comes up with a drug which will work against the same critters, and they are able to sell it at a substantially cheaper price, because they did not have to invest as much time and effort into jumping through all the regulatory hoops.

I do not have a very good grounding in economics so I really could not hazard a guess as to what the probable outcome(s) of this particular question would be. But the cynic in me has a bad feeling about major corporations (not that they are evil, but that they do tend to have a bad case of “the stupids” more often than not). Conversely, I have seen “stupid union tricks” as well. Neither side can say they are without blame.

5. Our demographics, for example the rate at which we bear children?

On the face of it, I think there would be little change. But if you are truly unfettered in the pursuit of your dream(s), whatever they may be, and you see life not only as a challenge, but as well worth living, would not this positive attitude push you toward wanting to bringing more children into a world which appears so positive? Perhaps we would see a growth in our American population. Slow at first, but ever increasing as people begin to see a positive return on their particular part of the American Dream. On the other hand, those who may still be around, who feel we are not being “eco-friendly”, or we are not producing anything but more poor, more pollution, etc … you know, a Progressive. I think their numbers will be on the decline. (Especially when you no longer get “bonus bucks” for spitting out more welfare babies.)

6. Our savings rate?

If we are returning to a time of one being responsible for their own actions, and the regulatory aspects of finances have been removed (subject to that rascal, “an approved amendment”), meaning your money is not protected or minimally so, you will need to keep an eye on your investments, your savings/checking accounts. Your investments (if any) in the stock or commodities markets will be a real gamble, subject to your own due diligence in trying to devine which stocks or commodities are worth your hard earned cash.

Private personal savings, away from formal banking institutions may well see a resurgence. Whether it be under the mattress, in a safe in the basement, or some other more exotic location, I honestly don’t know, but people are going to start saving in earnest, especially if more of their money is their own and not Uncle Sams, if only for their own self interests. If the banks develop some sort of FDIC on the private side, or it is allowed to continue (FDIC) via amendment, then folks will still frequent their local savings institution. But with less regulation, expect to see a very fluid banking situation, until the dust settles.

7. Our indulgence in the various pleasures and vices?

Here I see a spike in usage, right after the restrictions are removed, in any number of formally illicit drugs and some of the other so called “softer vices” as well. However, I see regulations being applied, if not at the federal level, at least at the State or local levels. For example, the sale of drugs will be restricted to those “21 or older”. Once that pesky “responsible for your own actions” thing kicks in, things will settle down. Those using “high risk” drugs, or engaging in “high risk” sexual activities, will probably find themselves in dire medical straights, and or “interesting domestic situations”, if not (already) dead. This could go any number of ways, not many (if any) good.

And there you have it. More could be added, I would like to see how tariffs and(foreign) trade agreements would shake out. What about the UN (and it’s current location). Or our current WoT, is it legal as it stands right now?”

But as mentioned in the previous post, and which applies here as well … I only have five active brain cells. This being the case, I would very much like to hear what you think.

And finally, a big tip of the “Squid Lid” ™ to Fran over at Eternity Road. His commentary is always worth a look, and his questions, in this case, are primarily responsible for this post seeing the light of day. Thank you Sir!

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2 Comments

Filed under Constitution, Politics, Random Thoughts

2 responses to “Constitutional “What ifs” (part 2)

  1. Good post.

    One thing I would like to see a return to is no government regulations period on what you put into your body, or the things you do that affect only you.

    I think there should be no legally mandated age for drinking. That should be up to parents. In my own family, from the time I was 10, I was allowed to have a small glass of wine at dinner. When we had a big crawfish or crab boil, I could have a small glass of beer with my food if I wanted to.

    When I turned 21, I had no desire to go out and start drinking. Alcohol was no big deal to me, there was no mystique to it, and there was no great mythical thing to go out and experience. Before I turned 21, I always had thought that the kids who snuck drinks, or had someone go buy alcohol for them so they could drink at a party, were ridiculous.

    The point I’m trying to make is I think that if it were not a forbidden fruit, alcohol would lose much of its mystique and allure, and parents would be able to introduce their kids to wine and beer and teach them there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of drinks if handled responsibly and in moderation. Ten bucks says if that’s how society was, we’d have a drastic reduction in drunk driving, etc.

    Secondly, along with taking away restrictions on matters that affect only the individual, gone would be any liability on anyone else’s part if you get stupid and injure yourself or worse. Do something stupid and hurt yourself? No free medical attention for you, buddy. And your insurance won’t cover it. And if you can’t afford treatment, then sorry, but that’s your tough luck, buddy. Next time, don’t act like an asinine idiot.

    If people were totally responsible for their behavior, we’d probably see a drastic reduction in stupid behavior.

    End of rant for now 😀

  2. I like your argument for letting kids (with adult supervision) be able to have at least a sample of adult beverages (beer and wine) without risking the wrath of the government god(s). Where I would take some exception to this is, if there is sound medical information (and no, I am not talking about the “scare tactics”, such as those used in the old anti-drug films we suffered through in grade school and high school) which would indicate such usage by children would be damaging. Then I would have to stick to at least an 18 year old age limit. (Old enough to serve your country, old enough to be served a beer!)

    We used to be able to have a sip of beer or wine, should the parents be in a good (read that as reasonably lubed) mood. Also, at about the age of 15, I was allowed to have a beer after (successfully) mowing the yard (or other applicable yard work). So it would seem we shared a simular upbringing regarding adult beverages.

    However, I remember right at the age of 16 or so, I tied one on, what saved me from a severe ass chewing from the old man, was I was in such bad shape (from what I understand, I had crashed in my bed, dad had come home for lunch, took one look at me and told mom; “I don’t need to punish him, he’s been punished enough.”) And there were a handfull of times after that, until I left for basic training, where I was, never falling down drunk”, but definitely “well lit”. Time, lessons learned, and just growing up in general, are what brought about the end to this stupidity. Now, I have a few, now and again, but never to the level of being a risk to myself or others, via “stupid drunk actions”.

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