V.2: Government by the Masses or by Experts?

America’s founders expected the nation to have government by the masses and by experts at the same time. They looked for a “natural aristocracy” to lead the nation. That phrase means the natural leaders of society. They expected those leaders to take a few weeks or months each year away from their farms, law practices, … Read more

IV.3: Local Self-government

What did the great minds of history have to say about local self-government? In an earlier post I showed that both Thomas Jefferson and Alexis De Tocqueville believed in local self-government. That is, local citizens should have authority over their local public decisions without state or national government interference. And many more people have expressed … Read more

IV.1: Local Communities

Thomas Jefferson believed that local community self-government was essential for freedom. Jefferson’s archenemy, Alexander Hamilton, and others wanted to concentrate all American power at the national level. And this greatly troubled Jefferson because it made states and local communities as well as individual citizens servants of a tyrannical national government: Were not this great country … Read more

III.4: Corruption in American Government

Who first brought corruption into the American government? Corruption existed in Great Britain before there was an American government. Consequently, Edmund Burke, a Member of the British Parliament, wrote: There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that … Read more

III.3: Legal Corruption

Would a truly wise person even want to run for political office today? In a previous post, I said that a wise person would desire a solid and comfortable income. And I described how that is different from the ridiculous wealth that most politicians are able to amass through their manipulation of insider information. Corruption … Read more

III.2: What Incentives Drive American Politicians?

Is our government a work of genius, a cesspool of corruption, or both? Virtually all agree that the men who designed America’s government were geniuses and patriots. And they clearly intended to direct all the incentives for politicians toward the public good. But the corruption in that same government has become the butt of jokes. … Read more

II.2: Liberty or Equality – a False Choice?

If you had to choose either liberty or equality for America, which would you choose? Of course, that begs a more important question: Do we have to choose between them at all? Do we even have to compromise between them? I argue that this is simply another way of looking at the false choice between … Read more

I.6: What Would a True Jeffersonian Democracy Look Like?

Thomas Jefferson wanted America to be a bottom-up multi-layered republic. In other words, he wanted citizen decision-making power at all levels. That is to say, true sovereignty would exist in local communities, counties, states, and the nation. That should be the definition of the phrase “Jeffersonian democracy”. But what America has is a top-down system … Read more

I.2: How Can We Separate Money and Politics?

We tend to waste time, money, and energy attacking the symptoms of problems and ignore their root causes. What is the root cause of most of America’s problems? I believe it is government corruption. Moreover, I think that happens because we don’t know how to separate money and politics. The love of money is the … Read more