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Text Box: Vol.5,Issue 15
Text Box: July 19, 2012

American Political Commentary

Veritas Veneratio Virtus

 

I. W. Parkins

Front Page

IN THIS ISSUE– The President Unmasked

· An Important Freedom

· Political Aspects on Spending Charts from Heritage

· Fiscal Comparisons of 1930’s and 2010’s

· Madison was correct: Obama should understand role of government

 Links to Articles and Items of Interest

· James Taranto of WSJ on “You Didn’t Sweat, He Did”

· John Kass of Chicago Tribune, “Who Else Mr. President”

· Ann Coulter on “Democrats Ideal Voter: Illegal Alien, Convicted Felon”

· “Was Barack Obama Lying” by Erick Erickson

· Amy Payne on “Let’s Be Honest About Outsourcing”

· From the WSJ, “Political Diary: The Obama’s Bain Connection”

· Karl Rove in WSJ, “Obama Gets Down and Dirty”

· Holman W. Jenkins Jr. in WSJ “The Campaign’s Stupid Moment”

· John Nolte from breitbart.com on “Ten Pieces of Bad Economic News The Media is Covering up”

· Breitbart.com– stories which are not seen in “the media”

· The Drudge Report—website by Matt Drudge

      AN IMPORTANT FREEDOM

Since the recent unmasking of the President’s

“You didn’t build your business”, I thought that this reprint of an article

about the history of profit and non-profit Corporations would be appropriate.

 

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

     Most Americans today are unaware that the legally created freedom to incorporate a for-profit enterprise is largely a product of Jacksonian Democracy (late 1820s-1840).  Incorporation permits a few people to create an organization having some of the legal identity and rights of a person.  A major advantage is that those who invest in the organization will then be responsible only to the extent of their investment, i.e. not be individually liable for all that the organization does.

 

      Blackstone lamented that the corporations had neither souls to be damned nor bodies to be kicked.  He, like Adam Smith, of Wealth of Nations fame, wrote in a period when profitable business was not the usual purpose cited to justify incorporation.  Those corporations that existed-- Professor E. Merrick Dodd wrote that he had found evidence of 310 in the United States in 1800--were largely for public or eleemosynary purposes.  They were created individually by acts of legislative bodies.  Historically, they had been cities, universities, etc.  In the early United States they included increasing numbers of banks, toll bridges and roads, and other often profitable enterprises, but were still created individually to serve an alleged public need.

 

     Persuading a legislative body to incorporate your particular enterprise usually required special influence, often bribery.  Jacksonian Democrats regarded that as a major injustice, even as a form of theft.  But, once in power, they found that the most practical solution was to make the incorporation privilege a right of everybody.  General incorporation laws were enacted, permitting any small group who met minimal qualifications and paid a small fee to incorporate their own enterprise.  That greatly facilitated raising capital for larger businesses.  The practice spread rapidly, here and in Europe.

 

     Railroads were our first great industrial corporations.  Often they were corruptly managed.  Substantial portions of our western lands were given to the railroads by the federal government as subsidies for their construction.  In spite of such matters, the railroads probably did as much as any other factor to facilitate rapid settlement, widespread homestead ownership, and general prosperity.

 

     By the late nineteenth century America was beginning to legislate seriously against monopolistic and other abuses of corporate enterprise.  Various forms of government intervention spread rapidly with WWI, the Great Depression/ New Deal, and WWII.

 

     Since WWII the older, nonprofit, types of corporate endeavor have become more significant, especially in American politics.  Universities, foundations, public interest organizations, research institutes, etc. have multiplied and grown rapidly.  The larger universities rival some federal departments in their largely taxpayer funded budgets and their technical resources.  Yet, public attitudes and laws usually treat these non-profit corporations very differently than incorporated business ventures, especially where their political activities are concerned.

 

     Why should the freedoms of non-profit corporations be greatly different than those of their for-profit counterparts?  Are not both legitimate means by which people, of different talents and ambitions, contribute to the welfare of society?

1930’s-2010’s (Fiscal

Comparisons)

THERE ARE LONG-TERM ROOTS TO

OUR PRESENT POLITICAL CRISIS

By Ivan W. Parkins

Inflation, real growth, and changing standards make most comparisons of this kind difficult, and likely to be misleading.  This one brief comparison is, I think, worthy of consideration.

 

During FDR’s first two terms, 1933-1940, his policies approximately tripled this nation’s debt as it compares to national product.  Still in his first term of office, President Obama has increased the debt, as compared to America’s product, by about one third.

 

By the end of FDR’s first eight years of spending, our national debt remained less than half as large as the nation’s annual product.  In a little over 2 years of Obama’s Presidency, this nation’s indebtedness threatens to exceed national product, if it has not already done so.

             In the time represented by the above two graphs, Republican Presidential Candidates won two popular landslides, three popular majorities, and two less than majority elections.  Meanwhile, Democrats won one substantial Presidential victory, one very close popular victory, and two less than majority contests. 

             But, in regard to Congress the picture was entirely different, something that had begun to appear, for the first time, only about a decade earlier, when President Eisenhower won reelection by a landslide, but Republicans won neither House of Congress. Since then, although both Nixon and Reagan won reelections by record popular margins, Nixon carrying 49 states and Reagan all 50, neither got a majority of the House to go with his new term. Why would every, or nearly every, state in the Union approve a President of one party and a Congress of the other?  Shouldn’t we have a very thorough examination of local voting procedures and counting?

POLITICAL ASPECTS OF THE

FEDERAL SPENDING GRAPHS BELOW

My Thanks to Heritage Foundation for use of their charts

By Ivan W. Parkins

Even before President Johnson’s withdrawal and the transforming election of 1968, it is evident that Democrats, dominant in Congress, were launching a binge of spending on entitlements. And, some increase of national contribution to social welfare was, then, probably warranted.  But, especially in Congressional elections, the political position of helping to obtain federal help for economically challenged constituents was far more desirable than one that implies sending young persons off to fight.  The “new” Democrats discovered quickly that they benefited from handing out “goodies” and, especially with the very slanted news coverage that they were getting, could afford to make some sacrifices in America’s world leadership.  Our political history since has been largely patterned by that revelation.

http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/charts/2012/budget-entitlement-programs-606.jpg

Mitt Romney.com has added a T-shirt marketing the President’s recent comments on who built your business.  Click on the image to connect to their website.

Madison is Correct

President Obama should review

Government’s Role

     Richard Beeman, in his PLAIN, HONEST, MEN, page 29, says “In Madison’s conception, governments were designed not to embody virtue and the public good, but, rather to mediate among the various interests in society, and in the process, to allow public good to be served.”

     It appears to me that Beeman is correct in his interpretation of Madison, and that Madison was correct in that interpretation of government’s role. 

I.W.Parkins

http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/charts/2012/welfare-spending-606.jpghttp://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/charts/2012/budget-and-defense-606.jpg

The graph to the left represents spending as a percentage of FY-2012 spending.

 

The graph to the right represents future spending. Interest on the debt would supersede spending on Defense in 2018.

 

The graph to the left represents spending as a percentage of  GDP (Gross National Product)

 

The graph to the right represents inflation adjusted dollars through 2011.  Even though there have been specific efforts to reform spending, spending continues to escalate.