890RE: [RLC-Action] "... promote the general welfare, ..."
- Sep 1, 2005Madison did not want the "General Welfare" clause in the Constitution, but Hamilton did.Hamilton won the argument, but only after he convinced Madison that General Welfare wasbroad in nature and only provided an introduction to specifically enumerated government powers. Hope this helps.Mitch
Toby Nixon <toby@...> wrote:
I agree with Thomas. The key point is the modifier "general". The Founding
Fathers had no clue what "welfare" was and certainly weren't referring to
the modern form of government-provided "welfare" by this term in the
preamble or in Article 1 Section 8. They weren't talking about direct
transfer payments to individuals, but to capital infrastructure, services,
and legal structures that benefit society as a whole.
The government "promotes the general welfare" most by helping us to defend
our lives, liberty, and property. The welfare of everyone is promoted by a
stable system of laws and protection of property rights that enables
investment without concern that those investments will be lost to thieves.
The "welfare system" your liberal friend defends is exactly the opposite of
that, since it depends on the violation of property rights to fund it.
I do not buy the argument that welfare payments to the poor do in fact
promote the protection of property rights, by appeasing the masses who would
otherwise revolt and take the property of the rich -- in other words,
welfare payments are a form of protection racket (giving in to extortion).
This presumes the most base characteristics on poor people, and I maintain
that many of the most proud and honest people I know are or were poor. The
fact is that the welfare system has done immense damage to individual
character in this country by creating an entitlement mentality where none
previously existed. And I speak as one who knows, who grew up on AFDC, food
stamps, Medicaid, government surplus food, and housing subsidies, and hated
what that dependency mentality did to my father.
From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Thomas Sewell
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 6:55 PM
Subject: RE: [RLC-Action] "... promote the general welfare, ..."
I'd start with a definition of the adjective General:
So this would apply to things like a canal that affects the vast majority of
people, but not something like cash for poor people because only poor people
would benefit, thus making that an instance of providing for a specific
group's welfare, not the general welfare.
Then move on to discuss how the main part of the constitution that mentions
the general welfare doesn't provide for ANY "rights", it merely enumerates
powers that the Federal government may exercise.
So since these sections define purposes and government powers and not
"rights", how could it indicate any sort of "right to welfare"?
Then there is the extreme example case. What if everyone in the US was poor.
If they all have a "right" to welfare, it's impossible for them all to
exercise that right at the same time. This is not an issue with "true"
rights, like say, freedom of speech.
Of course, government welfare and redistribution of wealth is really just
theft at gunpoint. Why do we call it welfare just because the government
From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com]On
Behalf Of DGHarrison
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 7:34 PM
Subject: [RLC-Action] "... promote the general welfare, ..."
I am about to embark on a discussion with a flaming liberal who thinks that
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common
defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to
ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for
the United States of America.
defines the people's right to "welfare" from the Federal government. It's
pointless to try to convince the wacky liberal that started the argument,
but there are about 100 others on the line, and some of them might be led
astray by this jerk, unless I provide an adequate counter point. Does anyone
have a quick argument to toss back at this moron? Maybe a link to a
discussion about it? I've been working to encourage members of the group to
look into the RLC, and they are looking for answers to such word games
played by the Left.
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