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"... promote the general welfare, ..."

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  • DGHarrison
    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,
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 31 6:33 PM
      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.

      Doug Harrison
      Minnesota

    • Thomas Sewell
      I d start with a definition of the adjective General: http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?&s=general So this would apply to things like a canal that
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 31 6:54 PM
        I'd start with a definition of the adjective General:

        http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?&s=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
        does it?

        Thomas


        -----Original Message-----
        From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com]On
        Behalf Of DGHarrison
        Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 7:34 PM
        To: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com
        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.

        Doug Harrison
        Minnesota




        YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS

        Visit your group "RLC-Action" on the web.

        To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        RLC-Action-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
      • Toby Nixon
        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
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 31 7:13 PM
          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.

          -- Toby


          -----Original Message-----
          From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of Thomas Sewell
          Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 6:55 PM
          To: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [RLC-Action] "... promote the general welfare, ..."

          I'd start with a definition of the adjective General:

          http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?&s=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
          does it?

          Thomas


          -----Original Message-----
          From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com]On
          Behalf Of DGHarrison
          Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 7:34 PM
          To: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com
          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.

          Doug Harrison
          Minnesota




          YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS

          Visit your group "RLC-Action" on the web.

          To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          RLC-Action-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.





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        • John Mitchel, LtCol, USAF (Ret
          Madison did not want the General Welfare clause in the Constitution, but Hamilton did. Hamilton won the argument, but only after he convinced Madison that
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 1, 2005
            Madison 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 was
            broad 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.

            -- Toby


            -----Original Message-----
            From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of Thomas Sewell
            Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 6:55 PM
            To: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [RLC-Action] "... promote the general welfare, ..."

            I'd start with a definition of the adjective General:

            http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?&s=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
            does it?

            Thomas


            -----Original Message-----
            From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com]On
            Behalf Of DGHarrison
            Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 7:34 PM
            To: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com
            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.

            Doug Harrison
            Minnesota




            YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS

            Visit your group "RLC-Action" on the web.

            To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.





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          • Ray Holtorf
            Go to the federalist papers. Madison and Jefferson wrote extensively about how they feared the general welfare clause would be misunderstood, misrepresented,
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 1, 2005
              Go to the federalist papers. Madison and Jefferson
              wrote extensively about how they feared the "general
              welfare" clause would be misunderstood,
              misrepresented, and misused. I can't remember exactly
              who insisted it be in there).

              -Ray

              --- DGHarrison <DGHarrison@...> wrote:

              > 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.
              >
              > Doug Harrison
              > Minnesota
              >
              >




              ____________________________________________________
              Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
              http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
            • DGHarrison
              Terrence Geoghegan wrote: On another note ... is it really necessary for responders in this group to always leave the entire thread of previous messages in
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 1, 2005
                Terrence Geoghegan wrote: On another note ... is it really necessary for responders in this group to always leave the entire thread of previous messages in their messages every time?

                I agree with you, Terrence, that the fat should be trimmed from messages, especially for the convenience of the folks who get the digest. I try to do that, but sometimes I forget. You will note that I usually snip all but the main point that I am addressing and format a snippet from the original message as a reference, as in the above, which I formatted to set it apart from my own message. I've noticed that sometimes folks just toss out a reply that leaves you wondering to whom or about what he is actually responding. It takes only a little effort to tweak a reply so that your reference is clear and your message is streamlined. Now all I have to do is figure out how to say more with fewer words (although when talking with a liberal, I find that I have to carefully define all my terms so that the bastard can't conveniently take things out of context and twist the meanings of words to suit his own demented purposes).

                As for the responses to my original plea for assistance, I can only say I am humbled. Thank you for your willingness to share your thoughts and provide suggestions for reading. I will look at the Federalist Papers to get an education on this and other matters. Since I am homeschooling my children (now ages 2+ and nearly 4) I will need to make myself a Constitutional expert. To this end, I will be acquiring a home library with references such as the Federalist Papers and other important historical documents and history books. If anyone would care to recommend a list of "must have" materials, I'd really appreciate it.

                Doug Harrison
                Minnesota
              • westmiller@aol.com
                From: DGHarrison ... Some excellent responses offered. I d put the basic arguments in four aspects: 1. Original intent [if they
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 1, 2005
                  From: DGHarrison <DGHarrison@...>
                  > [preamble] ... defines the people's right to "welfare"
                  > from the Federal government.

                  Some excellent responses offered. I'd put the basic
                  arguments in four aspects:

                  1. Original intent [if they respect that], with quotes
                  from Madison in Federalist 41:
                  http://federalistpapers.com/federalist41.html
                  2. Legal construction [if they're lawyers], with the
                  note of Justice Story that a broad interpretation runs
                  contrary to the enumerated powers that follow:
                  http://www.constitution.org/js/js_326.htm
                  3. Common sense [if they have any ;o], with the
                  distinction between "promoting" conditions that are
                  beneficial to all (noting equal treatment under law),
                  rather than *providing* for every need (which must
                  be infinite).
                  4. Moral sense [...] that charitable assistance to
                  those who are innocent victims of misfortune cannot
                  be coerced, since that destroys any moral value in
                  the act.

                  I like the last one, for many reasons. The best
                  way to disarm opponents is to appeal to their values.
                  Government cannot provide *love* for those in need,
                  attending to their individual suffering or encouraging
                  their efforts; it can only take and give according to
                  the cold strictures of law. Nobody in government can
                  *care* about individuals.

                  Bill
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