Is Big Government “Humanitarian?”

Government HumanitarianismJeff - icon sizeIntro by Jeff Rutherford

What is the most humanitarian method of government?

Can widespread prosperity only be achieved by enlarging government and limiting individual liberty?

These questions were discussed in the following extemporaneous comments by the Treasury Secretary during Congressional testimony on April 30th:

“Unfortunately, all [this] rhetoric about deficits and balanced budgets obscures the real danger that confronts us: the gradual disintegration of our free society… The real issue is the government’s share of the Gross National Product—of the earnings of every productive citizen in this land. That is the issue on which we should concentrate

What does it mean for our way of life? What does it mean for our free enterprise system? What is our free enterprise system? Isn’t free enterprise related to human freedom, to political and social freedom?

God Almighty, our forefathers understood that. The millions of immigrants who came to participate in the American dream understood it. When we see this monstrous growth of government, we must realize that it is not a matter of narrow economic issues. What is at stake is equity, social stability in the United States of America.  What is at stake is the fundamental freedom in one of the last, and greatest, democracies in the world….

You asked, Mr. Chairman, about the consequences of deficits.  But we all know what they are…  In the case of the federal government, we can print money to pay for our folly … for a time. But we will continue to devalue our currency, and then we will have financial collapse. This is the road we are on today. This is the direction in which the “humanitarians” are leading us.

But there is nothing “humanitarian” about the collapse of a great industrial civilization. There is nothing “humanitarian” about the panic, the chaos, the riots, the death, and the starvation that will ensue. There is nothing “humanitarian” about the dictatorship that must inevitably take over as terrified people cry out for leadership. There is nothing “humanitarian” about the loss of freedom.

That’s why we must be concerned about the cancerous growth of government and its steady devouring of our citizens’ productive energies. That’s why we must be concerned about deficits and balancing the budget. The issue is not bookkeeping, it is not accounting. The issue is the liberty of the American people.

The problems of deficits, budget balance, and capital markets – all these are important. But it is more important to understand these are just early warning signals of a disease that threatens the very life of our body politic. And if we continue to move down this same path, the disease will become irreversible. And our liberty will be lost.

I speak of this so insistently because I hear no one discussing the danger. Congress will not discuss it, the press does not discuss it. Look around us, the press isn’t even here. The people do not discuss it; they are unaware of it. There is no counter force in America being mobilized to fight this danger. The battle is being lost, and not a shot is being fired.

That Mr. Chairman is why, for me, the last few years in office have been like a bad dream. I am leaving Washington next January, and I am going to go home to New Jersey a very frightened man.”

Treasury Secretary Simon Testimony Before Congress in 1976This untelevised Congressional testimony occurred on April 30, 1976 before the House Democratic Research Organization.  It came from President Gerald Ford’s Treasury Secretary, William E. Simon.  You can read about it in his highly acclaimed 1978 book, A Time For Truth.”

(photo credit)

In closing, here are my own rhetorical questions:

Detroit has had Democrat mayors continuously since January 2, 1962.  Detroit’s 9-member city council has had only one Republican member since 1970 (Keith Butler, for a single 4-year term, 1990-1994).  Detroit now lies in virtual ruin, having declared bankruptcy.

Why do citizens of Progressive governments need bigger and bigger government each year?

After The New Deal, and The Great Society, and The Fundamental Transformation Through Hope and Change…if Progressivism is such a great system of government policies, why hasn’t it solved everything?

The Remains of Detroit - Time Photo Essay(click here to view photo essay)


About Necessary and Proper

Jeff believes in the Individual's ability to excel when liberty and freedom of choice are protected. Also believes in the Community's ability to take care of the vast majority of its own issues and needs when the federal government leaves the Community's resources and sphere of control alone. State and local choice produce better results than centralized federal control.
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3 Responses to Is Big Government “Humanitarian?”

  1. Jane says:

    I’ve been curious to see how making the minimum wage $15 in Oregon is going to affect businesses in that state. It seems no one understands economics anymore.


    • Jane, I’ve read that Seattle businesses are adding a “Minimum Wage Surcharge” to their customer’s bills, which is taking the customers by surprise. Those customers who voted for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and his promised Progressive policies apparently didn’t understand that all costs incurred by businesses must be covered by what they charge their customers. The common myth is that Progressive-minded business owners would altruistically eat the extra labor costs through reduced profits. Wrong.

      What will happen next? The workers who are earning a larger paycheck in Seattle will notice that the neighborhood shops where they buy food, clothing, household goods, gasoline are suddenly charging higher prices. That extra money in their paychecks will not buy them any more goods.

      Then what? Impacted consumers will wise up and drive outside Seattle city limits to do their shopping. In Seattle, this will be a drop in sales at their cash registers. With lower revenues, Seattle businesses will have to lay off some employees, or keep their staff at current levels where they had hoped to expand their payrolls. Some of these impacted businesses will close up shop and move out of Seattle city limits, lowering city tax revenues.

      Then what? Some of these artificially compensated minimum wage workers will lose their jobs and become unemployed. Instead of working 40 hours/week at $9.32, they will be working 0 hours/week at $15.

      Now that’s Progress. Atta boy, Mayor! You da man.

      – Jeff


  2. Dottie Oregon says:

    Unless every single conservative in this country registers to vote, and then votes, we are a lost country. Get your blogs on the front page of the New York Times!


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