A Great Day in History

Today the 18th Amendment was repealed, ending Prohibition. Now if we could just get rid of the 16th and 17th Amendments too, that'd be a good start.


Tom said...

I'll drink to that!

J Melcher said...

The most important thing about this repeal is dis-establishing the "rachet". Some "progress" turns out to be a mistake, and some mistakes can be undone. The 17th amendment is such a mistake.

It may not have been, at the time, a mistake to establish a central "district" for federal offices, but in time it has proven to be unnecessary and is becoming a mistake. It's too many eggs in one basket (militarily, as evidenced in the War of 1812) and it's putting our representatives and civil servants too far from their sovereigns. The President, the Senate, and the House should meet in separate states. The various cabinet departmental headquarters should be in still other states. The federal circuit courts (and, more than 9, for preference) could and should be benched in other states, still. The United States should not be an Empire and we should do all we can to avoid creating for ourselves a Byzantium, a Rome, or a London.

E Hines said...

An income tax, properly instituted--that is, a flat rate that everyone pays on all income regardless of source and with no subsidies, credits, or other froo-froo--is a much more efficient way of raising revenue for the Federal government than other forms, like tariffs which are protectionist and inherently inflationary, or sales/value added taxes which are regressive as well as inflationary.

Direct election of Senators makes each State's representatives beholden to the State's citizens as a whole--and so still beholden to the State as originally intended, but not to the State's legislatures. The problem with legislatures selecting the citizens' representatives for them is in the history. For instance, nine cases of Senator candidates bribing State legislatures to gain votes were brought between 1866 and 1912, and due to political gridlock, forty-five deadlocks occurred in twenty states between 1891 and 1905, with Delaware going without any Senators at all from 1901 to 1903. It's much tougher to bribe a whole population, and gridlock hasn't prevented the popular selection of a single Senator.

The problem is with incumbency, and that's better correctable by following the example (suitably tailored) of Art V of the Articles of Confederation while barring involvement with the Federal government in any way during the intervening terms.

Eric Hines

Ymarsakar said...

Populations are easier to control than the 3%.

douglas said...

"For instance, nine cases of Senator candidates bribing State legislatures to gain votes were brought between 1866 and 1912"

So things were better then. At least the crooks were sometimes prosecuted.