Friday, January 4, 2013

FDR's Second Bill of Rights: a do-gooder scheme for centralized planning

"The plans differ; the planners are all alike"
Frederic Bastiat - Economic Harmonies - 1.83

How do you know what's an actual right? A god given, inalienable right; and what's a right conferred by the state, fostered by a demagogue? For some of us, those who read history, the answer to the question is easy. Knowing the difference is almost even instinctual. By comparing documents and known quantities, we can make a reasonable argument in favor of one and against the other.

On January 11, 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his eleventh State of the Union Address, which contains the so called "Second Bill of Rights": (video)

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

Yeah? So what's wrong with that?

Well, first off, in front of the cameras they made sure to make everything sound real good and attractive. But behind the scenes, this is the kind of advice that FDR was receiving:

1. A strong, centralized government.

2. An Executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and jucicial arms. In some countries, power is consolidated in a dictator, issuing decrees.

3. The control of banking, credit, and security exchanges by the government.

4. The underwriting of employment by the government, either through armaments or public works.

5. The underwriting of social security by the government - old-age pensions, mothers' pensions, unemployment insurance, and the like.

6. The underwriting of food, housing, and medical care, by the government. The United States is already experimenting with providing these essentials. Other nations are far along the road.

7. The use of the deficit spending technique to finance these underwritings. The annually balanced budget has lost its old-time sanctity.

8. The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies.

9. The control of foreign trade by the government, with increasing emphasis on bilateral agreements and barter deals.

10. The control of natural resources, with increasing emphasis on self-sufficiency

11. The control of energy sources - hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.

12. The control of transportation - railway, highway, airway, waterway.

13. The control of agricultural production.

14. The control of labor organizations, often to the point of prohibiting strikes.

15. The enlistment of young men and women in youth corps devoted to health, discipline, community service and ideologies consistent with those of the authorities. The CCC camps have just inaugurated military drill.

16. Heavy taxation, with especial emphasis on the estates and incomes of the rich.

17. not much "taking over" of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership. it is interesting to recall that the same formula is used by the management of great corporations in depriving stockholders of power.

18. State control of communications and propaganda.

One of FDR's advisors wrote that. Stuart Chase. Numbers 1, 4, and 6 are directly relevant to the new bill of rights. In order for government to give everybody a decent home, give everybody adequate food, you would have to achieve a strong centralized government, which underwrites food, housing, and employment.

From there, numbers 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, and 16 would have to be implemented to make the system work. I use this phrase "make the system work" on purpose. I'll explain as we go forward.

(Others on Chase's list, such as 5, 15, 17, and 18 were put in place elsewhere in the FDR legislative program, outside of the new bill of rights.)

Have you ever read the Constitution of Cuba? You should. In the context of FDR's "Second Bill of Rights", you'll see familiar things there. Particularly in article 9:

ARTICLE 9. The state:

a) carries out the will of the working people and

b) as the power of the people and for the people, guarantees

c) works to achieve that no family be left without a comfortable place to live.

Those are the pillars of Article 9. Under those parts of Article 9 you will find:

a) carries out the will of the working people and

- directs in a planned way the national economy;

Other parts of section a make it clear that government is involved with every aspect of life.

b) as the power of the people and for the people, guarantees

- that every man or woman, who is able to work, have the opportunity to have a job with which to contribute to the good of society and to the satisfaction of individual needs;

- that no disabled person be left without adequate mean of subsistence;

- that no sick person be left without medical care;

- that no child be left without schooling, food and clothing;

- that no young person be left without the opportunity to study;

- that no one be left without access to studies, culture and sports;

All of this is virtually identical to the Second Bill of Rights. But Cuba is a totalitarian state. What does government guaranteeing a house have to do with that? Especially since this is the Constitution of 1992. Well, there's another place we can look, the Soviet Constitution, part X. That's much closer to FDR's lifetime: 1936. What do we see?

ARTICLE 118. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to work, that is, are guaranteed the right to employment and payment for their work in accordance With its quantity and quality.

ARTICLE 119. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to rest and leisure.

ARTICLE 120. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work. This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense, free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.

ARTICLE 121. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education.

Notice how similar the Soviet and Cuban Constitutions are to Stuart Chase's list? As well as the Second Bill of Rights?

In order to understand the difference of rights; God given and inalienable(notice those words are not in the Cuban/USSR constitutions) you have to examine the effect upon the lives of others. Or, a FDR himself would've put it, "The Forgotten Man".

There are no Home Depots in Cuba, to my knowledge, and that's directly attributable to their constitution. You see, if you have a right to a home, and the government is in position to see to it that that right is honored, then you have free reign to walk into any Home Depot and take what you want. "But I need this plywood, tar, and shingles. My roof is leaking". It's no wonder there aren't any Home Depots in Cuba. And it's easy to see how the mechanism for Chase's #1 item, "A strong, centralized government" is necessary to make the system work.

Your right to a home directly infringes upon the other person's "right" to employment, as listed in various different ways above.(I would encourage you to repeatedly read the lists I've outlined)

But it's not just about a direct infringement upon someone else's right to get paid for their work and the quality of it, this goes one step further. By guaranteeing such false rights, this is how Cuban and Soviet dictatorships are maintained, fostered, and cemented. A right to a house means you own the Home Depot employees. They are your slaves. They can't by law refuse you plywood, tar, and shingles. the same thing goes for all of these so called rights.

Contrast that with those rights as enumerated in the American bill of rights, which are endowed by our Creator. The first amendment, the right to free speech. My right to free speech does not have you obligated in any way. That is ultimately the difference. Same goes for the second amendment. If I go buy a gun, or a second gun, you are not obligated in any way. Our rights are completely compartmentalized.(for lack of a better word) You can go right down the list.

(The only one that immediately stands out as having an obligation is the right to a jury of peers. But take a minute to examine what a jury of peers replaced - a Monarch's arbitrary decision. The need for juries is obvious - it's anti totalitarian)

With the so called "rights", as enumerated by the Soviet, Cuban, or Second Bill of Rights, others become drastically obligated. Not only is the state the ultimate arbiter, but your neighbor is equally enabled to have certain power over your life. Article 120 of the USSR constitution nearly gives the whole thing away: "and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people" - All of those doctors are slaves. Every one of them. Their government runs their lives, their neighbors run their life. When you examine it from front to back, it becomes easier to see why someone would consider floating across the Strait of Florida to be a good idea, now doesn't it?

"The plans differ; the planners are all alike"
Frederic Bastiat - Economic Harmonies - 1.83

I quote this for you again, because I don't want any reader to come away with the wrong message. It's not my intent to call FDR a communist. Not because I'm afraid to do so, because it doesn't matter. FDR was a central planner. That's dangerous enough, even moreso, because communists are a known quantity. Sadly, not enough people think in terms of "centralized planning". Part of the reason why central planners keep making advance is because of the titles they use and throw away. Chase was not a communist. So should I not worry about him?

One of the things that shows up in all of these "rights" lists is the right to leisure.(FDR says recreation, the Cuban Constitution says "sports") This should just go to show that these people have a much more sinister intent. Even if you did decide that you agreed that one or more of these should be a right..... recreation and sports? This is tyranny's disguise.

Now, I suppose there may be someone who comes across this writing and says to themselves that it would be a great thing to have as your slave someone like Tim Tebow. "Entertain me. You have to. I have the right to it". Until you stop and remember that you work at Home Depot. Now you're Tebow's slave, his back door is broken. Fix it.

The Second Bill of Rights doesn't sound like such a good thing after all, now does it? As I said, this is tyranny's disguise.

It would be a mistake to think that the Second Bill of Rights is some dusty old concept. The big labor bosses are a huge fan of these "new rights". Their list of rights is even more vague, which makes them all even more dangerous. Government must at all times be kept in a box.

In all of the instances listed above, the state gains a huge command over the property of the individual, and when the state commands the property of the individual, the state commands the individual. Ronald Reagan said in 1964: (video)

"The full power of centralized government" - this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.

As we've seen by our readings of portions of two constitutions, and a Presidential SOTU, Ronald Reagan was right. Reagan's always right.

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