Tuesday, November 13, 2007


With all of the problems previously mentioned such as voting paradoxes and the results of the median voter theorem, democracy is not without its problems.

Our founders may not have spoke in these terms, but they did anticipate problems. Knowing that voting can be an imprecise method of determining the will of the people and government is limited in what it can do to promote the good of the society, the things that we vote for ( at the state, local, and federal levels) should be limited. Changes should come slowly, and interpretations of our laws should be consistant.

As James Madison Stated:

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow."
-- James Madison, Federalist no. 62, February 27, 1788

By specifically enumerating the powers of government, the constitution provides a means for mitigating these circumstances. Once we abandon this concept, democracy becomes less effective. As Thomas Jefferson stated:

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 15, 1791

Public Choice Theory certainly provides a solid basis for limited government, and it is one that our founders would have agreed with.

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