• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

To Promote the General Welfare

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
Lets be real here, there is no shortage of people with peanut alleges who have a legitimate right to know what is in their food. I don't care is you use the word provide, protect, or whatever, IMHO its a legitimate function of government.

Then we can take another view, when our government regulates the marketplace, we don't want those regulations being too expensive and burdensome to implement. But bu GOD and garhottie, how much does it cost to print that ingredient list on a food label, when the food label will be on the bottle or can anyway?

I may be on of those lucky ones with almost known allergies, but I know quite a few not so lucky, so I don't think its burdensome to print a label. After all its a bit selfish to value my life and not value to lives of my friends, people I never met, and even people I don't like.
There are often two extremes presented, that the federal government is inherently evil and should have no power, and the other, where government is all wise and ought to "guide" is whether it legitimately is beneficent and the best option or not. For those people it has replaced religion as their opiate, defending dogma against all.

But this is expected behavior.
 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
44,471
4,319
136
Nope, it was to provide a transport system for the military.
That's the reason Eisenhower and the Congress told themselves to get around the dreaded SOCIALISM part of it. D:

But everyone knew that wasn't the true primary reason for it, right?


Biographer Stephen E. Ambrose stated, "Of all his domestic programs, Eisenhower's favorite by far was the Interstate System." Eisenhower's 1963 memoir, Mandate for Change 1953-1956, explained why:

More than any single action by the government since the end of the war, this one would change the face of America. ... Its impact on the American economy - the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction, the rural areas it would open up - was beyond calculation.
Link
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
It doesn't have to do with the source, it has to do with how society has come to view these subjects. Society has come to agree with Jefferson on the issue of separation of church and state but his views of federal power have not been met with such agreement.

As for the whole rights/subjects thing, I think that is histrionics. This clause simply means that the government can spend tax revenues on things it views to contribute to the general welfare, which is a pretty uncontroversial idea.
A curious thing. "Society" depends on ones perspective. The recent mandate was not accepted by the majority, but the courts decided what the public must accept. Likewise those who promote government controlled medicine sell it as their common good, and their society demands it. Whether it's the best possible system isn't what's important. Neither is if the nation as a whole doesn't want it. What matters isn't that some have no effective voice even if that is the majority. What matters is that people have whats best, the "general welfare" and that is entirely defined by those with feel entitled to force their will on others. It is their White Mans Burden.
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
2
0
Nope, it was to provide a transport system for the military.
Give me a break. You're making a distinction that the Constitution doesn't. The clause says "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare".
99.99% of traffic on the interstates is civilian and the system has facilitated a huge amount of development. Whether it was marketed as military or not is irrelevant.

Let me know when funding for interstates comes from the Pentagon. Boy, you conservatives sure do jump through a lot of hoops to justify the socialist things you like.
 
Last edited:

xj0hnx

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2007
9,262
3
76
So, when the Constitution says "provide for the common defense," I take it you interpret that to mean that the federal government shouldn't provide our armed forces to us, that they should just provide for the armed forces, maybe with staging areas where citizens can voluntarily congregate, bringing their muskets and back yard nukes and tactical subs with them?

Where, in your words, a "free people can succeed and fail based on their input" perhaps by deciding each battle plan by plebiscite? :hmm:

Sorry to sound so sarcastic, but have you really thought through all the real life ramifications of your philosophical stance, based on your interpretation of the word "for" ?
Common defense to complicated for you?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,390
25,174
136
A curious thing. "Society" depends on ones perspective. The recent mandate was not accepted by the majority, but the courts decided what the public must accept. Likewise those who promote government controlled medicine sell it as their common good, and their society demands it. Whether it's the best possible system isn't what's important. Neither is if the nation as a whole doesn't want it. What matters isn't that some have no effective voice even if that is the majority. What matters is that people have whats best, the "general welfare" and that is entirely defined by those with feel entitled to force their will on others. It is their White Mans Burden.
Not really, the recent mandate was supported my a majority of elected representatives and the president, which is explicitly the method by which society expresses its will in our system. We do not run a country based on polls, nor should we ever. The general welfare is decided by the people we elect to determine the general welfare. Simple as that.

Not to mention if you look at the polls for government controlled medicine it is actually quite popular. were we to go by polls we would likely have a single payer entirely government controlled health system now. If only we listened to what the nation as a whole wanted! Right?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,390
25,174
136
Common defense to complicated for you?
You took exception to the concept of what 'provide for' means, saying that they were intended to mean that only the creation of a framework in which the general welfare could be best served. It is unlikely that you view defense the same way, yet those two areas inhabit not only the same clause, but the same sentence.

This is not a good argument.
 

OneOfTheseDays

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2000
7,052
0
0
There is a reason why there are no modern truly Libertarian governments in existence today. It's because they don't fucking work. Libertarians are too stupid to realize this though.
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,645
0
76
www.facebook.com
A lot of anarchists invoke the Constitution to show that govts are lawless. I think that's basically what Dr. Paul is saying whenever he says something is unconstitutional because he knows that govts can't protect liberty. I've noticed he's been invoking the Constitution a lot less as time has gone on. He can't come out as an anarchist though yet, because he'd be violating his oath of office if he did.
 

xj0hnx

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2007
9,262
3
76
A lot of anarchists invoke the Constitution to show that govts are lawless. I think that's basically what Dr. Paul is saying whenever he says something is unconstitutional because he knows that govts can't protect liberty. I've noticed he's been invoking the Constitution a lot less as time has gone on. He can't come out as an anarchist though yet, because he'd be violating his oath of office if he did.
Dude, he is not an anarchist. The only people left that are "anarchist" are smelly kids begging for change and shooting dope.
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,645
0
76
www.facebook.com
It's because they don't fucking work
They've never been tried here other than when the Articles of Confederation was in effect. Anyone who thinks that if we had started out with the law we have now and not had those same problems is either very ignorant if they haven't been presented all the facts and reasoning... or very stupid if they have been.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
126
Not really, the recent mandate was supported my a majority of elected representatives and the president, which is explicitly the method by which society expresses its will in our system. We do not run a country based on polls, nor should we ever. The general welfare is decided by the people we elect to determine the general welfare. Simple as that.

Not to mention if you look at the polls for government controlled medicine it is actually quite popular. were we to go by polls we would likely have a single payer entirely government controlled health system now. If only we listened to what the nation as a whole wanted! Right?
Then your point about society is specious. Representatives answer to their party, and that controls government. A representative system indeed, but at odds with another old fashioned idea, the representation of citizen, not the political machine and those who feed it cash. Now if the public wants medicine by party politics so be it. My insistence has been on informed study to ascertain the best options with the emphasis on care in the context of our own culture, law and needs. That has not been as popular as picking a solution and demanding that reality bend to it.
 

lotus503

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2005
6,502
1
76
Lets be real here, there is no shortage of people with peanut alleges who have a legitimate right to know what is in their food. I don't care is you use the word provide, protect, or whatever, IMHO its a legitimate function of government.

Then we can take another view, when our government regulates the marketplace, we don't want those regulations being too expensive and burdensome to implement. But by GOD and garhottie, how much does it cost to print that ingredient list on a food label, when the food label will be on the bottle or can anyway?

I may be on of those lucky ones with almost known allergies, but I know quite a few not so lucky, so I don't think its burdensome to print a label. After all its a bit selfish to value my life and not value the lives and safety of my friends, people I never met, and even people I don't like.
Let's be honest, if people knew what the tasty cheap junk they ate contained they wouldn't eat it. Sales would fall, shareholder value would be lost.

Don't ask, don't tell mentality for food.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,669
6
0
I do not think the preamble was meant to detail the powers of government. So using it to argue that something is constitutional is largely nonsensical.
 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
44,471
4,319
136
I do not think the preamble was meant to detail the powers of government. So using it to argue that something is constitutional is largely nonsensical.
What about Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution itself?

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
 

the DRIZZLE

Platinum Member
Sep 6, 2007
2,956
1
81
I do not think the preamble was meant to detail the powers of government. So using it to argue that something is constitutional is largely nonsensical.
This.

What about Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution itself?
Saying that Congress can tax and spend revenue for the general welfare of the country is much narrower than saying that they can make any law they want to promote the general welfare. Congress can buy me broccoli, but they can't make me eat it even if it's good for me.
 

OneOfTheseDays

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2000
7,052
0
0
What conservatives fail to understand is that we simply cannot go back to the governments of a hundred years ago. Times change, society changes, and the needs of a populace evolve. You cannot simply roll back the clock, it doesn't work that way and never has. You will never achieve what you are setting out to achieve, which is the outright dismantling of many governmental functions.

Your focus and aim should instead be on reforming what you dislike to make it run more efficiently. This would be a more practical usage of your time and would likely net real changes.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,669
6
0
What about Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution itself?
to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States


This reads like general fluff words to me. Otherwise it would essentially be granting unlimited powers to Congress.

Or perhaps the correct way to read it is to say that congress has the power to levy taxes to pay for laws that are within its constitutional powers.

What conservatives fail to understand is that we simply cannot go back to the governments of a hundred years ago. Times change, society changes, and the needs of a populace evolve. You cannot simply roll back the clock, it doesn't work that way and never has. You will never achieve what you are setting out to achieve, which is the outright dismantling of many governmental functions.

Your focus and aim should instead be on reforming what you dislike to make it run more efficiently. This would be a more practical usage of your time and would likely net real changes.
If only there was a way to modify the constructions to fit the needs of an evolving society :hmm:
 

the DRIZZLE

Platinum Member
Sep 6, 2007
2,956
1
81
What conservatives fail to understand is that we simply cannot go back to the governments of a hundred years ago. Times change, society changes, and the needs of a populace evolve. You cannot simply roll back the clock, it doesn't work that way and never has. You will never achieve what you are setting out to achieve, which is the outright dismantling of many governmental functions.

Your focus and aim should instead be on reforming what you dislike to make it run more efficiently. This would be a more practical usage of your time and would likely net real changes.
Tell that to Margaret Thatcher.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,390
25,174
136
Then your point about society is specious. Representatives answer to their party, and that controls government. A representative system indeed, but at odds with another old fashioned idea, the representation of citizen, not the political machine and those who feed it cash. Now if the public wants medicine by party politics so be it. My insistence has been on informed study to ascertain the best options with the emphasis on care in the context of our own culture, law and needs. That has not been as popular as picking a solution and demanding that reality bend to it.
It's not specious, it's just the method by which we determine the popular will. If you have a problem with our method of representation that's fine, but that has very little to do with this clause of the Constitution. I'm also unaware of a better way to do it, considering the fact that direct democracy has been a catastrophe when we've tried it in the US.

It also ignores the fact that you are claiming that the popular will resists government run medicine, when in fact polls generally show that the popular will demands government run medicine.
 

xj0hnx

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2007
9,262
3
76
What conservatives fail to understand is that we simply cannot go back to the governments of a hundred years ago. Times change, society changes, and the needs of a populace evolve. You cannot simply roll back the clock, it doesn't work that way and never has. You will never achieve what you are setting out to achieve, which is the outright dismantling of many governmental functions.

Your focus and aim should instead be on reforming what you dislike to make it run more efficiently. This would be a more practical usage of your time and would likely net real changes.
When it collapses under it's own weight you will wish you had thought differently about that.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
12,395
3,754
136
There ya go!
Perfect example: H3 freeway system connecting Joint Pearl Harbor/Hickam AFB to Marine Corps Barracks Kaneohe at a cost of $1.3 billion ($80 million per mile of roadway).

Not say'in whether it's good or bad though.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
30,283
3,812
126
To me, putting warning labels on food products is a legitimate function of our government, as described by our Founding Fathers quite explicitly in their detailed explanatory preamble to our Constitution:
In addendum to my answer on food labels, I've something to say with regards to you citing "general welfare". You may be aware I've a knack for citing the Declaration of Independence. Besides spelling out unalienable god given rights, they say:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it
Natural law decrees that in our pursuit of Liberty we have the right to rebuff authority. We need not be subjected to tyranny of the majority if we find it objectionable. Where do we find ourselves today? In a highly objectionable hyper partisan divide.

If we don't want to live with each other, I find that we simply don't have to! Contrary to Anarchy this does not simply mean individuals or very small groups have this autonomous right. Or if they do we are simply too far removed from such a society to even contemplate it. Instead I look towards our founding institutions, the largest bodies of government aside from our federal government. Unalienable state's rights.

It's also why I believe we need a single payer, national health care system as well, as our current one spends twice as much per capita as any other industrialized nation, with some successes but also measurably worse results across a broad range of metrics, for instance.

But with that example, I don't mean to digress from my basic question, which expressed in one way would be, "How do you interpret "promote the general welfare?".
"Everything necessary and proper to promote the general welfare".

Oh, that's my interpretation of your interpretation. I mean, really, with this modern day attitude do we need any guiding documents? I feel we've narrowed it down to a one liner. We see a problem and the centralized authority of the federal government always ends up being the solution. Hammer meets nail.

Instead of concerning myself with a twisted by-blow of specific words, look at the context of our nation's founding. Our express purpose for killing the Brits. We put everything on the line, risking great sacrifice, to ensure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If you want UHC, and food labels, then it is your god given right to convince your state to have them. The authority of this lies with you and your state, not the federal government. We do not exert liberty by imposing on others.

My ideal society, to "promote the general welfare" would look very much like today's society. Except we would NOT have all our eggs in one basket. All 315 million people would not be fighting each other to enact the same exact laws on one another. We'd cooperate where we volunteer, but aside from that there would be both Democrat and Republican solutions.

Red states would have their set of rules, Blue states another. Then the two ideologies, finally FREE to compete against one another would quickly sort out success from failure. We would each taste our own bitter medicine and realize yours ain't so bad. Even better, the two parties would be free to fight amongst themselves. Two divided into four, four into more. Who knows how many diverse factions we'll end up with? Diversity should be embraced, not run away from.

This country could finally see progress made.

You want general welfare? Freedom from an oppressive authority is my answer. It was the answer for the Declaration of Independence, and it's still the answer for us today. We have lost our way when it was so clear back then. Put aside the quest for power, and lift up your fellow man. Democrat and Republican alike.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY