The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

Thomas Jefferson on the bailout

Often I think about what our founding fathers would have to say about what has been going on in this country and the world, especially in the last few decades. The following might give us a clue as to what Jefferson would have said about our current financial crisis and the impending lapdance bailout for the guilty.

If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; And the sixteen being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they do now, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; But be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains around the necks of our fellow sufferers; And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on ’til the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering…and the forehorse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression. – Thomas Jefferson

12 Comments

  1. Very appropriate for our time.

  2. @farusha, thanks. I was looking through my file of quotes and it sort of just jumped off the page at me.

  3. At times, I share the same sentiment about my own country, the Philippines. I wonder too, how frustrating it is for our own heroes to witness of what our country has become. In fact, I just have made a post a couple of weeks ago on why I dislike the Philippines. But it is just a love-hate relationship and I am compelled to love my country despite its sordid realities.

  4. @Den, I think we are all now being presented with our “sordid realities.” I have hope that we will now make the right decisions and turn away from our previous paths. Time will tell, and time may be running out.

  5. {snicker} :lapdance:
    How very timely your quote is. Let’s see, the revolutionary war started because, why, again?…

  6. @Muse, I’m a sarcastic bugger at times. đŸ™‚

    Yes, another revolution may well be coming. This latest pile of dung at the very least has shaken the people out of their slumber. Whether we just rant a bit and then turn over and go back to sleep remains to be seen. Personally I’m not too confident. The spin doctors and slick-talking suits will sing us a good lullaby in three part harmony most likely.

    Sadly, I don’t yet see the bottom of the abyss.

  7. With very great respect [being a non-American, but a friend of America] I understand that a great many Americans hold down 2 or 3 jobs just to earn a subsistance level wage and a great many more live in dire poverty with no hope of basic medical care. This is the downside of hard-nosed Jeffersonian capitalism and is a disgrace to America.

  8. Jefferson and the founding fathers did not give us capitalism. They gave us a Republic. Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights, does it mention anything about capitalism.

    Capitalist economic practices became institutionalized in England between the 16th and 19th centuries, although some features of capitalist organization existed in the ancient world, and early forms of merchant capitalism flourished during the Middle Ages. Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the end of feudalism. From Britain it gradually spread throughout Europe, across political and cultural frontiers. In the 19th and 20th centuries, capitalism provided the main, but not exclusive, means of industrialization throughout much of the world. Source: Wikipedia

    It’s what we the people have done with it – or not done with it – since they handed us the keys that is the problem. It’s what we the American people have allowed those in power to do that is the problem. We the people bear the responsibility for the mess that this nation has become. And, it is a royal mess.

  9. I LOVE this quote! To think the Boston Tea Party was done over much less than what we’re experiencing today!

    Thanks for finding this!

    Plish

  10. I’m not convinced looking from the outside Richard that the U.S. is in quite such bad shape as it seems to you [Americans get quite hot in an election year] The reference I was making was to taxes, Americans are the most generous people in the world but there is a huge slice of political philosophy with regard to the creation of and redistribution of wealth through taxes which successive U.S. govts [dem and rep] simply ignore. While European govts in the postwar period were transforming their healthcare and welfare provision through tax and nat. insurance America was diverted from the whole philosophical argument by the McCarthy/Nixon led witch-hunt. So many of America’s ills seem to arise from the dire gap between rich and poor. There seems to be no recognition among Americans of the fact that while the entrpreunerial class is vital to the economy yet they would not succeed without the Joe on the shopfloor.

  11. Comment Richard’s blog

    You have said: It’s what we the American people have allowed those in power to do that is the problem. We the people bear the responsibility for the mess that this nation has become. And, it is a royal mess.

    I agree that the people bear the responsibility for electing leaders based on 16 second sound bites and election hype. Look what it has lead to.

    Spiritual confusion and idolatry – war mongering
    To give everything for one’s country is to worship one’s country. For those who take this position nationalism becomes religion and patriotism turns into idolatry, which is neither moral nor rational.

    In America this spiritual confusion and idolatry has led to years of America’s young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of oil under the guise of a colossal lie (WMD). The true aim of the war was to establish American hegemony in the Middle East and a strategic strike point against Iran. Thousands of injured vets have returned home only to find that the medical attention they require is not available. Thousands more have deserted.

    Civilian death toll – Bush and his administration are responsible for the slaying of between 87,558 and 95,557 Iraqi’s to attempt to build American oil hegemony in the Middle East and to secure a strategic position from which an attack Iran could be launched (primarily women and children).

    The invasion and war against Iraq is not only illegal (the UN Security Council never approved it as “a just war”) but it’s also immoral. The claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and was prepared to unleash them against the American public was false.

    In fact, the long-awaited report, authored by Charles Duelfer, who advises the director of central intelligence on Iraqi weapons, stated Iraq’s WMD program was essentially destroyed in 1991 and Saddam ended Iraq’s nuclear program after the 1991 Gulf War.

    Christians in America who proclaim “we must support the troops fighting for our country in Iraq” must be in a delusional state of denial to maintain a belief that God is on their side. In fact, the founding fathers were cautious no to create “a Christian Nation” as evidenced by their aversion to the Divine Right of Kings and England’s empire building and colonization pattern they created a Republic with a Constitution and the Amendments (Bill of Rights) that are in polar opposition from what was evidenced in Europe.

    Moreover, the New Testament is a covenant for peacemaking and not war making. It provides no basis for the justification of the use of violence for any purposes, even for reasons of self defense, let alone, for war. Lastly, it would appear that God is never on anyone’s side as scripture indicates believers are meant to be on his side and that’s the side of love and peace.

    Worship of capitalism and creation of unregulated and unaccountable corporate growth

    The 25 corporations making the big bucks off the war in Iraq, which is destined to fail, are: Halliburton, Veritas Capital Fund/DynCorp, Washington Group International, Environmental Chemical, Aegis, International American Products, Erinys, Fluor, Perini, URS Corporation, Parsons, First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting, Armor Holdings, L3 Communications, AM General, HSBC Bank, Cummins, MerchantBridge, GlobalRisk Strategies, ControlRisks, CACI, Bechtel, Custer Battles, Nour USA and General Dynamics.

    American taxpayers, 42 thousand of whom who do not have access to healthcare will be spending $2.7 trillion on this war and its aftermath, yet they are less safe around the globe and more divided at home than ever before.

    Economic mismanagement
    (1) Bush’s tax cuts for the rich have reduced annual tax revenue available for public needs hundreds of billions each year. McCain’s plan is more of the same. In addition the Bush Administration’s support of deregulation has led to economic fallout and the creation of corporate welfare bums that are subsidized by taxpayers and that in many cases pay not taxes at all.

    (2) Bush/Cheney’s occupation of Afghanistan and invasion of Iraq plan has cost citizens trillions of dollars of debt and interest. This is not to mention the human loss of men and women being sent home in body bags who would have otherwise lived, worked and paid taxes. The tab is estimated to be well into the trillions when you add rehabilitation for injured vets, replacement of military hardware, and the value of things Americans could have produced but didn’t. The vets returning home are not getting the medical help they need. McCain’s plan is more of the same.

    (3) Bush and his buddies finished off the deregulation of banking that began in earnest during Clinton’s presidency. This ideological madness has caused the collapse of investment funds, banks, and the stock value of corporations that depend on them (which is to say most of Wall Street and much of the financial world), as well as a steep decline in the value of most homes in America and a sharp rise in the cost of living in them, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. Now the Bush administration is bailing the big guys out, while on the same day the economic collapse took place McCain claimed the economy is fundamentally sound.

    (4) President Bush lied in his September 6th radio address when he said that the oil in the offshore protected areas is equal to 10 years of current production. It’s not true. The Energy Information Agency, which is the government agency responsible for making estimates of oil reserves, says there are approximately 8 billion of barrels of oil in the protected areas. Current production is approximately 3 billion barrels a year and that means the oil in the offshore protected areas is equal to less than 3 years of annual production, not ten years.

    Republicans like McCain and Palin are pushing offshore drilling in environmentally sensitive areas as part “an ‘all of the above’ strategy to lower gasoline prices and decrease dependence on imported oil. It can’t be true, because there is not enough oil in these areas to have more than a minimal impact on gas prices (e.g. 3-4 cents per gallon) and even this benefit will not be realized for close to two decades.

    Abortion, Contraception and Dirty Politics
    (5) Bush is attempting to redefine contraception as abortion. Can you imagine living in a place where birth control is considered an “abortion” and health insurers won’t cover it? Where even rape victims are denied emergency contraception?

    It seems unbelievable, but the Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine “abortion” to include birth control. The Houston Chronicle says this could wipe out dozens of state laws that protect reproductive freedom for women and also protect rape victims. Access to basic health care for millions of women would be jeopardized. And it’s being pushed as a “rule change”—meaning, it doesn’t need congressional approval.
    The links for Bush administration’s draft regulations on abortion and contraception can be found in my post read at http://thistimethisspace.com/2008/08/22/abortion-contraception-bush-and-dirty-poli

    McCain and Palin’s religious choices and their positions on these issues propose more of the same dirty politics the Bush Administration undertook when it comes to eliminating reproductive freedom for women.

    What would it take to fix the system? A bail-out of banks? No, what is required is an overhaul of the whole economic system; a system-wide fix. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7642664.stm

    In order for that shift in thinking and action to take place there must be a huge paradigm shift between the ears of American voters; they must stop pursuing the American dream and become conscious. And, if they don’t then Rome IMO will fall.

  12. With very great respect [being a non-American, but a friend of America] I understand that a great many Americans hold down 2 or 3 jobs just to earn a subsistance level wage and a great many more live in dire poverty with no hope of basic medical care. This is the downside of hard-nosed Jeffersonian capitalism and is a disgrace to America.

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