"provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"
ObamaCare is being challenged in the Supreme Court because the individual mandate requires Americans to buy insurance. The harm in Federal monopolies requiring purchases can be seen in The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 creation of Oil's Potato Famine.
Getting and keeping a job in America, requires each of us borrow money from a bank, buy a car, built by a union and fuel it with gasoline from an oil company. Interstates, with 1/3rd of miles driven on them, shaped the car culture, American cities, industries and made oil the lifeblood of America's economy. Oil is finite. Life and nations based on oil are terminal. America's Founders were wise to limit the Federal government to only promote, not provide welfare. Socialism, government control of the means of product created civilization killers of Peak Oil, Climate Change and Debt.
Following is a summary of the Constitutional limit to only promote welfare, oil's Potato Famine and free market solutions.
Constitution: Promote Welfare:
In the 37 year struggle to establish a government based on liberty, the Founders recognized that every act of government is the act of "interested men." To limit human nature from doing harm in the name of doing good, the Federal government was to be limited, frugal, balanced and have the single mission of defending liberty. A secondary aspect of defense was to regulate commerce to avoid defense entanglements.
The restrictions to "regulate" not manage commerce, to "promote" not "provide" welfare are underscored in many of the Federalist Papers. Hamilton, Madison and Jay wrote these Papers in support of the Constitution's ratification:
#45 (Madison): "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."
#41 (Madison): Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the 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," amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.
Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare.
Madison specifically states that Federal taxes would not pay for "forms of conveyances."
Opposed to Constitutional ratification, the Anti-Federalist Papers objected that limits on powers were not specific enough to avoid consequences from Federal encroachment:
"Those who have governed, have been found in all ages ever active to enlarge their powers and abridge the public liberty."
After the Constitution's ratification, the Anti-Federalist movement faded. Yet, Madison consolidated their concerns into the Bill of Rights and pushed it through ratification. These first 10 Amendments more specifically state the Federal limits to stay outside the creative-destruction of speech, religion, commerce and powers belonging to the States and the People.
Oil's Potato Famine
In the same year as The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 expanded America's oil use into an addiction, Dr. Hubbert published the fact that Peak Oil would be in 1970. A year later Admiral Richover echoed the warning. The list of those warning has grown ever since. In 2010 the Joint Forces Command published a warning to US military commands:
"By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day."
Oil is finite. Life and nations based on oil are finite. Violating the Constitution, shaping infrastructure to mandate the purchase of oil, The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, bound the survival of America and Americans to ever less affordable, depleting and uncertain foreign sources of oil. Oil's Potato Famine potential is a monolithic dependence on an source of oil 60% outside our control.
Peak Oil Graph
The graph on the left shows Peak Oil (light blue), oil imports (dark blue), and national debt (NYSE:GOLD). Increasing national debt and oil imports are highly correlated. The graph on the right shows Disposable Energy, disposable incomes ability to buy energy. The steady increase of Disposable Energy in the 1960 underscores the short-term benefits we all enjoyed. The crash in 1973 and today underscore that life requires energy, less affordable energy, less life.
Since 1970 Federal energy policy has been to sell American self-reliance; debt for imported oil. In a period when eight Presidents declare imported an enemy of the Constitution, the Federal monopoly borrowed and taxed to expand its highways, increasing imported oil needs from 20% to 60% of total requirements.
The sacrifice of American self-reliance, even survival, underscores government cannot be trusted to control the means of production.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 provides solid proof of the wisdom of the Founders to limit the Federal government to only "promote" welfare. Providing welfare caused:
- A century of rotary telephone.
- Peak Oil in 1970.
- National debt increasing in tandem with oil imports.
- Socializing the cost of pollution into future risk.
- Daily commitment of US military since 1990 to protect foreign oil.
- Oil's Potato Famine, monolithic dependence on a source of energy 60% outside our control.
- Rising gas prices.
My hope is the harmful consequence of Federal providing welfare will be used for the Supreme Court's deliberation. Civilization killers of Peak Oil, Climate Change and Debt are consequence caused by a Federal commercial monopoly mandating the purchase of oil to keep a job while socializing vast costs of using oil into the national debt.
Free Market Solutions
Free markets, each of us voting every day with our wallets, without the government socializing costs of pollution and wars, but companies capitalizing all costs into product prices, can sense and adapt. All costs include resource depletion, debt, pollution, restoration to like use and other aspects of our duty to our Posterity.
Privately funded freight railroads average over 450 ton-miles per gallon. The Personal Rapid Transit network in Morgantown, WV has delivered 110 million injury-free, oil-free passenger-miles. Our ideals and ethics are those of self-reliance, personal responsibility and person liberty. We know far more today about energy, manufacturing and technology than at any time in history. Since the 1984 return of communication infrastructure to a free market these insights have been applied to communications.
In a free market, my guess is that by 2020 $11 trillion dollars of Personal Rapid Transit (NYSE:PRT) networks will be built bringing freight rail efficiency to urban transportation. Cutting cost per passenger mile from 56 cents to 4 cents will create an economic boom similar to the building of railroads in the late 1800's.
Railroads were the circulatory system for the Industrial Revolution and catalyst for changing the energy system from biofuels to fossil fuels. Similarly PRT networks will be the catalyst for rebuilding America manufacturing base and shifting energy systems from fossil to solar.
The United States of America were founded powered within a solar budget. We know far more about manufacturing, science and energy than any time in history. Since being return to free markets in 1984, we have applied this learning to communications. When power and transportation are returned to free markets we will accomplish what Thomas Edison noted as practical in 1910:
"Sunshine is spread out thin and so is electricity. Perhaps they are the same, Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy."
"Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property."
"There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen...."
JPods, Inc. of which I am a founder has one signed agreement to build solar-powered JPods networks in Kunming, China. We expect a second in Dongguan, China in the next week. Here are links to example networks at the Meadowlands, NJ and Hull, MA.
Getting permission to innovate is the US is still delayed after 12 years of wading through a hell of mindless political devotion to 20 and 30 year central plans for highways for which there is no plan for and no affordable oil to power. Peak Oil was in 1970. Peak Debt was in 2008. We are approaching Peak Money Printing.
Life requires energy. Breaking the Federal monopolies that bind America's economy to imported oil, powering America's urban economy within a solar budget will create growth at least as explosive as the end of the Federal monopoly over communications in 1984.
ObamaCare is Unconstitutional
The Constitution limits Federal actions to a primary purpose, defending liberty. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 provides welfare, proves harm by forcing a monolithic dependence on a source of energy 60% outside our control, endless wars to protect foreign oil, Climate Change, Peak Oil and Debt.
If the Supreme Court performs its duty, it will reject ObamaCare's attempt to create another Federal commercial monopoly as well as terminate all the unconstitutional Federal monopolies.
American self-reliance, in a free market will change the lifeblood of our economy from oil to ingenuity.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Additional disclosure: I am a founder and fully invested in JPods, Inc.