Rule of Law vs Legislative orders

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by g8orbill, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. g8orbill
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    g8orbill Gators VIP Member

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    from the article:

    Consider the case of a person arrested and charged with rape. Should his status—whether he’s a senator, professor, or ordinary man—play a role in the adjudication of the crime and subsequent punishment? I’m betting that the average person would answer no.

    Just about every law that Congress enacts violates all the requirements for the rule of law. How do we determine violations of the rule of law? It’s easy. See if the law applies to particular Americans as opposed to all Americans. See if the law exempts public officials from its application. See if the law is known in advance. See if the law takes action against a person who has taken no aggressive action against another. If you conduct such a test, you will conclude that it is difficult to find many acts of Congress that adhere to the principles of the rule of law.

    A rule-of-law regime would require that we scrap the Internal Revenue Code in its entirety. What justification is there for the tax laws to treat an American differently because he has a higher income, minor children, or income from capital gains instead of wages? Equal treatment, at the minimum, would require Congress to figure out the cost of the constitutionally authorized functions of the federal government, divide it by the adult population, and send us each a bill for our share. You say, “What about the ability-to-pay principle?” That’s just a politics-of-envy concept that would be revealed as utter nonsense if applied to anything else, such as gasoline or food.

    That Americans have become ruled by orders and special privileges helps explain all the lobbyists, money, and graft in Washington. We’ve moved away from a government with limited powers, as our Founders envisioned, to one with awesome powers. Therefore, it pays people to spend huge amounts of money to influence Congress in their favor. Privilege-granting is precisely what most Americans want, though they might disagree on who gets what privilege. Most Americans have no inkling of what the rule of law means. We think it means obedience to whatever laws Congress enacts and the president signs. That’s a tragedy.

    Customs, traditions, mores, and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. These behavioral norms, mostly transmitted by example, word-of-mouth, and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial, and error. It’s the morality embodied in those thou-shalt-nots: kill, steal, lie, cheat, and so on. The importance of these behavioral norms is that people behave themselves even if nobody’s watching. There are not enough cops and laws to replace personal morality as a means to a civilized society. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become.



    Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/rule-of-law-versus-legislative-orders#ixzz2qfyW6g7V
  2. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    How about if we ask if their status as a repeat offender or various other behavioral factors should affect their sentence ? My guess is that most people would say hell yes.

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