Beyond the Cusp

October 21, 2016

The Real Reason Behind $15.00 an Hour Minimum Wage

 

There are all the usual reasons behind the proposing of a $15.00 an Hour Minimum Wage and it has little to do with actual minimum wage. One of the standards for an increase in the minimum wage is and has always been the unions. Many unions have salary agreements based on the minimum wage. This means increase the minimum wage, and union salaries automatically get a boost. When union salaries get a boost, then union dues get a boost. If union dues get a boost, the union leaders get more money for their own wages and for political donations. As political donations go higher, then incumbents get support of more PAC monies and this cements their job for life. So, in the end the politicians raise the minimum wages and the donations to the parties and their own campaigns increase thus making it that much more difficult for some upstart young man with the dreams of repairing the system to ever have a chance and the system is comfortably maintained. But even more is at stake this time around.

 

The introduction of ObamaCare forced employers of minimum wage employees to cut their hours to thirty hours so many positions became four six-hour days or three eight-hour days thus producing a twenty-four hour workweek. With these hours it also made it easy to establish seven-day-a-week, twenty-four-hours-a-day coverage by employing four shifts of six-hours/four days a week, and three shifts of eight-hours/three days a week, and presto-chango the twenty-four/seven week scheduling was covered. This actually worked out cleaner and easier to now cover the twenty-four-seven workweek than it had been with the forty hours a week which left weekend scheduling which often had two twelve-hours-a-day weekend staff which led to poor performance as twelve hour shifts have proven to be overly taxing on the individual worker according to many studies. The twenty-four hour workweek solves that problem very tidily. This caused a different problem in that the forty hour a week minimum wage earner now being reduced to twenty-four hours per week part time work placed an undue strain on the finances of anybody attempting to live on a minimum wage salary. The solution, make a twenty-four hour workweek pay close to what the forty hour workweek had paid in salary. The current Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour making a forty hour work week pay $290.00 and if one were reduced to a twenty-four hour workweek one would need a salary of approximately $12.10 per hour and if working a mere twenty hour workweek would require a salary of $14.50 per hour. This makes a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage a slight increase in pay and would actually cover a minimum wage using the twenty-four hour workweek of $9.00 per hour for a forty hour week. (For a list of minimum wages by state see here.)

 

Where this would be a nice explanation, there is even further reasoning behind this and that is the idea which has begun to be floated of a minimum livable salary for everybody. This idea is a guaranteed minimum annual salary paid by month which would be given every citizen of voting age regardless of their work status. This living wage would be based at, you guessed it, the $15.00 an hour minimum wage and be set just a mere $1200.00 per year less than working the forty hour workweek at $15.00 an hour. The worker at this imaginary line would earn an annual salary of $31,200.00 per year and the guaranteed monthly minimum would be $2.500.00 per month or $30,000.00 per year, a mere $1,200.00 less than the standard forty hour per week at $15.00 an hour minimum wage. Thus if you worked one of the twenty-four hour part time workweek at $15.00 an hour your salary would equal $18,720.00 per year thus you would receive a check each month of $940.00 each month bringing your salary up to the guaranteed yearly rate of $30.000.00 a year. Further, when this guaranteed minimum wage would be enacted ObamaCare would already have been amended into a single payer healthcare system exactly like those failing healthcare systems throughout Europe thus there would no longer be any need for the twenty-four hour workweek and employers could resume having forty hour workweek employers unless they found the part time system to their advantage. With the minimum wage at $15.00 an hour and working a forty hour workweek one would be being paid $31,200 per year, a dizzying $1,200 more than the guaranteed minimum salary. For that minuscule difference to make a difference there would need be a earned income credit for people not collecting anything on the guaranteed minimum salary making employment even at minimum wage for full time forty hour workweek more attractive otherwise there would be even more people forgoing working and just taking the guaranteed salary, something which would likely occur no matter what the incentives.

 

Tech Workers of the World Striking

Tech Workers of the World Striking

 

The libertarians and conservatives would likely gasp and potentially come close to having a stroke at this idea and it will be strongly resisted but in time reality would force some system similar in nature to this even if initially at a lesser guaranteed minimum salary. The reason will become evident in the near future as Wendy’s is going to provide stores with an automated cashier and likely when possible automated food delivery as well. We can expect as robotics improve and become less temperamental (known as more dependable in the automation and artificial intelligence community) there will be more and more positions worked by automated employees, otherwise known as robots. In industrial positions, the first to automate, the robotics need not resemble humans in any manner other than wielding tools, even should those tools resemble appendages. In human interaction the initial AI robotic interface with the public or other employees will likely obviously appear robotic even if their actions appear close to natural. Their mode of transportation is more likely to be wheeled for speed and stability but expect bipedal as walking robotics become more stable and safe. Their appearances will also go from R2D2 to C3PO to so human in appearance it may be next to impossible to tell the robotic organisms from the human employees except the robotic employees will not get all of the jokes and will be pranked constantly by those who feel a need to show their greater imaginations. Eventually the robotic organisms will even match or exceed us in these fields as well though they will likely only use such areas of their programs as a defense mechanism and in getting revenge on their human tormentors.

 

The future will present the problem that almost all low skill and even moderate and eventually all but the highest level requiring human traits such as imagination will be filled largely by robotic organisms. Robotic organism lawyers will have sued to have them referred to as organisms even if we lesser humans insist on using the robotic label in order to feed our egos and to make ourselves feel superior in some esoteric manner. There will be no reason why robotic organisms cannot teach school having a human reference person available to assist when a robotic organism has difficulty interacting with biologic lifeform students but such humans will be mostly bored and will probably be able to back-up many scores of robotic organism teachers. Waiters, stockroom workers, sales positions, almost any position will eventually be filled by robotic organisms such that we will eventually reach a point where humans will only need work if they so choose. All of this is dependent on our robotic organisms at the least being amused at our presence or needing us to be consumers for their products. Of course there is always the science horror possibility that they will perceive us as unnecessary and eliminate us. There is one position which will be legally restricted from robotic organisms being employed, politicians. There are already long-haul truck companies starting to look into automated tractor trailers for inter-city long-haul truck routes which is being fought against by the Teamsters Unions. No surprises there. There will be no preventing the use in more and more positions of robotic organisms even if at first it will be a bit of a novelty, it will soon thereafter become a necessity for doing business as the company using robotic organisms will have a large advantage over one using old fashioned human workers. Competition will lead to replacing human organisms with robotic organisms even to the point of their using robotic organisms as the supervisors until they realize that robotic organisms do not require supervisors, just repair technicians which can also be robotic organisms. It’s the future and that is part of the $15.00 an hour minimum wage which will lead to the $2,500.00 a month individual minimum wage. The only thing we would like to request is please do not kill the messengers as was the case in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 10, 2015

The Leftist Conspiracy, Israel, Europe, the United States, and Beyond

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Elections, media hype, political mass rallies, press control, universal currency and world governance are all leftist fronts where the extreme leftists are pushing the implementation of their socialist humanism ideals no matter the cost or the great dangers of potential dire results. The initial target in the West is the redefinition of religion from Judeo-Christian to Secular Socialist Humanism which seeks to establish a new world religion that will serve their aims to make a better world. This has led in many Jewish congregations in the United States and Europe to the redefining of Tikkun Olam from being a form of self-improvement first and having a communal accomplishment of improving each member leading to a more righteous community and thus making a more fair and caring world instead to improving the world which is designed as a socialist paradise where income inequality has been reduced, providing it does not impinge on the level of luxury of the leftists lives who are implementing this new equality of incomes, and the setting of a livable minimum wage instead of an actual simple minimum wage. They often demand that there be green areas set where there can be no building, limits on the heights for buildings and building freezes within cities and at the same time rent controls and affordable housing and rent subsidy housing but usually not near their neighborhoods. They pass completely meaningless nuclear free zone laws despite the fact that there have been absolutely no intentions to construct any such power plants. Sometimes they also pass zoning restrictions against coal or other carbon based power plants despite there being no power generation plants placed or proposed to ever be placed within their neighborhoods. There is a perfect example representing the nuclear free zone concept exists straddling the border between Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington D.C. in the Nuclear Free Tacoma Park which was declared a nuclear-free zone in 1983 by then-mayor Sam Abbott. Unfortunately for the Takoma Park library which had purchased new computers to replace their relics in June of 2012 they realized they had made an unforgivable error, the computers were Hewlett-Packard computers and Hewlett-Packard had been contracted to work on nuclear weapons thus making these computers not kosher for use within their nuclear-free zone. The city council gave the library a waver after a couple of months of severe hand-wringing. Strange but true. Another classical case of leftists hoisted with their own petard.

 

What I have noticed is that more and more as time passes is that leftists will use the world media, which they largely control, and other resources even to the point of populating rallies paid for by leftist groups or even other government agencies under leftist influence or from nations already under leftist control in order to influence elections in other Western nations in order to assist leftist parties to win elections. This has become very evident in the current Israeli elections and has an interesting twist which proves that this has been set-up and planned for quite some time leaving only exactly how deep this conspiracy had reached. First off to get back to the front end of this what very well might be a mad and crazed conspiracy theory we need to get back to the reelection campaign of President Obama. Throughout the campaign there was a theme that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was actively supporting Republican Mitt Romney in an attempt to unseat President Obama by instructing the Jews and supporters of Israel to put Romney into the Presidency because Prime Minister Netanyahu could not get along with President Obama. This little theme kept creeping into the campaign despite repeated denials in interview after interview by Netanyahu. Reality did not interfere with the story as it was just a given that Prime Minister Netanyahu personally could not get along with President Obama no matter how much President Obama gave in to Israel on, how much he worked to protect Israel, often even from herself and specifically from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own extremist demands and attitudes which will only destroy Israel and lose her all the nations which used to be her friends. Nobody could quite understand this false conspiracy between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama.

 

Move back a bit before going on to the Israeli elections in 2013 to the government of Prime Minister Sharon in its post-Likud Kadima mode when the disengagement from Gaza was imminent and it was not until the last possible moment and only after great amounts of needless debate and hemming and hawing before leaving the government. This caused many to question which Netanyahu valued higher, his friendships especially when being called into question and his Zionist views which he claims are so central to his political life. Then came his winning the Prime Ministership in 2009 and his appointing of Ehud Barak as his Minister of Defense which led to some to question how deep Ehud Barak’s influence was being felt in cabinet decisions and how far the fact that Ehud Barak was Bibi’s commander in the IDF. This came to a head when President Obama demanded an extended building freeze beyond the Green Line which ended up being enforced for ten months despite support by the public to resist making such a sacrifice. Then came the elections in 2013 which returned Benyamin Netanyahu to Prime Minister and his first move was to include Tzipi Livni and her new Party’s paltry six mandates and appointed her to be Minister of Justice and made her the lead negotiator with Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab Authority government in Area A of Judea and Samaria. There have been rumors and even some unconfirmed reporting that there was another building freeze put in place to please President Obama and to placate Mahmoud Abbas and company. Now we are entering the last stretch of another election which this time places Tzipi Livni in direct opposition to Prime Minister Netanyahu as she has allied herself with the Labor Party and Yitzhak Hertzog.

 

It seems to be almost a theme in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political career to have former Likudniks who have drifted, some even fled, away from Likud and the Zionist and right leaning camps to post-Zionist, and in Tzipi Livnis’s case, far leftist camp about as far as one could get from their Likud beginnings as they possibly could. This election has become a three ring circus with every ring and every act being some version of the theme, “Anybody but Bibi.” This has been the theme from Yair Lapid, Tzipi Livni, Yitzhak Hertzog, Zahava Gal-On and who knows how many other party leaders and NGOs. Where this Israeli election has the normal interference from the European Union and numerous European governments but there is a repeat of the Netanyahu opposition in 1999 when President Clinton sent James Carville and company to do everything possible and funded their efforts against Bibi. This election it is President Obama who sent Jeremy Bird and a group called either V15 or V2015 which is organizing as massive a grassroots door knocking army and has virtually unlimited funding as OneVoice which was recently awarded $200,000 for future projects by the United States State Department. This may be the first time that the United States State Department has financed the efforts to unseat a sitting Prime Minister of an ally in his nation’s elections. The efforts being put forth to beat Prime Minister Netanyahu is code-named “Anybody but Bibi” but is all about electing Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Hertzog and prevent the formation of a Zionist or right wing government. This has gotten to the point where even President Reuven Rivlin has come and spoken of his desire if the election appears to be close and no clear victory is won to bring the two main parties, Labor/Hatnua and Likud together to form a so-called unity government with the intended design to formulate some new manner of electing the Israeli governance which will make it more difficult to topple a government and force the government to function with the elected people rather than holding elections every year to year and a half as so many Parliamentary governance like all those dysfunctional across all of Europe, or that is how it is being sold. All of these different packages are all designed to assure that there not be another Bibi dominated government and to prevent the formation of a Zionist and right wing government which will not cooperate with President Obama which is the result most sought by the leftist interference from the United States and Europe.

 

The really odd thing about the V15/OneVoice campaign theme is based on a simple word, “Change,” just change without the pairing with hope. Maybe the campaign genii from the Obama reelection campaign and also veterans from the 2008 initial election of President Obama using the mantra of “Hope and Change” and the so very rhythmic chanting of, “Yes We Can!” was just too easily recognized so instead they decided to go with something appropriate and simple but definitely unrecognizable, new, fresh and completely original so they came up with, “Change.” No hope included, just change, not even yes we might, just change, but everybody knows the real chant is anyone but Bibi. The V15 people necessarily never mention OneVoice and try not to allude to President Obama or overtly that they are campaigning for Hertzog and Livni, they just stick with the change of government and anybody but Bibi though everybody knows what that means, and it does not mean Deri from Shas, Bennett from Jewish Home or any of the others though most would be acceptable as long as they would not include Bibi in their coalition. But the truth is if you are attempting to defeat Bibi Netanyahu then you are campaigning for Hertzog and Livni. Further, if anyone cares to listen to what Hertzog and Livni were screaming about for the weeks leading up to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent addressing of the United States joint session of Congress then you heard their entire campaign platform. Their plan is to repair the relations between Israel and President Obama by dutifully obeying any and everything that President Obama demands from them.

 

This means that they will gladly withdraw all Jewish Israelis from all of Judea and Samaria as well as East Jerusalem and pull back behind the Green Line even without meeting with Mahmoud Abbas. This they will perform so as to allow President Obama to force Abbas to then agree to take the lands and hopefully accept them and agree to end his demands and make peace. Perhaps this is when the hope enters the formulas. Thus far nobody has addressed one little potentially troubling scenario, what happens should Mahmoud Abbas take the now purged lands which have been made Judenrein as he demands and refuse to make peace demanding instead that Israel accept some five-million Arab refugees within their now truncated borders and even then he actually says that he will still not make peace until all the Jews have been removed from his greater Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Is this where the Hopeless Changes would be enforced and Israel made to accept every last Arab claiming to be a refugee regardless of their ancestral history? As I said, nobody has addressed this and I can assure you this will be exactly what will occur should Livni and Hertzog be given the opportunity to form and coalition and they succeed in forming a government predicated on accessing to every wish of President Obama in his mad quest for peace in the Middle East and his winning another Nobel Peace Prize.

 

If this interference in the Israeli election works for the international forces of the socialist extreme leftists then all of the Western nations can expect a full court press to place leftist government into power wherever it proves possible and then the attempt to impose a One World universal currency, a deal that the Russians have been very strongly proposing and supporting and have run into a singular blockade, the Chinese thus far are refusing to accept such a currency and are willing to continue using the dollar as their currency is defined as a set value against the dollar so it behooves them to retain the dollar as the petro-dollar and the reserve currency of the world. If for a moment anyone believes that the making of a universal currency will work please take a long and hard look at Europe and the Euro. The same problems that Greece is facing as their economic plans did not fare well when compared to Germany or any other Euro nation. One cannot have a common currency unless every nation using that currency agrees to centralize their economic governance. That simply means if there is a world currency then there must be a world governance. That is the desire of the leftists and is why they are allying themselves currently with the forces of Islam as they view their militancy as the fastest route to a single governance over the world except the leftists believe they will be able to redefine Islam to transform it into their secular social humanist governance and have overlooked the slightest of problems, the Islamists will be so very busy murdering these very same extreme leftists for their beliefs, especially for their liberal views over women, abortion, same sex marriage, alternate lifestyles, drinking of alcohol and virtually everything else they accept even to the way they dress. The misadventure starts with the election coming within two weeks in Israel, March 17, 2015 to be exact, and if in any way Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is not chosen to form a Zionist coalition, or if he does not choose a Zionist coalition, then there will be endless interference and meddling in every election coming for the foreseeable future.

 

In some manners and ways even should Netanyahu be chosen to form the next government that is far from guaranteeing that he will form the kind of government required from him if Israel is to survive the calamities coming in the next few years. Obeying every dictation out of Washington, the White House in particular, would be a recipe for disaster and could very possibly signal the end of the Jewish People. In some ways it might be better for the survival of the free world and the Jewish People if one of the following were to be chosen though all are a longshot but are probably necessary for Netanyahu to choose in forming his government and the parties and their leaders are Jewish Home and Naftali Bennett, United Torah Judaism and Yaakov Litzman with Moshe Gafni, Yachad – Otzma and Eli Yishai and finally Yisrael Beiteinu and Avigdor Liberman. As things appear currently the polls are showing the race too close to call and in many ways it appears that whichever side between Netanyahu and Livni/Hertzog is given the nod to form a coalition will very probably succeed. Should Netanyahu allow his seeming personal problems with Naftali Bennett force him to refuse to bring Jewish Home in at all then he would be faced with accepting either a unity government which will cause problems and lead to a short-lived governing coalition which could easily be brought down. If the fears that some have expressed that Netanyahu’s Zionist streak may not be as wide or as deeply held as many have been led to believe and that his wavering on that point might cause him to make a unity government to honestly address the election processes and make a new and less fragile manner of governance might mean more to him. Additionally, there have been reports of some difficulties between President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu which also could come into play. Thankfully we have only a matter of days to scrutinize the elections and then all will be revealed and the die cast and our fates determined.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 7, 2015

The United States Lost Republic to Democracy

 

While a complete democracy is neither desirable nor practical, yet the United States has irrevocably moved steadily closer and closer to outright democracy since the first days of her founding under the present Constitution. The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments which were debated and selected from an original thirteen and sliced down to a nice round number, ten, gave the first step in that direction by delineating the rights which were included in those guaranteed the people as they were gifts from the creator mentioned so specifically in the Declaration of Independence which many of the Founding Fathers believed was a part of the founding documents which defined the society and its governance just as much as the Constitution. As time progressed the Federal Government gathered unto itself more and more powers stealing them either from the States respectively, or from the people. This was from the government which supposedly was restricted by Amendment X which read, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Founding Fathers were divided into two groups, the Federalists and, of course, the anti-Federalists with one group desiring to balance the governance in favor of the most local governance as possible while the others believed that centralized powers were required in order for the governance to rule the entire nation. The first attempt to fashion a weak central governance over the newly liberated English colonies, the Federated States of America, was a dismal failure as without any powers to raise money and left at the mercies of the charity of the individual States the government very soon ran aground and became high, dry and out of funds. So, the United States of America’s Constitution was America 2.0 and made with powers given the central government unconscionable the first time around. Had the Federal Government continued to be restrained and restricted to its original powers then the United States would probably be in better shape and the European powers would still have militaries of sufficient size and capabilities that they would not be dependent upon the United States to be the sole determining force of NATO and the European Union would have died long before the Euro became the bane of Greece and the lucrative coinage for Germany. But the changes that put the final knife into the Constitution slashing it and tearing it and signaling the end of that Amendment X and the State’s rights it presumably protected came in along with the end of many individual rights for the individual American just before World War I began on July 28, 1914.

 

Earlier in that fateful year Amendment XVI established the income tax with the promise from the politicians that it would only tax the most wealthy one percent of the population and would never be permitted to become a burden on the average person and on that promise likely being the clinching argument allowed it to be ratified into law on February 3, 1913. As any American will attest, the income tax became far more than burdensome on the average person but also grew to such a point and the IRS which it founded gathered such information that the government through provisions and added regulations eventually could tell the average person their expenditures throughout the year and was rumored jokingly that the IRS could look up the color of the guest towels hanging in your bathroom. Now the Federal Government can tell you a whole lot more than the colors of items you have purchased, the extent and particulars of your every investment and virtually anything anyone might care to know about your life, your purchasing habits, your diet where you go on weekends for fun, where you vacationed the last ten years, the make and mileage on your vehicles and just about any other detail imaginable, and people worry about their privacy. Privacy in this world died a long time ago somewhere right before data mining and agreements between governments arranging for each to spy on the other’s citizens and then provide the information upon anybody that the other requested which eventually led to the decisions to forget the middle-man and simply for each nation to spy on their own citizens making everything so much easier and less complicated.

 

A short time later the Amendment XVII was ratified on April 8, 1913 establishing for the direct election of each State’s Senators instead of allowing each State to decide the methods their Senators were chosen. Previous to this Amendment to the Constitution most States chose their Senators in a various number of procedures with the two most used being the Governor choosing the Senator as each came up for election and possibly having to present them to the State’s legislature or higher branch of the legislative branches to have them approve the selection with some States requiring a larger vote for approval than a simple majority. The other method was for the Senator to be selected by the legislative branch of the State government and in most cases have them approved by the Governor under the same rules as legislation was passed or vetoed by the Governor. This Amendment took away the individual State’s ability to have their voices heard in the Federal Government making the Senate simply a less populous House of Representatives having both wings of the bicameral legislative governance chosen directly by the people. The reasoning presented was that the people were more knowledgeable as a group or mass intelligence than any combination of State Governors or legislatures in choosing the Senators. There was also the claim that State level politicians were too corrupt which was laughable as the majority of Federal legislative politicians were simply the most competent of the people in State governance. This was amidst the populace movement where the average citizen was presumed to have better sense when the whole was allowed to speak as through elections. What was completely ignored was that the Founding Fathers had planned for the Senate to be the legislative branch representing the States’ governance such that the Senate would guard over State’s rights and protect the powers of the State and limit the influence the Federal Government could have over them. This change brought on the slaughtering of the States individually and collectively such that they have long ago seen their powers slowly but inexorably misappropriated, stolen even, by the Federal Government which now faced no opposition from the individual States. This also allowed the Federal Government to control the individual States by demanding that the State acquiesce to the demands and whims of the Federal Government in order to receive funding such as requiring that the States meet caloric and vitamin requirements and curtail the choices offered the children otherwise not receive a large amount of Federal school funding which is earmarked for the lunch and other food programs. Further, the Federal Government has come up with this wonderful manner in which to place onerous demands on the States through unfunded mandates. These are programs that each and every State is required to carry out according to Federal regulations or even actual laws but for which the Federal Government no longer funds the program dumping the entire mess upon the States to finance. The numbers of these programs increases every year and this is partially due to the Federal government attempting to release itself from onerous financial obligations which were laid out in legislation for some program every State is required to carry out and funds were set aside for the first so many number of years and were presumed to be funded further by the Federal Government but somehow down the road the Federal funding ceased but the mandate continued and the States found themselves on the hook to finance program after program as the Federal Government cut off the flow but did not cut out the requirements.

 

Both of these Amendments to the United States Constitution were ratified but under suspicions of fraud. One was found to have received the final ratification a few weeks or a couple of months beyond the set time allotted for ratification to be permitted, Congress claimed that somehow this had been covered by some extension despite no such allowance stipulated as possible by the Constitution and the other was not ratified by sufficient States falling a couple short. Well, World War I struck on July 28, 1914 and the RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915 was sunk by a German U-boat and American lives were lost as a result. There has been debate ever since the sinking as to whether the RMS Lusitania carried weapons or explosives for use in the war which was vehemently denied by Britain and the United States as well as the other allied powers and the debate has persisted and apparently will continue forward. Meanwhile, President Wilson argued against joining the war while simultaneously demanding that the U-boat attacks not target indiscriminately and especially avoid any further attacks upon civilian craft like the RMS Lusitania. Wilson was already stoking the public to allow an American effort join the efforts while also campaigning on a platform that he kept the United States out of the war. United States President Woodrow Wilson finally demanded a Declaration of War and the Congress responded giving him his desired declaration of war on April 6, 1917. As the initial Declaration of War identified only Germany as the nation the United States had declared war upon, this proved to be untenable; so after President Wilson again requested a Declaration of War and Congress did comply as they declared war on Austria-Hungary on December 17, 1917. The United States never actually declared war against all of the forces fighting against the allies who also consisted of the Central Powers, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. World War I came to an end on November 11, 1918 and by this date the horrific pandemic known as the Spanish Flu had broken out and some of the troops brought the virus home with them which caused the pandemic to break out and spread across the United States. By this time the two Constitutional Amendments numbers sixteen and seventeen were faint memories pretty much lost in the fog of the decade which followed them with the war and the flu who had time to be concerned about the potential of inconvenience of two little Amendments. Unfortunately, as was learned many years later these two little Amendments proved to be anything but minor little legislative additions to the Constitution but rather major changes in the breadth of Government powers and the depth of their effect to be felt years later. These two Amendments may have been the most influential pair of legislative action ever passed and ratified since the Bill of Rights was passed. These Amendments laid the framework by which power became centralized in the Federal Government and provided the funding through direct taxation of the people and stripping the States of choosing their own representatives within the central government thus liberating the Federal Government from any limitations by the States nor could they protest directly the absorption of the powers which had previously been within the control of the individual States and subjugating the States beneath the Federal Government’s heel without recourse.

 

The change in how Senators were to be elected directly by the people simply made the Senators nothing more than super representatives with two permitted per state. Now the United States had entered the point of no return sliding almost completely into democracy and definitively no longer a republic. Benjamin Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, “Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” and Benjamin Franklin answered bluntly and directly to the heart of the query stating, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Never in the history of founding of nations has the situation been so accurately assessed nor has the problem been predicted as how the Governance will be altered eventually unraveling the delicate balance between the individual States and the Federal Government. It is said that one can assess any Governance by a simple measure; just determine which side is the more fearful of the other and should the Government be more fearful of the people than are they of the Government, then you have freedom but if the people are fearful of their government than the government is of them, then you have tyranny. With all the branches which are appointed to make the general rules and stipulations and requirements from the people now directly elected with the exception of the President, the United States is teetering on the edge and about to fall beyond the cusp and into the electing of the President directly ending any vestige of a republic. The direct election of Presidents has been proposed and one of the most dangerous legislative suggestions which recently was rejected for yet another time by the Oklahoma Legislature which would have demanded that the Electoral representatives for the State vote for the winner of the popular vote by the entire nation while ignoring the will and votes of the citizens in their own state. Should that legislative effort win in sufficient states which would provide an electoral victory then all any candidate would need do is campaign in the cities and areas with the greatest concentration of people to assure himself victory in the popular vote and completely ignore the less populated areas such as Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Maine and all of the rural areas in every state. This idea is simply the latest manner to circumvent the Constitution and make the Electoral College an abstract and ancient methodology to be forgotten except by those few who major in ancient manners for electing leaders in city-states and nations; a major just slightly more useful than Indo-Chinese Love Sonnets of the Ming Dynasty.

 

So, as we can see the United States has slowly but inescapably moved towards a total democracy. There have been calls in the last couple of decades as computers have made this possible for the United States government, as a final act, provide everybody over the age of eighteen a voting tablet which is dedicated to one function and only one function, listing the legislative issues and bills currently up for voting and tallying every citizen’s vote. Each citizen of voting age would be permitted to cast their vote on anything plus they could present legislation they desired to see placed before the people and seek a qualifying number within a reasonable time to continue to be eligible to remain on the list of proposed legislation. This number would slowly rise over at most two months and at that predetermined time, if the proposed legislation has attained the highest level of approvals it would qualify as a piece of general interest and the suggestion would be listed as a Bill and then have two weeks for everyone to vote. Should a Bill be passed it wound be passed on to the President much as things work today. Do not expect such to occur soon as it would require career politicians to vote such into law and thus make their chosen profession obsolete.

 

Still, the United States today is much closer to being a democracy than it is to the republic envisioned by the Founding Fathers and once those populists on the extreme left or the Federalists on the extreme right get their way, then even the President will be selected by straight majority voting. All it would probably take is for a popular candidate which one side felt was undeniably the best choice to win the popular vote but lose the election. Then another ridiculous exhibition of populist insanity would boil over and press through some version of directly electing the President and the United States will have completely been transformed into a democracy. Nothing happens in a bubble and everything has its originating source. The movement to a democracy rather than a republic is that with a democracy it is possible and made more likely for government to become a case for mob rule in which the mob would be the more populous states which is those with the most cities, the most megalopolises. When the cities are given the rule, then what happens to the needs of rural America? We are seeing the effect of cities ruling as the most dominant force in government in California where the water allotments were made over the years to favor the cities over the farmers. Now there are stretches of farmlands which are just acre upon acre of brown dusty soil with dead crops which simply were not provided with the necessary irrigation water at the most critical growing part of the season and these crops and lands are now almost worthless. The family farms will cease to exist due to not being able to pay for their last seeds which never had a chance to grow and will be forced fiscally to sell their lands to the mega-farm industry. This all because the people in the city pressed their allotment of water over that of the less populous farmers were able to and the farmers simply lost their last crop and now are finished. This was a sad example of how straight democracies can destroy an entire segment of the population simply by pressing the mob’s desire for green lawns, full swimming pools, green parks and water amusement parks and a myriad of other needs for water in the big city. The farmers had a similar need but lacked the muscle to lobby the government either at the State or Federal levels and thus lost their crops and many will lose their farms. Once the industrial farm corporations gain ownership of enough of the farmlands, then they will have the lobbyists and they will have the clout to get the irrigations water turned back on and limit the lawn watering city dweller to only be permitted to water their precious lawns on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. They may scream bloody murder but at least the farms will return to producing food and not just dusty soil. This entire water battle has and will play out across the United States over time and perhaps teach some of us the values of indirect governance over straight mob rule democracy.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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