Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)
Single-Handedly Rewrote the Constitution
Just as Lincoln redefined the Constitution in a short speak given at the end of several long speeches, FDR redefined the Bill of Rights during his 1944 State of the Union address presented directly to the American people via a radio “fireside chat”.
These economic “rights” by-passed the political process as he counted on the populist response to give these “rights” the momentum he could not obtain through the political process. In other words, he used the people to give up their original rights to obtain security. The sleight of hand worked, though over time; today, these “rights” are the fundamental impetus driving laws and elections. How did he arrive at these “rights”?
Without going into a long philosophical discussion the short answer is: Nazi Germany. When the world plunged into an economic depression its effects were greatest felt in Germany with raging inflation and governmental failure to reverse the plight of the ordinary person. Out of this economic and political upheaval arose the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler. FDR wanted to insure this did not occur in this country. It may have been a worthy motive but the process displayed a contempt for the people he supposedly wanted to help. He “floated” his germinal thesis during his 1941 State of the Union address seeking to reverse America’s isolationism which became known as the “Four Freedoms“.
FDR’s Four Freedoms
Preceded his Second Bill of Rights
Today you accept these without question because you have been taught through public education that these are the true “rights” of all peoples. This became not only the mantra since the political upheavals of the 1960s but also became enshrined in the United Nations treaty known as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“ICESCR”) which America signed but Congress did not ratify, yet. Thus, once again an American president became the guiding light demonstrating how to develop people’s desire for a strong dominating central government without the use of force which failed dismally in the 20th century (though at the cost of millions of lives). Why is this nearly “ancient history” relevant to us today?
French-born Frederic Bastiat
Understood the Fallacy of Central Planning
This cynical view of government was born out of the aftermath of the French Revolution, the nation-state’s first attempt to centrally control all modes of power within its sphere. Though it failed, in part (ultimately to give rise to the Communist revolutions of the 20th century), many elements of centralized government remained in place, even to this day. Bastiat wrote against the centralized control of economics recognizing it as nothing more than an exchange of goods (limited) for power (from the people). Nearly every major power experimented with centralized economic planning and control in the early years of the 20th century. The last traditional American president was Calvin Coolidge. Herbert Hoover was actually no different from FDR in his view that centralized planning by “experts” was better than the random forces of the “marketplace”; thus, displaying his ignorance of basic economics. Hoover piloted the programs that FDR later “co-opted” and renamed to combat the Great Depression. Yet, the more government interfered the worse the Depression became. Rather than admit government was the problem, which would have required giving up power, FDR sought to further extend the control of government in the pursuit of economic stability. This is akin to a dog chasing its tail all the while leading its master down the trail in search of game, both will become lost.
This could simply be rhetoric if not for simple proof of the abysmal failure of centralized planning before FDR even opened his mouth. This article on, “The Rise and Fall of Detroit” details in understandable terms the fallacy of centralized planning. When businesses in Detroit lived by marketplace forces, the entire community prospered but when Detroit succumbed to centralized governmental forces the city began its long decline into poverty, crime and desolation. Rather than give up power, city government seeks to further extend its power at the expense of the people. This bastion of Democratic government demonstrates the fallacy of looking to government for economic security. In other words, FDR’s Second Bill of Rights is a public relations ploy to secure your vote in exchange for a vague promise of security.
Case in point: Obamacare promised to extend healthcare insurance to uninsured Americans if government was given the power of enforcement (coercion). The bill was passed without being read by most of Congress. The American people received in this exchange for greater power for the central government? High premiums, fines, threats from the IRS and almost no coverage. People had “health insurance” in name only but since the plans were high deductibles they essentially had no coverage as most could not afford the thousands of dollars of required deductibles before the insurance would begin paying. When government withdrew its funding for insurance companies they dropped out of the market leading people worse off than before!
Now, I could discuss the fallacy of these ideas on their merits and lack of clarity. These people are no fools! They speak these flowery promises as a man to a “hot date” but never define what they mean! What is an adequate wage? Who determines this, the government? Who defines what is a decent home, the government? Who determines what constitutes a good education, the government? In every case the government is given greater power “secure” these benefits for its citizens but there is a problem. Government is not a producer! The government does nothing to generate wealth or goods or services. The government only takes from those who do provide goods and services to generate wealth for themselves and those who are employed. Government assumed this role promising to “fix” the problem it made. The worse the problem became the greater the government promised to fix it if it could only be given more control.
Asking Government to Provide Security
Is to Lose the Ability to Control Government
With all good intentions both the colonies at Jamestown and Plymouth tried to implement economic planning based on the “goodness” of man, with dismal results. People paid with their lives. Finally both colonies, independent of each other, decided that only those who worked, would eat and those who would not work, would starve. Amazingly, both colonies experienced bountiful economic growth, survived and expanded into new areas. The Bible clearly states, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” (2Th 3:10-11). So why do these policies persist when they clearly do not work? Even Mr. Trump practices these centralist policies, threatening companies with government coercion rather than giving up power so the marketplace can work. Why?
Because natural man has no hope. He has rejected God. He feels the cold breath of death coming ever nearer. Natural man’s only hope, which his no hope at all, lies in government. Cain first developed government to control and channel sinful people as sin always erupts into violence (as demonstrated by Cain’s murder of Abel). Nimrod, at Babel, unified religion and centralized government to eliminate God’s truth that man only begets violence. History, biblical and secular, clearly show the march of man seeking to return to a centralized government. This occurred at the local and regional levels but with the rise of the nation-state, owing to its more efficient use of finances and military power, unification occurred at the national levels. While the use of direct force failed, the subtle use of coercion based on the desires of sinful men to find salvation in government rather than God, became successful.
God has allowed man to believe the lie of his own goodness in order for man to experience the result of his rejection of God (2Ti 3:1-5). While our leaders speak, “Peace!”, there is no peace (Je 8:8-12). This is expected of the lost who will gather their armies together to defeat God at Armageddon only to find themselves defeated (Re 19:11-21). The great sadness is that many Christians have become ensnared by the cares of the world. This has dimmed the light of truth within them. Many who masquerade as Christians have followed these heresies leading astray the gullible and simple-minded into the paths of death (Pr 1:20-33). In their search for security and escape from death, governments are leading their people directly into the face of death in the name of security (for themselves or so they think)! If people would seek God and His salvation they would receive eternal security from death. If they would seek for goodness at His hand rather than government, they would find freedom from want (Mt 5:3-12). Seek God and He will find you; seek government and you will find only death, not security.