10 thoughts on “A Bill Of Federalism”

  1. Any Constitutional Convention will be co-opted by the left and result in a Soviet style document “of positive rights.” Note how they took a House Veterans Dept. money bill and turned it into ObamaCare.

    Easier to repeal the 17th amendment.

    1. The original constitutional convention met in private and consisted largely of well-educated men. They had differing opinions but were able to hammer out many compromises, most of which have stood the test of time. Could you imagine such a thing today? It’d be a media circus and, like you said, would likely get out of control in a hurry. Sorry, I don’t see to many Madisons running around today that I’d trust to form a constitutional convention.

  2. This is an old proposal–2009 if I’m reading the date right. I remember some discussion of it before, it might have been here.

    Rather than term limits, I’d rather have it illegal for anyone who held elected federal office one year before elections ineligible. So, to pick a recent example, Obama would have had to resign his senate seat in November 2007 to run for President in 2008.

      1. One year is a bit easier to calculate, but 18 months is ok. Whatever it takes to get rid of incumbents and seniority. I’m not sure what an office of public trust is; it seems easier to explicitly list what is barred–senators, congressmen, presidents, vice presidents, supreme court justices. I don’t see any reason to bar state office holders from running.

  3. I’m not sure incumbency in elected officials is the biggest problem. IMHO incumbency in appointed, unelected “civil servants” is just as much or more of a problem.

    My suggestion? Apart from military service (which has its own set of problems, and in which experience in the position actually matters) bing employed by the government ought to be limited to (say) 10 years – ever. To include local and federal government in the case of the USA and local and central government in the case of the UK. No pension at all; pay levels and other conditions of service to be decided by a separate body on which anyone who has ever been involved in government in any capacity is banned from serving.

    You want a government job? Fine. You get your 10-year vacation, then back to real work.

    Management jobs that require some sort of actual expertise to be filled from outside the “service”. And, for preference, having previously held a private-sector job ought to be a requirement for being taken on in the first place.

    1. Members of my family have worked for the Corps of Engineers (civil) for nearly all of my life. I’m quite prepared to believe that they know what they’re about, that the Corps does a better job by having career employees. I expect there are other government jobs where experience is also useful.

      1. Sure – but does that experience have to be gained in government employ? I am quite sure that in the example you mention – civil engineering – said experience is fungible.

        I’m not suggesting that your relatives are inefficient or corrupt, but there is strong pressure towards both in government (or any other sufficiently large) organisations. The First Commandment of any government or megacorporation employee is “Don’t Rock The Boat”.

        One more thing; trades unions in government service should be unrecognised – permanently. The First Amendment (IIRC) guarantees their right to exist, but no law gives them the right to be listened to – or conduct union business on employer’s time. Or on employer’s premises. You want to hold a meeting? Fine. Outside hours, and hire a hall.

        1. This doesn’t seem at all a good idea. How many private businesses would be successful if you required them to terminate their employees after ten years?

          Government jobs ideally are jobs that have no real equivalent in private industry, so experience gained on a government job wouldn’t be directly applicable to the outside world. So your government engineers would have wasted ten years of their lives. It seems that the only ones who would sign up for a government job would be fresh out of college and can’t otherwise get a job and will work there just long enough for it to look ok on their resume, or burnouts like me who have put in their thirty or forty years in private industry, are no longer competitive in the private world, and want to go somewhere to die.

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