Reinterpreting the U.S. Constitution: Congress is not the government …

A clearer line of separation between the government of the United States of America and American society is needed and a starting point is a reinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution.  The “democratization” of the American republic and the transition from an agrarian, self-employed society to an industrialized, corporate-capitalist model has incentivized politicians and policy makers to offer to the electorate policy packages marketed as prescriptions for the market failure that ensues when the factors of production are concentrated in fewer hands and the electorate owns and controls less real wealth. 

Public policy packages are expensive as attested to the growth in the U.S. government’s debt load and the number of government agencies that came along with that growth.  Congress is a core architect of packages designed to win and secure electoral support and votes.  Congress has leveraged the public’s perception that Congress is a necessary and integral component of governance when in reality, even as holder of the purse strings, Congress’ governance role is limited and contrived. 

Congress has created a committee structure through which it exercises oversight over the executive and administrative branches; an authority not supported by the written Constitution. Congress has gone beyond its primary responsibility for authorizing the funding of the government into managing American society via a quid-pro-quo with the electorate where Congress passes spending packages that create new programs managed by special interests in return for the vote. This patronage system has Congress and the public believing, under the guise of democracy, that Congress actually governs.

American society having, at least in theory, selected this form of public administration should not be afraid to put Congress back in check. This should begin with changing the narrative around Congress.  Congress is not a part of the government.  It is not a branch of the government.  Congress does not administer a portfolio of public resources.  Congress is at best the body that contains the individual representatives to the government where such representatives represent the primary funders of the government i.e., taxpayers and bondholders.

Democracy and ego have created a body of individuals whose primary mission is to expand their importance and unfortunately their need to expand their self-importance drips into the lives of the individuals in society.

Unfortunately, the electorate itself does not have the discipline to send to Congress representatives willing to limit their duties to adjusting the purse strings or voicing electorate concerns regarding public administration of public resources.  The electorate’s calls from time to time for the Congress to “do something” or “get work done” demonstrates that the electorate is stuck in the narrative that Congress is a governing body. 

More work has to be done to clear that narrative from the subconscious.

Alton Drew

23 April 2022    

We appreciate your readership and support.  Feel free to donate to us via PayPal or support our advertisers.       

Government administers the trading post: The underlying philosophy of the law of markets ….

Commentary

Government’s role is to administer the trading post by managing the masses with a law-and-order scheme; broadcasting the value of its money through a regulated banking system; and expanding into and protecting new markets with its military and diplomatic corps.  Government, specifically western government, operationalizes the tenets of western philosophy: that man is at war with himself and nature and to alleviate the uncertainty of extermination, man must divide up the world and seek the most yield from the resulting parts.

Humans have no other reason to engage each other but to extract value from one another.  To garner the most yield from this engagement, the exchange, the trade, needs to be unencumbered by conflict.  Where it is impossible to obtain the means for survival by staying in one’s lane and exchange is necessary, humans then put in place customs, practices, rules designed to reduce conflict. 

Government promulgates the statutes, codes, and policies that manage the day-to-day mitigation of conflict.  It stays “in the money” by optimally maintaining the physical and social infrastructure that facilitates and expands its tax base.  It’s ability to effectively manage infrastructure and expand its tax base makes its money more attractive to traders.

Unfortunately, government has taken on a life of its own, going beyond its mandate to manage infrastructure and ensure law and order to regulating society on an increasingly micro level.  More of its policy and legislative initiatives appear intended to replace private market judgment with its own government judgment.  This imposition of government judgment on market judgment was not part of the original deal between traders, market makers, and government.  The imposition has seeped into the act of establishing price, an act that is best left to markets. 

Government now wants more than its cut in the form of taxes.  It now wants to weaponize price discovery and price setting for the purpose of expanding its cut by garnering more votes from the electorate.

The merchant trader, to protect her lane, should inform herself daily on the political process and support efforts that push back on government efforts to intervene in her ability to set price and other terms and conditions within and via the markets.

Alton Drew

27.03.2022

For consultation on how this political or legal event impacts your foreign exchange trade, request an appointment at altondrew@altondrew.com.

Call to action: To support this page, please visit our advertisers. You may also visit the sidebar and make a donation via PayPal.

Disclaimer: The above is provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as financial or legal advice or as creating an agreement to provide financial or legal advice.

How can the private sector help government navigate an uncertain second half of the 21st century?

As I shared in my last post, I see the current conflict in eastern Europe as a milestone in the United States government’s move toward a post petro-dollar world.  The jury is still out on the Biden-Harris administration’s ability to map out the best route through uncharted waters where the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency or finds itself sharing that status with the currency of an emerging China.  The first step the private sector can take in getting ahead of the U.S. government and helping direct a soft landing into the second half of the 21st century is by redefining the narrative on the role of the U.S. government.

The current narrative bought into by the electorate is that the federal government is a protector of individual rights and freedoms; inalienable rights of free speech and press; the freedom to choose their political leaders; the freedom to assemble and criticize government policy; the right to have a jury of their peers; and of other personal or commercial liberties.  Maintaining these narratives is necessary on the part of the federal government if it is to get the electorate to buy in to what I deem as the federal government’s primary mission:

  • To maintain the tax base;
  • To maintain the physical and social infrastructure that facilitates and expands the tax base; and
  • To define, design, and deploy money that transmits to domestic and global societies the underlying value (currency) of the U.S. government, a value created and supported by the government’s ability to coerce and extract taxes.

The private sector is charged by the federal and state levels of government to operationalize government’s primary mission.  Labor is converted into a source for taxes when the private sector employs it. 

The private sector accounts for and submits to the government payroll and income taxes derived from labor’s compensation.  The firms that comprise the private sector also submit taxes to the federal and state levels of government, also contributing to the tax base.

The private sector employs human, financial, and natural resources to construct and deploy the physical infrastructure that facilitates the discovery, extraction, processing, and distribution activities necessary for getting goods and services into the hands of the consumer/electorate.  The ability to efficiently move goods and services into consumer/electorate hands helps to encourage or incentivize the consumer/electorate’s compliance with taxation and laws.

Private social agents are primarily operationally responsible for maintaining America’s social infrastructure.  Schools, churches, mosques, and families are the primary suppliers of narrative, philosophy, and teachings consumed by individuals.  Unlike the commercial private sector that operates via state-issued license or certificate of public convenience, social agents, for the most part, receive their “license” from heritage, lineage, traditions, or other social customs.  Where government attempts to supplant lineage, traditions, customs, or philosophies is where the trouble starts, but more on that next time.

The last prong of the mission, the definition, design, and the deployment of money is also carried out by the private sector, specifically the banks.  The banks resell and distribute money by lending money to the consumer/electorate and business associations (firms).

I define “money” as the physical representation of the acknowledgment of the economic value you have generated for exchange with a counterparty.  “Currency”, on the other hand, is your knowledge, data, or intrinsic value, that you put into generating economic value.

The private sector in assisting government’s navigation of the 21st century has to first acknowledge an inconvenient truth.  The private sector is an agent of government.  The private sector is the creation of a public policy called “capitalism.”  As an agent, it advises the government on what the transactional portion of society is prioritizing.  Also, as an agent, it should advise the government on whether policies government wants to pursue actually facilitates the government’s aforementioned mission.

The private sector must re-evaluate the narrative behind its and the government’s existence and roles.

Alton Drew

22.03.2022

For consultation on how this political or legal event impacts your foreign exchange trade, request an appointment at altondrew@altondrew.com.

Call to action: To support this page, please visit our advertisers. You may also visit the sidebar and make a donation via PayPal.

Disclaimer: The above is provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as financial or legal advice or as creating an agreement to provide financial or legal advice.

Time to take a less emotional view toward government when analyzing its opportunities …

Editorial

The passage of time and the new technologies brought along with it have a way of distracting us from the fundamentals of government. This current presidential election provides an example of our expectations of government and its leaders. Americans expect government to deliver economic stability while government’s leaders exhibit a high degree of morality and good behavior. A lot of these expectations stem from what I believe to be a misreading of the U.S. Constitution and a failure to peel the layers of the “Madison Avenue” advertising campaign that hides the true intent of the human behavior that created the United States.

The “Madison Avenue” advertising campaign expressed in most American’s surface interpretation of the U.S. Constitution leaves Americans believing that government is supposed to be virtuous, moral, and caring of its people and that government’s leaders are also the citizenry’s leaders and these leaders are supposed to exhibit the high morals that ordinary citizens exchange among themselves.

This expectation of virtuous, moral behavior from elected officials is being expressed by a significant portion of the American electorate who believe that incumbent U.S. president Donald J. Trump is corrupt, contemptuous, and lies. Plenty of examples of less than becoming behavior and assertions of illegal activity have been shared via the media with a significant amount of these assertions and accusations stemming from Mr Trump’s prior life as a public citizen.

But even during his current tenure, Mr Trump’s detractors have argued that Mr Trump’s behavior rose to the level of impeachment and removal from office so much so that his opponents in the U.S. House of Representatives issued articles of impeachment against him last fall, pursuant to Article II, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution.

I think his detractors confuse Mr Trump’s puffery skills, skills no doubt honed as a marketer of everything from hotels to golf courses to casinos to pizza, with lies intended to cause physical, mental, or emotional damage. I personally do not see this as the case. While I would not pursue sitting down to a glass of beer with Mr Trump, spending precious moments dissecting salesman puffery is a waste of time. Detractors enjoy distracting the general public away from sources of information that would give better insights into what really matters in an American’s life: the ability to earn a living, obtain affordable housing, maintain the health and welfare of the household, and expand a moat of wealth around her household.

The distraction I am concerned about is the one that clouds government as a source of trade or contracts. Government after all is an amalgamation of rules and institutions that minimizes collateral damage that the citizenry may cause to government while government is carrying out its true role. One of government’s roles is to maintain an environment where it is easy to extract resources from human and natural resources in order for those who trade in this jurisdiction can earn revenues, profits, returns on and to capital.

Another government role is to inject public capital into the political economy. Government spends on procurement and research and development. It backstops business loans and student loans. Private companies receive billions in grant funding or loans to help carry out government’s social and economic policies.

Anyone watching the stock markets right now is aware of the volatility being caused by the uncertainty surrounding who will become the next president and more specifically their fiscal policy and regulatory proposals. Added to the puffery coming out of the White House, attempts by the Democratic-controlled House to keep the President in check, and the 3 November 2020 election quickly coming over the horizon, the focus needs to remain on what opportunities can be created or evaporated as a result of the election and where opportunities appear, how best can you position yourself to meet them.

The noise surrounding moral behavior in government and what political packages can a candidate offer you need to be cleaned up so that you can tune in to the economic opportunities that matter. Take, for example, the President’s alleged actions regarding Ukraine. One should leave the morality questions to the college philosophy professors or the unpaid political pundits that pervade social media and instead ask themselves the following questions when trying to identify an opportunity resulting from a government action:

  1. Is the government action legal?
  2. Does the government action create a government program or a fund?
  3. Do these programs allow for delivery by private entities?

If the action is legal there is a foundation upon which you can explore any contract opportunities with the government. You want to be sure a program won’t be yanked from under your feet because of legal issues.

If the government action creates a program, your concern should be the criteria you have to meet for participating as a service deliverer. If there is a fund made available as a result of the program, what then are the requirements for accessing this new public capital. Finally, if the government is creating programs that can be delivered by private entities, the government is providing you an opportunity to do business.

It is a waste to get caught up into political debate. Government is going nowhere. You should treat government as a public corporation that seeks to do business like any other corporation and make yourself available to provide it with services.