New Deal

Reason.tv: Anyone Care About Economic Liberty Anymore? George Thomas on the 14th Amendment

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To take the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment seriously is to take economic liberties seriously," says George Thomas, an associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

Thomas notes that, for most of our nation's history, there wasn't a rigid distinction between civil and economic liberties. The Bill of Rights treated them all as fundamental rights, and, as can be seen in the famous passage, the Fourteenth Amendment continued this tradition: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Thomas explains that the separation between civil and economic liberties began during the Franklin Roosevelt era, when various economic liberties seemed to be written out of the Constitution. He shows how recent Supreme Court decisions, such as in Kelo v. City of New London, which granted governments wider economic domain powers, and McDonald v. Chicago, which extended the Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" to states and localities, figure in to how America defines and protects fundamental rights and economic liberties.

Approximately 10 minutes.

Interview by Sam Corcos. Shot and edited by Hawk Jensen.

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  1. Great, we need regulation, because we have regulations

  2. Thomas explains that the separation between civil and economic liberties began during the Franklin Roosevelt era, when various economic liberties seemed to be written out of the Constitution.

    Yes Wilson was pure evil…even more evil then Stalin and Hitler.

    But I often wonder why he is more reviled then FDR.

    1. Because Lew Rockwell says he is more evil. That’s way. Now shut up and stick to your talking points.

      1. Re: Brandybuck,

        Because Lew Rockwell says he is more evil.

        Does he? I thought Wilson’s actions and own words spoke of his evil better than any man’s opinion.

    2. You’re being sarcastic right… It’s hard to tell, since this is something Glenn Beck seems to actually believe.

      Weird how Wilson turns up on so many top 10 lists of U.S. presidents.

      1. Weird how Wilson turns up on so many top 10 lists of U.S. presidents.

        So Wilson kicked all the black poeple out of the white house. he did it after the 14th amendment was passed, after the civil war, during Jim Crow and while the KKK was the military branch of the democrat party.

        As a progressive does the fact that he makes the top ten list not make you a bit angry?

        Then we have the sedition act which essentially gave the power to the federal government to throw poeple in jail for disagreeing with the government.

        As a progressive does that not make you a bit pissed off?

        You don’t even have to get into the libertarian perspective or the Glen Beck perspective to see what a fucking monster Wilson was.

        Anyway yes i am being funny. Wilson is not Hitler or Stalin. But in terms of the harm any single American has done to America he makes the top 3 at least. And he makes that list without even getting into how he should be viewed from a libertarian perspective.

        He gets that rank simply from an American perspective.

        1. in terms of the harm any single American has done to America he makes the top 3 at least

          Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Like all presidents Wilson has a mixed record. He was pretty bad on race issues–but it was 50 years before the civil rights movement. Jefferson universally makes the top 5 and owned slaves, so historical context does matter.

          But presumably what you think did so much damage were the things that are counted as his accomplishments and why he ends up on all those top 10 lists.

          Wikipedia shows a poll from 1982 that had him at #8 among conservatives. My, people were misinformed in 1982! Thank goodness Glenn Beck came along.

          1. but it was 50 years before the civil rights movement.

            The civil rights movement is over a hundred years old you jack ass.

            You mean the civil rights act.

            Jefferson universally makes the top 5 and owned slaves, so historical context does matter.

            Yes context DOES matter. And i gave context. The context was before Wilson there had been presidents before him who moved civil rights forward.

            Jefferson moved human rights forward. He did not go far enough but he did move them forward. Wilson is not a monster because he did not move them forward or did not move them forward enough. He is a monster because he actually moved them back.

            Wikipedia shows a poll from 1982 that had him at #8 among conservatives.

            Well they are just as fucked as you for not thinking he is a monster.

            Quit arguing over this. I know you hate Glen Beck and he hates Wilson. So what? It does not change the fact that Wilson was a monster.

            1. I agree that Wilson set civil rights back. But that’s not the only measure of a president. Shit, FDR put Japanese-Americans in camps, and he’s always ranked even higher than Wilson. Racist-socialist conspiracy, or are you just watching too much Glenn Beck?

              1. Shit, FDR put Japanese-Americans in camps, and he’s always ranked even higher than Wilson.

                If you do recall this whole argument started with my argument that perhaps FDR was worse then Wilson.

                Racist-socialist conspiracy, or are you just watching too much Glenn Beck?

                Democrats were racists when Wilson and FDR were presidents. How the fuck do you think they became presidents? They both won the Jim Crow south because Blacks who were all republicans could not vote. I don’t need Glen Beck to know that. That info is on Wikipedia for fuck sakes.

                Jesus Christ Tony read a book sometime and know your American history.

                1. Okay josh I disagree on your points but for the sake of argument let’s say your history is right–is that why you’re calling them awful? Because of race issues? Or does it have to do more with their policies–income tax, new deal, etc.? I mean that’s awfully hippie of you, but I just don’t buy it.

                  1. Can’t I hate them for both?

                    Anyway i do not expect you to hate them for the libertarian reason which i do.

                    But i am pretty disappointed that you don’t hate them for their fucked up racism and anti-free speech which i also hate them for.

                    Okay josh I disagree on your points but for the sake of argument let’s say your history is right

                    there is nothing to disagree about. Civil rights before the mid 60s was a republican issue since the civil war. Martin Luther King Jr endorsed Nixon in the 1960 election. his father was a republican. In the south all those lynchings of Black activists were lynchings of republicans trying to legalize blacks voting. The vast majority of the people who Marched on Washington in 63′ were republicans.

                    here are some pretty cool quotes of William McKinley 25th president in 1900 and a Republican.

                    It must not be equality and justice in the written law only. It must be equality and justice in the law’s administration everywhere, and alike administered in every part of the Republic to every citizen thereof. It must not be the cold formality of constitutional enactment. It must be a living birthright.[12] ”
                    ” Our black allies must neither be forsaken nor deserted. I weigh my words. This is the great question not only of the present, but is the great question of the future; and this question will never be settled until it is settled upon principles of justice, recognizing the sanctity of the Constitution of the United States.[12] ”
                    ” Nothing can be permanently settled until the right of every citizen to participate equally in our State and National affairs is unalterably fixed. Tariff, finance, civil service, and all other political and party questions should remain open and unsettled until every citizen who has a constitutional right to share in the determination is free to enjoy it.

                    here is a list of election maps:

                    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w…..ction_maps

                    Check out 1872 one of the first presidential elections in which former southern slaves could vote…then go on from there as Jim crow was instituted and see how Republicans lost the south.

                    Like it or not from the 1860 to the 1960 if you were for civil rights you were a Republican. That is historical fact.

                    Also every democrat president from the 1870s to the 1960s won their election because of the Jim Crow controlled south.

                    1. Josh you’re perilously close to turning this into a D vs. R thing and by disingenuously relying on the names of the parties as if they’ve remained constant throughout time. FDR won by mobilizing minorities, the poor, and other now traditionally Democratic constituencies under the New Deal coalition–by arguing for a massively liberal governing style.

                      He was a northern Democrat. The southern Democrats, or Dixiecrats, defected and joined the Republican party precisely because of their stance on civil rights (against). Now the descendants of Dixiecrats are just about all that’s left of the Republican party.

                    2. Now the descendants of Dixiecrats are just about all that’s left of the Republican party.

                      If this is true then why didn’t the republicans reinstitute Jim crow after W Bush took office with a republican house and republican senate?

                      Seriously? for all of W Bush’s faults you think he is a racist? You think Reagan was? Bush Sr? Nixon?

                      If so then show one shred of proof.

                      FDR won by mobilizing minorities,

                      Show one shred of proof.

                      Josh you’re perilously close to turning this into a D vs. R thing

                      That is because before the 1960s this was a D vs R thing.

                      I am proud that I come from generations of classically liberal Republicans. So proud in fact that I now call myself a libertarian because libertarians stayed with that tradition of small government and equality.

                    3. I should point out that the Jim Crow Democrat controlled south not only prevented Blacks from voting but they still counted the blacks in the census.

                      So they got extra house seats in congress for their black residents despite the fact they could not vote.

                      All the legislation we got from the the 1890s to the 1960s was affected by racist democrat fucks tampering with the election process.

                    4. And all your election maps show me with respect to FDR is he won most states north and south in each of his elections. But it’s a complete lie to say that FDR spurned minorities and sought the racist vote.

                    5. But it’s a complete lie to say that FDR spurned minorities and sought the racist vote.

                      If he got the south from 1932 to 1944 as a democrat then he got the racist vote.

                      What you think Jim Crow was magically suspended from 1932 to 1944?

                      You think he could have gotten half of what he got passed if the Blacks in the south could have voted in republican representatives?

                    6. FDR got 23% of the black vote in his first election (1932). In his next election (1936), he got 76% of the black vote, after a massive campaign to attract them.

                      It was under FDR that the realignment of party identification occurred. He caused it. It hasn’t reversed itself since.

                    7. FDR got 23% of the black vote in his first election (1932). In his next election (1936), he got 76% of the black vote, after a massive campaign to attract them.

                      Vote for FDR or you will not get a job.

                      Note: job will be segregated from whites and will pay less then whites jobs.

                    8. In other words, FDR was the first president to realize the power of bribery in order to gain minority votes.

                    9. Roosevelt’s attitudes to race were tested by the issue of Black (or “Negro”) service in the armed forces. The Democratic Party at this time was dominated by Southerners who were opposed to any concession to demands for racial equality. During the New Deal years, there had been a series of conflicts over whether African-Americans should be segregated in the various new government benefits and programs. Whenever a move was made to integrate the races Southern governors or congressmen would complain to Roosevelt, who would intervene to uphold segregation for the sake of keeping his party together. The Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, for example, segregated their work forces by race at Roosevelt’s insistence after Southern governors protested at unemployed whites being required to work alongside blacks.

              2. And we liberals LOVE FDR.

        2. He also tossed Eugene Debs in the slam. You know who else really hated far-left socialists?

    3. In many ways, Roosevelt’s New Deal was trying to implement Wilson’s “War Socialism” on a permanant peacetime basis. Wilson is the inspiration for so many of FDR’s bad economics and disregard for the Constitution and individual liberty.

    4. Lovely, I just want to join these giveaways not for me but for my friend who wasn’t able to have a date this Valentine’s, I know she would love this stuff, and thanks me for having this. Hope I can win the grand prize and share it to my friend. Thanks a lot!

    5. More evil than Bush?
      Our Constitution is the supreme law of the land; a compact among people who desire to live in peace and freedom.
      Did you pay attention to what bush did?

      The Patriot Act clearly violates the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, 13th and 14th Amendment

      . If Patriot is allowed to supersede the Constitution then our government is essentially abolishing that compact. Without it, our government is an illegal tyranny based on power, corruption and violence.

      If we condone the destruction of our civil liberties we will not have any security to look forward too.
      Bush condoned torture and have allowed the criminals who perpetrated torture and apporoved it to get away with it and nor face any consequences.Which keeps the door wide open for more abuse in the future.

      The rule of law no longer applies to U.S.

  3. What about the Right to Social Justice??? Isn’t that more important that greedy “economic liberty”?

    1. Couldn’t care less about that

      1. You cold-hearted, trust fund bastard.

  4. How can you have economic liberty when international corporations run everything?

    1. Welcome to the Hit ‘n’ Run troll zoo, froggie. You’ll fit right in.

    2. I thought Da Jooz ran everything.

      1. International corporations is just racist code for Jews. That’s why progressive worry so much about the “corporate” media, frinstance.

        1. Oh please the Jew card? Pshh.

          1. Now, excuse me while I play the race card.

        2. LOL!!
          Really?
          Did you just say jews run everything?

          1. Of course they do, why do you think shit gets done. Without Jews the world would fall to pieces. Jews are wonderful.

          2. Of course they do, why do you think shit gets done. Without Jews the world would fall to pieces. Jews are wonderful.

    3. Did dey terk yer jerb!!?

  5. Bla bla bla.

    The current interpretation of the 14th amendment is a narrative introduced by progressives and New Dealers. Or so goes Mr Thomas’ narrative.

    Left or right, scholars get payed to build narratives supporting a particular ideological point of view.

    1. Re: peter jensen,

      Left or right, scholars get payed to build narratives supporting a particular ideological point of view.

      And getting payed real good and hard, which is much better than getting paid… I guess.

  6. Thomas notes that, for most of our nation’s history, there wasn’t a rigid distinction between civil and economic liberties.

    That’s because there is NONE – economics being the result of human action; human action being the result of people’s freedom to make choices, of ANY kind. Economic freedom IS a civil freedom, not something entirely different from it.

  7. I blame CIA mind control gas. Or rays. Yeah. It’s rays.

    But seriously, it’s something.

    I read message after message on the Intertoobs these days along the lines of “We need more jobs! The government needs to spend more!”

    It’s like the US citizenry has, en masse, forgotten there even is a private sector.

    Or they think political office comes with a magic wand that creates jobs.

    1. It does. Tax cuts. Right? At least according to the GOP and a lot of libertarians. Of course they ridicule Keynesian economics without realizing that they’re engaging in it.

      1. It does. Tax cuts. Right? At least according to the GOP and a lot of libertarians and JFK

        Fixed.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

        1. Look, Joshua, you know full well the only way to fix our problems is high taxes on the robber barons and lots of government. We’re proving it right this minute. Give up on your utopian dreams.

          1. Robber barons, you mean the people who provide the groundwork for most of the worlds jobs and goods. Yeah, they suck hard. Seriously, income inequality is an issue, but just because someone has more money than you does not make them bad.

  8. Keynes recommended tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy? Really? Link me, big boy.

    1. Keynes recommended tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy?

      Yes–or even better spending increases. The point is that stimulating the economy during a downturn, by whatever method, is the Keynesian part.

      Classicists want tax cuts during boom times and spending cuts (or, theoretically at least, tax increases) during downturns (since they worry about deficits and think government should act like a household).

      But arguing that we should cut taxes because it will create activity in the economy is very much a Keynesian point.

    2. I mean it’s not like Keynesianism always requires tax increases. That would be the straw man counterweight to the theory of the demon spawn of supply-siders who make up the GOP who think taxes should always be cut, always.

      1. Whereas we liberals know tax increases are always good, and we need to do them as often as possible.

  9. But arguing that we should cut taxes because it will create activity in the economy is very much a Keynesian point.

    It is always a good time to cut taxes and to cut spending because it is always good for the economy. Sometimes when the economy dips poeple actually listen to talk about tax cuts and spending cuts.

    Just because poeple are listening now does not change the fact I have always talked about cutting taxes and cutting spending nor does the fact that people are listening now rather then before make the argument keynesian.

    1. It is always a good time to cut taxes and to cut spending because it is always good for the economy.

      Evidence, please? How can you ALWAYS cut taxes and spending? That doesn’t even make rational sense.

      1. Leave the money in the private market, which stimulates economic activity. Fuck, the essence of Keynesianism is to stimulate spending. Even under your own theory, leaving money in the market would be a better solution so that people could spend their money on more things they actually need, unless you think gov’t bureaucrats know how to spend money better, you know, like $50,000 hammers, trillion-dollar wars, trillion-dollar entitlement programs destined for failure, bailouts, stimulus packages that did anything but stimulate, failing program after program. Yes, those are investments in our future!!!

        1. It’s not your money. It belongs to the treasury.

          1. Wrong, again.

  10. Evidence, please? How can you ALWAYS cut taxes and spending? That doesn’t even make rational sense.

    From 1971 to present:

    When has spending by the US government ever been zero?

    When has the tax rate in the US ever been zero?

    Yes in a hypothetical imagined history of the US there may have been a point when taxes were to low and spending to high. But in my life time that has never been the case. In fact every point in my life in which we have cut taxes our nation has not been harmed and every time spending has been slowed it has not been harmed. And in almost all cases when taxes were lowered and spending slowed we have seen economic booms.

    1. In fact every point in my life in which we have cut taxes our nation has not been harmed and every time spending has been slowed it has not been harmed. And in almost all cases when taxes were lowered and spending slowed we have seen economic booms.
      reply to this

      I should also point out that this has been the case well before i was born. Say from 1900 to present.

      1. Wow. Well Bush only cut taxes and look where that ended up. Even if you ignore, you know, the almost-2nd-great-depression, it still was hardly a boom time, with net job losses and utter stagnation for most people.

        1. Well Bush only cut taxes and look where that ended up.

          Tax cuts did not cause the financial crisis which lead to the recession.

          Fannie and Freddy did that.

          But lets explore your tax cuts caused the recession theory.

          Please post one article that support this claim. If you cannot produce said article explain how leaving more money int he private sector could possibly cause a recession.

          1. Fannie and Freddy did that.

            Facepalm.

            1. I facepalm because I can never admit that Freddie and Fannie had any negative effect on the economy, as that would be admitting flaws in government-run programs, of which there are none.

          2. Didn’t say the tax cuts caused the recession. Just said they didn’t do any good.

            Although a strong argument can be made that wealth inequality–to which the tax cuts only contributed–was a large underlying cause of the recession (as it was prior to the great depression).

            1. The way you two flirt is embarrassing

              1. Tony is the gay one, not me.

                I was just trying to knock some sense into him.

                I will now go back to simple ridicule.

            2. Tony’s right here. Only tax cuts does nothing. People have been screaming that for years. If you don’t cut spending, cutting taxes becomes irrelevant when gov’t is eating up massive swaths of the economy and future economies.

              We can look to history, though. There are only two examples in history where governments have grown smaller. 1) Germany under Ludwig Erhardt after WWII. He cut gov’t left and right, which led to the Wirtschaftswunder, the German miracle, which was sustained until the social state clamped down and gov’t grew again. 2) Pinochet’s Chile, which made Chile Latin America’s economic leader overnight.

          3. Fannie and Freddie didnt cause the collapse.UNREGULATED mortgage companies and banks did.Did fannie and freddie get caught up in it yes.Way late in the game and they were forced to because they were losingso much market share to unregulated competition.Thats what happens when your a for profit corporation.And Fannie and Freddie didnt bundle those bogus mortgages and sell them all over the world.The banks did.The same banks that are holding the world hostage right now.

            And it was clever of JP Morgan to bring their fraudulent gassian formula to Joe Cassano at AIG to really blow the whole thing up.

  11. “When did this happen?

    Six Wall Street Banks Control 60% of U.S. Gross National Product

    BILL MOYERS: And your definition of oligarchy is?

    SIMON JOHNSON: Oligarchy is just- it’s a very simple, straightforward idea from Aristotle. It’s political power based on economic power. And it’s the rise of the banks in economic terms, which we document at length, that it’d turn into political power. And they then feed that back into more deregulation, more opportunities to go out and take reckless risks and– and capture huge amounts of money.

    BILL MOYERS: And you say that these this oligarchy consists of six megabanks. What are the six banks?

    JAMES KWAK: They are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

    BILL MOYERS: And you write that they control 60 percent of our gross national product?

    JAMES KWAK: They have assets equivalent to 60 percent of our gross national product. And to put this in perspective, in the mid-1990s, these six banks or their predecessors, since there have been a lot of mergers, had less than 20 percent. Their assets were less than 20 percent of the gross national product.””

  12. The thing that allowed our liberties to start eroding really fast was the Supreme Court’s adoption of its “rational basis” test.

    With that, the Supreme Court effectively abdicated its constitutional role as a check on Congress and a protector of American liberty. As a result, most American liberty is no longer protected by the Rule of Law, and government can cut down our freedom to live our lives as we choose at any time it wants and in just about any way it sees fit.

    Only by making basic liberty a fundamental right can Americans again be the free people envisioned by our nation’s Founders.

    takinglibertyseriously.net

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