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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Jefferson vs. Hamilton

In honor of Independence Day, here is a clip from the excellent HBO John Adams miniseries:

Question: who was right? Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton?

Posted by Terrence Watson on July 4, 2009 | Permalink


In honour of Independence Day, here is a clip from ESPN showing Joey Chestnut set a new world record for eating hot dogs. The USA the only country I know that glorifies gluttony.


Posted by: The Stig | 2009-07-04 8:39:43 PM

There is a guy that lives near me out in the country. His property is a mess and I am sure I don't like him. I am also sure that if neighbors had their choice, they would make him cut his grass. BUT, he has a sign that lights up at night on the corner of his land, that indicates the Range Road he lives on. Surely this is done for himself so he can easily see his turn off at night.

However, I also benefit from it. So much so that his property doesn't bother me much. I benefit in an unintended way from his selfishness that is excercised because he has property rights.

This is a small, minor example of how property rights benefits us all and how people who don't know each other, much less like each other, can live peacefully together.

Joey Chestnut's gluttony is enriching ESPN and presumably all their advertisers. Many people will get a good laugh and feel better as a result. All, except perhaps Mr. Chestnut, will be better off because of freedom.

The stronger the central government the less freedom we all have. That is bad for all of humanity.

Posted by: TM | 2009-07-04 9:37:21 PM

I'll say Thomas Jefferson is right, but looks like Hamilton got his way.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-07-04 9:50:58 PM

Hamilton was right - a stronger federal government means a single set of rules for all, which helps trade. The US, and indeed much of the world, owes its economic power to Hamilton's influence.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-07-04 10:27:41 PM

Sadly, through the likes of Alexander Hamilton, economic tyranny was born very early in the American Experiment. Makes one wonder how early bribery and corruption began in the new "free" America. Who's interests was he representing?
Bankers? Nawww....couldn't be.
Jefferson was in this instance the nobleman for his views.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-05 7:45:17 AM

Interesting article about Obama's comments yesterday, compared to the founding fathers:


Posted by: TM | 2009-07-05 2:11:27 PM

Jefferson was right; Hamilton won.

It is interesting that the man who begins by saying of Philadelphia, "All cities swallow everything in their way... that's why I abhor them," should in the next sentence praise "revolutionary France, where the streets are filled with songs of liberty and brotherhood and the overthrow of ancient tyrannies." Revolutionary France swallowed everything in its way; just ask the Catholic Vendée French — "The First Genocide in Modern History".

But of course Mr. Jefferson was in the right, not about France but about America. Priceless is the look of horror on his face when told by his adversary that "to establish international credit" "the first step would be to incur a national debt," "the greater the debt, the greater the credit," and "the greater the government's responsibility, the greater its authority."

It should be clear who won out, much to our country's detriment. It's no wonder that ten-dollar bills are so more widely in circulation than two-dollar bills; the ideas of each man seem to be in proporitional currency to the unit of currency on which his visage appears.

Posted by: The Western Confucian | 2009-07-05 10:58:41 PM

When I was young my father advised me to establish credit by borrowing $1000.00 and quickly repaying it. I had no need of the money but the advice was good on a personal level. The problem on the government level is that the ease of credit lures politicians and bureaucrats into unwise undertakings and what becomes massive debt and the mortgaging of generations who had no say in incurring the debt or in appoving the projects.

Posted by: DML | 2009-07-09 10:56:18 PM

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