A nation’s economic performance is the cornerstone for everything else. Government operates as a percentage of gross domestic product. The ratio of population to natural resources is a critical aspect as is optimizing return on national resources.
Optimizing return on national resources is a public and private enterprise responsibility that is considered a partnership. The contract in the partnership is the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The cost of national security is covered by economic performance. If one fails, so does the other.
The American Enterprise Institute discussed a related topic this week.
At issue in America today is the amount of discretionary latitude permitted in society around the free-market paradigm and capitalism versus the necessity to address societies considerable needs that are currently not being met by the disproportionate concentration of wealth into too few hands. As important, those who hold the capital are failing to invent, innovate, and create opportunities at a sufficient rate to satisfy economic needs.
“Understanding America’s Founding Document
In “The Constitution: Understanding America’s Founding Document” (AEI Press, Values & Capitalism Series, May 2013), legal expert Michael S. Greve outlines how to think about the US Constitution and constitutions in general. He writes that in the history of the world, there is nothing like the US Constitution. It has served as a charter for a free, democratic government, and it has transformed America from a political experiment to an economic and political superpower. Structurally, it is based on principles of minimalism and institutional competition, meaning it is written to last.
Greve explains that:
Constitutions have two goals: (1) to make orderly politics possible by establishing institutions with certain powers and specifying decision-making rules (in other words, who gets to do what and how); and (2) to seek to discipline politics and limit government power.
While the Constitution’s rights inventory is quite limited — especially when compared with modern, rights-rich constitutions — expansive rights would only leave less room for democratic politics and grant more power to the Supreme Court. Constitutional rights must be understood within a larger competitive structure — think in terms of limiting government powers rather than a long list of “rights.”
Constitutional debate is a sign of a healthy constitutional democracy and is a good way to govern a free country. Every major debate in American history has been a constitutional debate, and constitutional disagreement is not a sign of collapse or disintegration. Rather, it is a way to ensure that in undertaking grand new experiments, America remains true to its principles.
The Constitution contains three major institutional innovations: the separation of powers, judicial review of legislative enactments, and federalism. Among these, federalism is the most accidental invention. Though its transformation into cooperative federalism has unfortunate consequences: it obscures political accountability and induces excessive spending at all levels of government.
Michael S. Greve is a professor at George Mason School of Law. From 2000 to 2012, he was the John G. Searle Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he remains a visiting scholar.”
American Enterprise Institute