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Originally posted by Little Star
No he said that similar flawed thinking exists today.
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be OK. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.
And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
The story of the growth of the federal government can be divided into two parts: before and after 1913, when the 16th amendment to the Constitution, which permitted a federal income tax, was ratified. In 1913 federal spending was a mere 2.5 percent of GNP (today spending is almost ten times that level); so if the federal government is measured only by spending, little growth took place before the income tax. Before 1913, however, the federal government grew in other ways, by enlarging its power and changing its mandate. When the colonies came together to form the United States, the founders viewed the new government as the defender of its citizens’ liberty. That meant protecting their rights-and in those days the most significant threat to the rights of individuals was, in nearly everyone’s eyes, the government itself. By 1913 the federal government had been transformed into an organization not to protect rights, but, ostensibly, to further the nation’s economic well-being.
Originally posted by redhatty
...And not stating what the Federal Government MUST do for you - like we need MORE and BIGGER government. ...