Where Are YOU?
Here you have crusaders dancing alongside sleazy profiteers coupled with more than a fair sampling of idiots and intellectuals, with the former, unfortunately usually holding higher positions of power. It is the only city in the United States that can declare war, raise your federal taxes, or reduce your Social Security benefits.
The decisions reached in these few square miles of monuments and mockeries make legions of people either furious or euphoric, and those sides keep switching depending on who is in control of the government at any given time.
And the fights, spins, and conspiracies concocted and then carried out to hold or regain power consumes every ounce of energy that enormously bright and talented people can give it. The swirling, ever-changing mosaic has too many frenetically moving parts for any outsider to even come close to comprehending what is really going on. It is like a lethal kindergarten that never ends.
-The Collectors by David Balducci
It is when passions and cupidities are thus unleashed and, at the same time, the sense of public duty rides high in the hearts of all men and women of good will that the handcuffs can be slipped upon the citizens and they can be brought into entire subjugation to the executive government… I hold that governments are meant to be, and must remain, the servants of the citizens; that states and federations only come into existence and can only be justified by preserving the “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, in the homes and families of individuals. The right and power rest in the individual. He gives up his right and power to the State, expecting and requiring thereby in return to receive certain advantages and guarantees.”
THEN AND NOW AS WELL AS TOMORROW.
Reality does not change
“The millionaire or multi-millionaire is a highly economic animal. He sucks up with sponge-like efficiency from all quarters. In this process, far from depriving ordinary people of their earnings, he launches enterprise and carries it through, raises values, and he expands that credit without which on a vast scale no fuller economic life can be
opened to the millions. To hunt wealth is not to capture commonwealth…meanwhile great constructions have crumbled to the ground. Confidence is shaken and enterprise chilled, and the unemployed queue up at the soup kitchens or march out to the public works with ever growing expense to the taxpayer and nothing more appetizing to take home to their families than the leg or the wing of what was once a millionaire…It is indispensible to the wealth of nations and to the wage and life standards of labor, that capital and credit should be honored and cherished partners in the economic system.”
“The improvement of the mind should be the first care of the American statesman, and the dissemination of learning and knowledge ought to form one of the principal objects of his ambition. Virtue and intelligence are the only appropriate pillars upon which a Republican government can securely rest; without these, liberty itself would soon degenerate into licentiousness, and our free and liberal institutions, so highly cherished by ourselves and so much admired and respected by the wise and patriotic of other nations, would be engulphed in anarchy.” *
* To The Citizens and Legislators of The United States of America, February 23, ] 833, George Wolf *Govemor Wolf brought about a general revision of Pennsylvania’s statutory laws and new taxes to satisfy the enormous loans by which the State Works program for new railroad and canal routes had been financed. In 1834, a long awaited Common School Law established the first statewide system of publicly financed education. Following his reign as Governor, President Jackson appointed Wolf the first comptroller of the Treasury of the United States.
“Nothing can be politically right that is morally wrong; and no necessity can every sanctify a law that is contrary to equity. Virtue is the soul of a Republic. There is but one method of preventing crimes and of rendering a republican form of government durable;
and that is, by disseminating the seeds of virtue and knowledge through every part of the state by means of proper modes and places of education … I would add, as the best proof of my affection for her, my parting advice to the guardians of her liberties, to establish and support PUBLIC SCHOOLS in every part of the State.”
“To say that a blind custom of obedience should be a surer obligation than
duty taught and understood; is to affirm that blind men can tread surer by a guide than seeing men can by a light.
“You will confer the greatest benefit on your city not by raising the roofs, but by exalting the souls of your fellow citizens; for it is better that great souls should live in small habitations, than that abject slaves should burrow in great houses.”