Returning to the Constitution 2.0 theme, and I realized that while citizenship is an important concept, an even more important one is the philosophy of government: what powers should it have and why?
So, looking at the current Constitution, I see the following themes:
National Security and Foreign Policy: The Federal government deals with anything external to the country
Inter- and Trans-State Affairs: States are explicitly forbidden from forming compacts or agreements without Congressional approval.
Basic Infrastructure: Roads, Post Office, and Money. Note: this includes ability to tax.
Setting minimal governmental standards for states (i.e. each state must be a republic).
Setting internal standards (voting requirements, qualifications, and the like).
And those themes appear to be it. Amendments 9 and 10 are supposed to reserve all rights other than those granted to the Federal government to the States or People. Now of course, things have ballooned outwards with express and implied powers, and then stretching implied powers more and more. Specifically, I do not see a basis for any national welfare (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), but I am sure there are others.
So: should the government have more powers than the kinds I’ve noted above? Are those too broad and need to be constrained? For those of you around the world, what powers does your countries’ governments have that do not really fall into the above categories? Should we have them here? If so, why?
As long as we’re doing a thought experiment, we might as well look at first principles and see if we want to keep them or change, and why in either case. Comment away!