This writer has often opined that one of America’s evolving problems has been the takeover of our governments – national, state and local – by lawyers. They are the American ruling class.
The problem of having a ruling class – especially lawyers – is seen in the makeup of our legislative bodies – including Congress, every state legislature and most major municipal councils. The only level of government where citizens with diverse backgrounds has some influence is in on the village boards of our smallest communities – and even then, those small cities and towns are largely run by bureaucrat city managers. Oh yeah, they have elected mayors, but with very limited authority – mostly ceremonial.
Most of our legislative bodies are overwhelmingly populated by lawyers. We are known as a litigious society because they keep passing laws that promote their own profession – and they do it at an increasing pace.
It is important that we understand that our legislatures have only two functions – to take away individual freedoms and to confiscate our money. The more a legislature legislates, the less freedom we enjoy, and we have less of our hard-earned money to spend. That is a fact.
Texas is considered one of the best run states in America. They have a strong economy and no income tax. The Lone Star State has fewer regulations than most other states. For example, Houston does not have zoning laws and they are one of the least restrictive states on gun ownership. It has fewer licensing requirements on small commercial enterprises.
AND … the Texas legislature meets only once every two years. Imagine that. They do not sit around month-after-month passing laws and imposing taxes to pay for them. They get all that state business done in just a few months every couple of years – and Texas has as much business with which to deal as any other state.
Conversely, the year-round legislatures – including Congress – create unnecessary laws and taxes to give the appearance of activity. The legislators even complain that they do not have enough time to finish the concocted business. In Illinois – where the state constitution requires the legislature to wrap up its business by June, the big government legislators control time in a way Albert Einstein could never have imagined. They physically stop the clock in the chamber and continue making laws and increasing taxes for days … weeks … and then declare that all their business was concluded at the end of May.
The Texas legislature is exactly what the Founders had intended. Congress was to be a part-time job for folks from all walks of life – and in the beginning, that was more the case. Now in Washington and our state capitals we have career politicians – mostly lawyers – making unnecessary busy work to justify their full-time job (and full-time salary) and passing laws that enrich the profession.
Of course, there is only one solution. We the people should start electing legislators who are NOT lawyers and who will restore the concept of a part-time legislature. They will complain that only lawyers are skilled at making laws and that they have too much work to not be in session for most of the year. Texas seems to put the lie to those claims.
So, there, ‘tis.