The Decline of Self-Rule

The signs are all around us that the government envisioned by the Framers—self-rule by the people—is on the decline. At the federal level, life-tenured judges often decide matters that are, or should be, the province of the legislative branch (or the states). In the modern administrative state, unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in executive branch agencies frequently make decisions that the Constitution assigns to either the judicial branch or to Congress, often exceeding the enumerated powers granted to the federal government in any event.

Things are not much better at the state and local levels, where powerful factions (special interests, or “rent-seekers,” in modern parlance) often wrest control of elections (and the budget) to enrich their members at the expense of the voters and taxpayers. I refer, of course, to public employee unions, which represent 7.2 million government workers, accounting for nearly half of all union membership in America. As organized labor has declined in the private sector, public employee unionization has built up an astonishing rate of membership: 35.2 percent of all government workers join unions, versus 6.7 percent of all private sector workers. When employees who are not union members but who are in a “bargaining unit” represented by a union (so-called “agency fee payers”) are included, the public sector share increases to 39 percent, which is to say that unions represent four government employees out of every 10.

Read More at Law & Liberty

  • “Mark Pulliam is one of the few truly fearless, devastatingly incisive, original and yet deeply learned commentators on the contemporary legal scene.  His new blog is a welcome addition and a splendid and provocative resource.”
    Professor Stephen B. Presser
    Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus, Northwestern University School of Law
  • “Mark Pulliam is the Walt Longmire of legal conservatism. You don't want to be on the wrong end of his pen. His commentary on law, politics, and policy is not to be missed.”
    Richard Reinsch II
    Director of Law and Liberty, Liberty Fund, Inc.
  • “Mark's blistering criticism of the foibles of the lawyering class and crackpot judges is a worthy penance for a recovering attorney. And it is our gain.”
    Michael Thompson
    Shareholder, Wright & Greenhill, P.C.
  • “Maybe this man’s degree is written in crayon."
  • "Mark Pulliam fancies himself a Paul Revere of the right."
    Froma Harrop
    Syndicated columnist
  • “With the flourish of a pen, Mark Pulliam makes bad guys rhetorically bleed and weak guys physically cringe. It's awesome.”
    Michael Quinn Sullivan
    President & CEO, Empower Texans
  • "Mark Pulliam, writer and thinker extraordinaire, has a new blog. Make sure to visit and register. Mark Pulliam's new blog is a thing of wit and intelligence."
    Bradley J. Birzer
    Professor of History, Hillsdale College, President of the American Ideas Institute, and editor at large of The Imaginative Conservative
Featured In

Sign up for updates

Get the latest updates, news, and alerts directly from the source.
We promise, we don't spam.

Featured Tweets