One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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The federal government has spent the last two centuries-plus willfully ignoring the Constitution. With ever-increasing frequency and intensity, the Feds have drifted further and further from their charter.
There is no longer even a pretense of pretending to care whether or not what DC wants the government to do – is an expressly enumerated Constitutional thing that the government is supposed to be doing.
We are currently in the midst of the Republican wing of the bipartisan DC Establishment Party struggling mightily to keep its word to We the People – and repeal the ongoing, rolling train wreck that is Obamacare.
A chief self-imposed impediment for the DC GOP – is with what to replace Obamacare. I.e.: What alternative government medicine nightmare mess should be erected – to be substituted for the current government medicine nightmare mess.
Nigh nowhere in the now-decade long DC debate about any of this – is the Constitution even glancingly referenced. So I’ll do it. I’ll posit a quite simple query to DC:
Where in the nation’s founding document is the federal government expressly empowered to do anything about anything having to do with medicine – or the private insurance market that has arisen to mitigate the payment for medicine?
A plain reading of the parchment quite readily reveals: Nowhere. Nowhere in the Constitution is the government empowered to do any such thing.
Do a word search of the Constitution – for “medicine,” “health care,” “doctor,” “insurance” – and key word having anything to do with health and wellness. Search results: Zero. For all of the above.
So the Constitution’s Ninth and Tenth Amendments kick in. They stipulate that if the Feds aren’t expressly empowered to do something – they are expressly prohibited from doing anything. That thing – is the purview of the states and the people.
As annoying, obnoxious and incredibly damaging to our republic (we’re not a democracy) as DC ignoring the Constitution is – things can be even worse. DC can actively attack it.
To wit: When the Feds sue private citizens – so as to undermine the Constitution and the rights it recognizes we inherently possess.
The above headline-link is from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website – on January 17, 2017. Get that date? That’s three days before the Barack Obama Administration was sworn out – and the Donald Trump Administration was sworn in.
This is additionally obnoxious – in a whole new, additional way. A reasonable assemblage of persons would acknowledge that their worldview was just defeated at the ballot box.
And they would thus refrain from initiating huge new invasive government actions – just three days before leaving the joint.
And even if their worldview hadn’t lost – it would be better to leave this sort of massive government-mess-making – up to the incoming assemblage of persons.
But as we all know, DC is decidedly short of reason, reasonability – and any persons containing any of the above. It’s a large part of why and how political rookie Trump reminded us that the presidency can be an entry level position.
But back to the Constitutional obnoxiousness. The FTC is suing Qualcomm under anti-monopoly antitrust law – for holding patents.
Wait a second. Patents are issued by the government – so as to protect the inventions of inventors. A search of the Constitution – nets a very un-medicine-like direct hit:
“The Congress shall have Power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
Get that? That’s Article I, Section 8, Clause 8. Congress “promote(d) the Progress of Science” – by creating the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). So that the government…could issue patents. Per the Constitution.
Back to the Clause in question. In a phrase filled to overflowing with very important words – the most important in this context is “exclusive.” Let’s check in with Merriam Webster, shall we?:
“Exclusive: Limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group.”
Why…that sounds like a patent is a Constitutionally-mandated, government-granted monopoly. But let’s check again with Merriam:
“Monopoly: Exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action.”
Look at that. The first word in Merriam’s second definition – is the first word we asked Merriam to define.
So the government’s USPTO did its Constitutional duty – and issued “inventor” Qualcomm an “exclusive Right” to its “Discoveries.”
And then the government’s FTC sued “inventor” Qualcomm under anti-monopoly law – for having an “exclusive Right” to its “Discoveries.”
One arm of the Leviathan – actively undermining what another arm is doing.
That’s not obnoxious at all.
What it is – is titanically damaging to our nation’s economy. If you as an American “inventor” can’t protect the results of your massive expenditures of time, money and effort – you will quite obviously stop making massive expenditures of your time, money and effort.
Which is titanically damaging to our nation’s economy.
Oh – and an added bonus: The Obama FTC’s obnoxious lawsuit – serves as a blueprint visual aide for obnoxious governments the world over.
And does anyone actually doubt that even more governments will soon follow?
I would rather lead the word in tech innovations – not in innovative ways for governments to screw us out of our tech innovations.
The latter – is going a long way to destroying the former.
[Originally Published at RedState]