Endorsement: Pilar Schiavo for Assembly
In a rare political upset, the voters of the state of Florida have just turned down the latest attempt by the Legislature and Governor Jeb Bush to take over an insolvent court.
The voters have passed a law that will ensure that Florida will never again have a living-off-debt problem: that the state will never again have the power to take over anyone’s personal finances in the name of “emergency”.
Instead, Florida voters have decided to pass an amendment to their state constitution which bans all state intervention into how people fund their lives. It’s a law that goes even further than the one that already prevents the state from requiring people to work with a state-run pension fund, by prohibiting the state from taking over any person’s finances.
When the law was passed, the bill was signed by Governor Bush, who was quick to claim that it was a very important and “game-changing” victory. While he’s correct that the bill is a huge deal, it shouldn’t be overstated.
The law bans even the very vague word “state intervention” from the amendment. What it really bans is taking away people’s right to choose how they wish to finance their future.
In the course of this year, a number of other states and federal governments have already taken similar steps by passing similar laws.
The amendment to Florida’s constitution is not a huge deal by any means, but it should give everyone hope that state and federal governments will stop trying to take away people’s freedom to choose how they will finance their own lives.
The amendments to the US Constitution and the UK Bill of Rights are also examples of what can be done and won’t be done by states and federal governments.
The Constitution only provides for a limited power of the federal government: to provide for the “necessary” – i.e., the essential – “welfare” of the nation. States by contrast have always been given the authority to legislate for the well-being of their citizens. By establishing their own public services to ensure this – such as, for example, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – the states ensure their citizens will have