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Happy Birthday, George Schuyler: A Great Foe of Statism

Today, Republican strength lies in the states. Twenty-eight states are controlled by Republican legislatures, with five split. Thirty governors are Republican. Consider Schuyler’s proposals:

[States] should (a) urge immediate repeal of the Federal income tax and finance government by a single levy upon the states, and urge that they handle all such things as social security, insurance and pensions, thus automatically reducing Federal personnel, expenses and authority.

They should (b) urge reduction of Federal “take” to customs and eliminate all the nuisance taxes on jewelry, amusements, travel, liquor, tobacco, etc., thus immediately reducing the cost of these items. … This would also reduce personnel and authority of Federal agencies.

Indeed, Schuyler was proposing a means for states to disentangle themselves from federal control -- a solution particularly apt in a day when an agency like the Department of Education proposes a federal (and socialist) curriculum (called Common Core), and “cradle to career” (their terms) initiatives like federal daycare (called preschool), ranking of colleges, and federally controlled student loans (and terms of forgiveness that include “public service”).

Schuyler’s third proposal is one for which the Tea Party has been vilified -- to return the election of Senators to the states:

[Republicans] should (c) urge repeal of popular election of Senators and a return of the old election by legislatures. This produces a higher caliber of men for the upper house with a minimum of demagogues and charlatans having to appeal directly to the ignorance, envy and gullibility of the generality.

The arguments I’ve heard at Tea Parties is that this would restore the balance of power between the state and federal governments -- but you have to admit that Schuyler also has a point about “charlatans” and “demagogues.”

The other part of the federal vice consists of regulations by 456 federal agencies (and numerous sub-agencies) today. In 1950, Schuyler saw their potential for metastasizing:

[Republicans] should (d) eliminate or vastly curtail the size and functions of the Labor and Commerce Departments, and let labor and business finance and perform those services through machinery of arbitration and otherwise.

In short, the Republicans should urge restriction of the central government to its traditional role of umpire supported by the states directly. It is only by curbing big government that freedom can be retained. With such a daring program the GOP might get somewhere in the next elections.

February is also Black History Month, a significant irony because, although black, George Schuyler simply considered himself an American, and few blacks who do not follow the socialist agenda are honored in our schools and media. Similarly, columnists like Jim Galloway quote only political science professors who on their public university sites list Democrat Party activism and specializations in environmental policy and animal rights, as they charge advocates of states’ rights with racism.

So happy birthday, George Schuyler, someone who deserves study during Black History Month, and all year.