Armstrong Economics Blog/Opinion Re-Posted Aug 18, 2022 by Martin Armstrong
Shakespeare’s famous line was: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” To put that in its proper context, only the king had an attorney, so they were prosecutors. When we look at the real difference between Republicans and Democrats who enter politics, it becomes an indictment against the legal profession. Lawyers are adversarial by nature and are thus trained to try to win at all costs. Likewise, law enforcement officers are trained to look for illegal activity. They are trained to observe. One friend I knew who was a policeman said that everyone was guilty of something.
One legal professor even wrote a book on that subject – “Three Felonies a Day.” That is the entire problem. There are so many laws that everyone commits something that would justify their arrest every day. For example, adultery is technically illegal in 21 states. Cheating on your spouse in Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, among others, have felony charges against it. Adultery, or having an intimate relationship with someone other than your spouse, is a Class 3 offense in Arizona, and a sentence of up to 30 days in prison is possible. To be charged with a felony then deprives you of owning a gun or ammunition. So, adultery and just possessing a gun or ammunition will land you in prison for five years. I saw a Vietnam Vet get five years because he had an empty shell from Vietnam on a chain around his neck, and he was sentenced to five years in prison as the prosecutor claimed he could fill the drilled holes, pour in gunpowder, and that was good enough for five years in prison.
That training given to lawyers when it comes to politics may be a huge conflict of interest that actually is anti-American. That adversarial training may work in litigation but does not work when representing the people in politics. Being trained to win at any cost creates has been what is at the root of the polarization and hatred that is now boiling up in our country. It tends to move against common sense and actually eliminates any legitimate debate, for it has devolved into — our way or no way!
In 2012, at the Republican National convention, Clint Eastwood made public his opinion of lawyers as he spoke to an empty chair that represented Barack Obama. “See, I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to be president, anyway.” Lawyers actually are much more common in politics. Clinton was the 45th president and the 26th lawyer to hold the position of president. Indeed, 60% of the U.S. Senate is lawyers, while 37.2% of the House of Representatives are lawyers. Together, that means that lawyers control 43% of the total votes in the country.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an attorney, as was the fiery William Jennings Bryan (Thou Shalt Not Crucify Mankind on a Cross of Gold), who advocated inflation. Every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school. Barack Obama was a lawyer. Michelle Obama was a lawyer. Hillary Clinton was a lawyer. Bill Clinton was a lawyer. John Edwards is a lawyer. Elizabeth Edwards was a lawyer. Look at leaders of the Democrat Party in Congress: Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer is a lawyer. Former Senator Harry Reid was a lawyer. Indeed, even every Democrat presidential nominee since 1984 was a lawyer. Granted, Joe Biden, before he was senile, graduated at the bottom of his class. Al Gore graduated from Harvard, but he did not graduate Vanderbilt Law School.
The Republican Party is different. President Trump is a businessman. President Bush 1 and 2 were businessmen. Vice President Cheney was a businessman. President Eisenhower was a 5-star General. The leaders of the Republican Revolution: Newt Gingrich was a history professor. Tom Delay was an exterminator. Dick Armey was an economist. Ex-House Minority Leader John Boehner was a plastics manufacturer. The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon. Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, ran against actor Ronald Reagan in 1976. The Republican Party puts forth more non-lawyers than Democrats.
Apparently, Mitt Romney, who was very anti-Trump, had a joint degree from Harvard’s Law and Business Schools. It was the lawyers in the Republican Party who were against Trump, like Rubio. It was Rubio who was drafting legislation to impose sanctions on China if they aided Russia. I sent a letter warning that was a braindead response, but I did not get a response. Perhaps the idea fell apart. But Rubio is a lawyer, and the typical response is to write a law. That is our entire problem.
Once a law is put on the books, it remains there forever. Sarasota, Florida was the home of the Ringling Brothers Circus. The town passed a law that you cannot leave an elephant at a parking meter without paying the parking meter fee. In Pennsylvania, when driving on a country road at night, you must stop every mile and set off flares or other warning signals and then allow 10 minutes for livestock to clear the road. There are still places where if you are driving down the road and your car frightens a horse, you must pull off the road. If the horse is still frightened, you must dissemble it. In Alabama, it is illegal to drive your car while blindfolded. I suppose that must have been a huge problem. When you are in West Virginia, if you ran over a squirrel, it’s legal to eat your road kill or anyone else’s. Lawyers in government can’t resist writing laws.
The Democratic Party is made up of mostly lawyers who attack those who create wealth, big and small. Perhaps this is the entire problem. The nation has been polarized because that is the very training of a lawyer to be adversarial. Are the Democratic lawyers looking at those who create wealth to be exploited by the slip-and-fall claims? Those who create wealth by starting a small business that provides 70% of employment are looked upon as evil, greedy sorts of people as the enemies of America. And, in the eyes of the Democratic Party, have we evolved into seeing the procession of official enemies grow with wealth that must be attacked? The Democrats do not rail against illegal aliens, and those who want a free ride burden the middle class.
Unfortunately, this is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers because of the very adversarial training and the view that everyone is really guilty. Lawyers do solve problems by successfully representing their clients, which, in this case, should be the American people as a whole, but they seem to see it as only those who vote for them. Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side. Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine. But it is an awful way to govern a great nation.
The problem with lawyers in government is that they inherently begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties. This is why we are plagued by their use of the legal system in our lives which has become all-consuming. Some Americans become adverse parties to our very government, and they must then be punished. Somehow we have to change this perspective, for it is polarizing society and converting our equal justice for all into an adversarial legal batter with everything from abortion to taxes.
Unfortunately, lawyers have a place in the private world, but in politics, it is turning our nation into an adversarial mud-wresting match to the death. They fight to the death over appointing people to the Supreme Court which in itself demonstrates that there is no RULE OF LAW; it is always just an opinion. When I was in the gold business, State Senator Walter Foran asked me to write the law for the State of New Jersey to make gold not taxable under the sales tax. I wrote the law stating gold was not taxable unless “converted to use” and the sales tax Nazis stormed my business, seized my records, and then demanded sales tax on over 3,000 transactions. I went to court and lost. They would not allow me to testify because it was “irrelevant.” I may have misinterpreted what the Senate asked me to write. Their interpretation was that “converted to use” was “investment use,” and the judge ruled in the State’s favor. Senator Foran demanded to testify on my behalf, but they would not allow him to testify as a senator. My request to subpoena the Senate was denied as unreasonable. The prosecutor, after the case said, “Sorry, nothing personal. This is how we make law.” I retired and did not want to be then harassed every year.
Our society is drowning in laws that judicial decisions have distorted our freedom and the legal system has been carried on the back of those it oppresses. It has invaded every part of our once private lives with lockdowns and mandatory vaccines that have benefited those who bribe our so-called representatives. The place for laws and lawyers remains in the private sector – not the government. Once in power, they see every solution warrants a new power and law.
This Democratic Administration, the same one that just raided Trump’s estate to prevent any documents from coming out about RussiaGate and their behind-the-curtain machinations, has now filed a lawsuit against Arizona, claiming that a new state law that requires voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to cast a ballot in presidential elections is unconstitutional. We cannot simply cross the border and go vote in Canada. Yet, according to this Biden Administration, anyone can come and vote in the United States, and you do not have to prove who you are. This is what I mean where law disregards all common sense. We live now in total chaos.
We are witnessing the total destruction of not just common sense, but of the society we once called America. We cannot repair our society, for that change cannot be brought by lawyers who now control our very future. Einstein warned, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. ”
Our modern world is falling into the same trap that destroyed the Byzantine Empire. They created so many laws that they often said that they employed more tax collectors than there were people left to pay taxes. Even in computer science, in a distributed network, you solve a problem by reaching a consensus despite the presence of nodes that disagree. Today, the danger of democracy has always been the fear that the majority will oppress the minority. That has become the objective today in politics, and I fear it has become the norm because we have too many lawyers who see the world in an adversarial confrontation.
The United States has only 5% of the world’s population but 66% of the world’s lawyers! Tort (Legal) reform legislation has been introduced in congress several times in the last several years. It has been an unreachable quest to limit punitive damages. People spill hot coffee on themselves and then sue the establishment. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies pay bribes to ensure their immunity. This legislation has continually been blocked from even being voted on by the Democratic Party because they are the party with an overwhelming number of lawyers who will never vote against their own self-interest. No different from Goldman Sachs installing people in every department they can deal with finance. It is a warning g sign that 99% of the political contributions from the American Trial Lawyers Association go to the Democrat Party. The ABA Journal also confirms that trial lawyers donate to the Democrats – not Republicans.
Without term limits, we are simply doomed. We cannot bar attorneys from running for office. We just have to understand that the legal system is trained to be adversarial, and this is why the nation is on the brink of civil war. Courts were there to keep society “civil” where disputes were to be resolved civilly. The courts are no longer impartial, and judges have way too much power just to seal records and refuse to allow the people to see the truth.
Lawyers are a necessary part of society. My father was a lawyer. But we cannot allow this training in adversarial confrontation to consume the entire society. Even the conflict with Russia reflects this win at all cost doctrine and refusal to negotiate or compromise. The bottom line with lawyers in government is that they also know how to craft laws and then circumvent them. As I have said before, I was invited by Edmon Safra to the IMF dinner in DC where he rented the entire National Gallery. It was illegal to buy a politician dinner, so you could have lobster, filets, whatever. As long as we stood, it was not considered a dinner but Hor D’erves.
This is the problem. When the Democrats seek to plunder the rich, it becomes their way of life. They no longer know how to run for office withing promising to tax the evil rich. They create for themselves a legal system that authorizes their progressiveness denying equal justice for all and a moral code that glorifies discrimination based on wealth which is somehow justified.