Section One Establising the Rights of Natural persons over Artificial persons
Article 1 Rights of Natural Persons
"The rights and privileges of natural persons under this constitution originate in the right of the individual to himself, therefore these rights are the rights of natural persons." [Source: Henry George in the Condition of Labor]
Article 2 Privileges Derive from the People
"Any privileges of Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state derive from the people and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, as appropriate. These rights are not to be construed as inherent or inalienable but are privileges established to serve the public good."
Article 3. Right to participation
All citizens shall have the right to participate in the political process, to vote in elections in their permanent domicile and to effective representation in Federal, State, and local governing entities.
Article 4 Transparency
All contributions of any person, or artificial entities to the political process must be publicly disclosed. Undisclosed contributions may be construed as bribery or undue influence with or without evidence of quid pro quo.
Article 4 Free Press
A Free Press being necessary to a Free Republic, all meetings and interactions of Government officials, elected or appointed, executive, Judiciary or Legislature; shall be recorded for posterity; and unless a compelling reason exists for the deliberations to be kept secret, shall be witnessed by members of the press and reasonable representation of the general public. Any records marked secret shall only be kept secret for the minimum appropriate time for such secrecy, and only those parts such as necessary to protect actual natural security shall be redacted when released before that time. The press shall be compensated for performing recording, reporting, archiving or witnessing efforts by the hour at the same hourly rate as the House of Representatives is compensated.
The President shall be elected by a majority of voters. If no candidate shall achieve 50% + 1 of the popular vote, then there shall be a run off election between the 2 candidates with the highest percentage of the vote.
The Post Office shall enable people to cast ballots through the Post Office in all jurisdictions where there is an election and shall accept ballots from 5 days before the election to Midnight of Election Day.
No Government, State, Federal or local may infringe on the right of citizens to cast their ballots within their neighborhoods and for each citizen to cast one vote in the elections of their permanent place of residence that have jurisdiction over them. Reasonable identification may be required and the security of ballots shall be protected. But no legitimate voter may be denied a vote due to improper challenges of their identity and no vote may be ignored or thrown out that was cast by a citizen without that citizen being notified and given a chance to make a correction.
The People shall have the right to vet all candidates for elective office and to require that they disclose relevant information on their fitness for office under oath. All elective and appointed offices shall be audited at the end of their term of office and the information reviewed by a bipartisan or non partisan panel and put into a report.
Section Two -- Second Bill of Rights
All Citizens and legal residents residing in the United States or its territories shall have the right to meaningful work and to be compensated for such work at a reasonable wage.
All Citizens and legal residents residing in the United States or its territories shall have the right to adequate shelter and to be secure in their possessions within such shelter from unreasonable search and seizure.
All natural persons residing in the United States or its territories shall have the right to adequate medical care
All Citizens and legal residents of the United States shall have the right to economic care during sickness, accident, old age, unemployment or infirmity.
The above is suggested language.
"This right of property, originating in the right of the individual to himself, is the only full and complete right of property. It attaches to things produced by labor, but cannot attach to things created by God." [Condition of Labor]
Said Henry George in a letter to Pope Leo XIII in response to Rerum Novarum in 1891. Of all the responses to Rerum Novarum his was the most electric & most enduring. Rerum Novarum was cited by Catholic groups around the world, incited Catholic Social Action but also was part of the creed of Mediterranean fascists in the 19th century. It started as a seemingly radical left doctrine, but because it also protected ownership of land, it became a conservative force for the next century and into the present. Henry argued against being branded a socialist. And the above quote was the basis for that argument
""To attach to things created by God the same right of private ownership that justly attaches to things produced by labor is to impair and deny the true rights of property. For a man who out of the proceeds of his labor is obliged to pay another man for the use of ocean or air or sunshine or soil, all of which are to men involved in the single term land, is in this deprived of his rightful property and thus robbed." [Condition of Labor]
We humans have a basic right to possess land, shelter, work-places, access to markets and transportation:
"While the right of ownership that justly attaches to things produced by labor cannot attach to land, there may attach to land a right of possession." [Condition of Labor]
But that right is not unalloyed, without limits:
“God has not granted the earth to mankind in general in the sense that all without distinction can deal with it as they please,” [Condition of Labor]
And there are logical and rational rules to such limits:
"regulations necessary for its best use may be fixed by human laws. But such regulations must conform to the moral law — must secure to all equal participation in the advantages of God’s general bounty." [Condition of Labor]
If man would apply moral law to the access to, control of and disposition of resources, we'd be in much better shape.
Sources and Further Readings
- The Condition of Labor — An Open Letter to Pope Leo XIII by Henry George September, 1891
- Rerum Novarum Text
- Move to Amend's version of Citizens United Repeal
- The Death of Henry George
Second Bill of Rights
This post is part of a series intended to clarify how to write a second bill of rights and what should be in it in order to implement not only F.D. Roosevelt's vision, but the lessons of subsequent years. Obama proposed a constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but clearly that alone will only deal with one piece of the problem.