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Category Archives: National Prosperity

THIS is how we shrink the size of government.

I return you the letter of mr Miller notifying the resignation of the Supervisor of Maryland, & I approve your proposition of suppressing [eliminating] the office, annexing it’s duties to that of Surveyor of the district of Baltimore with the salary of 250. D. a year & a reasonable allowance for Clerk hire.
I return you also your proposed report on the suppression [elimination] of the Commissionrs. of loans, with an entire approbation [approval] of it.
To Albert Gallatin, December 1, 1803

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Principled leaders keep their word.
Jefferson claimed the Washington and Adams administrations, with the help of Alexander Hamilton, had greatly expanded the reach and expense of the national government by multiplying the number of offices and officers under its control. The resulting patronage worked to their advantage since they appointed only political supporters to those jobs.

The President vowed to reverse this trend in his first inaugural address. One of his priorities would be “economy in the public expense, that labor [taxpapers] may be lightly burthened.”

Firing Federalist office-holders would create a firestorm of political protest. To avoid offending his opponents unnecessarily, Jefferson would often simply eliminate an office when it became vacant. In this letter, he approved two recommendations of his Secretary of the Treasury to do just that.

“The President was outstanding!
He was very well prepared and his remarks were truly appreciated …”
Executive Director, Missouri Society of Professional Engineers
Your audience will truly appreciate Thomas Jefferson’s preparation!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Federal finances, Government's proper role, National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , , , |

A birthday pig in a poke, with benefits!

On the evening of the 3d inst. [July] we recieved a letter from … Livingston & Monroe [America’s ambassadors to France on the subject of purchasing New Orleans and maintaining open Mississippi River navigation] … that on the 30th. of April they signed a treaty with France, ceding to us the island of N. Orleans and all Louisiana as it had been held by Spain. the price is not mentioned. we are in hourly expectation of the treaty by a special messenger … it is something larger than the whole US. probably containing 500 millions of acres, the US. containing 434. millions. this removes from us the greatest source of danger to our peace.
To Thomas Mann Randolph, July 5, 1803

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Happy birthday, Mr. President!
Jefferson concealed his own birth date, so people couldn’t celebrate him. He believed July 4 was the only date worthy of national celebration. Just hours before America’s 27th birthday, he’d received word that his spirited diplomatic efforts had yielded an unimaginable result: France would sell not only New Orleans but ALL of Louisiana! That would more than double the size of the nation and make the Mississippi River a totally American waterway.

Jefferson’s tactical goal had been met, securing duty-free shipping on all goods produced for export west of the Appalachian mountains. His strategic goal was met, too, eliminating what otherwise was inevitable, war with France over control of the Mississippi.

The President didn’t know the price! (A “pig in a poke” refers to a purchase where the buyer doesn’t really know the extent of the purchase or the price paid.) He expected to find out soon. He had authorized $10M for New Orleans and West Florida. He would soon be delighted to learn that the whole deal was signed for just $15M. Settlement of old shipping claims against France would significantly lower the purchase price to $11.25M.

This purchase would completely change the complexion of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, from a small company exploring foreign land to a large military company laying further claim to American land.

“… as Thomas Jefferson … His audiences have included … students, constitutional scholars,
lawyers and judges. He was very well received by these diverse groups.”

Director of Law-Related Education, The Missouri Bar
Mr. Jefferson will please your audience, whatever they are!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Commerce, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Lewis & Clark, National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

OK. No booze for you!

I am happy to learn you have been so far favored by the divine spirit as to be made sensible of those things which are for your good & that of your people, & of those which are hurtful to you: & particularly that you & they see the ruinous effects which the abuse of spirituous liquors have produced upon them … Spirituous liquors are not in themselves bad … it is the improper & intemperate use of them, by those in health, which makes them injurious. but as you find that your people cannot refrain from an ill use of them, I greatly applaud your resolution not to use them at all …
To Handsome Lake, November 3, 1802

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders applaud the wise choices of other leaders.
Lake was a spiritual leader among the Seneca Indians of New York. After a lifetime of abusing alcohol, he had been delivered of that curse and now actively promoted wellness among his people. That included a campaign against all alcohol use.

Jefferson, who loved wine but drank no hard liquor, appreciated Lake’s efforts. He distinguished between the use of alcohol for social enjoyment or medicinal purposes, a common practice, and alcohol abuse by healthy people. Since Lake’s people could not refrain from abusing alcohol, Jefferson applauded the leader’s choice to have it banned completely.

This letter was the source for a similar post in March, 2012.

“The content of your presentation, medicine during your time, was also, of course,
particularly fascinating to our health care provider attendees.”
Conference Chair, FOCUS on Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine Conference
Mr. Jefferson’s 19th century wisdom will be relevant for your 21st century audience!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

We need divine help, too.

… I shall need too the favour of that being in whose hands we are: who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land; and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries & comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, & our riper years with his wisdom & power: & to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, & prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, & shall secure to you the peace, friendship, & approbation of all nations.
Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders know man’s help is not enough.
I excerpted several of the opening paragraphs of this major address and skipped ones that followed. The omitted ones dealt with native Americans and the challenges of their assimilation, the abuses printed by some newspapers, a reiteration of the limited, essential purposes of American government, and a plea for forgiveness for errors in his judgment.

This is the conclusion to Jefferson’s address, a plea for divine help. Jefferson rarely refers to that source as God and never as Jesus, yet he recognized and petitioned “that being” who had:
– Led us to a land blessed with abundant resources
– Protected us in “our infancy”
– Gave us wisdom and power as we matured
Jefferson asked his fellow citizens to join him in “supplications” (earnest or humble requests) for wisdom for America’s leaders, that their actions would result in “your good” at home, and peace, friendship and approval abroad.

“Thank you for a very excellent presentation.”
Executive Director, Associated General Contractors of Missouri
Mr. Jefferson will bring an excellent presentation to your audience.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
2 Comments Posted in National Prosperity, Religion Tagged , , , , , , , |

Who will stare at us from the other side?

I know that the acquisition of Louisiana has been disapproved by some, from a candid apprehension that the enlargement of our territory would endanger it’s union. but who can limit the extent to which the federative principle may operate effectively? the larger our association, the less will it be shaken by local passions. and in any view, is it not better that the opposite bank of the Missisipi should be settled by our own brethren & children than by strangers of another family? with which should we be most likely to live in harmony and friendly intercourse?
Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Confident leaders embrace expansion.
Jefferson acknowledged that some feared the purchase of Louisiana would destabilize the country. He thought just the opposite, that a larger union was a protection against strong local disagreements. He also thought the republican (small r) principles that guided 15 states could guide 20 or 30 or 100 states.

Regardless of one’s opinion on the size of the union, who would be better neighbors on the west side of the Mississippi River? Would they prefer French, Spanish, English or Russian neighbors, for all four countries had interests beyond the Mississippi? Or would they rather have fellow citizens, Americans, as their neighbors?

“Mr. Patrick Lee did a wonderful job portraying Thomas Jefferson …”
Executive Director, Missouri Independent Bankers Association
Mr. Jefferson awaits your invitation.
Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , |

More freedom or more taxes for American labor?

with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
1st Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Empowering leaders encourage citizens’ industry and protect their labor.
In recognition of Labor Day, 2015, celebrated yesterday:
Acknowledging Providential blessing on America, what more was needed? “A wise and frugal government” whose intrusion was minimal, limited to restraining people from hurting one another. Beyond that, people should be left to their own “industry and improvement.” Government “shall not take” (read: tax) the fruit of their labor.

The government’s footprint during the Washington and Adam’s administrations had extended beyond what Jefferson thought proper. So had the taxation necessary to pay for it. He sought an elimination of internal taxes and reported that accomplished in his second inaugural address four years later.

How was government to support its limited functions? By duties (taxes) on imported goods. Only those with significant disposable income could afford luxuries from Europe. That put the tax burden on the well-to-do, leaving ordinary Americans exempt from the tax collector.

“Thank you very much for a most engaging and informative presentation.”
Program Manager, Council of State Governments – West, meeting in Vancouver, WA
Mr. Jefferson is eager to engage your audience.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
1 Comment Posted in Commerce, National Prosperity, Taxes Tagged , , , , , , , |

Who exactly is in charge here? Part 9 (OR What characterizes a healthy society?)

[This is the 9th interchange in Jefferson’s internal dialog between his head and his heart, anguishing over Maria Cosway’s departure.]

Head. True, you & I know this, but your friends do not know it.

Heart. But they are sensible people who think for themselves. They will ask of impartial foreigners who have been among us whether they saw or heard on the spot any instances of anarchy … [instead, they will learn we are] opening rivers, digging navigable canals, making roads, building public schools, establishing academies, erecting busts & statues to our great men, protecting religious freedom, abolishing sanguinary [bloodthirsty] punishments, reforming & improving our laws in general, they will judge I say for themselves … [and recognize] a people at their ease, whether this is not better evidence of our true state than a London newspaper, hired to lie …
To Maria Cosway, October 12, 1786

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
These characteristics give citizens hope.
Jefferson’s Head said reports about anarchy in America, printed in London newspapers and copied throughout Europe would repel foreigners, including the Cosways.

Jefferson’s Heart dismissed it all as lies.
Head accepts that but claims the Cosways won’t know the truth.
Heart says they will ask others who’ve been to America. This is the report they will receive from impartial observers, that the people of America are:
1. Improving their infrastructure for travel and commerce
2. Educating their citizens
3. Honoring their leaders
4. Protecting religious freedom
5. Abolishing horrendous laws and reforming laws in general.
The result of this activity is a better life for all, the only antidote necessary for lies spread about America.

Mr. Jefferson will inspire your audience to focus on what’s truly important.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Human nature, National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , , , |

What do laborers need on Labor Day?

…  with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities [happiness].
Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Laborers need a hands-off government.
Jefferson saw the election of 1800 as the second American revolution. The voters rejected an activist national government and the taxes necessary to support it. They also rejected a fondness toward England and any possibility of a constitutional monarchy.

Jefferson’s inaugural address outlined the major principles which would guide his administration. He tried to bridge the gap between the political parties with this, “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists,”

Jefferson proposed a government which was wise, frugal, and intervened only to keep people from harming one another. Beyond that, government should let its citizens self-regulate for their own “industry and improvement.” Free to prosper in this way, government should not tax away what Americans labored to produce.

There were a number of taxes in 1801. Four years later, in his Second Inaugural Address, Jefferson would boast about the elimination of that burden when he asked “…what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States?”

“The Missouri School Boards Association recommended Patrick Lee
in the persona of Thomas Jefferson [for our Leadership Conference].
There could not have been a better choice.”

Illinois School Boards Association
Jefferson will honor the labor of your audience.
Invite him to speak.Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Commerce, Government's proper role, National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , , |

Would you be ruled by reason … or the rod?

A just and solid republican government maintained here, will be a standing monument & example … that a free government is of all others the most energetic … compared with those of the leaders on the other side [of the ocean], who have discountenanced all advances in science as dangerous innovations, have endeavored to render philosophy and republicanism terms of reproach, to persuade us that man cannot be governed but by the rod, &c.
To John Dickinson, March 6, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Republican leaders govern by restraint, not by the rod.
Two days into his Presidency, Jefferson contrasted the nation’s new government, turned from Federalist to republican, to those of European nations. Hallmarks of republicanism were a self-governed, free and equal people.

His use of the word “energetic” could be interpreted two ways:
– A government “operating with vigor or effect,” Websters 7th New Collegiate, because it understood and stayed within its limited Constitutional role
– Describing a citizenry unburdened by a meddlesome government.
Regardless, it did not mean as activist national government.

What characterized European governments?
– They rejected “all advances in science as dangerous innovations.”
– They discredited the notion of equality for all.
– Man could only be governed by force, rather than reason.

“… our sincere appreciation to you for your exceptional presentation…”
Missouri Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
Mr. Jefferson will bring an exceptional presentation to your audience!
Invite him to speak. Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Government's proper role, Leadership, National Prosperity Tagged , , , , , , , |

What characterizes a happy society?

The path we have to pursue is so quiet that we have nothing scarcely to propose to our Legislature. A noiseless course, not meddling with the affairs of others, unattractive of notice, is a mark that society is going on in happiness.
To Thomas Cooper, November 29, 1802

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders know happy people make a happy society!
The last post, June 16, 2014, dealt with creating happy people. This excerpt from the same letter extends that thought to creating a happy society. How? With a national government that is not:
– Making any noise,
– Meddling in other’s affairs but ending to its own business
– Drawing attention to itself.

The government was now fulfilling its Constitutionally-limited role, leaving the states and their citizens alone, to tend to their own concerns. A year and a half into his Presidency, Jefferson said everything was going along so smoothly that they had hardly any recommendations for Congress about changes needed in the laws.
All of that could only be “a mark that society is going on in happiness.”

“From all the comments,
your appearance as Thomas Jefferson was a big hit.”
President, Missouri Council for New and Expanding Industry
Thomas Jefferson will be a hit with your audience, too!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Government's proper role, National Prosperity