Global economies in dire straits, unemployment, failed businesses, a brisker stride towards socialism and big government. Is this the Apocalypse? Are the Four Horsemen riding doubled up on two horses to cut costs? Well, I tend to think not. Even, as a resident of California, a state that has witnessed a massive exodus of businesses, I tend to be a perpetual optimist. Yes, even the swallows won’t be returning to Capistrano, but I still see the gold in the Golden State and the shininess of The United States that once and still does inspire the world.
As a child, it never occurred to me that I would live to see a day when the very ideals of our great country would be questioned. I never believed that our Constitution would be considered by some to be an outdated, insignificant document. Nor, did I imagine free market capitalism would be a dirty word. Detroit, my hometown is all but gone due to out of control unions. I am not saying all unions are bad, indeed they help worker conditions, but the Motor City was way over the top. We have seen the destruction. When I was little, I used to dream of buying Detroit. Now, for probably the same price I think I would rather have the big screen TV. It hurts my heart to see what has happened to a place that held so many dear memories for my family and me.
As I said earlier, America has inspired many. The light of hope shines in a petite Judge with a big soul from Catania, Sicily. Judge Rosa Anna Tremoglie founded Academia Res Publica with her journalist cousin, Michael P. Tremoglie with the purpose of promoting free markets, rule of law, separation of governmental power, adherence to the Constitution and limited government. It is a very young organization that is an affiliate of the Federalist Society in Washington D.C.
I spoke with Paul Zimmerman, the Deputy Director of International Affairs for the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. Mr. Zimmerman told me that Judge Tremoglie is a valued friend of the Federalist Society and promotes the same ideals in Sicily as we do in The United States and abroad. The Federalist Society has numerous chapters in the U.S. as well as some in Europe.
During a recent interview with Judge Tremoglie, this is what she had to say:
If America incorporates more social programs and fails to cut spending, what do you think the political outcome as well as the economic state will be for the U.S. and how will that adversely affect Europe? Will free market economies suffer?
Judge Tremoglie: The socialist idea of a state that provides everything failed in Italy as well as in Europe. The result is rampant corruption. While social programs are an indication of a country’s civilization, a civilized society must guard against making people dependent on the government.
Ultimately redistribution becomes the exclusive interest of a ruling class. The American Founders recognized this. Where money is distributed by people corruption becomes inevitable.
In the end, for the redistributive state not to fail, it will become necessary to loot the people.
Italy’s problem is we have lots of social programs with high taxation. The management of public affairs collides with the free market. It is no coincidence that the countries with less economic freedom, where free markets and competition are limited by excessive government control, have the highest rate of corruption.
The economic growth of a country requires the reduction of public spending in areas that do not affect economic growth and the reduction of the tax burden. Only this way will the economy increase and the debt over the long term will be reduced.
Academia Res Publica is the Sicilian chapter of the Federalist Society, how effective have you been in Italy?
JT: Despite being a very young organization, our first event took place in Catania in June 2012. We have obtained the interest of many prominent members of the legal, religious, government and business sectors.
Our first event was a great success. We are planning more on women and the Constitution, free market principles and how big government corruption undermines democracy. We have invited Judge Antonin Scalia here to speak about judicial interpretation. Judge Scalia’s ancestors are from a town very near mine.
Do you see a movement towards less socialization or is there still a presence of big government?
JT: There are opposing forces in Italy between more and less government control. This is why Academia Res Publica is so vitally important. Our advocacy of following the Constitution and limited government will prevent left wing and right wing extremists from dominating the nation.
Have you encountered a favorable view among Italians, how have the Europeans reacted?
JT: Yes, very much so. There is a hunger here for the ideas we promote. Italians mistrust political movements. That is why Academia Res Publica has been so well received among Italians. We are not a political movement, we do not endorse candidates. We call for Italians to adhere to the Italian Constitution.
Recently I met with European Constitutional Court Justices and other European personalities and they said they were very pleased that our organization exists and offered to help out with events.
I asked Judge Tremoglie about her young life, she told me as a child in school left leaning teachers would reward students that took a favorable side to socialistic teachings and that she abhorred this and wanted to be a driving force for change. I believe the Judge is that force.
Has the mirror turned? Europe used to try and resemble us, now we are looking more and more like Europe. Social programs and looming massive governments have been the downfall of many a country. Americans like myself are reaching back to Calvin Coolidge for answers. It is true you cannot build up the weak by pulling down the strong. Without adherence to the Constitution, less government, rule of law and free markets; you can only expect inferior quality, less productivity and ultimately corruption.
As Ms. Tremoglie said: “I am a constitutionalist more than anything else. I value individual liberty and the rule of law”.
Information on the Federalist Society http://www.fed-soc.org/