1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13365/interview-with-woods-on-nullification/

Interview with Woods on Nullification

July 23, 2010 by

I enjoyed this interview immensely!


Nathaniel July 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

Perhaps I’m a boring old traditionalist, but I found this interview much more valuable (and less annoying!) than the one with a zombie. Thanks for doing it!

Magnus July 23, 2010 at 10:59 am


…. slavery?

Sword of Damocles July 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm

United States!!!!

…. slavery?

Stephen MacLean July 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

Professor Woods: What’s the historical evidence of the Senate upholding States’ rights, when its members were appointed by the respective legislatures, and before the Seventeen Amendment made it an elected chamber (Article 1, Section 3)?

Theoretically, it seems as if the Senate would have provided at least some token resistance to the federal government’s aggrandisement, but I’ve never heard Dr Woods raise this point, so I assume it was never a significant factor.

Daniel July 23, 2010 at 11:19 am


Tom Woods July 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Stephen, Todd Zywicki of GMU Law School has written on this; I suggest Googling his name (also as Todd J. Zywicki) along with “Seventeenth Amendment.”

Stephen MacLean July 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Professor Woods: Many thanks for the Zywicki reference! It was good to see Neil Reynolds take an interest in the constitutionalism of U.S. nullification for The Globe and Mail up here in Canada.

Stephen MacLean July 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

A quick follow-up for anyone interested: Zywicki has a very good Cato podcast on this very issue, ‘Repeal the 17th Amendment?’, where he speaks of senators as ‘Ambassadors of the States’ to the federal government, who were an active force behind the principle (not often formally acknowledged) of the Tenth Amendment. My thanks again to Dr Woods!

Sword of Damocles July 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I’ve always considered the reason behind the original intent of the “appointing” of Senators as part of the whole “checks and balances” thing. Since a Representative is popularly elected, they were (at least in theory) to be the check against the States usurping power via the Senate and the Senate was a check against the people. Which, as best I can determine anyway, is why the number of Representatives is based upon the population of the State, whereas the Senators was a set number.

Just my thoughts,

Stephen MacLean July 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Without wishing to become tedious, I just happened to find this article by Thomas DiLorenzo on this question, ‘Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment’, where he writes:

The Seventeenth Amendment was one of the last nails to be pounded into the coffin of federalism in America. The citizens of the states, through their state legislators, could no longer place any roadblocks whatsoever in the way of federal power.

Mikey McD July 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

As the finances (a.k.a. house of cards) of the Federal Government crumble the seeds of nullification planted by Mr. Woods may find fertile soil. I have agreed with Mr. Tucker for years regarding the need of a better defined strategy to earn back some liberty… this book/idea of nullification would make a great foundation for such a strategy.

matt July 23, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Did they fire the zombie or something?

Del Lindley July 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Even though Professor Woods understands the power of the federal money monopoly he nevertheless seems to suggest that the States are (or will be) in a stronger financial position vis-à-vis the Federal Government. I infer this from his remark that as a means to resist Federal control the States should simply reject Federal funding on account of the eventual worthlessness of these funds. The current balance of credit power, however, does not support this idea.

As of 16 July 2010 the relative financial health between the States and the Federal Government is tipped lopsidedly in favor of the Feds according to their market-estimated cumulative default probabilities. These (admittedly Bayesian) probabilities are generated from an analysis of the respective credit default swap rating and its variation over time. Here is the breakdown for only ten states for which data are available:

State Default Probability (%) Electoral Value

Illinois 41 21
California 39 55
New York 35 31
New Jersey 35 15
Michigan 34 17
Nevada 32 5
Massachusetts 22 12
Ohio 21 20
Texas 15 34
Virginia 12 13

United States 7 —

At least 27% of the State electoral power resides in States that have more than a one in three chance of defaulting on their bonds. At least 39% of this electoral power resides in States that are more than twice as likely as the United States to default. Given these “correlation of forces” it is hard to see how the politically important States can get out from under the Federal thumb.

Joe Peric July 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Before I started reading, I was 90% sure that Tom was right about the intent and role nullification. By the end of the 3rd chapter, I was 110% sure.

Good thing he doesn’t say, word for word, “I researched Mein Kampf to make a case for nullification!” :p

Bruce Koerber July 23, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Could it be that educated people are necessary to put an end to the unConstitutional coup?

Bruce Koerber July 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

If Only Nullification Would Have Been Exercised In 1912!

Just imagine how different things would be if the importance of nullification would have been spread around in 1912. The States would have nullified the Federal Reserve scam and the States would have nullified the income tax theft and bondage scam.

The unConstitutional coup would have been stopped in its tracks!

Now is the time to use nullification to prevent totalitarianism and to whittle away at all of the crimes against the Constitution perpetrated by the unConstitutional coup.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: