Principium Volume II, Book 9, Quote 947 and 950

947. (10-27-2010) The tax which each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain, and not arbitrary. The time of payment, the manner of payment, the quantity to be paid, ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor, and to every other person. Where it is otherwise, every person subject to the tax is put more or less in the power of the tax gatherer, who can either aggravate the tax upon any obnoxious contributor, or extort, by the terror of such aggravation, some present or perquisite to himself. The uncertainty of taxation encourages the insolence and favours [sic] the corruption of an order of men who are naturally unpopular, even where they are neither insolent nor corrupt. The certainty of what each individual ought to pay is, in taxation, a matter of so great importance that a very considerable degree of inequality, it appears, I believe, from the experience of all nations, is not near so great an evil as a small degree of uncertainty.

- Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations, 1776


(Uncertainty is the killer of free markets.)ATJ


950. (10-28-2010) But though empires, like all the other works of men, have all hither to proved mortal, yet every empire aims at immortality….Every constitution, therefore, which it is meant should be as permanent as the empire itself, ought to be convenient, not in certain circumstances only, but in all circumstances; or ought to be suited, not to those circumstances which are transitory, occasional, or accidental, but to those which are necessary and therefore always the same.

- Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations, 1776


(Aiming at permanence, a nation’s foundation, or its constitution, the contract of the governance of the people, is or was considered permanent at the foundation, but flexible enough to have emendations. Constitutional permanence in all areas that are necessary and right to the freedom and liberty of a people, leads to stability and the taking away of that evil that will undo a society, uncertainty. Uncertainty will breed fear and irrationality, as all the people in a society struggle for security, stability, and permanence. When scholars, politicians, and people accept the idea that our own Constitution is a “living” and changeable document according to the times, they must also accept the uncertainty, ambiguousness, and arbitrariness that different time frame interpretations will cause to occur. This is in contrast to understanding that our Constitution is a permanent contract with and by the people for their governance for what is right and necessary of good government. The people then have an understanding of how government should act, removing ambiguity and the evil of uncertainty.)ATJ

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