Is America divided? I think most of the 'division' in america is more philosophical.. we are choosing between federalism/statism/socialism on the one side, & states rights/personal responsibility/free markets, on the other. It is my contention that the free market is a better system for a nation such as the us. With our size, diversity, & population, a smaller socialistic state model doesn't work. We cannot just plug the successes of sweden into the us & expect it to work. There are too many variables.
But i am in favor of simple, fair regulations for the free market, otherwise we will have unscrupulous exploiters who will take advantage of people, & use their wealth & power to oppress the common man. These regulations are pretty simple.. child labor laws, truth in lending, full disclosure, insider trading, etc. Most have been around a long time, & arose from necessity. There is a risk of the state overstepping its bounds & using the power of the govt to pick winners, as was done in railroads in previous centuries, and more recently in defense contracts, 'green' industry lending, bank & corporate bailouts, etc. Better oversight & checks & balances can offset those problems. Corruption can never be fully eliminated, but we can try to keep it down, & not let it flourish like it has been doing lately.
Balance is necessary. We cannot thrive in unregulated free markets, where the money people can run roughshod over the common people, but neither can we have excessive regulations where the state is managing to the point of being socialistic. I believe the founders of america came upon a good system of checks & balances, & a balance of power. It maximizes freedom for the individual, while encouraging entrepreneurial ventures. I do not want to see the socialist policies take over in the us, with the left claiming capitalism & open markets have failed. It is not free market & capitalism that has us in $15t debt & rising. It has been socialistic programs & policies. Let us phase those out, since they are bankrupting us, return to a more balanced approach with more power given to the states, & let the federal govt stick to international & interstate affairs, not micromanaging every aspect of the individual's life.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men 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.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
“I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well-administred; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administred for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”
"If I were asked the difference between Socialism and Communism, I could only reply that the Socialist tries to lead us to disaster by foolish words and the Communist could try to drive us there by violent deeds."