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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0
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Index , Notes , Illustrations
$19.95 (19.95)

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0: Amazon Kindle Edition


This book explains the evolution of the core principles of political philosophy contained in the US Constitution and how, in the quest for power and wealth, they have been circumvented and misapplied by those who followed after the founders. The resulting dysfunctional, bloated, and debt-ridden system can be fixed by reapplying principles that prevent special interests from hijacking government. The final chapter suggests changes that would eliminate numerous conflicts of interest and create checks and balances that would make the system more efficient and functional.

Anderson argues that government is system based on core principles that the Founding Fathers applied to make it "more perfect." The U.S. Constitution, which Anderson calls Version 3.0, was written for a much simpler agrarian society. However, our present society is much more complex and numerous special-interest “viruses” have crept into the system and hijacked it, ignoring and circumventing original constitutional safeguards, making the system dysfunctional.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0 discusses five principles necessary for an effective and sustainable government. Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President often violate these principles because they are not in their own interest.

Specific reforms of Congress, Tax Policy, and Welfare based on application of these core principles are explained, showing how problems, like health care, that seem intractable, can be fixed. This book is for anyone concerned about how the United States government can serve the citizens better and for less tax money.

"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0 is a read that blends politics and philosophy well, highly recommended."
—Midwest Book Review

“Smart, balanced, and wonderfully readable, Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Version 4.0 is the perfect antidote to the malaise that seems to be encompassing vast segments of American society. Mired in two wars, and experiencing the most severe economic contraction since the depression, the United States seems to have lost its way. To many, the basic principles and beliefs that made the United States a great country are no longer applicable in today’s world. Gordon Anderson brings much needed balance to the debate over the changes that must occur if the United States is to regain its footing. In doing so, he touches on a series of fundamental issues that have too often been the subject of unhelpful polemics. No axe to grind – just a world-class researcher providing insights to some of the most vexing issues of the day. A fascinating perspective developed with care and judgment.”

—Robert Looney, Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

“This book does a wonderful job explaining how our evolving political-economic system has moved in a direction not intended by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. The primary undermining of our political system is attributed to several factors: judicial activism, erosion of checks and balances, a tendency for our Federal government and institutions in general to become more centralized, deviating from the goal of subsidiarity, and the deleterious economic impact caused by rent-seeking lobbyists.”
—Gary Quinlivan, Dean, Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government, St. Vincent College

“In Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Gordon Anderson continues his penetrating analysis of the American constitutional system, of the “worms” that have infected it, and of a restored constitutional structure that will enable it to fill the noble mission the Founding Fathers intended for it.”
—Morton A. Kaplan, Professor of Political Science Emeritus, University of Chicago

“Critical needs besiege the United States. Gordon Anderson’s “state of the union” book rises above partisan politics to identify fundamental steps that all Americans need to take in perilous times to bolster the nation’s commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His outlook well informed by sound historical understanding, Anderson advances bold public policy strategies, grounded in a political philosophy that emphasizes personal responsibility, the common good, and realistic hope for the American future. Cogent, constructive, controversial—this significant book should be widely read, its wisdom thoughtfully discussed and put into practice.”
—John K. Roth, Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

“In his clearly articulated interpretation and “report card” on the current status of America’s national “mission statement” (Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) Gordon Anderson seeks to accomplish through peaceful, critical, and surgical analysis the objectives advocated by Thomas Jefferson in his provocative suggestion for the rewriting of the United States Constitution every couple of decades.

Cognizant of the radical developments that had affected the United States culture, economy and government since the nation’s founding, Dr. Anderson undertakes to identify and reaffirm the underlying principles necessary for the attainment of the mission statement’s objectives: separation of powers, subsidiarity, transparency and (surprisingly?) the right to secede. The restructure of the United States Congress, the funding of government, tax policies, the escalation of welfare programs are thoroughly discussed by Anderson as major topics in his reform implementation agenda.

Anderson’s volume, written in computer-age style, is an important contribution to the understanding, the implementation, the roadblocks, as well as, the facilitators of the American dream. The volume would serve well not only as a reminder, but also as an energizer for the necessary and overdue national, political, and economic policy discussions and reforms. Yet, its lucid contents and writing style make it also a most appropriate supplemental reader for college and university courses about United States government, public policy and political economy.”
—Nicholas N. Kittrie, KStJ, University Professor in Law, American University and Chair, The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Justice & Peace


Part I: Basic Principles
Government as a Social Operating System
Human Motivation, 2; A Political Immune System is Essential, 4; Political Operating Systems Version 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, 5; A Peaceful Federation of States, 10; Government, Culture, and the Economy, 13; Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Version 4.0, 14

Protection of Life, Liberty, and Property
The Desire for Protection, 17; The Right to Life, 18; Thomas Hobbes, 20; The Founding of the United States, 21; The Right to Life in International Law, 23; Pressing the Boundaries of Life, 24; Protection of Property, 26; Promotion of Good, 28; Preventing Good, 32; Promoting Harm, 35; Conflicts of Interest, 37; The Control of Information, 39; Conclusion, 40; Questions for Review and Reflection, 40

The Principle of Subsidiarity
Natural Subsidiarity, 43; Social Subsidiarity, 44; Use of the Term Subsidiarity, 47; Freedom and the Principle of Subsidiarity, 48; The Late Middle Ages, 48; The Pyramid as a Symbol for Subsidiarity, 50; The Family at the Base of the Pyramid, 51; The Organization of Families into Tribes and Communities, 53; The Conditions for Democracy in America, 55; Observations of Alexis de Tocqueville in Early America, 56; Cities and Social Complexity, 58; Bureaucracy and Abuse of Power, 60; Corporations, States, and Federations, 62; The Problem of Centralized Power, 64; Realism and Centralized Power, 68; The United States and the Inversion of Subsidiarity, 71; Subsidiarity in Culture and Economy, 72; Stronger Societies Practice Subsidiarity, 75; Questions for Review and Reflection, 77

The Separation of Powers
Specialized Components in the Social Organism, 82; Separation of Church and State, 85; The “Wall of Separation”, 89; The Separation of Church, Commerce, and State, 90; British Imperialism and the American Colonies, 92; The Constitution Silent on Corporate Power, 94; The Triumph of the Industrial State, 96; The Triumph of the Global Corporation, 98; Government Planning for Competition, 102; Neither a Laissez-Faire nor a Regulated Market, 103; The Role of Government as a Referee, 107; The TARP Bailout Example, 111; Clear Rules would Decrease Lobbying, 113; The Economy is the Third Sector, 114; Physical Protection and Commercial Products, 115; The Separation of Commerce and State, 117; Questions for Review and Reflection, 120

Information Asymmetry, 123; Freedom of Information, 124; The Cost of Freedom of Information, 128; Financial Transparency and Banking, 129; The Agency Problem, 131; Government Transparency and Corruption, 136; The International Trend Toward Transparency, 139; States Take the Lead in the U.S., 141; Transparency NGOs Mushroom, 142; Conclusion, 143; Questions for Review and Reflection, 144

The Right to Secede
Secession and Divorce, 147; Secession Considered a Right at the Founding, 150; Views of Secession Before the Civil War, 153; Showdown Over Slavery and Tariffs, 156; The Triumph of Force, 161; The Right to Secede, 167; Questions for Review and Reflection, 172

Part II: Implementation
Structure of Congress
Experience Before the Constitutional Convention, 176; The Philadelphia Convention, 178; The Hybrid Result, 181; The Bill of Rights, 184; The Seventeenth Amendment, 184; Republicans and Democrats against the Center, 187; Possible Solutions, 189; Not Perfect, Just More Perfect, 198; Questions for Review and Reflection, 199

Funding Government
Subsidiarity and Government Funding, 202; Taxes and Human Incentive, 208; Early United States Tax Policy, 210; The Federal Income Tax, 213; The Income Tax Leviathan, 217; Sales Taxes: Tax the Harvest not the Seeds, 224; Returning Tax Collection to the States, 230; Eliminating Corporate Income Taxes, 232; Sales Taxes on Mergers and Acquisitions, 235; Property Taxes, 236; Conclusions, 238; Questions for Review and Reflection, 241

The Uncontrolled Escalation of Federal Welfare, 243; Personal Responsibility, 246; Freedom and Taxes, 247; Impersonal or Personal Welfare?, 248; Bureaucratic Support for Personal Welfare, 251; The Instability of the Social Security System, 255; Private Retirement Insurance, 256; Out-of-Control Health Care Costs, 258; Controlling Government Expenses without Socialized Medicine, 259; Eliminate Third-Party Policy Holders, 261; Health Insurance or Health Care?, 263; Personal Health Insurance, 264; Patents and Prescriptions, 265; Conclusions, 268; Questions for Review and Reflection, 271

Jefferson or Hamilton?, 273; Can a Hamiltonian Society have Freedom?, 274; Freedom and Complexity, 275; Basic Principles of Version 4.0, 277; Planning for Competition, 279; Implementing Reforms, 280; The Endless Possibilities of a Free and Open World, 284; A More Perfect Union, 285

Chapter 1, 289; Chapter 2, 289; Chapter 3, 290; Chapter 4, 292; Chapter 5, 293; Chapter 6, 295; Chapter 7, 297; Chapter 8, 298; Chapter 9, 299; Chapter 10, 301
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Customer Reviews

  • Author: Sir James R. Mancham, Founding President of Seychelles
    At this time when fundamental changes in the U.S.A. are recognized as important and necessary, "Life Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0" by Gordon L. Anderson is a must read for President Obama, his entourage, Congress, and anyone interested in a United States that is internally unified and internationally respected. Anderson's recommendations are serious, substantial, and should be seriously considered.
  • Author: Alan Jessen
    Would just ENCOURAGE EVERYONE to read Dr. Anderson's recent book - it is the BEST I HAVE EVER READ on solutions to our current demise.

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