Daily Archives: October 9, 2012

Federalist No. 9

In Federalist No. 9, we again have Hamilton addressing the people of the State of New York in the Independent Journal, but this time he is addressing the union as a safeguard against domestic faction and insurrection as a follow-up to his piece on the consequences of hostilities between the states.

He begins the piece by stating that a FIRM Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the States, as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection. To stress this point, he begins with a discussion of how it is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy. These were, after all, republics, and since what is being proposed is a republic, one must address why the current instantiation of the republic will enable a FIRM Union between the states while previous instantiations did not.

The reason the current instantiation will not be subject to the distractions, agitations, tyranny, and anarchy of the republics of old is because the science of politics, however, like most other sciences, has received great improvement since the time these republics were created and the efficacy of various principles, not known to the ancients, is now well understood.

In particular, the regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behaviour; and the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election are wholly new discoveries, or have, at the very least, made progress towards perfection. They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its
imperfections lessened or avoided

Hamilton then goes on to quote the French social commentator Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, generally known as Montesquieu, who lived during the Enlightenment wand who articulated the theory of separation of powers which is a governance model for the state where it is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers such that no branch has more power than the others, that is the basis of many of the constitutions in today’s republics and democracies.

This is because Montesquieu was one of the first enlightened thinkers to state that it is very probable that mankind would have been obliged at length to live constantly under the government of
a single person, had they not contrived a kind of constitution that has all the internal advantages of a republican, together with the external force of a monarchical government. I mean a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC
. Furthermore, the assemblage of societies that constitute a new one, capable of increasing, by means
of new associations, till they arrive to such a degree of power as to be able to provide for the security of the united body
is able to withstand an external force and may support itself without any internal corruptions. As a result, the form of
this society prevents all manner of inconveniences

Furthermore, as noted by Hamilton, since the proposed constitution made the states constituent parts of the national sovereignty, this fully corresponds, in every rational import of the terms, with the idea of a federal government, we have a FIRM Union that should serve as a safeguard against domestic faction and insurrection.

Want to discuss? Join The Federalists on LinkedIn. The open group has been created specifically to discuss the philosophical underpinnings of the governance of nations and their ramifications on the national and international economics and global trade.

True Cost Reduction Doesn’t Increase Risk

While reading a recent article over on the Inbound Logistics site on Serving up the Perfect Meal, I came across the following quote from a general manager for C.H. Robinson that worried me:

One thing all restaurants are doing is managing labor farther up the supply chain, and pushing inventory levels back to suppliers to manage, thereby controlling costs, keeping inventory fresh, and allowing menu planning variability.

Can you see why? While managing labour considerations further up the supply chain is a great idea, as it forces you to have good supply chain visibility, and keeping inventory fresh will give you an edge in the food service industry, pushing inventory levels back to suppliers to manage is a disaster waiting to happen unless:

  • they are at least as competent as you in inventory management,
  • they have deep insight into your expected demand requirements over time (at least six months into the future), and
  • they have a basic understanding of the market volatility and the ability to handle unplanned demand surges.

If any one of these assumptions are false, at some point in time, your supplier is going to be out of inventory when you need it most, and you’re either going to have to spot-buy elsewhere, at considerably higher prices, or, even worse, go out of stock and have to slash profitable menu items for the duration of the shortage.

You should only let your supplier manage your inventory if you have deep visibility into the supply chain and collaborate with them to make sure they have all of the data they need to predict your needs as well as you can. And you need this visibility, given that quality, safety, and traceability are critical to a food service provider’s supply chain, especially given the recent introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act.