Daily Archives: October 24, 2012

Federalist No. 22

In Federalist No. 22, Hamilton continues to discuss other defects of the present Confederation.

He starts with a discussion of the regulation of commerce. He concludes that it is indeed evident, on the most superficial view, that there is no object, either as it respects the interests of trade or finance, that more strongly demands a federal superintendence. This is because the want of it has already operated as a bar to the formation of beneficial treaties with foreign powers, and has given occasions of dissatisfaction between the States.

He then goes on to note that in commerce, and other matters, the interfering and unneighbourly regulations of some States, contrary to the true spirit of the Union, have, in different instances, given just cause of umbrage and complaint to others, and it is to be feared that examples of this nature, if not restrained by a national control, would be multiplied and extended till they became not less serious sources of animosity and discord than injurious impediments to the intercourse between the different parts of the Confederacy. This not only prevents the creation, and adoption, of trade treaties but also lays the foundation for civil unrest, as discussed in previous essays.

Then we have the harsh reality that the power of raising armies, by the most obvious construction of the articles of the Confederation, is merely a power of making requisitions upon the States for quotas of men. This has resulted in a competition between the States which created a kind of auction for men where they outbid each other till bounties grew to an enormous and insupportable size. It should be clear that this method of raising troops is not more unfriendly to economy and vigour than it is to an equal distribution of the burden as it was a regular occurrence that States were delinquent in the supplies of men, the supplies of money, or both.

This in turn illustrates the absurdity of the right of equal suffrage among the states in the Confederation. Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of
power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York
. Its operation contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.

To give a minority a negative upon the
majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the
sense of the greater number to that of the lesser

And to require unanimity is even worse. The necessity of unanimity in public bodies, or of something approaching towards it, has been founded upon a
supposition that it would contribute to security. But its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy
of the government, and to substitute the pleasure, caprice, or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junto, to the
regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority
. This is because, in those emergencies of a nation, in which the goodness or badness, the weakness or strength of its government, is of the greatest importance, there is commonly a necessity for action.
The public business must, in some way or other, go forward

And then there is the want of a judiciary power. Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation. Thus, the treaties of the United
States, to have any force at all, must be considered as part of the law of the land
. This can only happen if they can be submitted, in the lat result, to one SUPREME TRIBUNAL that is instituted under the same authority which forms the treaties themselves.

When all is considered, we conclude the necessity of laying the foundations of our national government deeper than in the mere sanction of delegated authority. The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the sold basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE.

It Doesn’t Matter How Strategic The IT Vendor Is …

This post originally ran on April 1, 2010, which is ironic as this post was as serious as you can get.
And, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is technology selection week as it’s that time of year when many of you will be renewing your technology solution provider agreements or looking for new ones. Since SI has already given you a lot of the secrets in these classic posts, I’m reposting them to set the foundation for my Technology Selection 2012 post. So be kind, refresh, and rewind.

It Doesn’t Matter How Strategic The IT Vendor Is … it matters how strategic the solution they offer is! I shouldn’t have to point this out, but after encountering a recent article in Intelligent Enterprise on the 10 most strategic IT vendors which basically just tooted the horn of the usual suspects (IBM, SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, HP, Teradata, VMWare, and EMC), I feel that I have to because most of their primary offerings — namely operating systems, hardware, networking products, and virtualization software — are not strategic to your business at all! Even relational databases and ERPs on their own are not strategic anymore. Everyone and their dog has a database these days, and ERP is open source software now (think Compiere). You can even get a professionally managed solution with unlimited records in the cloud for as little as €99 a month from providers like Erply.

And just because no one ever got fired for buying IBM, it doesn’t mean it was the right decision. The value isn’t in the name, it’s in the solution that is being delivered and the returns you are able to generate. If SAP or Oracle was everything you need, why would
Global Data Mining,
all the way through Wallmedien, and hundreds of other companies have successful businesses when they all have solution offerings that are fundamentally based on the analysis of transactional data stored in relational databases? Because the “strategic” is in the advanced analysis that the big-name vendors offering old-school solutions don’t have yet, or only have through acquired solutions (as SAP has acquired Ariba and IBM has acquired Emptoris since this post first aired).

So don’t get suckered by the name or the market size. What’s important is what the solution can do for you and whether or not the vendor is financially stable and will be around to support you on it. If the ROI is there and the vendor’s not going anywhere, after confirming that the solution meets your (global supply management) needs, you go for it. Simple as that!