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.
“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 To many, the basic principles and beliefs that made the United States a great country are no longer applicable in today’s world.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