Constitution Scholar Speaks at Economic Club Lunch

Gordon Lloyd, coauthor of three books on the American founding and author of two forthcoming publications on political economy, addressed over 600 Economic Club of Indiana luncheon attendees yesterday.

During his speech, Lloyd surmised the Constitution could be broken down into a four-act drama:

  • Act I – The Alternative Plans (Madison-Sherman’s exchange; Hamilton’s Plan, etc.)
  • Act II – The Connecticut Compromise
  • Act III – The Committee of Detail Report (structure and power of Congress; the issue of slavery)
  • Act IV – The End (the eventual signing of the document)

When discussing the problems facing today’s America, Lloyd makes one point above all else: America’s greatest detriment is the crisis mentality. He contends that patience is often sacrificed when presidential advisors and others panic, and language then turns to "a language of war" — and supercedes cerebral debate.

He also makes the distinction that greed needn’t be part of capitalism, and that self interest is more the goal. Lloyd added that skewing toward socialism will only exacerbate our problems, not end them — a point he made to the applause of those in attendance.

When asked about the role of the presidency, he offered that both Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt were too tempted by progressive movements of the day to grow the presidency beyond its intended scope of power. According to Lloyd, this power has come at the expense of Congress and thrown off the balance in our system.

Lloyd’s web site on the founding of the Constitution is used by schools across the country to teach about the Constitutional Convention and the document itself. Peruse the site here.

The Economic Club’s next lunch will be held on Tuesday, April 7 and will feature education policy expert Lance Izumi. For more info or to order tickets, visit the web site.