This from DiLorenzo is utter crap:
The adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 (along with the income tax and the Fed) was a result of the deification of "democracy" that began with the Union victory in the War to Prevent Southern Independence.The Fed was a conservative reform, engineered by the most reactionary of Senators, Aldrich of Rhode Island, starting in 1908, and over the feeble attempts by the populist Theodore Roosevelt to guide it. In 1913 Woodrow Wilson signed a Fed Reserve Act that was essentially Aldrich's although Wilson claimed it as his own.
The 16th Amendment was the product of the long SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT program to replace the tariff with the income tax. Ironicaly, its 1909 passage by Congress was a conservative ploy to avoid drastic cuts in the tariff.
DiLorenzo is consistently correct in principle and wrong in history. Amazing.
DiLorenzo's point is that the 16th wouldn't have meant anything if there was a TRUE SENATE there to block the growth of government.
The Federal Reserve Act was brought up, and voted on on Christmas Eve when the majority of legislators were absent. Since we have no statement in the Constitution of a required Quorum, they can do that. It was signed into law before anyone knew about it. It had been voted down 3 times previously by the full house.
Southern and Western Democrats had introduced scores of income tax bills in the late 19th century to lower the tariff and get federal hands on the money in the wealthy industrial states. In 1894 a Democrat Congress passed an income tax. Grover Cleveland didn't sign it. He liked the tariff reductions but wasn't crazy about the income tax. The revenue bill became law anyway, and was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1895. Three-time Democrat Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan was a strong proponent of a federal income tax.
As regards the Senate, "Democracy" was becoming ever more important an idea. Senators may have figured that as democracy became more important, they'd lose power and influence if they weren't directly elected. In many countries, upper legislative chambers not directly elected by the people tend to become rubber-stamp bodies that are under compulsion to go along with the lower house. That would be a likely result if we went back to the old way of electing Senators.
One problem with the article is that if things were changed in 1866 DiLorenzo blames subsequent problems on the change. He ignores possible flaws or discontentment with the original way of electing Senators. The 1866 law may well have been mistaken, but it may also have been an attempt to deal with the problems of the original system. And it's not clear that a system of choosing Senators by voice votes in state legislatures would have lasted without generating problems of its own.
DiLo apparently believes that we'd be doing everything today as we did in 1790, if bad or foolish men hadn't tried to change things. That looks very naive. Plenty of people who agreed with him about limiting the powers of the federal government promoted changes over time because they thought that greater popular control would provide strengthen the checks on government power. They were naive in that but it wasn't just the bad guys trying to do bad things that changed things.