Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An Efficient Bite of Government

One of the arguments that occurs regularly revolves around how Big the government should be.  It's not a smart discussion but you see it happen often enough that it is worth noting.  There are Big Government defenders and then there are those who want an ever Smaller Government.  Some have even stated that they want to shrink Government to the point that you could drown it in a bath tub... and, yes, that is a near quote of that position.  What is this really all about?

Imagine you got rich because you found a way to circumvent the rules that the "Marketplace" has in place such that the rules no longer applied to the way you got rich.  That is, asked another way, what if, without rules the marketplace was whatever you wanted it to be and your income and wealth was dependent on it continuing in that direction?  Would you overturn a system that was rigged in your favor?  

When I hear the comments about how Freedom is dependent on fewer rules I think about what that actually means.  I see no case for that being a factual idea.  Society can be free of rules... just look at Somalia.  There are pirates and everyone possible owns (and uses) a gun to enforce their own particular version of the rules.  When I see memes where someone essentially wraps themselves in a flag and tells the rest of us that their patriotic stance is the more correct (freer) version of what we should all aspire to I shudder.  Being patriotic has virtually nothing to do with a lack of rules.  A lack of rules just means the sins of one are projected on others.  It is the rule of, by and for the bully.  There is no way to make this fair for the majority of us.  We really do need the rules to  work FOR us.


 One way this seems to be projected is when someone says they want a more efficient government.  What they mean by this seems to be that they want a smaller less capable government.  What is needed, they say, is fewer rules so that we don't need such a large government.  It costs money, you know... they say.  We need to cut government to the bone to force it to be more efficient.  Here is the problem with what they are truly saying: shrinking government eliminates the ability of government to enforce the rules that make it safer for most of us.  It eliminates the safety net.  It devastates the weakest among us by letting the predators take over.  It allows the worst of us to dominate.  Society shrinks when you shrink government in the name of efficiency.  Wages shrink when you lower the minimum wage... the floor becomes the ceiling.  You can shrink wages by inflation taking away the buying power you had or you can simply raise prices on essential things to take away the power that money once had.  When the banks do increasingly risky things we are talking about a lack of rules to keep them from taking additional risk... with your money.  With these additional risks I noticed that the benefit of the increased income they received did not trickle down to you in the form of increased interest paid to you, by the way.  But I digress.

When you take enforcement out of the equation you are breaking the value of the rules in the marketplace.  When you decrease the funding to the FDA/USDA and so forth you are allowing the industry to self police and if they do a poor job of it there is no penalty big enough to fix the problem.

We have had 40 years of the regressive diminishing of government.  Forty years of less and less enforcement.  Forty years of breaking government's role in protecting the citizenry.  Forty years of stupid economic policy.  Efficiency in government is not about continuing to decrease the budgets of the agencies that are supposed to defend us against this onslaught.  When you hear this argument you should be thinking about what billionaires are behind the scenes telling you that your money needs to be in their pockets because that is what "Efficient" government means to them.


Because a private prison can work its inmates as slaves.

FedEx & UPS want to take over the Post Office... just imagine what it would cost to mail a post card if the did!

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