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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Government is Not the Enemy

Conservatives like to point to problems with government-run programs – like problems with Medicaid or Social Security or the Cash-for-Clunkers program – as proof that the government can’t be trusted to get things done. They ignore the successes the government has to it’s credit and focus only on the failures because the less people trust the government to do something, the more they turn to the private sector and the richer the corporate interests get. Notice that the government is perfectly capable of running those parts of the government that conservatives support, like the military and the socialized healthcare program that veterans and hypocritical, small-government, Republican congressmen enjoy. They’re just somehow “incapable” of running those systems that could allow millionaires to become billionaires.  Voters forget that the private sector can be as bad or worse than the government.  The private sector is motivated by profit and many companies will happily give you low-quality service or products if it’ll increase their profit margins. I also don’t wanna hear anything about how some government programs are losing money from the party that likes nothing more than to cut taxes and give what little money we have left to people who already have more than they’ll ever need.

Here’s the thing, though. Part of the reason why the government fails when it does is that conservatives don’t support the government.  Think about it.  Say you’re a conservative Congressman; you don’t believe in “big government” and don’t support government programs.  When it comes time to support government programs by giving them funding or helping them fulfill their roles in society, how likely are you to vote in their favor?  Not very likely, I’d guess.  You’re probably going to vote against them every chance you get, aren’t you?  How can conservatives expect government programs to run smoothly when they themselves are constantly trying to undermine those programs at very step?  The G.O.P like to throw up every roadblock they can so they can say “See?  You can’t trust the government to do anything.”  It’s like taking the tires off your car and then complaining that it doesn’t run very well on the rims.

I support my government MUCH more than I support the private sector when it comes to running essential systems in society that corporations are PLAINLY to greedy to be trusted with. Maybe the government could do a better job of running the country if half of them weren’t trying to convince people they can’t.  In Europe, people don’t complain about “big government” they way we do in America because they know that their governments will take care of them when they’re down.  They have a  higher standard of living maintained by tax-payer funded, government run services.

The point is, “Big government” is not an inherently bad thing.  It’s only a bad thing when said government is actively trying to oppress the citizens (or when it places the desires of the wealthy above the needs of everyone else, like ours, but if that’s your complaint, why vote Republican?).  Big government can be a GOOD thing when that government is benevolent and does its best to meet our needs.  Maybe if we’d give it a chance, it could do that.

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