Saturday, July 29, 2006

What Does A Government Do Well?

I believe that a notion solidified in my mind when the Red Cross and Salvation Army's efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina were turned aside by Louisiana state homeland security and FEMA officials. My notion: government isn't the answer for everything. I'd like you to take a moment to think of a few things that a government does well... here is such a list compiled by U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah. Personally, I see at least 5 in that list that are pretty laughable and a few I can agree with but that really isn't my point.

In several decades of questionable governmental spending which has brought about the much discussed $200 hammer and $500 toilet seat, do we really think that a government action is the best solution for all of our societal ills? Usually an incompetent elected government official is discarded during the next election (unless they resign, pass away or are removed in a special session) but an incompetent executive or employee can be sent packing or even sued a lot quicker. Funding is scrutinized much closer as the company, organization or business wish to cut costs to show acumen and possibly earn a bonus. Also, much government action goes through committee after committee with revision and addendum which pushes the project(s) back considerably.

I'm not saying that everything should be taken out of bureaucratic hands but I ask, "What does a government do well?"

7 comments:

Fred said...

A government does well in keeping the peace and ensuring citizens are protected. They're not perfect in that area, but from a macro perspective, it's largely been a success.

David Amulet said...

Back in the day when conservatism was true to its roots, there used to be an adage that government shoudl only do that which people could not do for themselves. National defense qualified, but most of what our government now does fails to clear that hurdle.

-- david

LoraLoo said...

I agree with David. I think much time and money is wasted trying to protect and think for us...

David Amulet said...

Too bad the two-party system is so entrenched ... it sounds like we have some potential libertarians here!

-- david

Lucy Stern said...

The constitution says that they are to protect our citizens. I think our government has it's finger in too many pies. We would do well with less government.

As far as the government protecting us from hurricanes and natural diasters, I think we should do that for ourselves. Years ago,we would just pull up our boot straps and "carry on".

Vavoom said...

The government is fabulous at waging war.

An80sNut said...

I figure that I need to put my response in there somewhere. B) I firmly believe in the 10th ammendment. You don't hear about that one much. You hear about protecting our 1st and 2nd ammendment rights but little about #10.

This ammendment states that: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This makes 'we the people' very powerful. Not many people like that so they pass laws to curtail it. I would rather be personally responsible than reliant on a federal governing body for everything.