Monday, August 12, 2013

The Role of Government

Do you trust the government?
That’s not a not a rhetorical question.  As an institution, do you trust the government?
If you trust the government today…did you feel the same way when “W” was running things?  Or are you just being political?
We believe that the government has an important part to play in our society.  We believe that the government serves a role that cannot be duplicated by private industry.
Yes, we’ve heard all the rhetoric about the evils of big government…how government should only be big enough to drown it in a bathtub.  These people say that the only thing they want from their government is a strong defense and a stable currency.  The people who make these statements are lying to you and to themselves. 
These people want well paved roads, clean drinking water and safe meat and produce.  They want safe prescription drugs and safe neighborhoods.  They want quality schools and safe airplane travel.  We don’t see the moguls of Wall Street providing these services.
We have a bridge in our town that spans the Ohio River.  17 % of our nation’s commerce crosses this bridge every day.  It is outdated and has deteriorated beyond repair.  The cost to replace it is $2.5 billion.  We have seen numerous proposals for its replacement.  Not one comes from private industry.  They all are based on government funding.
When people say they hate big government what they are really saying is that they hate government that helps those that are unable to help themselves.
The government has come under attack in recent weeks for overstepping its authority.  The AP, IRS and NSA “scandals” have ramped up the rhetoric over the evils of government.  The thought that our government might be is listening to our phone conversations or viewing our internet activity is to say the least unsettling.  We value our privacy.  We don’t like the government following our every move.
At the same time when the crack head steals our purse or the kid next door sets off a bomb in Boston we want to know where the CCTV cameras are.
The point is that safety and quality goods and services come with a price. 
Is there corruption in government?  Absolutely!  Waste, fraud and abuse?  No doubt!
Is corporate America any less susceptible to these human frailties?
We believe that government plays an important and irreplaceable role in our society. 
But government, like corporate America is run by people.  And the human condition has its faults.

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