With all the discussion of the current economic “stimulus” plan, it is becoming clearer and clearer that the vast majority of people have either lost sight of the real purpose of government… or have consciously chosen to ignore it and pursue their own personal agendas. It is times like these that a review of the basics seems in order.
So, what is the PURPOSE of government?
I believe the real job of government is simply to protect its people. In the case of the United States, the way that is to happen is defined in our Constitution. The federal government handles national tasks authorized by the Constitution… key among them to protect rights specifically granted to “the people”. Areas of authority not given to the federal government remain the purview of the States.
Most, if not all, of the problems our country faces today are a direct result of government not being faithful to their charter… of overstepping the bounds of their authority as well as manipulating the rule of legitimate law to further personal and/or political agendas. This often involves lying to the public… frequently calling a particular program one thing (a name that sounds appealing to the people) when, in fact, it is something else altogether.
The job of government is to protect us… and to stay out of the way the rest of the time. The many freedoms we enjoy in the U.S. are the foundation of our powerful economic engine… our free enterprise philosophy has been responsible the the rapid growth and power of our great nation. Sadly, it seems the nature of government (or politicians and bureaucrats) to want to expand their influence. While our business base has been able to absorb much of the inefficiency imposed by a growing government, we have reached a point where that is becoming much more difficult to do… it is almost at the breaking point.
It has come to be thought by many that government, itself, can somehow cause prosperity… that government can create jobs… that government should be “the provider” for all the people. In reality, government can’t really create anything, it can only take from some of its people and give it to others.
For most of my years, it was well recognized by anyone you talked to that government was probably the most inefficient organization there was. While that might not be entirely true, it was a good generalization. Over the past 40 years or so, citizens have lost that over-arching impression and now think government is the answer to all their problems. I blame much of this on our education system, but that’s another discussion.
The current “stimulus” bill doesn’t really stimulate anything… it just expands the spending of government. To add insult to injury, most of the money is spent on things that will not only fail to help the economy, it will hurt it.
If government wants to create jobs… to boost our economy… it should simply reduce the tax burden placed on businesses since, after all, businesses are the entities that actually DO create jobs! If government could create jobs we’d ALL work for the government! There would be no need for a private sector. Only the public sector would exist and we’d all be one happy, productive country, right?
Wait… that’s been tried. Communism doesn’t work. But Socialism and its supporters are thriving. For some reason, many people are attracted to the “sales pitch” of socialistic ideas but can’t see the ultimate conclusion when they are actually implemented.
Government has expanded into too many social engineering programs that are well beyond its actual charter. These have become so intrusive that regular business activities are being smothered. Government needs to “right size”, just like businesses have been forced to, and just get out of our way. WE, the people, can make this country work fine IF government will stop putting obstacles in front of us.