One part of me really appreciates government. Without government, it would be impossible to justly restrain our wolfen nature (due process for the accused doesn’t happen naturally), and it would be difficult if not impossible to provide a number of vital goods and services (roads, courts, environmental regulations, and national defense don’t happen naturally).
And then there’s a part of me that loathes government. I worked for a highway department on Long Island for over twenty years. We were the VA on steroids. On a good day, we were merely incompetent. My guess is that we gave the taxpayers about fifty cents of service for every dollar they surrendered to us in taxes.
George Washington purportedly said that government is “a dangerous servant and a fearful master”. If the father of our country did indeed coin this phrase, he nailed it. Just think of some critical services that the government provides—health care, education, road maintenance, border security. Does it do any of these things well? What’s your impression of the agencies providing these services? Do you trust them to place your needs above the needs of people who can hire lobbyists? And when we turn to the policing duties of government, do things get better? If you innocently ran afoul of one of the millions of laws that regulate life in this country, would you welcome the opportunity to hash things out with the DOJ, the EPA, or the IRS?
Why? Why is government so lame? Why is it so wasteful with our money? Why is it so prone to become wolfen itself and plunder one group of citizens at the behest of another?
In a Freedom Is Groovy series called Government Sucks, I will examine the root causes of widespread government ineptitude. The goals of this series, which will entail one post a week for the next six weeks, are as follows:
- To show you the inherent limitations of government.
- To show you how these limitations, while impossible to remove, can be mitigated.
- To make you a better consumer of government.
Part 1 of the series will show how costly inefficient government is to our finances and our quest for financial freedom. I hope you will join me for this instructional and altogether groovy ride.