Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The 2012 election is about the role of government
The other night my wife asked me about what all the political commotion was about, so I thought about it for a minute, then I said “it’s all about the role of government." There's one side that wants smaller government, no matter what the circumstances. The other side thinks that government has a role to play. I went on to explain what certain buzzwords meant such as crony capitalism, government intervention, socialism, capitalism, and how they relate to the role of government in our lives.
My wife is not political at all but even an uninterested party knows about the unrest in our country. Her conservative friends are political but she tells me that she just nods and smiles and waits for the proper time to change the subject. I told her that’s a good way to keep good friends but it won't not help her in the upcoming election. I went on to tell her that the next president will probably appoint two replacement Supreme Court judges because we have a couple of judges who are getting along in age and are having health issues. I've told her that Roe vs. Wade will be in serious jeopardy if a couple of conservative judges are appointed.
The role of government whether it be the local, state, or federal is being taken to task and if one supports a position contrary to their belief, they're called a socialist. The definition of socialism is an "economic system based on state ownership of capital." We don't have that in this country unless you want to say Social Security, Medicare, and VA Care are all forms of socialism. I don't think that's where the country is; that's a view taken by extreme right wing conservatives/libertarians.
I see conservative/ libertarian outburst every day when our city gets involved in projects that they think should be left exclusively to the private sector. On one hand, I think that if the projects are kept at arms- link between the city and investors; then its okay. They should also be transparent, legal, and aboveboard. I have yet to see evidence of any wrongdoing in the sale of the pump house. From what I've read it was a win- win for both parties. Sure, it invites suspicion and those deals should be limited if possible. For instance, if no other interested buyer comes forward what’s the city supposed to do? I've seen the pencil pushers make their case using only one side of the ledger. The private sector and the government will not always make the right decision but people hold the government more accountable because they think their mistakes will always raise taxes. They think because they are taxpayers, they have a controlling interest in what the government can do. Technically that's correct but realistically the decisions are left up to the elected officials. Then there are those where the city can do no right, they will complain about construction in front of their business establishment, excessive spending, crony capitalism, and everything else under the sun. I think some are City Council wannabes but they know they can't get elected, so they gripe excessively. It's a good thing that those positions are not permanent but it doesn't help matters if only 17% of the registered voters show up to vote.
I don't keep up with state or local government affairs very much but I do keep up with the federal government. This year we will get a choice; if you want to continue cutting taxes for the wealthy, cutting spending without investing, and believe propping up the corporations will lead us to prosperity then the Republican Party will do that for you. If you want to leave massive cuts until after we start recovering and concentrate on more on innovation, infrastructure repair, and protecting the entitlements but realizing they need reform, then the democrats are your choice.
That's how I see the role of government in this year's election.