Thursday, July 31, 2008

Regarding our government.....


"The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
Ronald Reagan
We often have a very critical view of our government, and when I say 'we', I mostly mean 'I'. It's always been my opinion that most people would be better off if we had less government.... far less. This despite the fact I work in what can be considered a government job, and many of my friends do as well. I always 'assumed' we were the exception to the rule.
Lately I have had to review my thinking..... and I find it faulty. I was wrong in part.
This is not to say there isn't much that could be changed for the better. There is...
No, where I am mistaken is with the broad brush I swing. I've come to realize it's not I that am the exception to the rule, but that the incompetent and criminal elements are in fact the exceptions. For the majority of the the time our government works quite well. We don't notice it because it work's well most of the time. So much so, that when it doesn't the issue tends to stand out like a sore thumb.
Consider these points, all a result of some work of government.:
  • I have no qualms about jumping in my truck and riding an hour in any direction, knowing the roads will be there and relatively safe. Think how much 'government' has it's hand in this simple act.
  • I have no extraordinary fears about buying medicine in this nation and taking it as instructed.
  • If I had to, I would book a flight today and get on the plane tomorrow. Fearing for my safety would not be what concerned me, but my own comfort.
  • I can, have, and will dial 911 when there is a good reason, and more often than not I'll get help as requested.

Simple points, but rife with government doing more good than harm.

What I have laid aside in my thinking over the years is this; Our government is made up of people. Ordinary people, little or no different than you and I. Yes, there are incompetent government workers, and worse, but I've come to think these are in the minority.

I, as a teacher, do my job as best I can. Not so much to earn a paycheck and get decent benefits, but more because it's a job I do well and it needs to be done. The people I work with are the same. The people I know in other government jobs are the same. They do work that is often extraordinary without notice, simply because it needs to be done.

Yes, I will still agitate for change in our system where it needs it. My thoughts are more about..... my thought themselves. I try to be intellectually honest as best I can, and honest in how I deal with others. I now realize I have been shirking some of the hard thinking it takes to be that way. I also realize I owe a few people apologies, if only for what I was thinking.


James R. Rummel said...

Good post.


The Captain said...

I would agree that the majority of our civil servants are good people who do good work. The problem rests mostly with a few bad apples and the politicians. The system itself is too large - if there is a problem, too many people think the answer is more government.

CatCube said...

I've said similar in comments to blogs. It always frustrated me to see people insisting that malice drove bad government policy. I'm in the military, and I've seen a lot of bad decisions (made quite a few, myself) They are all either driven by thoughtless self-service, incompetence, or a smart person making a simple error. It's never the type of carefully-planned evil that people seem to imagine.

Cowtown said...

Very well put Sir. You make a good point that the bad is much easier to see than the good.

Well written to.

Earl said...

We do seem to be doing the best we can, and we make changes to make things better - but remember that some of the thinking - like the gun laws don't really make any sense, and you can see where that will lead. Our people care enough to send their very best.