The Government Shouldn’t Do Anything.

This is the ideology often espoused by the republican party, that the government is a useless bureaucratic pile of dogshit that not only can’t, but shouldn’t even try to solve big problems.  The fact is though that it is mainly this self-serving, self-fulfilling ideology of politicians that makes the government useless.  The government that put a man on the moon in ten years isn’t useless.  The government that helped eradicated smallpox and keeps basically every deadly disease from AIDS to malaria from taking root on our shores despite constant travel to and from places where it spreads like the plague isn’t useless.  The government that essentially invented everything from the internet to the microwave oven isn’t useless. 

But the ones republicans have spent decades un-building for us is useless.

Imagine you owned a store and were hiring people to manage it’s day to day affairs and a candidate for store manager came in and you asked him why he should get the job.  If he answered “Well I believe stores should really just run themselves, I mean how can a manager be expected to address problems that come up in a big store?”, would you give him the job?

So then why in the world would you give a politician a government job when he campaigns on a platform of “vote for me, and I’m against addressing any of your problems or helping you in any way”?  Republicans get re-elected by saying “I’m going to give the power and the money back to you and cut spending and give you a fat, juicy tax cut”.  Then they borrow another trillion from china and give you a few hundred bucks of it while increasing spending, basically slitting your throat economically.  And they get re-elected because people think they’re helping them.

They campaign on and actually have people believing that the government shouldn’t help people, and pretend that this is some hallowed view of our founding fathers.  I’m a godless liberal atheist and my definition of the role of government comes from abraham lincoln:

“The legitimate object
of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to
have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for
themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the
people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not
to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can
not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes:
those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of
these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that
in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and
nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its
nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and
highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of
the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it
appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not
so much, need for government.”

But modern republicans act like we’re still in the 1950’s and promote the “red scare” ideology that if the government provides a service for people that makes us all commies.  In reality if the government abolishes the right to own private property altogether that is communism.  Taxes are not communism, having a government that does more than blow up foreigners is not communism.  It’s america.  And “big government”?  Give me a break.  We’re a nation of 300 million people, any government that provides any services is going to be pretty damn big.  They use fear tactics to try to scare you into voting for them.

The above quote is actually from gerald ford and dates back to the 70’s, not the 1700’s.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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17 Responses to The Government Shouldn’t Do Anything.

  1. YouToMe says:

    You made some excellent and persuasive points here. Well articulated, Mrkwrth. While I don’t agree with all statements here, I do think this was well written and gives one plenty to consider.

  2. agnophilo says:

    @YouToMe – Did the picture show up when you read it?

  3. YouToMe says:

    Nope. But it did now.

  4. Love the TJ quote. Like someone above said, I agree and disagree on various points you made, but you made them well. Many props.

  5. moss_icon says:

    I agree on all points. Many of them are the same arguments I’ve been making myself for years: government is there to manage that which cannot be managed adequately on an individual level, how can a nation of 300 million NOT have a ‘big government’ and the big, most glaringly obvious issue, how can people who hate government and deem it shit be expected to run a competent one?Nice to know Lincoln’s with us here too! The issue I have with government is not its size but its accountability. Government should serve the people. Government should be an expression of the will and needs of the people. But it should always be answerable to the people. It should not tell people what is what, it should impartially serve and there should be enough accountability to ensure that issues like Tyranny Of The Majority and self-serving corporate corruption doesn’t happen.It’s like anything in life: with maturity, moderation and accountability the government’s size is not the issue. But the American Right seem incapable of dealing with things utilising those 3 nouns. They see something has some bugs in it and rather than work to fix them they declare it a dead-duck and set about hacking the limb off. Like saying “people are fat so we’ll eradicate all fast-food.” Ironic, for the party of ‘self-responsibility’ and anti-Big Government-alism, but it’s a classically Authoritarian approach.

  6. agnophilo says:

    @DrummingMediocrity – You caught the last sentence, that it wasn’t actually a quote from thomas jefferson, right?  Just checking.  But yeah, thanks : )@moss_icon – Yup, I pretty much agree sadly.

  7. @agnophilo – I was pretty sure it was misplaced 😉

  8. The_ATM says:

    I don’t completely disagree with Lincoln’s characterizations, but I do think that the vast majority of both of the two things he mentions should be done at the state and local levels. It is basic information theory, the people who are closer to the problem have more relevant information (including experiences) that make it impossible for people distant from the problem (ie in Washington) to solve problems effectively. Rural areas, for example, don’t benefit from the vast majority of services and regulations created by the government; so I find it more logical for localities to create those services and regulations in response a need rather than have them imposed by a one-size-fits-all federal government.So when I oppose big government it is mostly the big deaf centralized power that passes things like SOPA, NDAA, the Patriot Act, and bailouts as if the consent of the governed is irrelevant.There are also things the government does that are counter-productive and reduce the efficiency of the market. To me, it is probably about half of regulations are created for special interests that on net harm any citizen not part of that special interest group lobbying for subsidy or regulation (larger corporations favor regulation since it reduces competition).Point is, it is easy to try and reduce things on a Big/Small Government axis but doing so is a big, ignorant mistake regardless of the side you are arguing for. Think of how few problems in the world whether physics, finance, government or biology can be solved in one dimension. (Which is a big problem since most people think that way politically.)

  9. yes isn’t it great how they make sure government doesn’t work, then blame the government for not working? i always thought that was pretty high up on the list of brilliant, crafty ironies of that crowd. they’re gutting education the same way.

  10. agnophilo says:

    @DrummingMediocrity – : )@The_ATM – “I don’t completely disagree with Lincoln’s characterizations, but I do think that the vast majority of both of the two things he mentions should be done at the state and local levels.” Some of them, yes.  But a state will hardly build an interstate highway or be able to regulate interstate commerce, or fight fraud that takes place over state lines.  And if we didn’t have a federal justice system then someone could rob a bank along the state border, hop across and be home free.  Or murder someone and immediately flee to canada or mexico and be home free (no federal government negotiating extradition treaties, paying for extradition etc), or hire someone to kill someone in another state, etc.  Disaster relief is another big one, I think all the states should chip in for that.  There are many things the federal government should be legitimately doing.  Civil rights are also one of them, without the 14th amendment to the constitution which made the bill of rights apply to the states, your local or state government could violate your right at a whim.  I’m glad a lot of rights are guaranteed in a top-down fashion. “It is basic information theory, the people who are closer to the problem have more relevant information (including experiences) that make it impossible for people distant from the problem (ie in Washington) to solve problems effectively.” I’m sure this is relevant in many, many cases and often this is solved by the federal government funding programs like medicare/medicaid and letting the states administer them.”Rural areas, for example, don’t benefit from the vast majority of services and regulations created by the government; so I find it more logical for localities to create those services and regulations in response a need rather than have them imposed by a one-size-fits-all federal government.”But they also benefit disproportionately by many of those services, such as farming subsidies, subsidies for building an infrastructure to get rural areas internet access etc.  If you google “giver states” or “taker states” you will see that red states (which are more rural) almost universally take more than they pay out in taxes, and blue states (which are more metropolitan) almost universally pay out more than they take in.”So when I oppose big government it is mostly the big deaf centralized power that passes things like SOPA, NDAA, the Patriot Act, and bailouts as if the consent of the governed is irrelevant.”Well the kind of “big government” that takes your rights away is obviously going to be a problem, that is not quite the same as big government in the economic sense.”There are also things the government does that are counter-productive and reduce the efficiency of the market. To me, it is probably about half of regulations are created for special interests that on net harm any citizen not part of that special interest group lobbying for subsidy or regulation (larger corporations favor regulation since it reduces competition).”Well yeah but that’s more a byproduct of money being so heavily involved in elections.  It’s something that could be solved, but won’t because the ones in a position to solve it benefit tremendously from it.”Point is, it is easy to try and reduce things on a Big/Small Government axis but doing so is a big, ignorant mistake regardless of the side you are arguing for. Think of how few problems in the world whether physics, finance, government or biology can be solved in one dimension. (Which is a big problem since most people think that way politically.)” Yeah but, as I’ve said in another blog, in many ways the government is the only game in town.  If charities could do what the food stamp program does then yeah, go with them.  But they don’t even come close.

  11. agnophilo says:

    @DrummingMediocrity – May want to read my response then.

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