Well for one thing they’ve given us prison mug shots of virtually every mass-murderer that ever lived. They’ve kept fires from engulfing entire cities, they’ve kept malaria, polio and countless other deadly and debilitating diseases from taking root on our shores. Why do you think the garbage man takes the trash – and the rats, fleas and ticks that come with it – far away each week? Or why the health department doesn’t allow standing water or tall grass in peoples; yards etc. Why do you think there are building codes that electricians and engineers have to be certified and trained to follow and contractors can be fined for not following? So that when there’s an earthquake hundreds of people die instead of hundreds of thousands from half the buildings falling down. Look at a third world country and a first world country and the difference in every instance is the existence of an effective government. People bitch about government being ineffective at helping the poor but even if the projects was the best the government could do about poverty this
is still vastly better than this:
which is how the poor live in most of the rest of the world (assuming they live very long at all).
Do a google image search for “bad neighborhood” and look at the worst poverty in america and it’s hard to find a picture that’s even very bad, then google “indian slum” and it’s impossible to find one that isn’t horrible.
Without government the only prosperity most people can aspire to is to be really good farmers. Because to do anything else you need roads to get places, transport products to sell etc (even in medieval times and biblical times they had taxes and government), and schools so you can have a workforce that can read and write and count higher than the number of fingers and toes they have. Without public education you don’t have technology, period. And technological industries and inventions and patents and media and cinema and the internet and a booming economy and jobs. And any natural resources you do have are going to be exploited by foreigners the way we exploit the natural resources of other countries because a) we have the resources to do so and they don’t and b) they don’t have the resources to stop us. And without taxes and government justice is a pipe dream. In america if somebody murders someone there is a real honest fighting chance to hold the person accountable – the feeling you get when you watch on the news that they caught the pieces of shit who blew dozens of peoples’ legs off – that feeling of relief and joy and the peace of mind people who live in that city – that’s what they paid for with their tax dollars.
A civilization is like a pyramid, the first level is agriculture – if the ground under you grows food you have a basic economy. The second level is infrastructure, charity, roads, schools, hospitals, prisons, courts, etc that allow a society to move to the top of the pyramid and do whatever it wants, including advance to the point that they can exploit other resources like oil, coal, precious gems and metals etc that are harder to get to. Poor countries are poor because the ground under them is sand or rock (mountain with no topsoil). Rich countries are rich because the ground under them is fertile and flat. That’s why the great planes were such a big deal. It’s why the amber waves of grain above the fruited planes were such a big deal, they were between the purple mountains majesty that aren’t so good for farming.
Governments are made of people and so they will always make mistakes and be imperfect (just as corporations will be prone to the exact same mistakes), so by all means make government better and always be on the watch for corruption. But this attitude that government is automatically and intrinsically bad and should be done away with is just idiotic. Our ability to work together toward common goals and take care of common needs is what enables us to be more than farmers and goat herders living in little tribes (nothing against farming or goat herding, but if that’s all there was in the country it would suck).
So if you like to be able to go to a store and buy food instead of starving until you kill an animal and you like your new iphone and you like the computer you’re using to read this and the infrastructure that is sending it to you and if you were happy when the scumbags who bombed innocent people were brought to justice (and a million other things), please stop bitching about your taxes and how government is evil. Improve government, don’t abolish it.