Having read these essays, I was thinking more thoughts about tax day. I enjoy living in an industrialized society. I like having libraries, and roads, and mail delivery. I like having public health, and FAA inspectors, and food inspectors, and all of that. I think that the United States is too big, and to wealthy, to put up with people dying in the streets.
I’m willing to pay for that. I’m willing to pay decent money for those things. I do want, however some things in return for my money.
- I’d like the people in government to act like public servants. Entirely too many people in politics get too used to having people’s tongues (metaphorically) stuck up their behinds.
- I’d like government to act efficiently and carefully.
- I’d like government to stick to it’s brief, and either get constitutional justification for their actions or stay out of it. (You want a National Endowment for the Arts? Peachy. Pass a constitutional amendment and do it the right way)
- My county government has been hit by many scandals in the past few months. I know that there is a whole public corruption task force at the F.B.I. office in town, and they’ve had to pull in agents from out of town to deal with the mess and graft. I want to see severe penalties for this.
- I’d like people to either get serious about the rule of law, and enforce them, or get rid of the laws.
- Finally, I’d like to see being a member of Federal or State government to be a part-time job. I’ve pursued an anti-incumbent voting policy for years, and I think Crankyprof has the right idea.
Ultimately, though, it is the small businessperson, the professional, the tradesperson who ultimately does stuff. I appreciate the FAA inspector keeping my airplane from falling out of the sky (or on my house) AND I appreciate the pilot who gets me there in time and in one piece as well. Government does a lot of important stuff, and it is wise to pool and centralize some resources. I can’t hire an individual inspector to make sure the planes are safe, for example. If there were no airlines, that inspector would be on line to get on the Golgafrinchian B ark. But government doesn’t make stuff, it doesn’t make wealth, and it doesn’t build the economy. We shouldn’t treat the people who do as a cash cow to milk.
In addtion, everything, EVERYTHING, spent by the government is paid for by consumers at some point. Ford buys a stamping press? The cost of that goes into the cost of your car. Higher taxes on business–that’ll get passed along too.
I used to have a computer game called Sim City. It was pretty crude, this being 1989 and all, but you were a city administrator, collecting money in taxes and providing city services. If you didn’t provide the important services, people left. If you made taxes too high, people left too. It was a crude example, but people do look at value in their lives. I live in a suburb, and pay a significant tax burden. The city services are pretty darn good. If I lived in the City of Cleveland, I’d pay significantly less. I’d also get lousy schools, indifferent garbage pick-up, spotty police protection, and my street would not get plowed in the winter.