Cartoons

Government is Good, Whether You Like It or Not

082917PatBagley2_Cagle

Government is meant to help us. Here is a list of just a FEW things our government provides:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Medicaid/Medicare
  • Social security
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Public libraries
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • Highways/public transportation
  • Emergency services (fire fighters, paramedics, police, etc.)
  • Military
  • Postal Service (USPS)

It is time people drop their adversarial attitude toward the institution of government. It is fair to be wary of those running government as they have often lied and mistreated us. It is foolish to reject government as a whole and say it is useless. Because without government you might be sold rancid meat and fake medications, a fire might burn your house down, our country would be attacked more often, and travel would be made more difficult.

Let’s all take time to appreciate what government does for us, and work to improve the system to benefit us. The whittling away of government will hurt us in the long run.

7 replies »

  1. “The whittling away of government will hurt us in the long run.”

    Are you serious? Given the extent to which the federal government has exceeded the limits of the Constitution it would take an awful lot of whittling just to get back to where we are supposed to be per the “social contract.”

    And BTW, grateful slave, government doesn’t “provide” you with Medicare or Social Security. These things are paid for by us, not by some magical pot of gold in the government treasury. We pay for all the rest of it too.

    I have no problem, as most conservatives don’t, with government handling those “common good” things that it was GRANTED PERMISSION by The People to handle; but I have a BIG problem with those who co-opt the power of government to do things which The People never gave them permission to do. That doesn’t make me ungrateful or anti-government. I am entitled to expect my government to honor the limits set forth in the Constitution that it took an oath to uphold.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I write the government ‘provides’ those services, I never meant to imply that they pay for them. Our taxes support our government and allow us to take advantage of these services that they carry out.

    I think we agree more than you might think. I would not accuse all those who wish to restrain the government as ungrateful or anti-government. Citizen oversight and critique of the government is necessary and good. However, sometimes the conversation delves into the validity of the institution of government. I’m sure we both agree that it would be beneficial for us to analyze our governmental institutions and figure how they can best serve us.

    Question- what did the people grant the government permission to do?

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    • “Question- what did the people grant the government permission to do?”

      Go back and read the Constitution, Daniel. The powers and the limitations of the federal government are spelled out pretty clearly.

      I take issue with your naïve, blanket declaration that “government is good.” Communism is a type of government. Dictatorships are a type of government. Government is inevitable, therefore it behooves us to make it as good as it can be, which is what the framers of our Constitution attempted to do. They did a good job, knowing that eventually The People were bound to muck it up. It’s human nature.

      P.S.
      You have a misspelling in your title.

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  3. I could just as easily write, “Our government is empowered to do as it pleases. Read the Constitution.” Article 1, Sec 8 – “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    Again, the point of my article was to be controversial with my title. I am obviously writing about American government. My main argument is that the government provides many services people depend on and enjoy, and it is dangerous for people to make blanket claims about the government being inherent negative.The institution of American government is noble. There is no way the Founders thought or intended that the guidelines set out in the Constitution should be applied the same way 200+ years after it was signed (that’s why they added the amendment process and the elastic clause).

    I think this Atlantic article sums up this argument well.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/06/constitutional-myth-2-the-purpose-of-the-constitution-is-to-limit-congress/239374/

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  4. >>”I could just as easily write, “Our government is empowered to do as it pleases. Read the Constitution.” Article 1, Sec 8 –“

    You could write that, but you would be wrong. Language that grants the authority to execute SPECIFICALLY LISTED POWERS does not translate into unlimited power, and if it does then that logic contradicts your assertion that “government is good.”

    “…it is dangerous for people to make blanket claims about the government being inherent negative.”

    Oh, but it’s not dangerous for people to make blanket claims about the government being good? I think you have it backwards. It’s far better for people to view government with a healthy dose of distrust, particularly when there are people who seem to believe that the language of the Constitution can be abused to grant unlimited powers when that was CLEARLY never the intent.

    >>”The institution of American government is noble.“

    You are incredibly naïve, and I don’t need to read some opinion piece in the Atlantic to back up your premise because I can tell just by the title that it’s wrong. The Founders of this nation were very apprehensive about government and wrote extensively about that, but they understood that government must exist. Their goal was to authorize the federal government to do certain necessary things and to limit their powers to only those things, leaving the states to their own designs.

    “There is no way the Founders thought or intended that the guidelines set out in the Constitution should be applied the same way 200+ years after it was signed (that’s why they added the amendment process and the elastic clause).”

    That’s true, and if people would abide by the Constitution we’d be doing okay, but we both know those on the Left are never satisfied with following that process, as evidenced by their approval of Barack Obama invoking his “pen and phone” to get around it.

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  5. Good post. It’s useful to be reminded from time to time of the value of government services we sometimes take for granted. And I love the cartoon. Reminds me of the quotation, probably apocryphal, attributed to opponents of Obamacare in 2009 – 2010: “Get your government hands off my Medicare.” Also reminds me of the bumper sticker in the late ’60s, answering countercultural attacks on law enforcement officers as “pigs”: “The next time you need help, call a hippie.”

    Curious that the comments so far focus on the federal government, since your post listed government services provided by federal, state and local governments. As a career New York City civil servant (now retired), I would add several more: building codes, parks and other public spaces, paved streets, and free universal public education.

    Government being a human creation, and people being fallible at best and corrupt at worst, government will never always be flawed. And it’s very American – it’s written right into our political DNA – to be suspicious of government power. But government is nonetheless essential; without it, as someone once said, our condition would be one of war by all against all, and lives would be nasty, brutish and short.

    politicsbyeccehomo.wordpress.com

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    • >>”…free universal public education.”

      In 2014 New York spent $20,610 for each and every elementary/secondary school student. Just because SOME people don’t pay doesn’t mean it’s “free.”

      Government does some necessary things, and is therefore inevitable, but it is also inherently dangerous because it concentrates so much power into the hands of a few individuals. Just ask the people of Syria or North Korea if this is true. Even when you govern by constitution there will continually be those who attempt to abuse the limits of the power entrusted to them. Just turn on the news and you’ll see the evidence of this every day.

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