Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm from the Government and I'm Here to Help You

This is a topic I've been wanting to blog about for some time now, and it's one I think might generate some interesting comments. Namely this: What is the purpose of Government?

Before I post my thoughts, which I shall do shortly, I'd like to solicite yours. What are the functions that government should perform? I'm not looking for "promote the general welfare" sorts of answers, I mean specifically, can you enumerate those areas that the government should be involved in? When the Federal Goverment took over GM and and ensured the American people that GM auto warrantees would be backed and honored by the US Government, was that in line with your principles of what government is? Should a government warrantee privately owned and privately sold vehicles? How about Health Care? Education? The Air Force? Should it monitor what we eat?

I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts. Let's hear them. I'll post mine soon.


Anonymous said...

Because humans are inherrently bad, and will quite franky kill each other over a penny, I do see the need of a goverment agency that will oversee, for the good of all, a lot of different things. In some cases, this works best locally, or statewide, but sometimes you need someone who can see the big picture. At the moment, we really dont have that kind of Federal Government. The big picture, at the moment, is the one put in front of them by the biggest lobbyist, held up by the most paid off Congressman.

You take things like water, power, pollution, things that cross state lines, and I think you need a Federal authority. National Security, foreign relations, and I think Civil right, as shown by our Southern neighbors, sometimes needs federal oversight. Federal Highways. Possibly, but not necessarily the rail system. That's a business, but it's interstate at times, and involves commerce at times.

Regulating banks, and other financial agencies that the government props up.
Protection of wildlife that moves from state to state. National Parks. Yeah, I think that was really a great idea. Because if someone didn't do it, it would be gone. Managing whatever land isn't in private hands or state hands. That would include Military bases and Federal land.
Waterways, and the fishing industry, because that too goes beyond the boarders of one state.
Printing money.
Federal Census.
Cant think of anything else at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, maybe you are right Glen. Pack it in. No one's reading but me.

Gleno said...

This makes me very sad. :-\

Donzo said...

What are the purposes of government? (In order of importance.)

1. National Defense
a. War
b. Diplomacy (Includes Intelligence Gathering)
c. Expansion

2. Justice System / Law Enforcement
a. Police (all levels) (National & International)
b. Prosecution
c. Punishment (Penal system)

3. Money System
a. Production
b. Preventing Counterfeit
c. Controlling Integrity (Keeping Gold Reserves)
d. Preventing Inflation / Deflation

4. Services that private enterprise may not, can not, or should not, be able to provide, or be able to make a profit on.
Space Exploration
Postal System
Primary School Education
Road Construction and Maintenance
Fire & Ambulance Services
Natural Disaster Response
International Commerce Control
Foreign Aid
GPS / Satellites / Communications / Time Standards

5. Services that, the most efficient way to provide, is via a regulated public monopoly.
Electric Service
Natural Gas
Water & Sewage
NOT: Telephone Service?
NOT: Garbage Collection?
NOT: Cable Television Distribution?

6. Regulation.
Caveat Emptor, “let the buyer beware” is a very dangerous, and inefficient system for a Society. A reasonable function of government, is to set up standards for things. This includes, but is not limited to,
Food & Drug Standards
Weights, Measures & Commerce Standards
Credit and Banking Standards
Housing Livability Standards
Professional Licensing Standards
Transportation Standards
Labor / Work Regulations
Zoning Regulations

7. Services that should NOT be private, but open to all. All of these CAN be private as well, but government should keep some public.
a. Libraries
b. Parks & Recreation areas
c. Public Areas for Fishing, Hunting, Grazing, etc.

8. Public Assistance
a. Veterans
b. Disabled
c. Mentally Ill

9. Public Insurance / Assistance
a. Unemployment
b. Social Security
c. Medicare

Gleno said...

An excellent and considered opinion, sir. Well done. I thank you for posting.

Anonymous said...

Oh sure, just because he puts a's b's and c's next to his, he gets high praise. Sheesh.

Donzo said...

Hey CemCon, I usually don't think so rationally, and with such organization. It took me three days to flesh that thing out, and I used your work. Glen knows how my mind works, and knows it was an effort!
I'm actually in favor of a Monarchy system. As long as I'm King!

Anonymous said...

Well... okay then.
I'm waiting for Glens dissertation now.

Gleno said...

I'll have my dissertation up tomorrow, I promise. For now, enjoy a lovely quote from that bastion of intelligence, Nancy Pelosi.

Genie of the Shell said...

Different people want different things from their communities, nations, and governments.

Me, I simply want my government to be representing and looking out for me and my people. Protecting us against harm from entities more powerful than average citizens, whether those entities be terrorists, enemy states, or corporations selling us toxic products or insurance companies bilking us of our money and then letting us stay sick and die when we need care.

I want my government to take orders from my people as equal voters, not from CEOs with the most money... or from the Saudis or China and every other nation that owns huge portions of our economy.

I want to be represented in the democracy that was envisioned by the founders, so that I can enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Gleno said...

My dissertation has arrived. It's late, but I think I stated my point better than I would have had I hurried it. The brain cells needed more time to properly ferment.