Daniel Kline: Less government would solve our problemsPublished 11:09am Thursday, August 27, 2009
I guess it’s comforting to think that big daddy has all the answers and that we are not alone, but that’s a false security blanket only likely to lead to greater disappointment.
Politicians, at least on a national level, never solve anything.
They might shift around our problems, trading one crisis for another or delaying a disaster, but they have no real solutions because speeches and political posturing rarely offer any answers.
The federal government needs to stop manipulating the financial markets, stop getting involved in issues like health care, education or anything else that can be accomplished on a local level.
Congress and the President should essentially worry about national defense, highways and refereeing the inevitable disputes between states.
Democracy works best on a local level.
My hometown holds a yearly town meeting where elected citizens debate everything from whether to buy new police cars to exactly when dogs need to be on leashes.
At these meetings, citizens discuss things that they have a vested interest in.
If they increase the school budget their taxes will go up.
If they decrease the budget their kids might lose art class or sports programs.
These aren’t rich folks playing with the lives of others in some hallowed hall, these are neighbors agonizing over how to do the right thing for as many people as possible.
At these meetings, real people make tough decisions and live with the consequences.
Town meeting met at a theater in the high school and debates were often spirited because what happened in those few days decided what type of town we would have for the next year.
Government works when we make as many decisions as we can on a local level.
Why can’t a town vote to increase taxes but offer all residents health care?
If a municipality made such a bold move it would cause some people to move out and others to move in.
Like picking a condo because the complex has a pool, we could choose our place of residence based partially on its combination of taxes, amenities and laws.
What, except our entrenched politicians who like their jobs and power, stops us from making the decisions that actually impact our lives?
I would choose to live someplace with low taxes and high personal responsibility.
Health care would be my problem, as would paying for my son’s education.
You might prefer to live someplace where the local government takes a huge bite out of your income but covers health care, schooling and other areas.
We deserve to have the choice and have for too long ceded power over our lives to national politicians who care more for ideology and agendas than individual people.
I’d rather have the friendly couple that lives next door to me voting on important issues in my life than anyone in Congress.
To my neighbors I am not just a line item or a potential voter.
They actually have to see me each day and live with the consequences of their votes.
Forget stimulus packages, universal health care and all the other national debates that draw attention away from the fact that we must stop expecting government to have the answers.
The people need to take the power back and realize that in times of crisis we must rely on ourselves not wait for the politicians to save us.
Daniel B. Kline’s work appears in over 100 papers weekly. When he is not writing, Kline serves as general manager of Time Machine Hobby New England’s largest hobby and toy store, www.timemachinehobby.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can see his archive at dbkline.com or befriend him at facebook.com/dankline.