by Jim Davies, 2/17/2011
All across America, State governments are squealing because they can't make ends meet. It could hardly happen to more deserving people.
Government caused this financial mess, even though its apologists insist on trying to blame greedy bankers and speculators. Any with lingering doubts on that score should re-visit this explanation of the meltdown. But to be fair, the culprit is the Federal government, not so much the State ones, and the Feds have much more flexibility in weaseling their way out of its effects. That's not just because they could zap their deficit in a single year if they really wished to, but because, unlike their Stately cousins, they can and do print money when it runs short.
A headline passed across the TV screen as I was waking up this morning, about how the local Governor has proposed a budget that will mean laying off over a thousand of his employees. Oh, the humanity!
The narrator was quick to add that the layoffs would not affect "public safety or education."
They can't increase revenue, because to raise tax rates would (a) drive more firms out of business, so reducing the tax base, and (b) lose the incumbents the next election, which is even more important. They can't borrow more, because already their credit rating is teetering on the brink and if it fell down a notch they'd have to pay more interest. And they can't print money, as noted. So the only option is to cut spending, and they love that like a big hole in the head. But public safety and education will be sheltered. Why?
"Public safety" is a euphemism for policing, imprisoning, and a little fire extinguishing. It has little to do with safety, it just clears up the mess, more or less, when things go wrong. It takes a few seconds to aim a handgun, a hundred times longer for the fastest cop to bring help in an emergency; so the public is not made safe by those well-paid State employees. This whole sub-industry would function far better, and (thanks to competition) with far less expense, if government played no part in it whatever.
"Education" is a euphemism for indoctrination, and for a vast jobs program for heavily unionized staff. The true meaning of the word is to lead out a learner, such as a child, into areas of understanding in which he or she has an interest; very, very little of that is done in classroom settings and especially in government classrooms. Those are all about teaching respect for authority, about not questioning orders or established myths... like the need for government. Hey, how would anyone learn anything, if government didn't provide schools?
But both these off-limits functions have much to do with how they control us, and that's why they will be the last to fall apart, as government implodes. My Transition to Liberty visualizes how and when.