Saturday, March 27, 2010

An erroneous common belief we need to shatter

I refer, of course, to the widespread belief that government is, by definition, incompetent. It drives me nuts; it really does. Even liberals and progressives send out jokes about the "lazy" government worker.

Today over on Common Dreams, I found an article entitled "March Madness: Why Progressives Always Lose" which mentioned three "myths" that routinely do us in. One of those is "the Myth of the Bumbling Bureaucrats" that perpetuates the belief that government can't ever do anything right.

So I decided to do some searching and try to find internet material refuting such a belief. What I found is a site called Government is Good: An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution. Go on over there and look around! There's a whole section on "The War on Government" and a really helpful feature called "A Guide to Rebutting Right-Wing Criticisms of Government".

Now, lest you imagine that there is a lack of balance here, you can also find a substantial piece entitled "What is Really Wrong with Government". Here is a thoughtful excerpt from that section:

Readers of the previous articles on this site might have gotten the impression that I was suggesting that there are no serious problems with American government. But my argument has not been that there is nothing wrong this institution – only that it is not what conservatives say it is. It is simply not the case that government grossly overtaxes us, or that bureaucracies are incredibly wasteful, or that Big Brother is constantly threatening our freedoms. What is wrong is something altogether different – and something more disturbing. The main fault of our government is that it is not as democratic as it should be. We have what some have called a "deficit of democracy."

The problem is that American government is now increasingly responsive to special interests and not the public interest. This is why many people are frustrated and disappointed with our political system. Instead of a democracy where all citizens have an equal say in the governing process, some organizations and individuals have a disproportionate and unfair influence over what the government does. The result is that the power and greed of the few too often win out over the needs of the many.

I would truly like to see a large number of people explore the material on this site and spread the word. If you study it a bit and then find that you are agreeing, then please do what you can.
UPDATE: I just came across the following video which I truly think belongs with this post;

No comments:

Post a Comment

New policy: Anonymous posts must be signed or they will be deleted. Pick a name, any name (it could be Paperclip or Doorknob), but identify yourself in some way. Thank you.