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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Seeking a change in our bureaucracy

Thursday, November 4, 2004

I don't want to continue talking about politics, but I'm far from convinced that the changes in the national political makeup will result in any substantial changes. At least not in the short term. I fear the bureaucracy that shrouds government at virtually all levels will continue to impede the progress that so many expect.

I believe the core of the problem is that far too many people expect far too much from the government. We have become accustomed in some ways to looking for a government solution to all of our social and economic ills. But that notion is flawed. Perhaps we'll re-examine that thinking with the changes that we witnessed on Tuesday.

Former President Ronald Reagan was perhaps the leading advocate of personal responsibility vs. government intervention. And though many scoff at that approach, I have always believed Reagan had it right. So what happens when a large segment of the population shuns personal responsibility and continues to look for a government solution to all of their problems?

For at least 40 years, our nation in many ways has accepted the premise that some people are simply unable to care for their daily needs. They must be subsidized to provide food on their table, shelter over their heads and free health care regardless of the need. And to some extent, there will always be those unable for whatever reason to provide these basic needs.

But our problem - as I see it - is that we have allowed or even encouraged this population to expand substantially. And soon we will be in a system where half the people provide the essential needs for the other half of the population. At some point, that formula simply won't work any longer.

I'm no social scientist so I don't know at what point the haves cannot provide all of the needs for the have nots. But I recognize there is a point out there where that is likely to occur. And to assume that government at any level can always provide those needs is an incorrect assumption. Government should provide a safety net and provide the tools needed to allow everyone to prosper as much as their abilities will provide. But beyond that, we cannot and should not expect more.

Maybe the sea change in the political landscape now will address this central question. But change comes slowly and change in government even slower.



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