Why does government exist? Could we live without it? As seen in the recent shutdown, when Park Services are abandoned people loot and destroy the parks. If the military were to be treated in this manner, imagine what would happen. If we depended on the goodwill of very large companies to support our interests, we wouldn’t need government at all. We would all bask in the warm glow of our corporate masters and they would share with us the bounty of our labor. Look at how businesses did business a century ago and tell me you wish to return to that.
We know from past experiences that greed isn’t good. Before government regulation, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire. Polluted air and water were common, DDT nearly wiped out the Bald Eagle, and without government regulation, banks could loan or borrow at will, with no recourse if they repaid loans. Oops, that was in 2008. The regulations that went into effect to prevent another such incident have been removed.
So, if we can agree that the government needs to protect us from companies more than willing to sacrifice the greater good for the profit of a few, why is it that when people speak of controlling these entities, which have proven themselves to be untrustworthy, there are those who rush to defend these companies?
Drug companies control the prices of life-saving drugs, and they raise these prices to the point where people are dying. Is this right? Is this just? Is this America?
Once upon a time, the people who created cars for a living produced machines that killed people even in minor crashes. The government regulations put into place made for safer cars and fewer injuries, and cars are still sold by the thousands each day. Is this wrong? Is this unjust? Is this un-American?
If a foreign government decides to invade American soil, should we call some big company for help? Should we hire mercenaries to prevent our destruction?
When Pearl Harbor was attacked Americans rushed to defend this nation. The draft was enacted. Men from all walks of life put on the uniform and did their duty to preserve our way of life. Now, it’s no longer required. There isn’t a need, some say, or a compulsion, for those who can afford some other life, to serve.
Is this right? Should service to this country be mandatory?
If we cannot or will not, expect the individual, whose freedom is preserved by the nation, to feel honored to serve this country, can we with any credibility of intellect, expect a CEO of a large corporation to act in the best interest of a country whose regulations will cost him millions?
We’ve been sold the idea that this nation must be defended by tanks, jets, ships, and men-at-arms, but increasingly, the threat from other powers is that of an electronic kind. Yet the defense industry uses the tax money it gets from selling these obsolete, and sometimes useless, weapons to lobby Congress to buy more and to further the myth that more hardware means more safety. Did Eisenhower not warn us of this very thing?
At the end of the day, we must examine the needs of the nation before the needs of one person, or the needs of one class of people, or the needs of business. The citizens must come before profit. The environment must be given thought before shareholders. And the strong and sturdy education of each child must be a priority over making the rich even richer.
If you cannot agree that the government must serve the interest of the people over people in power, we are lost, and this country is done for.