I have a very strong bias toward the idea that the government is horrible in everything it does. I am also fully aware of confirmation bias. We all have this bias. Confirmation bias is looking for things in the real world that prove my beliefs and tending to ignore the things that don’t work with my beliefs. Knowing this, it must be very possible that I am mistaken. Government must work somewhere. Where? When? Have I not been looking in the right places? Have I restricted myself to the only type of news that I want to hear?
I am writing this to challenge my own beliefs. I challenge anyone reading this to tell me something that the federal government does well. I am open to hearing anecdotal evidence, personal theories, or other news articles.
I have searched my life for where I have got government help and there are a few things that I found where government did help me. One example from my past is that I received financial aid for college. On the surface, it does seem like a good thing and I did learn some things in college that I would not have otherwise known. One thing is for certain. If my parents did not get a divorce at the time, I probably would have some significant school loan debt right now. If my parents did not get a divorce, I would not have been eligible for financial aid. I can see how with some families on the cusp of welfare would fare better if the father left the home so the rest of his family can collect welfare and Medicaid. If he stayed with his family, they would not be eligible. There is an actually incentive for having broken families in this system, especially low income ones. I got what I wanted, but at what cost? I wonder what choices I would have made if I did not have that option.
I challenge anyone to give me an example of something that the government does well. Is there anywhere in government where there are only good outcomes, rather than corruption and inefficiency? Just this past week, I met someone that is a high level manager that works in one of the departments of government (not DOE, but will remain nameless). This person expressed to me that if they could, they would fire most of the entire staff because they either are always late, or are just not doing their job. It is near impossible to fire these people, yet they continue to collect our tax money while not producing. There is plenty of protection for these jobs, but there is no accountability built into the system. Are these the types of jobs Obama is going to create? I certainly hope not.
The government has these epic fails, yet we continue to believe that without it there would be chaos. Is it not chaos when banks that make bad decisions get bailed out? Is it not chaos when we invade countries under false pretenses and kill hundreds of thousands of people? Is it not chaos when the government spends $1 trillion more than it takes in? When we double the amount of spending on “education” yet there are no observable gains made in math, writing and reading skills? Where is the order that government gives us to protect us from the chaos? If this is not chaos, what is?
When does the government do something good? Help me see what I am not seeing.
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