Friday, September 03, 2004

Will Government Ever Have Enough Power?

As an exceptionally benevolent, generous, compassionate, caring, selfless and otherwise modest person, I have decided to dedicate a portion of my blog to serve the public good. So, today, I will scour the media for the news stories of the day that bemoan or otherwise agonize over the lack of government programs to solve some or other problem that some or other person has. I will also note the stories that deal with, in general, issues relating to people and organizations whose sole purpose seems to be to demand that more and more of my tax dollars be directed to them or their cause.

With this in mind, I offer this listing of some of today's news stories. Please note, I couldn't find a single story where some person or entity actually asked government to stay the heck out of their lives and let them manage their own affairs. It all seems to be about helpless people begging for assistance; or petulant people demanding that their entitlement be increased. Oh well, I'll keep looking.

Friday September 3, 2004
• Premiers demand money for a National Pharmacare Program
• A shortage of subsidized daycare spots is causing hardships for some parents
• Police Board calls for overhaul – money to pay for it to be pulled out of their…….oh never mind.
• Senators vilified over suggestion to increase competition in health care delivery – Castro sends regards to vilifiers.
• Tuition still rising – groups cry out for government help
• Toronto City Council to create new “Tree Police” bureaucracy. Permit to “disable” or “injure” a tree on your property will cost $100. – I’m not making this up, honest.

I have to add that there are many good, conscientious people, working for various levels of government, who provide the public with the many essential services that we need. My beef is not with them. They have my undying respect.

My beef is with those in our society who live off government gratuities while providing little in practical returns, and those who continually seek to extend the influence and power of government to their own benefit. Because, with every personal responsibiliy that government assumes - every time we are forced to ask our government to do for us what our parents did for themselves - we are weakened and diminished as individuals. There appears to be no end to it. Government never ever gives up responsibility for anything. Its power to regulate our lives grows with every day that passes. While this concerns me, I am more concerned by our apparent willingness - no, eagerness - to hand over responsibility for our lives to the state.

Today, the purveyors of state dependence are demanding a multi-billion dollar national daycare program to save parents from taking responsibility for their own children's care. In Ontario, they are calling for seatbelts and supervisors in all school buses, at a cost of $millions, despite the absence of any evidence that such action will prevent injuries or save lives. Here in Toronto, they want to require citizens to get government consent to cut a limb off a tree in their backyards. What will they be demanding tomorrow? You can bet that it won't be less. Always it is more. And it will always cost more. Unless we say "enough", they will never stop. Well, this is my humble (some may say feeble) attempt to say "enough".

Our resources are strained. People wait a ridiculously long time for essential health care services. Students cry out for a decent cirriculum and discliplne and structure in the classroom. Homeless people abound. Our streets are filthy. Our roads and infrastructure cry for repairs. Our public transit systems are overcrowded and uncomfortable. Have we not had enough?

Let's use our limited tax resources to fix existing problems - problems that profoundly affect us all and problems that are beyond our personal control - before we expand, or create new, laws and programs to address problems that affect only special interests and problems that we should be expected to anticipate and solve ourselves.


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