jpete wrote:Do I have a choice (assuming we're not talking about your "like it or lump it" false dichotomy) of dealing with the government as opposed to say, any particular company?
Did Steve Jobs send men with guns to force people to buy iPhones?
You can spew all the words your heart desires the plain truth remains.
Government writes the rules that the rest of us are expected to play by. If the game is a mess, whom should I blame?
If I don't like the rules in the NFL, should I stop playing baseball?
Who else would you like me to blame NM?
If government is bad, why not do away with it entirely? Why not have no government at all, as in Somalia? That works pretty well, doesn't it?
Africa may be unimaginably remote; what about 19th century America? Didn't we try laissez-faire capitalism, and wasn't it a disaster? Filth in our meat, shantytowns, racism, 'No Irish need apply', company towns, union-busting goons, monopolies, corruption scandals, a punishing business cycle, old folks living in poverty, failing banks, Boss Tweed, gunboat diplomacy.
The solution to most of those problems was government: food and drug regulation; anti-trust laws; banking regulations; labor laws; the Fed; Social Security. We can hardly understand why many Russians want to go back to Communism, and yet we seem to want to go back to laissez-faire capitalism.
When you really have a bad government, it's obvious that you need reform, not anarchy.
Politics would be much less entertaining, but a hell of a lot more rational, if once the "government is bad" rhetoric started flying, people started asking questions like these:
What government services do you plan to cut?
What exactly do those programs do? How well do they work? How much do they cost now?
Who stands to benefit from the proposed cuts?
Are these cuts a smokescreen for increasing spending somewhere else?
What's Congress actually doing (as opposed to what it says it's doing)?
In short, be skeptical: not just about government, but about business, and about the motives of the people who want to get government off their backs. What do they want to do once it's gone?