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A World of Poop?

by adam at 01:05 AM on December 08, 2005

I read this on BoingBoing, and it got me thinking about the depth of government responsibility in our society. We don't live in a socialist country. While we may have an agency devoted to disaster management, the government has zero actual obligation to help anyone when fires, earthquakes, or natural disasters hit. Nor, I should point out, does the government have an obligation to bail out corporations when they're threatened with extinction because of competition, circumstance, or their own incompetence. Under our system, it is up to the people themselves to either put money by or buy insurance to protect themselves from this kind of thing, and if they don't or can't then private citizens should feel free to help them, but the government should not.

I'm not saying this is fair or right. I'm something of a moderate socialist myself, so I believe that the government can have a positive role to play in helping people get on their feet and in equalizing what looks like a bigger gulf between rich and poor than ever. But that's not our government, not the one that we've had since the New Deal and not the one that we have now. If you believe the government should do more to help the victims of Katrina then you don't believe in laissez faire, and that's just fine by me. But that also entails a big change in the way we think about our relationship with the government; our current system, with its various Band-Aids to help the poor and victimized, isn't up to the task.

comments (6)

Hence the endless debate between my son and I. He hates the fact that I am an avowed anarchist who believes we'd be better off with either a minimum of or no federal government. By we, of course, I mean the strong and affluent, who could fend for themselves.

by anna at December 8, 2005 7:44 AM

Independence, lap it up.

Y'know it's never too late to come back into fold of the Mother Country fella's... we've got it pretty good over here. Our government is as soft as shite, and around 80% of time actually do what we want them to. I think they call it democracy... or something?

by E Crimson Guard NCO at December 8, 2005 11:38 AM

X - I need a new keyboard. S'all that cyber sex, some of these keys are sticking.

by Exxx Crimson Guard Guard at December 8, 2005 11:40 AM

I donated $2000 to katrina out of spite. and NOT spite for the Government.

by LOCKHEED at December 8, 2005 7:04 PM

Lock you need to add some zeros to that figure. Since it has crammed its filthy fingers into so many private pies, it becomes easy to think of government as a financial entity unto itself. But all it is is an income redistribution instrument. And it can't even get that right. See: Enron fat cats, Katrina debacle...

by anna at December 9, 2005 8:19 AM

Yeah right... like I have any more tax write offs...
Yale and Harvard have a 35 billion endowment fund...
They should just take over New Orleans and EDUCATE the people down there...
...but I bet the people would rather smoke dope and rape shit instead of 'study and work hard'.

by LOCKHEED at December 9, 2005 2:29 PM

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