Sunday, November 9, 2014

Quasi Government Ventures Used To Expand Government

Nearly two years ago I wrote about how the role of the government in America is changing on federal, state and local levels. I see this when I sit and have coffee near the front window of the building where my office is located. This window looks out on what might be called the crossroads of America.  Across the street is a Target store that was recently expanded in to a super-target, behind it a toxic waste site cleaned up to where it may be used in a limited way.  A bank on the corner, built ten years ago after demolishing the preexisting buildings, has changed its name five times through acquisitions. Miscellaneous stores and offices line the street, coming and going, many with "for lease signs" that have become far too common in recent years. 

It only takes a minute or two to see how government mandates that are often unfunded and fostered upon both businesses and private citizens have changed America. If unchecked it is the nature of bureaucracy to expand, the use of sun-set legislation is often underused or the bar set too low when it comes to extending and renewing government bodies. Politicians and bureaucrats deterred from expanding or funding programs by a few vigilant citizens, wait and find creative ways to reach their objective at a later date.  They do this by creating special bonds, attaching fees to needed services or narrow taxes that go on to fund new authorities, commissions, and districts. Often these groups are allowed to regulate or set rules that affect us all.

Government need not be efficient, we see this in issues small and large. One example is our currency, not only is the penny still being used, four new versions of it were released in 2009.  The penny is totally antiquated and  illogical if an employee is paid only $12.00 per hour it cost twenty cents per minute.  How can you afford to pay that employee to count and handle pennies, the labor exceeds its value.  According to the “citizens to retire the penny” it cost the Country more than $15 Billion Dollars annually, but to the government that matters naught. To make things worse incestuous government relationships have trickled  down to local governments. In my area the Airport Authority that taps into local tax dollars supports and gives money to PBS television and the Downtown Improvement District as a way to spread around our wealth. 

The Government hurls money at inefficient programs to assist the poor.  Government has spent a fortune in housing for low income people offering low prices to the applicants. Government housing competes with private enterprise but government supported housing is able to “cherry pick” those that will be good residents because the subsidizes substantially lower their rents. This rejects to the streets the more troubled people needing housing thus ignoring their mission of helping the most needy. Public transportation systems often run empty. Food stamps do not limit the user to economical healthy basic foods, but even allows a recipient to pick up steak and lobster that they can give to friends and family at Christmas, a blind eye is turned towards these glaring flaws.

Amazing is the high percentage of  vehicles on our roads that are government owned or busy going about government related business. These include the empty city buses, police cars, fire trucks, post office, housing authority, city parks, and code enforcement department, all day long these vehicles drive back and forth. To this we must add the quasi government units like utilities, which are regulated monopolies, this would extend to and cover the groups trimming trees and running new lines and all those vehicles providing services to help meet the many government mandated and required regulations that are paid for with taxes and fees. Yes, government has wormed its was into every nook and cranny of the economy this is clear in our hospitals and universities.

Unneeded quasi government organizations by nature reach out to expand the influence and power of their directors. Instead of focusing on the business of government and simplicity, this new proactive movement, one of "cuteness", disguised in the shawl of flexible and diversity is being expanded, and we are paying the tab.  Government is proud of pet projects and under terms like "Public Private Partnership" they continue to grow. This allows bureaucrats to experiment and try new things without the personal financial risk of a businessman. Bureaucrats and politicians are creative on our dime and this is a problem for concern. The best time to kill a monster is while its still small, that time has passed, now we can only hope to slow its growth through starvation, and that is unlikely.

Footnote; this dovetails with a post on February 6th, 2012 titled "The Assault of Growing Government," it can be accessed at

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