When I found out that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once ran the Office of Economic Opportunity, better known as the welfare office, I was shocked. Mr. Rumsfeld is one of the best examples of neo conservative as they come. These people reserve the bootstrap theory to individual finances for the majority of the public. But then these same conservatives work like hell and bend over backwards to cultivate corporate fascism in order to build wealth for a select few. The idea of a more equitable society where wealth and opportunity are much more evenly distributed is a philosophy that runs contrary to ideas of neo conservatism. So to put someone who does not believe in social welfare in charge of a social welfare program is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. It is a recipe for disaster.
The past eight years of the Bush administration, especially when it was married to a complacent Congress controlled by the Republican Party, is a prime example of government being managed by people who believed that it is not government’s job to manage people. People who believed in minimal or zero regulation were put in control of agencies meant to regulate specific areas of our society. The agency in charge of regulating imports was asleep at the wheel as cheap Chinese imports were allowed to come into the United States and poisoned our children with lead laden toys and killed our dogs with contaminated pet food. The Securities and Exchange Commission was caught off guard as the stock market responded as if it went over a cliff and the value of markets sank like a Russian submarine. Bridges collapsed into the river in Minnesota. Levies collapsed in lower Louisiana. Energy prices are allowed to inflate exponentially. Airlines are supposed to regulate themselves. The entire system has reached a critical point of malaise.
The Environmental Protection Agency refuses to protect the environment. Instead, it relaxes regulations to the point where there’s simply no point for the agency’s existence. What was the logic of hiring people who don’t believe in government to run our government? No where else in our world do we exercise such illogic. Nobody would hire a pilot who doesn’t believe in flying. Nobody would send their children to a school where teachers don’t believe in education. But only people in America would vote for people to run our government who don’t believe government is a key component for everyday people’s lives. Consequently, people who don’t believe in government who are put in charge of government will lead a government and the people meant to be governed to ruin.
If I was a bastard and wanted to undermine an institution that I was totally against I would employ someone to run it that shared my sentiment and wanted to destabilize the institution as well. Don’t believe people should depend on welfare from the government? The best way to nip that in the bud is to put somebody in charge of the program who will grind its effectiveness to a screeching halt. That or hire somebody who is so incompetent that the agency being managed becomes synonymous with ineptitude. Does anybody need to be reminded of Michael Brown and his effectiveness with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Why would I vote for someone who actually says government is the problem to run my government? Such people are more than likely apt to prove themselves correct, pointing to the mess they make in their wake, and then step back looking like a modern day Nostradamus.
Regulatory agencies that fail to regulate leave the prey to the whims of the predators. Some will argue that American corporations would never do anything to harm or injure its customers. I’m sure America’s cigarette manufacturing companies had nothing but the public’s health at heart as they marketed their cancer generating tobacco sticks. I’m sure Ford Motor Company had the public’s welfare at heart when it was marketing it’s Pinto to the car buying public knowing that the car was fatally dangerous with a flaw that would make the car burst into flames in a rear end collision. The idea that companies can regulate themselves is an idea rooted in fairy tales and never land replete with unicorns.
Regulators who fail to regulate are doing nothing but leaving the door wide open for people who want to abuse the system. Many people firmly believe that the welfare office must be tightly regulated because there might be a cheat out there just waiting to manipulate the system to the point where he or she can make a good living off the public’s trust. We need all kinds of rules to keep such people from benefiting from the system. But the idea of regulating big corporations who see the American public as nothing more than suckers to be fleeced smacks of some kind of anti capitalistic plot or some plan to undermine free markets. But these people never stop to think that something made the regulations necessary in the first place. And a people who make the choice to forget their past also make the choice to repeat the mistakes of the past as well.
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