Monday, November 03, 2008

Pre-election thoughts

There are things that our government can do with my money* that I cannot, or more efficiently that I can. On the other hand, there are plenty of things I can do with my money much more efficiently that the government (perhaps by myself, perhaps in a small community). Let's see how they stack up:

Things the Gov't can do better than I can:

1) Wage war. Always an evil, but sometimes a necessary one. oh, I can keep and bear arms, and believe you me, I do, but I can't do a lot about national defense.

2) Organize a money structure. Ours ain't perfect, but carrying around paper that represents money is better than trying to barter with shavings off of a gold brick or something.

3) Build roads/infrastructure. Too big a job for one person, or even a small group, to do on their own. It will would probably be more efficient without a big bureaucracy behind it, but still....

4) Hmmmmm. Oh yes, ensure that certain rights are protected, namely life, liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness. A system of justice is something the government can set up and run and I really can't, especially given the size of our country.

I am sure that someone else can come up with others that I may or may not agree with, but there you have it.

Things I can do better than the government:

1) Feed the poor. Sometimes on my own, sometimes through various agencies. I remember reading somewhere that it takes three of my tax dollars to get one dollar to the poor through a federal agency. Yet, if I give that same three dollars to Operation Blessing, they are able to multiply it and get $36 worth of food and goods to the needy. Hmmmm, I think I should keep my money and feed the poor without government interference.

2) Save for my retirement. If I hear one more commercial telling me that privatizing social security is bad because "look what just happened to wall street, I am going to scream. Do people think that the SSA just puts the money that is confiscated from your paycheck under a mattress somewhere and then doles it back out to you later? Of course not. It gets invested and either increases or decreases. If it decreases, your benefits later are merely "guaranteed" on the backs of younger tax payers. Forget it. I can sock money away under my own mattress and not burden my children.

3) Educate my children. The public school system in this country is pretty good, all things considered. However, it is not geared to ensuring the best education for MY child. There aren't the resources.

4) Protecting my family. Weirdly enough, one of the things I learned in law school was that the police department is actually not responsible for protecting individuals. Yup. I was surprised. But once I thought about it, it made sense. Police are responsible for ensuring "community" safety, not personal safety. That goes for the fire department and rescue squad, too.

5) Protect my health and choose my health care. Why anyone thinks that putting the feds in charge of health care is a good idea is beyond me. Does anyone who has an HMO really love their choices and options and decisions? How much worse is it going to be of the feds nationalize health care. Sheesh. Let ME decide how to best take care of my health, and weigh my options. And don't get me started on how government mandates on insurance companies have negatively impacted my ability to make choices about my health care with my health care practitioner.

Maybe I will add more thoughts later, but so far, I think I would do a better job with my money than the government, on a lot of levels. So, I think I should keep more of my money. And that will impact my voting decision tomorrow.

* I totally believe that the money that I (we) have is really just a blessing from God, and that He has given us what we have as a loan. So I really do wrestle with the issue of I doing the best with the money He has given me? But, for the sake of this discussion, the question is whether I or the government will do a better job.


Recovering Sociopath said...


meg @ spicy magnolia said...

Hi, Kimberly! Just wanted to stop by and say thanks! Thank you for leaving your comment on Antique Mommy's blog about the advice for new moms! I've savored each comment and am printing them out to keep and refer to regularly. :) I needed to hear that I can do this...thanks again.

Also, I really like your pre-election thoughts; the perspective you took on what government can do better/what you can do better was quite insightful.