Got a problem?
Last time it was the size of student debt that caught
How pay for all that? Just raise taxes on The Rich -- and she stuck to much the same line in
It's not just the cost of these fixes that's worrisome, though it is. Nor the ease with which she assumes The Rich will pay for them without inviting the usual unintended consequences, like depriving the economy of the capital it needs to grow. It's that she looks only to government to solve our problems. Didn't there used to be many more of us active in organizations dedicated to helping folks with their problems without waiting for government to solve them?
This web of intermediate institutions -- churches, charities, civic clubs, fraternities and sororities, small-loan societies that specialize in helping folks who want to start their own business, groups that raise money for single parents who want to go back to school but need scholarships ... they all still exist (even if they're fading away) but they never seem to figure in some politicians' plans. Instead, their one-size-fits-all solution to the country's problems boils down to just more and more government.
Yes, the Hillary Clintons and Barack Obamas do enlist powerful political and economic interests in their programs -- teachers' unions, for example, and those that consist solely of public employees. But between big labor, big business and big government, there no longer seems to be room in our leaders' calculations for those smaller, intimate associations, from
This country's founders understood that the best way to control power was to divide it. They provided a constitutional separation of powers (executive, legislative and judicial, not to mention state and federal) so that a single government could not exercise unrivaled control over our lives. Too many of our politicians have forgotten that lesson. And not just our politicians. There will always be those clamoring for another government program to "help" them by making them more dependent rather than independent.
Back in 1995,
Why use what's happened to bowling as symptomatic of what's happening to the American social fabric? Because even though the number of people who still bowl may have increased in the aggregate, the number of Americans who bowl together in leagues has shrunk. And we've lost one more way to interact with one another on our own. And diminished our social capital.
Government does indeed offer ways to solve problems no other institution can -- like providing for the common defense and assuring the rule of law. But not the only way. And when we forget that, and risk creating an atomized society in which each of us is answerable to one centralized government and nothing else, freedom itself is endangered. Along with other values Americans should hold dear, like self-reliance. Not to mention reliance on a Higher Authority, aka freedom of conscience.
It's a dangerous thing, a monopoly of power, whether that power is exercised by church or state. Or by a political party or any other single source. Let's not be afraid of dividing and diversifying power. Let's embrace it. It's the key to freedom.