Source: Sherman Publications

My Way
The real lesson

by CJ Carnacchio

December 05, 2012

It was fun photographing the second-graders from Daniel Axford Elementary as they toured local government facilities last week (see Page 4).

They were there to learn what government does. Now that they know, could they please tell the rest of us?

Ba-dum-bum-CHING! Thank you. Thank you. Donít forget to try the veal. But seriously folks, hereís what the kids didnít learn on their field trip.

Other than providing some basic essentials Ė police, fire, roads, etc. Ė government pretty much exists to offer employment to lots of folks who could not otherwise attain or hold jobs with the same level of pay and benefits in the private sector.

In order to ensure the taxpayers donít get wise to this scam, many Ė not all Ė government folks are constantly trying to justify their existence by coming up with new ways to spend our money and advance themselves. Thatís why theyíre always looking to build grandiose facilities, implement new programs or bring to light alleged problems that only they can solve using our money.

Itís all about looking busy, acting concerned and creating the illusion that theyíre actually necessary.

New projects, programs and problems also give the public something to focus on so they donít see whatís really going on in most governments Ė things like mismanagement, missing and/or wasted tax dollars, goldbricking employees, etc.

Just as misdirection lies at the heart of magic, it also lies at the heart of government. Give citizens something to be excited or angry about and chances are they wonít pay any attention to what youíre trying to hide, which is often your own laziness and/or incompetence.

If that new something doesnít pan out, donít talk about it, just come up with something else and move on to it. Keep throwing things against the wall until something sticks.

Although I havenít completely given up on the Sisyphean task of reducing the size and scope of government, as I get older, I have become more realistic about what can actually be accomplished in this area.

At the end of the day, I just want to keep as much of my money as I possibly can. If itís selfish to want to keep what youíve earned, then I guess Iím selfish.

Iíve come to the conclusion that it would be much cheaper to encourage most government folks to simply sit at their desks all day long and do the bare minimum Ė or in some cases, nothing at all. Donít come up with anything new or expensive or intrusive. Just be quiet and weíll let you continue to collect a check and receive benefits. No questions asked. No penalties. Just like welfare.

Letís immediately stop all this pointless talk about consolidating government services to make them more efficient; reducing the number of public employees and making those left pay more for their health insurance like the rest of us peasants; and dissolving antiquated layers of government that have outlived their usefulness.

Maybe if we stop pushing for all that, theyíll stop feeling so much pressure to do new things and come up with new ideas that cost us more and more and more money.

Maybe weíre the reason government keeps spending so much money and dipping its fingers into so many pots.

Maybe weíve set the bar too high by expecting government folks to do the same amount of work as the rest of us.

Maybe weíve set the bar too high by expecting results for the few simple tasks we give them and a fair return on the investment of our tax dollars.

They know they canít do it. We know they canít do it.

Letís end the charade. Weíll all sleep better at night.