Saturday, February 12, 2011

shrinking the size of government

on one level, i'm not opposed to the idea of shrinking government -- which is the mantra of tea partyers and rightwing fussbudgets. i can think of many projects government is involved in to which i take exception, but unfortunately for me, they aren't particularly popular areas to cut. so they remain.

i'd be all for dismantling the government's global project of domination through displays of military might. it is apparently taken for granted that a great power like the USA must perpetually assert itself in critical areas, which roughly means that the US should have first dibs on natural resources and resource wealth. this, of course, is primarily for the benefit of mega corporations and the oligarchy that controls the extraction and manufacturing industries, so in effect military force is not a defense project as it is a subsidy for the wealthy, paid for by the working classes.

i'd gladly let those who primarily benefit from the program to be its primary funding source.

the same goes for various government giveaways to megacorp interests. take two fer'instances.

we have the resource extraction industries, who are granted leases to US lands at extremely favorable rates, and which in turn sell said resources back to the owners on the US lands (you and me) at extremely favorable rates -- just NOT to you and me. and, in the event of bad juju mucking up the free flow of cash into corporate coffers, as happened when BP's old rig exploded in the gulf of mexico last year, producing catastrophic damage to both the ecosystem of the gulf and the economies of jurisdictions that are adjacent to BP's giant blunder. under the current flawed model, corporate interests internalize the profits from their profligacy, but externalize the costs to the environment -- both direct damage caused by the spill, but also long-term environmental degradation caused by the use of their product.

then, consider the "public" airwaves, which are divvied up by the FCC to the megacorp media interests, and for which the owners receive not one thin dime. yep, the TV stations, which are the public's primary source of news and information, are expected to go forth and prosper, but in return are under no compunction to give back to the communities they "serve". indeed, the community they serve is the oligarchy. the media conglomerates, which comprise one of the wealthiest lobbying operations in DC, are nothing but shills for the elites that run the country. among their many insidious "contributions" to society, consider their role in electoral politics.

elections have, among other things, turned into a multi-billion dollar business for the media conglomerates. following the supreme court's citizens united abomination, the floodgates of filthy lucre have opened on spending by the wealthy to buy the sort of politicians who give them bang for the buck. and the TV stations that pour forth during campaign season are the beneficiaries of multi-million-dollar paydays, as money swamps almost everything else in giving us a government of, by and for the elites. if power corrupts, and absolute power does its thing, consider that money in politics almost just as certainly corrupts the process, and renders any kind of rational discourse obsolete. instead, we have the sort of concerted campaigns of disinformation perpetrated by the likes of FOX news -- a 24/7 dose of high-powered audio-visual speedballs, designed to both agitate and mesmerize the viewing public, and proselytize yahoos through relentless non-sequiturs and emotional appeals to racist impulses.

the game is rigged by the owners of the government, which happen to be the recipients of the greater portion of government largesse. as a writer at salon covering a peter peterson anti-social security soiree pointed out, the worst of the government's burgeoning red ink coincided with the bank bailouts in 2008.

while the wealthy interests continue with their campaign to dismantle any program that doesn't directly benefit them, they've got an army of well-meaning but deluded christers who think cutting the budget of "unnecessary" spending is god's work. unfortunately, what gets shrunk is precisely the things that governments do that actually touch their lives. budgets and deficits continue to increase relentlessly, because the real spending and the real growth are in "untouchables" where little people defer to their masters.

if we held the corporate giants to the same standard that we hold each other to, along with their wealthy beneficiaries, we'd not be in the colossal cluster-fuck we now find ourselves in. too big to fail is simply another way of saying, too big to control. it's a corporate monstrosity that only sees 3 months ahead at any given time. the government is being controlled by these runaway enterprises that can barely see past the ends of their noses, and foisting their liabilities on the general public while stashing away the spoils in ever more reckless and malicious investment vehicles.

so, shrink the government. disconnect government programs the benefit the wealthy elites at taxpayer expense. let the free market do its thing, and end crony capitalism -- along with the bailouts, sweetheart deals, revolving doors and unlimited money in politics. this would immediately have an immense effect on the size and scope of government in the economy and the lives of individuals. the entanglement of corporate interests and the government is the ultimate source of much of the mischief we see, and of the misery.

yep, i'm all for cutting the size of government!

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