Friday, March 24, 2017

What Should An American Government Do?

This morning I went on the website of the Food and Drug Administration to find out what the FDA could tell me about the safety of a particular drug. If there were no FDA, I suppose I could have gone on a university medical school website for the same information, or maybe a commercial website like "The Medical Letter" but the FDA provides that service.

I also checked out the weather report on the Weather Channel and they use government weather satelittes put up in space by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
And I drove over the Merrimack River, which is now clean and full of fish owing to the EPA's regulations which cleaned up what was once a cesspool.
The road I drove in on is part of the Eisenhower interstate highway system.
Overhead flew airplanes guided by air controllers in the employ of the Federal Aviation Administration.
On the way in I listened to the radio story about a boat which needed a United States Coast Guard rescue.

I suppose all these things could be done by private companies, eventually.
President Trump recently submitted a budget which increased spending for the military and decreased it for everything else.
It was a very masculine budget. We spend on weapons, surveillance, border protection, armies, navies and war planes.
We don't care about soft things like healthcare, which we want to cut out of the government budget as much as possible. We don't have any use for the arts or national parks or stuff that isn't masculine and tough.

If the Marlboro man wouldn't like it, our government should not be interested, either.

Where does money and finance fall on that spectrum? All those economic and financial reports which the government churns out: employment, consumer price index, calculation of GDP.  I guess private companies could do that, the same way private companies rated the risks and value of various mortgage backed securities right before the financial crisis of 2009--if you can't recall how well that worked, just watch the movie "The Big Short."

Government is Bad, except when it's tracking down Mexicans

I don't know, maybe the Republica ns are right. Maybe we don't need no friggin government, except for defense and border control and to hunt down people who like doing abortions.

Then again, what do Republicans know about all the things government actually does?

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