Friday, July 08, 2005

We Need More Money

It is only in government where the answer to every problem is, “We need more money.” When the hospital has shortages of medical supplies, the government says, “We need more money.” When our schools abuse and fail to teach our children, the government says, “We need more money.” When the police brutalize suspects, the government says, “We need more money.”

If McDonalds, or any private firm for that matter, was not financially accountable, the last thing any of us would say is, “We need to raise taxes and give McDonalds more of our money.” Either the company shapes up or ships out, otherwise, Krystal Burger will make a come back.

Public employees simply cannot match costs to revenues. No one can when the source of funding is indirect. I wish we were all mind readers and can tell whether someone really needs a service or not. The only method of measuring how much someone needs something is price, and that happens to be the most moral way. Any other method amounts to government intrusion into your private life to investigate whether or not you’re abusing the system.

Paying for what you receive has much more value to it than just responsibility. Having public services depend on user fees protects the less affluent and less influential person. If the police do not protect a poor minority neighborhood, for example, then the quickest way for that community to seek relief ought to be to stop paying the police. Poor people may not pay high income taxes, but in most states, they pay a sales tax on everything they buy, which goes into the general fund. If only the poor can direct their sales taxes to another security firm to provide just the basic services, then that will really make the police want to serve and protect them then.

When there is a disconnect between payment and service, such injustice as discrimination and favoritism will exist.

And you would think that as more security firms take up more responsibility from the real police, taxes would come down as the real police have less to do. However, that is simply not the case, and there are tons of private security firms in America. If more private schools started to educate more of our children, the last thing the ASG would do is call for a decline in taxes and funding for public schools. The sad fact is that politicians’ careers depend on hand outs to friends and family, raising the cost of living for the rest of us honest folk.

We can’t get around the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch so why avoid it. While we pay our way out of the hole, we will not only find honor, respect, dignity and responsibility, but we would also enjoy better services now and cheaper rates further down the road. That is what privatization and open competition provide for.

There is fear that a few of us may not make the cut, but our history of charity precedes us. Let’s put faith in that again. I appreciate "begging alongside the road" because at least those people have the decency to ask. Members of the Fono, on the other hand, would sign legislation from the comfort of their offices to take more your money without your permission.

Where's the decency in that?


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