The past 85 years have created an illusion as to what American government is. In the 1930s, government became a fuel injector for the American economy where the Executive branch pumped money into public works programs designed to employ idle labor. New regulatory regimes were created to regulate away the excesses of speculation and manage the extraction and use of natural resources.
By the 1960s, government took on the additional role of social justice guarantor, crafting and delivering legislation designed in part to further incorporate black Americans into national society and to provide other social services including healthcare to children and the elderly.
Through its military and science branches, government continued its research, development, and investment into computer networks and outer space. It was out of these activities that the internet was spawned allowing my five faithful followers to read this blog.
It is no wonder that Barack Obama said in 2012 with some authority the following:
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
The reality is that government as a noble entity is a myth; that the past eight plus decades have been a distraction from what we should only expect from government; that it is an entity that expands its control over jurisdictions anywhere in the world for the benefit of its financiers. What we should expect from government should be more in line with Donald Trump’s views on Iraqi oil:
“If we kept the oil, you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil, but, OK, maybe we’ll have another chance.”
While many were taken aback at the bluntness of Mr Trump’s statement, the President honed in on the primary expectation we should have of government, an entity that acquires and manages resources.
Americans have an issue with ugliness being exposed. They are weary of the guilt-fest they have endured over the past sixty years in particular, from scenes of police dogs attacking black Americans in Birmingham, Alabama to American military personnel being accused of murdering civilians in Iraq. But in the words of Mr Trump, “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?”
Unbeknownst to him, Mr Trump summed up the core expectation of government; that of acquirer of resources. Any “noble” distribution is a response to the distractions caused by the powerless who are able to sneak into democracy’s nooks and crannies to agitate just long enough for social benefits that pale in size to the benefits flowing to the holders of government bonds. An irony, that there is distraction on both sides ….