Wednesday, September 01, 2010

751 Cafeteria Capitalists

751 Cafeteria Capitalists

Today's righties seem not to get what a government does and how it does it. Their first mistake is to lump every agency, every function, every program, every bureaucrat into on amorphous blob or boulder that acts monolithically. Not so. "The Government" may be a monolith to some ideologues, but it's more like a bank of elevators on a bad mix of Quaalude and the kind of diet pills you take just before pulling an all-nighter before a final exam.

It's people and it's infrastructure. It is not a business. It's a self-designed mechanism for keeping us from breaking each others' heads or bank accounts. Yes, sure. Police, courts, armed forces, national policies all rolled into some relatively simple documents that imply humanity, compromise, sanity and rationality. Imperfect, yes. A cafeteria? No.

So while Congressman "X" thinks that truck load of money going to his district to build a road is an important civic project, Congressman "Y" across the hall thinks it's pork. It evens out. X is on line in the cafeteria, picks a road project. Rejects a similar road project for Y.

Senator "Z" goes up to the counter and chooses to "protect your future and those of your children" by privatizing Social Security.

One day he may want to have the Fed for dessert, the next day he rejects the Fed and instead has no dessert at all, saying "the government has no business in the dessert business."

Bureaucrat "A" processes your drivers license or passport in a matter of minutes. Bureaucrat "B" takes forever. Conclusion: either get rid of the passport or drivers license bureaucrats entirely or make them all behave like A. But they're people. Just like you. And they do things differently.

On the cafeteria line, one official chooses "freedom," except for your freedom to have an abortion in peace. Another chooses "Invade Iraq." A tasty dish, but inconsistent with American isolationism that he also chooses.

Pick privatized health care. Oh, except for the VA and senior citizens.

It's not a business. It's not a cafeteria. And it's neither an amorphous blob nor a monolith. It only seems that way when you want to use it for your whim of the moment, but no one else's.


Shrapnel:

--Not worth a book look or reading, let along buying: "Inventing Great Neck (Jewish Identity and the American Dream)" By Judith Goldstein, which reads like a Hadassah tour brochure. Here's the whole book in one sentence: Times were tough but got better; people of varying ethnic and religious backgrounds sometimes didn't get on all that well, but in this case managed to overcome most of their differences most of the time.

--The U.S. open day one is over. Can we contain our excitement? Memo to both pro tennis and pro golf: go away.

--Iraq: Mission Accomplished? Again? The President sent out e-mails to his list of 40-million fans and subscribers reminding us that we're finished with out combat role over there just in case we fellow foreign born Muslim socialists missed the story on Al Jazeera or in Pravda.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey -- I couldn't help but come across this blog, largely because I was googling my name (which is awfully similar to "Wes Richards"). I think it's hilarious reading your blog, because I, like you, work in the communications field (only, unlike you, I am not on the air -- although I have aspirations to do just that). The only difference is, I'm a staunch conservative... and seeing your website is like running into the Bizarro Me.

-Wes R.

Wes Richards said...

Hello, Wes R, and thanks for writing. Typically, I delete anonymous comments, and almost never answer them. But yours has intrigued me. If you'd like to start a real discussion, I'll be happy to hear from you. My e mail is wesrichards@gmail.com. (And I've worked long and hard at the Bizarro thing.)