John Salyer: Keep an eye on the government

21 May

Thanks John Salyer for this appropriately timed letter. Tonight our new finance director will announce to a stunned crowd that we are (gasp!) OVER BUDGET AND DOOMED TO DEBT! What a surprise, I for one am just shocked! 

John Salyer is one of those who has been watching and yelling at the top of his lungs, “Get everybody off the track, the train’s coming!” To a deaf crowd that apparently wants to be run over by a train, picnic baskets and all. 

Thanks John, and keep ’em coming! 

 

Letter: Keep an eye on the government

Chico Enterprise-Record
Posted:   05/20/2013 12:00:00 AM PDT

 

One of the fundamental principles underlying much of what today’s small-government advocates have to say is the idea, attributed to John Stuart Mill, that people have no right to take over other people’s decisions about their own lives. Yet today, as government expands its reach and more and more citizens give up their freedoms, government bureaucrats begin to think of themselves as shepherds and the citizens as their sheep.As one economist notes, “Tragically, too many of us are apparently willing to be sheep, in exchange for being taken care of, being relieved of the burdens of adult responsibility and being supplied with ‘free’ stuff paid for by others.” In ways large and small, if government does more, many people end up doing less.

Yes, we all make mistakes. But do governments not make bigger and more catastrophic mistakes?

One of the key differences between mistakes that we make in our own lives and mistakes made by governments is that bad consequences force us to correct our own mistakes. But government officials usually cannot admit to making a mistake without jeopardizing their whole careers.

Let’s take the example of Chico being $50 million, more or less, in debt. How many of you even knew that? I certainly didn’t until I made the mistake of actually starting to pay attention to what is going on with Chico’s bureaucrats.

Search “Townhall Shepherds and Sheep” on the Internet for more on this interesting but unfortunately true subject.

John Salyer, Chico

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