People in general, but especially politicians, like to make MOUNTAINS out of a bunch molehills. The key word is “bunch.”
Politicians use phrases like “Americans have the right to clean air and water”, “National Health Care” and “National Education System.” But are these really “national issues?” How do we know when an issue is “global,” “National,” state-wide or local?
Now please, don’t think I mean a molehill isn’t a problem or difficulty, and that many individual molehills couldn’t cause plenty of headaches. They certainly can – and do. But the way we handle problems best, as any productivity guru would tell you, is one small item at a time. Or in this case, one small, local mole hill at a time.
Washington DC doesn’t like small items because those items don’t justify a big “solution,” and I use the term solution loosely. The reality is that Washington doesn’t solve national problems, it creates them. Then DC tells us there is just ONE OPTION – implement their “Big solution.” The feds sell the public through the piling of the millions of small molehills ever higher into one big mountain. They hail from their ivory towers, “LOOK AT THIS MASSIVE MOUNTAIN, BUT FEAR NOT WE HAVE MASSIVE EARTH MOVING EQUIPMENT.”
At this point, people buy in to DC’s solution because the problem is just so big and complicated. And then it gets really awkward…seriously. It’s awkward to use massive earth movers for backyard mole hills. The breaking of the driveway as they back-up, the smashing of trees you planted with your kids, the clipping of your rain gutters, and the list goes on.
You see the awkwardness when you go to a hospital and some really nice person dressed in a suit comes up to your emergency room bed to have you sign a bunch of papers because you don’t have insurance. You’re moaning in pain, and they say, “Hey, just sign here.” Meanwhile, you can’t see your capable doctor because they are doing the government’s admin work. Sure, it’s on computer, so they can do more with new, complicated software, but shouldn’t they be taking care of the patient?
The awkwardness continues in education where teachers and students have bureaucrats and paperwork between them, rather than challenging questions to dig through ahead of them. The massive earth movers get really awkward for for the more complicated mole hills, and no one sees the damage until long after graduation.
Then there is Social Security. Massive earth mover for the backyard mole hills, “Who is going to take care of mom and dad or our grandparents?” One mother of 13 children (going on 15 children) told me during our enjoyable political discussion, “They are are my Social Security”, referring to her children. How simple! But wait, here comes the earth mover. We need to take your children’s wealth into our banks so we, the government, can give you peanuts for your years of investment in their lives. Please know that I’m sensitive to those who have no children or grandchildren, but this can be handled much better locally…and that local solution can be used no matter where the older person decides to live.
I have ZERO illusions that we can avoid problems in our daily lives simply by determining where the problem is handled. But making a problem larger makes it much more complicated to deal with, and the cost of massive “earth movers” for small mole hills is astronomical!
One surefire way to see the increase in the creation of bigger problems and the bigger government solutions is to follow the money. In the book “The Neighborhood Project,” there is a chart in Chapter 2 that compares two dates with regard to government spending – all government spending.
1910 vs. 2012…here are some facts:
In 1910, all government spending (local, state and federal) totaled $29.09 per person for that year. If you adjust $29.09 for inflation you get a whopping $727.27 for each individual…that’s for all government spending! So an average family of five would pay all governments about $3,750 for 1 year on an average family income of $18,000, or about 21 percent of their income. Of all that government spending, 2/3 of that money was state and local while 1/3 was federal. And there was no federal income tax.
Fast-forward to 2012:
All government spending (local, state and federal) totaled 20,110.63 per person for that year. A family of three would pay over $60,000 on a average annual income of about $52,000. So the government, on average is consuming more than 100 percent of your wealth.
In the weeks ahead we will look closer at how “Local Mole Hills Become National Mountains” and how we can solve these problems through a decentralized approach close to home.