Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Big Government Fetish

Besides leftish college campuses, Cuba and North Korea, liberal papers like the N&O seem to be one of the last redoubts of belief that big government can solve everything. Todays lead editorial called for a program of mandatory national service "for a reasonable length of time." As if there is not already enough waste and inefficiency in government, the left wants the government to force everyone to partake of a little more standing around at taxpayer's expense.

As a member of the military I have seen the stifling nature of government bureaucracy first hand, and the last thing we need in the military is an influx of thousands of new forcible "recruits" who don't want to be in uniform. We already spend an enormous amount of money and time on the 5% of the malcontents in the armed services, so why add to that problem?

The wise N&O editors follow up with a second editorial calling for an increase in the wages for state employees "who do the hard, essential tasks of state government. They clean floors, do laundry, prepare meals and dig ditches." But why are these the essential tasks of state government? There are hundreds of small (and large), well-run private firms who have developed expertise in cleaning floors, digging ditches etc. Why is the state intervening in an area that the private sector can handle - unless the state thinks they can save money by paying those employees less? And if that is the case, then why pay the employees more? Contract the work out and compensate the employees based on the value of the services they offer. I understand the favored political party of the N&O receives the majority of the public sector employee vote, but the cost is paid by the NC taxpayer.