Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Let's go Private (paca)

I submitted another guest post over at The Moderate Voice political blog, and I thought I'd like any thoughts from readers here as well. It's kind of a follow-up to an old post of mine here. So here it is:

Title: Let's Go Private

I have always been very open to the idea that many things which the government does today could be done privately. However, when it comes down to it, I frequently have a hard time coming up with much of a practical list. So, I'd like to open my conundrum up to TMV readers. Here are some questions that might bring up possibilities in your mind:

When you vote now, one reason is possibly because you think the government should be doing something that it is not. Go through that mental list. Can any of it be done without the government?

What does the government do now, inherently by force due to mandatory taxation, that might be done without force?

What are some things the government does that you agree are worth doing ethically and politically but that might be done without the government, by private citizens or organizations?

One thing not to put down, should you decide to respond, is lobbying. Any number of private organizations can be created whose purpose is not to solve the actual problem, but to persuade government to solve it in some way. We want to throw those out for now.

Some items seem inherently governmental. A private organization cannot change a law. But could we be doing something right now to solve the health care crisis without waiting for government? How about adequate psychological care for returning vets? How about improving diplomatic and cultural ties with other nations? How about making your city's worst schools its best?

My problem is I can think of a million reasons that a private citizen cannot do all these things. Not on the scale needed to have an effect. I want to be wrong about that. Even though the U.S. is already one of the greatest givers in the world to philanthropic societies, I want there to be a creative, non-coercive solution to problems. If government is broken, our culture need not be.

I'm particularly interested in going beyond the answer that "the government should not do X because it has no constitutional or moral right to do so." Let's not stop there, but move to the next step: "If not with government, then how do we get it done without government?"

I look forward to your thoughts. Thank you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Government must something to do!