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The Un-Midas Touch
The Buck Stops Nowhere With the Feds Involved

By the Cynic


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The 107th Congress is getting settled in. The new members have introduced themselves to the old ones and they are now ready to get back to the work that they do best: figuring out new ways to screw things up.

It never ceases to amaze me as to how often the American public looks to Uncle Sam to solve its woes. Considering the track record that the Fed has on any task, you would think that we would fire them and hire a Japanese firm to come and take over. Now I say this, not because I want to make the federal government seem evil (they do a good enough job themselves), but because they are inept. They remind me of Barney Fife, in that they may start out doing things with the best of intentions, but inevitably make any situation worse.

For example...

Think about education in America. Up until the past 30 years or so, the federal government left educating children to local governments. Local Communities worked with their school boards through meetings and PTA groups to make sure that the kids were receiving a good education. This worked fine for most communities, with the exception of poor inner city communities. The communities lacked the resources, since tax revenues are so low in these areas. So we called Uncle Sam to come to the rescue. They created the Department of Education. They have spent billions on improving the schools. They have given us ideas such as Outcome Based Education. The result: Inner City Schools still stink and the rest of the schools are sinking to their level. One needs to only look at the math and science test scores to realize that the decline in education is directly proportionate to any increase in funding.

I have struggled to come up with anything that improves once Uncle Sam sticks their nose in it. I find nothing. Not education, not law enforcement, not the economy. They do nothing right.

What happens when Uncle Sam takes control of any given ill, we lose accountability. Uncle Sam is unaccountable. He's inefficient. He can't be fired, sued or held liable. Instead of having the local law enforcement community to blame, or a local school board we have Uncle Sam. We don't know who he is, or who exactly to be angry with. Ask your Congressperson who is to blame about anything and he will be happy to point the finger at another Congressman. That Congressman will be happy to blame the President. The President blames the Courts. The Courts tell you it should be a local issue. The buck stops nowhere.

Any crisis that we American's suffer through can be directly attributed to federal involvement. Look at crime for instance. A majority of crimes can be attributed to drug trafficking. Uncle Sam spends billions trying to stop the flow of drugs into America. They stop some but not all. If I open up my Economics 101 book I understand that reduced supply increases prices. Increased prices equals increased profitability and limited competition. Low supplies and high profitability means territorial disputes. This appears to be an easy way out for many in impoverished communities who have had the traditional families broken up by Uncle Sam's welfare system. This is how you help people?

Lately, we have been hearing the charge for Uncle Sam to get involved with our health care "crisis." Now here's an idea who's time has come. Health care is already one of the most heavily regulated industries in America. Many of the problems that we have with health care (HMOs, prescription drug prices, etc.) are all areas where the government is already heavily involved. Why get them involved further?

The idea of Uncle Sam running our medical system frightens me. We can expect to wait for services. We can expect to see a decline in experimental medicine. Doctors? They can expect a government paycheck, micromanagement of their patients and a decline in young people entering the field.

Those who promote nationalized health care may be quick to tell you that the government needs to get involved to help control prices (name one thing that gets cheaper once the government steps in), make sure everyone has access to affordable health care (is that similar to 'affordable' public housing?) and to make sure that the quality of care remains high. I read somewhere recently, that doctors were the third highest cause of accidental death. I'm betting that with Uncle Sam's help, they could reach number one.

I hope we never find out.

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The Cynic, 2001

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