This Thing Called the Government

Words to put you on alert I’m told: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
No you’re not! Friends help, neighbours help, family helps, colleagues help, even strangers help, but the government never helps anyone but itself.

But she does render services.
It’s a means to an end; a camouflage even. Government isn’t about services. What it reduces to, on the one hand, is to create and collect, and to assign, distribute, or facilitate the distribution of resources. On the other hand, She counts order before law, looking to stability before peace.

Government is the formulation and utilization of public policy. Law is public policy; it is for control. An attempt to control the behaviour of self or other is an attempt at government.

While the idea is that the people make the government, the reality is that the government is not the people, and cannot be.

It’s a system with a life of its own. An 8000 lb gorilla (or hyena if you prefer) that must be reckoned with—or else. A king, to rule and to reign, with emotions as grey, to exercise dominion—democratic or not. It is a force that for its own good, fights. But it must be contained by practice and law. They must be on the leash—the constitution.

We the government hereby make this constitution, acceded and assented to by the majority of the majority of us (which in reality could be the minority). The people permit it.

A Professor Teitelbaum once said, (I recall vaguely), that in essence, the government has no brains because what it produces, public policy (hence government), comes out of the lobby wars between interest groups. The situation is thus always potentially fluid.

Would it be safe to assume no interest or friend of the government is permanent? They’d never say that to your face. We go by history, and governments change.

Because the government is a self-serving force, sometimes foolish and sometimes wise, it needs to be watched, and praised or corrected. Hence, the judiciary (the new first estate), and the freedom of an unbroken people (the third estate), and the fourth estate of the realm (the media).

We consider the legislature (the new second estate) part of the government. And the fifth estate, neighbourly countries who follow the golden rule, can only speak from their side of the fence. But they can speak. And we don’t mean asking other countries to legalize the contradiction and confusion called homosexual marriage. And does every country have to be a democracy ….

We can’t fully leave the government to check itself, or leave only the judiciary to check it, when it is the government that makes the laws. So the people try to make the government see that their interests align, or should align. We vote everyday.

Where is this government official capitalist, and where is he socialist?

Is this utilitarian business?

… listening to the news with one ear, one report spoke of the record revenues from excise duties in a particular region paid largely by three companies. Two were in the alcohol business (brewery/distillery) and the third was BAT (with the last ‘T’ for tobacco). This report was, on the surface, okay until the next one which spoke of the need to enlighten the people, smokers in particular, about the downsides of smoking, and the need to stop (or never start).

First you keep them in production, mass production, with near unlimited distribution (convenience stores everywhere), and then you try to restrict their market(ing) and limit product take up by teens especially. What other examples are there?

It’s the manufacturing value chain that needed digital terrestrial TV first.
The government is always happy to do spectrum allocation and licensing.
Broadcasters and customers spend on new equipment.
We want more options.
We want more convenience.

Has it been more hype than substance?
What other examples are there?

In addition to the widely reseached health effects of smoking which acknowledges it as very contrary to the physical man, smoker and inhaler alike, it has severally been said to increase the governments’ healthcare burdens significantly. We choose to let them live. They/we/you keep them, and bear with them, at least for the tax that they pay, first. Second, for the fear of a fight against the ‘powerful’—and very rich— companies involved. (Don’t play with a man’s livelihood where he’s got clout that includes an addicted crowd and a happy supply chain.)

Economics sways emotion.
Emotion sways economics.
Who arbitrates?

Maintain the programs to deal with withdrawal symptoms and end addictions.
Control via legalization. Get some money on top of it.
You don’t want to have to find people new jobs for the ones that would be lost if the industry is shut down.

How powerful is the money motive?
But, they who are determined to be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful covetings, the which, sink men into ruin and destruction,— For, a root of all the vices, is the love of money, which, some, being eager for, have been seduced from the faith, and have pierced, themselves, about with many pangs (Rotherhams Bible, 1 Tim. 6). Thinking motivations and contexts.

Who doesn’t like to look good.

You want to belong to a group and still maintain your independence and freedom to break the rules of the group.
One of the dilemmas of governments. And to think of it, some married folks too.
Is there necessarily a dilemma?

Finally, in the extreme (limit, in mathematics), if everyone were smokers then the problems we see with smoking would be amplified. If no one smoked, then what could be the loss or gain to individuals, communities and nations in the long run.