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Government does have a role to fill

By Staff | Jan 21, 2022

To the editor:

I would like to address a letter written by Mr. Gillis which states, “In the immortal words of President Ronald Reagan, ‘government should get off our backs and out of our pockets.'”

Firstly, it is pretty hard to take seriously and as worthwhile quotes of that ridiculous ole Soap Salesman, Former President Ronny Reagan. (Chuckle)

Secondly, when speaking of “government,” it seems that there is not a lot of agreement among we folks as to just what the purpose, the role, of government should be in our lives. In fact, what there is mostly are the sounds of a deafening flock of cackling seabirds cawing a bunch of largely meaningless, but casually appealing slogans such as the “off back, out pockets” one above.

A certain faction holds the idea that what the government should do is to simply sleepily watch, collect mini-taxes and do musty micro-deeds. But why bother, I ask? In fact, there simply must be a rational, meaningful purpose for the function of government to fulfill, else why does that function eventually appear among all groups of people in all eras of time?

The first step toward identifying the function of government is stop thinking of it as some glum, mysterious, shadowy third party remorselessly imposing its will upon us from somewhere out there, on high. In truth, government is more like, in Possum Pogo’s version of the words of American Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the War of 1812, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

In fact, the role of government, the one created by and for the people, is simply to facilitate the peaceful cooperation of various human interests in order to allow for each the optimal fulfillment of its reasonable and legitimate goals, goals which do not trample upon those of others. Some will, of course, confuse that healthy concept with that of the “Nanny State,” but that silliness is merely the act of confusing good red blood with moldy honey.

Thus, temporary preferential tax treatments and other temporary economic incentives should not necessarily always be ruled out — of course, provided that they can be shown as operating for the ultimate common good. That is, they should not always be ruled out just because someone might come along and choose to varnish them with a smothering stale spray of the “Nanny State” political epithet. A bit of hard, constructive headwork will usually save the day.

Allen N. Wollscheidt

Cape Coral

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