The only plan for our government
They don’t just call it a newspaper for nothing. There’s all sorts of interesting things you can find by thumbing through the local broadsheet — or in my case, thumbing across the touch screen of my computer.
For instance, I found out this week that one of my fellow columnists decided to no longer be a member of the Republican Party. That gives her more in common with Donald Trump, who isn’t really Republican either — assuming Republican or Democrat means anything anymore.
After all, House Speaker Paul Ryan claims to be a Republican and I’ve seen little evidence of it and even Mitch McConnell says he’s one but he’s not exactly a fanatic about it.
Personally, however, I will not be changing my party affiliation for the same reason I reject the idea of dying — spite.
I refuse to give anyone the satisfaction.
Party affiliation on a national level really doesn’t mean much anymore because people attach themselves to political parties even though they have very little in common with their platforms because they want to use the party mechanisms already in place, rather than start their own party.
Sen. John McCain should really start the Maverick Party and then branch out into the individual Top Gun subgroups of Joker, Goose and Ice. Eventually he can get to the meat of it with the “I Still Matter, Dammit, Party.”
Party affiliation should mean more on the local level than when you’re dealing with people that you have a chance to hear speak and be attacked relentlessly by their opponent on national television
In a small town you might know the candidates, but in a community our size it gets to the point where most voters don’t actually know them. So, they tend to look at party affiliation a little bit to get a general idea of their political philosophy.
It’s for this reason in our community that the idea of having partisan elections, that is those that would show a party affiliation for City Council or school board, are absolutely abhorred by about 28 percent of the community. That way they can sneak people onto those bodies. If candidates had to choose a party affiliation and go through a nominating processs, they wouldn’t get within a mile of those positions.
But partisan elections can result in “misfires” — philosophically adrift individuals fastening themselves to political parties.
Speaking of misfires and items in the newspaper, did anybody see the story this week announcing the Grand Junction City Council’s adoption of a four-point strategic plan?
All right, be honest, which part is funnier — the strategic part or the plan part? I know, it’s impossible to choose, it’s really a matter of the reader’s mood.
First of all, it’s a wonderfully redundant phrase that is put together by people who read too many books on management, because it sounds neat.
That’s because strategy is by definition a plan. The dictionary defines strategy as “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim” — so what has been adopted is a four-point plan plan.
This then is doubly dangerous because, in all seriousness, any sort of planned economy, which seems to be generally what they’re aiming at, has historically failed; often spectacularly.
That’s because growth in an economy is based upon the rapid individual response of private enterprise to ever-changing market forces.
Government is provided with taxpayer funds and some measure of power to create an environment in which individual economic players can move rapidly, safely and be provided with an equitable and swift system for resolution of disputes.
If government becomes too involved in the planning process, it by its nature seeks more power to achieve its ends, ultimately conflicting with the power of individual choice held by the people.
This leads to “the clash between planning and democracy,” as Friedrich von Hayek points out in his seminal work “The Road to Serfdom.” We see this in the attitude of government officials over the requirement that tax increases be voted upon by the people.
This isn’t to say that government should not plan, it just shouldn’t plan to take the place of market forces.
The only plan should be to provide a structure with bureaucratic energy focused on public safety, transportation, sanitation and properly balancing regulation with economic freedom.
I used to think Republicans understood this, but it looks like truth in labeling has fallen to the wayside.