Thursday, December 11, 2008

Government and my relationship with it

"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson wrote (or said) this.

I work for the state, and I like to tell people I meet (from my state) that I work for them. It grounds me, keeps me dedicated. It also invariably gets a favorable response, which I like a lot.

Two big questions are rattling around my head lately. Both relate to government and my relationship to it.

Question 1: During my state's tight financial crunch, when the governor says we will all have to sacrifice, exactly what will I need to give up? (A related question: what can I do to help, besides staying of trouble so I don't use state resources to help me out?)

Question 2: How have I, Molly Dove, suffered under the 8 years of the Bush administration? What is the federal government's role in my life? The pondering I have given this question lead me to the tentative conclusion that the federal government's role in my life is largely positive.

Dear reader, would thee please give me input on one or both questions?

With hope--

Peace y'all


1 comment:

Tom Smith said...

I can see how the federal government could be seen as a positive in someone's life, but I don't see it that way right now. I am reading the new book on John Woolman and am reminded of why he has been one of my "spiritual guides" for a couple of decades. I gave the Woolman Memorial lecture back then and entitled it "The legacy of Woolman, Gandhi and King" noting the effects that each had on the larger society's view of issues. One thing that I took with me was a fairly strong sense that being part of a much larger "group" carried personal responsibility. When I look at the priorities of the federal government I see a major commitment to "destructive" rather than "constructive" programs.

In my current situation I am going without any insurance (I have had triple by-pass surgery, 3 stents, etc.) Because my wife are on Social Security (a "good" federal program but really is only an off -budget shuffling of funds) I do not qualify for Medicare and the "State sponsored" program for persons in my situation costs $1,500-$3,000 a month with no prescription coverage. In talking directly with State and Federal representatives and departments, I am told, direct quote "Other people pay even more than that." There seemed to be no recognition that the government should be concerned, not so much with an individual problem, but with the large number of people who are in my situation or worse.

I feel somewhat hopeful right now that some recognition is being given to the positive side of government, but I am not very optimistic that things will change very much or any time soon.

However, I am led to continue working toward a more constructive long term view of health issues, environmental concerns, peace-making, etc. and am glad there are people who are working in a positive way with government.