The Nanny State From Hell
I have spent the last few months navigating through the endless layers of unproductive fat in our gargantuan government bureaucracy. I advocate for more than one close family member, and until you’ve dealt with it first hand, you have no idea of just how awful our system is.
You are invariably routed from one overpaid, often shockingly uneducated government employee to another. Few are civil, most are rude, and none are helpful. If you complain too much, they simply hang up on you. Good luck waiting an excruciatingly long time again, just to call back and take your place at the end of the line. To talk to an identically disinterested and incompetent worker. Whose salaries and benefits almost certainly compare favorably to the private working class that is forced to fund them.
I can state from personal experience that Legal Aid for the poor is a joke. They won’t take your case. EEOC? I don’t know- maybe it works for Black people. It certainly is useless for White people who’ve been discriminated against. The biggest farce of all is the Americans with Disabilities Act. That was the definition of an empty piece of legislation. There is no agency that oversees ADA. Seriously. You must simply wade through the countless agencies that supposedly deal with this issue. The fact is; all of them will tell you that “it’s not my job,” to quote the late comedian Freddie Prinze.
I almost had a loved one thrown out on the street from a nursing home, until I made enough noise to get her funneled into a decent place. But most people aren’t as loud as I am. Too many lonely adults have no one who cares about them, let alone will advocate for them. The social “safety net” which has supposedly been cemented in place since the days of the New Deal, is full of holes. In fact, it rarely catches anyone.
Employed in a “Right to Work” state? That means they have a right to fire you for no reason at all. And you will have no recourse to fight it (I certainly can attest to that personally). You’d think that, out of all those unconstitutional alphabet agencies taxpayers fund, that there should be one to investigate every alleged case of unjust termination. There isn’t. Same with workplace bullying; as I noted in Bullyocracy, employers are nearly as unlikely to punish harassment as our pathetic public schools are.
Speaking of those public schools, my book exposes their horrific track record on the issue of bullying. Even if they were wonderful in all other aspects (which, of course, they are decidedly not), the fact they continue to foster a climate that causes even elementary school students to kill themselves, is reason alone to overhaul that system. But it doesn’t seem like ‘Murricans are “mad as hell” about any of this. They might grumble quietly in the corner, but they’re still paying for Transgender Story Hour.
The Department of Energy? Exactly what do they do? What alternative forms of energy are being promoted, or affordable to the general public? Inventors of potentially life-changing devices are either killed (Stanley Meyer), or denied a patent for their product (Joseph Newman). Who knows how many lesser known revolutionary minds have had their inventions suppressed? Nikola Tesla devised a way to provide free energy for all almost a century ago. His records have never surfaced (confiscated by none other than Donald Trump’s uncle), and no one has continued his research.
In the wake of the 9/11 lie, the monstrosity known as the Homeland Security Department was established. Exactly how did our society function before then? What does Homeland Security staff do on a daily basis? Look out of their windows and verify that the “homeland” is safe? A few years back, the number 3 man in the entire agency fell for a police online sting involving a fake 13 year old girl. So we’re paying for the best and brightest.
I have never been able to determine just what the function of the department of Health and Human Services is. They don’t seem to provide any help in terms of anyone’s health, and “human services” is a broad term that could mean almost anything. I haven’t found any meaningful “service” they provide to the public. This used to be Health, Education, and Welfare. Welfare is an antiquated term, although conservatives still rant against it. Bill Clinton abolished it, and turned it into a scheme where fewer people get less help for a shorter period of time. But no taxes were saved by doing this.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created by Jimmy Carter. It was the most damaging thing he did in office. What do employees at this “emergency” agency do during….non-emergencies? Which should logically be the vast majority of the time. Their presence did nothing to facilitate assistance during Katrina and other crises, and they have been invisible during the entire “pandemic” thing. Doesn’t this allegedly deadly virus quality as an emergency? What are they doing?
Our military industrial complex has only grown stronger and more impenetrable to public scrutiny, despite President Eisenhower’s farewell warning against them sixty years ago. Our slew of intelligence agencies still have top secret budgets. So we don’t even have the right to complain about how much of our money is being wasted there. Other than assassinations and subverting foreign elections, is there a legitimate purpose for any of these intelligence agencies?
During the 1980s, the Grace Commission investigated how our taxpayer dollars are allocated by the myriad of federal agencies. They found that fully one third of all government spending went to abuse, fraud, or simple waste. Ronald Reagan, tax-cutter extraordinaire that he was, ignored the recommendations of the Grace Commission. Think about that; a 33% tax cut and spending cut without slashing a single program. Given the drift of this crumbling country since then, there is no question that the percentage of waste, fraud, and abuse is much greater now.
So we essentially pay for a cradle to grave nanny state, but get almost nothing in return for our money. No months long paid maternity and paternity leave, like most of Europe and Canada. France sends people to help new parents with laundry and housework. I think they even deliver diapers. Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney noted last year, as she drove across France, that she never encountered a single pothole. Our infrastructure is absolutely Third World standard. I live in one of the richest counties in the country, and our roads, bridges, airports, and power grids would be considered disgraceful even if we paid nothing for them. But we pay a lot for them, just as we pay a lot for all the other “services” we never get.
Pensions for retired government workers, which are often amazingly lucrative, are the responsibility of a dumbed down, lower paid private work force which has seen their own pensions largely disappear. There’s a deep irony there somewhere. The double and even triple dippers, retired police and fire chiefs- the list is very long of retirees who are, and will be living very nicely on the public dole.
Social Security has become the only “pension” most workers will ever get. That’s if they get it. Our illustrious leaders’ normal response to the impossible math of Social Security is simply to keep raising the retirement age. How about offer a lump sum payout option? How about paying the loved ones of all those hapless souls who paid into the system for decades, but never married or had children, and died too quickly to collect much of any of their money back? And why not implement means testing? Or tax all income for Social Security? Right now, only the first $122,000 (the last figure I saw) are taxed for Social Security. Could there be a more regressive form of taxation? Do you hear any “liberals” talking about that?
Our Medical Industrial Complex, while not nominally government run, fits perfectly into the disastrously run bureaucracy. I don’t believe any of the universal healthcare systems in Europe, Canada, or elsewhere, could possibly be worse than ours. I worked for it, and have seen far too many people I loved suffer from their interaction with it. Our system consists largely of waiting. And waiting. Filling out far too many forms for a “private” enterprise. Then dealing with a typically brusque and uncaring doctor who allots as much time for your “care” as the average public defender does to a poor defendant. Alternative treatments are discouraged, too expensive for the average person, or outright banned. And, incredibly, Americans pay more in taxes for our bloated and ineffective healthcare system than citizens do in socialist countries with single payer systems.
Can things be this complicated in “socialist” countries? Can their bureaucracies be less responsive, or more incompetent? Do they have career government workers, taking three hour lunch breaks, and “liberal leave” whenever a strong wind blows? Who don’t appear to have any discernable function? If you’ve visited the Smithsonian museums, or the National Zoo, in recent years, you will see exactly how your tax dollars are being spent there. Fewer and fewer exhibits, which have increasingly dubious historical value and revolve around political correctness. There is a dearth of animals at the National Zoo. But you will walk a lot. And there are no hippos. No hippos. That’s a national travesty.
So exactly what are we paying for? Our local police forces? The ones who serve primarily to harass law-abiding citizens who’ve committed a nonsensical traffic violation? The ones who operate under a corrupt policing for profit system, which includes draconian asset forfeiture laws? The ones who are never there when you need them, or stop a crime before it’s been committed? But are hiding behind the bushes when you don’t come to a complete stop at 3 in the morning?
Firefighters? Well, okay, but how often will any of us need their services? How often do you see fires being fought? During the nationwide protests over the past few months, firefighters frequently refused to address burning buildings due to concerns about their “safety.” This was the same rationale used by police officials to explain why those tasked to enforce the law weren’t anywhere to be seen amidst the looting and destruction of property. But they all still got paid. By us.
The public library system? Even with reduced hours and services, and a stubborn reluctance to stock controversial titles, at least our library system does offer something of substance to those who pay for it. But that really isn’t much in return for what we pay. The bureaucracy is so confusing and inaccessible to the public that Matthew Lesko has built a successful career selling books that reveal the secrets of how to get grants and more otherwise secretive perks our government offers. Shouldn’t the benefits bestowed by government be clearly and easily known to the public?
Finally, there are elected representatives. I don’t think we have to belabor the point that they are a sorry lot. We fought a war for independence built around the whole “no taxation without representation” theme. Does any American citizen really feel that their interests are being represented by these career politicians, whom we cluelessly re-elect at a 90+ percent clip? We are paying them to look after the interests of their powerful donors, corporate America, the fraudulent banking system, and the elite who push constant wars upon the world. So while we are undeniably taxed, we don’t have any kind of authentic political representation.
So how can we define this rigged system of ours? Socialism without services? Capitalism without competition? Conservatives who rant against “socialism” ignore corporate socialism, corporate welfare, and the endless entitlement of the super wealthy. The Founders devised a system of checks and balances, with states’ rights in the forefront and a purposefully decentralized federal government. Needless to say, the present system would be unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers.
I have said many times that we could have a much improved and decent society with a small central government, as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson and other enlightened early American leaders. Think Ron Paul. But we could also do pretty well with a system that provided services to the people commensurate with the exorbitant taxes paid. Think Norway or Switzerland, countries that have been rated best in terms of quality of life. The United States is not making the top of any of those lists.
Bottom line- Americans pay more for less than any other country in the world. We basically have the “socialist” government conservatives decry. But it’s a kind of trickle down socialism, where little of anything trickles down to the common people whose taxes pay for it.
It’s a worst of both worlds situation for the vast majority of Americans. It’s shameful, and inexcusable, and we all ought to be demanding something much, much better.