The state of Minnesota has something of a deficit going on which has required a rework of our state budget. Because politicians can’t actually do the job their elected to do we currently have a stalemate between the Democrats who want to reduce our budget by $1 and the Republican who want to reduce our budget by $1. The problem is the two parties can’t agree on which $1 to cut and thus we’re facing a potential government shutdown. As our state government is a government it has already moved to bypass it’s own laws by using fear to justify its existence:
In a petition to Ramsey County District Court, Lori Swanson said that unless a court keeps core services running, sexual predators could be out on the streets, veterans turned out of nursing homes, unemployment checks left languishing, and there would be a “catch-and-release” criminal justice system if no judges were able to preside over hearings.
What the government wants you to see is the reason you need them to live. What you should be seeing is a weakness, a central entity that is critical to the livelihood of many people. A lack of redundancies is a bad thing as any network administrator will tell you. If you only have one central e-mail server and it goes down that means your organization can’t send or receive e-mails until the system is fixed. On the other hand if you have redundant e-mail systems and one goes down you will be just fine.
Having so many services administered by the government means there is a complete lack of redundancies. If the government goes down then peoples’ lives are negatively affected. This is why giving the government a monopoly on anything is a very bad idea (well that and because they use their monopoly on the initiation of force to provide everything they do). Imagine for a minute if the government didn’t have a monopoly on critical services.
Let’s use the police force for this this example. As it sits now the government wants you to believe there will be chaos in the streets if they shutdown because the police will not be funded and thus unable to perform their duties (this of course ignores the ability of individuals to defend themselves without the need of state assistance). Now let’s image police forces were privatized and communities or even individuals could hire the services of any private security company they so chose. If the company you’re currently contracted with goes bankrupt and thus can’t provide their services the solution is simple, you hire a different security company.
When I talk about the privatization of police forces people instantly jump up and yell about why that’s a terrible idea. I disagree but this post isn’t about that, it’s about having redundancies for critical services which the government doesn’t allow for. Either way any system controlled by government is a weak point because private entities are seldom allowed to provide similar systems (either by law or by the fact that government can undercut any private entity as government can run at a constant loss).
Claiming that society will basically collapse if the government shuts down is fear mongering. It’s no different than a fire department allowing a house to burn to the ground to make an example of somebody who wouldn’t play by their rules. In order to maintain their current power and to continue grabbing more the people in the government’s territory must be afraid, they must fear something and believe the government is the only entity that can protect them. The war on terror is a similar tactic used by the federal government to grab power through such atrocities to liberty as the PATRIOT Act.
If you believe society will collapse if the government shuts down you need to open your eyes and realize why that’s such a bad thing. It’s not because the government is glorious and the only thing that separates society from chaos, it’s because they’ve removed any redundancies to the services they provide and thus are a central point of failure. This is one reason for the advocacy of small government, every system you remove government interference from is a system can will be provided by private individuals and thus competition and redundancy will be allowed to flourish. Don’t fear a government shut down, fear government control which causes a shut down to affect so many lives.