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US government: great idea, poor execution

By Matthew La CorteSpecial To the Chronicle

As a new semester begins, class discussions and the pages of this newspaper will feature arguments about government and society. But as the year 2013, our president and the American political process have clearly shown, government is not working fora the people.

Last year gave us the ObamaCare website mess, the NSA spying scandal brought to light by Edward Snowden and continued economic sluggishness. It also taught us that President Obama will continue to be more conservative on marijuana legalization and immigration reform than President Bush was.

President Obama was supposed to be different, but his January State of the Union showed that he only represents the status quo. The silver lining is that more people than ever before are questioning government competency and working to solve problems outside of the government.

The notion behind government is comforting. I wish there was a large, omnipotent group of people in Washington, DC who knew exactly what to do in all scenarios. I wish they could give us all healthcare for free, only engage in wars that were needed, and protect us from disease, terror and hazards.

Most people like to think that government can play this role. But it’s critical to be honest when we examine government’s record of failure. Simply: government is not the solution to problems.

Government is run by sleazy politicians who will do anything to remain in office. The political process is messy, run by special interest groups, mired in backroom deals and not executed for the good of the people. Netflix’s “House of Cards” has been a damming indictment of politics for those who are not lucky enough to see the process from the inside.

Government ruins the lives of immigrants who are coming to this country looking for a mere opportunity to succeed, stifling them in paperwork and impossible-to-navigate immigrant courts. Government ruins the lives of young people when it inflates the cost of college education and buries students in thousands of dollars of debt. Government ruins the lives of minorities that are four times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes compared to Caucasians, despite nearly identical usage rates. Government ruins lives when it regulates and taxes individuals and small business to fund its bloated military and entitlement budgets.

Government tilts the playing field when it gives out corporate welfare to its banker friends and not small businesses driven by the middle class. Government thwarts attempts at marriage equality when phony politicians campaign on noble platforms and do nothing when they get into office. Government ruins lives when its drone attacks kill thousands of innocent women and children who just happen to live in Pakistan. And worst of all, government ruins lives when old, out-of-touch politicians promote unnecessary wars where young men and women will be tragically slayed, maimed and mentally ravaged.

It’s time that we as young people put archaic and soulless politics behind us. We should mock the state, laugh at politicians, protest authority and act on our doubt in government policy.

It’s up to young people to go out and change the world. It’s on us to provide for our neighbors, volunteer for charities and organizations and start innovative companies that provide people worldwide with goods and services. Government is not the solution, and politics is the problem.

 

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