By Nathan Barton – with commentary by MamaLiberty
Looking back to 2013 and in the first few days of 2014, one trend stands out very much to me, and to a number of the people I work with, on projects, politics, and religion.
That is very much the decline in the quality of local government, especially county and tribal governments. I’ve seen it in municipal governments, as well, and we have ALL seen it in state governments and DC. But the situation is accelerating, or so it seems, in local governments. Some of it is stuff that has just come out, and in some pretty big cities, but has been going on for a long time, like the New York City-centered arrests of 100 first responders who have been bilking the taxpayers of $400 million dollars in bogus disability payments. And like that scumbag mayor of Toronto (now running for reelection on his record) or the similar mayor of Detroit or tribal officers tried and convicted of forging checks after nearly killing themselves by DUI.
I am going to avoid names and locations, simply describing events and persons. I’d appreciate some feedback, to see if we all are noticing it.
I won’t address the fact that police forces seem to be raging out of control in more and more places, tazering people with abandon, beating (kicking, slapping, thumping, throwing them against walls and floors), and just outright shooting people (even children) in cold blood, and one even said, “because we don’t have enough time for that.” City (and other) police forces are a bad idea anyway, because they don’t even have an elected leader or chief: supposedly the boss is always a “professional” and a “sworn officer,” reporting to a bunch of (or just ONE mayor or city manager) cruddy civilian pukes. Not that elected Sheriffs are much better these days; for one thing, they almost ALL have to have years of experience as “sworn officers” and “professional law enforcement” to even be allowed to get on the ballot. As with all other elected officials, they supposedly have the power of incumbency AND a following of trained thugs, but when do you hear about the electors recalling one?
No, I think I need to address the growing incompetency, greed, and power-madness of those “cruddy civilian pukes” and their counterparts: city council members or aldermen or board members; tribal officers or council members or delegates; county commissioners or directors or judges and their like from the tip of Maine all the way to San Diego and Guam. Oh, and don’t leave out school district board members, directors of special districts, and various and assorted APPOINTED officials from dog-catchers to treasurers and town clerks and health department bosses and so forth. Anyone with a tiny bit of (steadily increasing) power: anyone who is becoming less and less productive and therefore more and more a parasite, from county road and bridge superintendents and town engineers to social workers and welfare directors and – dare I whisper it? – county extension agents! I would like to think that there are places they aren’t that bad, and since I only pay a lot of attention to a hundred or so municipalities and counties and tribes, there probably are a few good ones here and there. But I sure ain’t seeing them.
Nor are my friends and associates and correspondents. I had one business partner ask me this week, “Nathan, how do we keep electing good guys who turn out to be corrupt, stupid b******s as soon as they get into office?” Another was telling me, “that council [in a tribe] has two hundred years of business and management experience, and ever’ durn bit of it got washed away between election day and when they took over.” (Sounds close to jokes Mama Liberty and I were making about brains and Congress and such.)
Here are some examples:
A tribal council where the members have turned on each other to the extent that they are impeaching one another – since multiple impeachments of the tribal president have not given them enough excitement and change.
A county commission which started its term in office by immediately (and without any planning or examining the consequences) fired the longtime county attorney AND his aide, and THEN decided to see if they could hire a new one. Their reason for firing him? Basically, he was too old and tired. They then followed up by angering their county administrator so much he quit – effective immediately. The next year, again without planning for transition they fired both the road superintendent and his deputy.
Another tribal counsel allowed a minor dispute over who authorized a private company to cut down a tree on privately-owned land (which was in trust) to turn into a situation where an unscrupulous council member was able to avenge “an insult to his ex-wife” by causing the tribe to spend more than $200,000 more to build a trash facility than they would have needed to if they had awarded the contract to the low bidder – which also happened to be owned by tribal members, instead paying $200K more to an outside, Anglo-owned firm.
Another county which created an elaborate bureaucracy with half-a-dozen employees, most of whom used their positions to threaten people that they didn’t like, and which created such a mess that attempts to develop property and even build new buildings and houses dropped from 100 a year to less than 10 a year. One by one, they fired the planning and development employees, or they quit, until today, the only employee left is the receptionist/clerk who used to work for both the planning department AND the road department. But in the process, the corrupt county administration and commission bankrupted their county, drove businesses to their deaths, and in essence destroyed development.
There are hundreds of other examples, and some have been going on for decades, but the trend is obvious: local governments are more and more dysfunctional and provide less and less service to their constituents. Things are going downhill rapidly, and we better learn to live without them. Even a rollback to 1950s level will trigger massive temper tantrums among their residents/enrolled members and businesses, but if not done, there may be virtually NOTHING surviving. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad idea, except that states and the fedgov would try to take on the responsibility themselves.
And we don’t need that.
Mama’s Note: The fulcrum is the power to tax. None of this tyranny and insanity would be possible without the ability to confiscate the productivity and property of their far, far more numerous victims. It could not happen without the false “authority” to redistribute that wealth, and distort the economy as they do today.
The amount of theft, corruption or insane behavior is only incidental to the core problem. People have been conditioned, for many centuries, to believe that the “rulers,” the elected “officials” and their stooges have some legitimate authority to do what they do. When all is said and done, most people can see absolutely no alternative to the tax, spend and control type government, and most don’t even look for one.
The “war lord” with brute force, the “divine right” of kings, and lately the vast fraud of socialism and “democracy” of all flavors, have all been used to impress the common people that they have no real authority over themselves in the long run, and that they have no real choice except to hope for the least harmful tyrants. They have been convinced that, in the end, the government actually does own them and, by extension, everything they have or ever will have – including their children.
The Most Dangerous Superstition, by Larken Rose, gives the best and clearest description of this false belief. The truth is that nobody has any legitimate authority over another person without their consent. Each person owns their own life, body, and is personally responsible for themselves and their voluntarily chosen dependents.
The idea that there is no need for rulers, officials or tax collectors is fairly new, but is gaining strength. Self ownership, and self government is the ultimate answer, and that’s why our non-voluntary government hates and fears those who choose to own themselves and refuse to be slaves any longer.
But we outnumber the tyrants and their goons significantly. When enough people give up this most dangerous superstition of “legitimate” tyranny, they can begin to find liberty and justice for all.