What isn’t “government”?


I still remember moving into our first “home” of our own.  We’d just finished a three year tour in Hawaii, went over broke, came back with a full house but still broke, having lived there when gas was two dollars a gallon and less than a dollar in California.

We spent almost three and a half years there and returned to Cherry Point owning a Nissan truck, two years old, furniture and household goods, clothes, everything we needed but a house.  We traded our two year old truck for the equity in a house about to be lost, and bought our first home.

The Marine who didn’t lose his house was happy; he got a new truck and didn’t lose his V.A. mortgage.  I was happy; I’d left that new truck behind, and got a home instead, for the payment.  He was nice enough to leave the fridge, the washer and dryer, we were delighted.

I tore open that dryer within a few weeks; it quit and I replaced a belt, a couple wheels and cleaned two decades of lint and garage dirt out of it.  Maybe a month later, the washer quit.  From the seventies, I flipped it over, found the broken belt, found a “real” hardware store, and that night, it was washing again.

We lived there some fifteen years, both our kids growing up and moving out, and we bought our “retirement home” when the Corps put me out.  We bought a house some fifty miles away, a bit from the coast, but still in farm country and eastern North Carolina.

We bought the place we intended to retire in, and the owners left their appliances, so we did the same.  Within a week the washer quit.  I flipped it, found out it was “energy efficient, water saving, and had no belts”.  Instead, there was this 2 inch rubber disc with six holes in it, with two plastic plates.  I bought a new washer a year later, and then another one.  The dryer also quit, but it was repairable.

Turns out California approved my appliances, and I couldn’t buy any that weren’t approved there, unless I found some old decrepit ones.  The government decided if California has a water problem, no one should be using more water than Californians can.

Here in eastern North Carolina, I could ship water in a canal to California, and still have flood problems, and offered, but they don’t sell “North Carolina washers”.  There are a couple things about California I’d like, however I’d live there if I wouldn’t rather live here.  I understand they’ve got water problems, but we don’t.

I’m pretty sure California can set standards for machines which meet their needs, and don’t need supervision to do so.  At the same time, I know we can set standards here which meet our needs.  We are not 13 colonies, all on the same shoreline, with exactly the same aspects of life, our constitution was written for States to hold the highest sovereign positions, as governments responsive to citizen.

Congress and the federal government have exactly eighteen duties and purposes, given or imposed by the constitution.  The same document states all other authority belongs to the States, or The Citizens, respectively, precisely because government is best controlled locally.

The 18 duties and purposes of the “federal government” serve the purpose of “interfacing with international relations”, and the interface between “the several states”, its sole function.

People who build things design to meet specifics, principles matching demands, building machines to do the job most efficiently.  Such people look for places in life where improvements can be made and a profit be made, making life better for all, by improving our lot a small corner at a time.

Bureaucrats flock to their jobs because they fit.  Some enjoy the work, most pursue power.  Those who enjoy the work tend to be effective as organizers, as inventors are in finding efficiency.  Those who pursue power see that as the only end value.

We have a central illegal non-federal government because we’ve allowed those who pursue power assume the right to office, tenure, and writing their own benefits.  They keep power by being in control.  They consolidate government to increase their power, without regard to what the costs.

While we allow such people control of government, we will be subjects, not citizens, they rulers, not public servants.  They’ve not much left to assume power over.


Author: John McClain

Share This Post On