Monday, May 31, 2010

Re-Engineering the Social Safety Net - Part Two

This is a VERY LONG article.

The following is a compilation of several short pieces I wrote a few years ago. I believe the information and the questions raised fit perfectly for

the proposed State of Long Island

I believe that the best way to take care of “poor” people and in fact the best way to meet the needs of all people is at the most local level possible. Personally, I think that the government programs of the New Deal, New Frontier, Great Society, etc are all huge bureaucratic boondoggles that do not help those truly in need and end up benefiting those who can game the system. I would like to see a program developed whereby community groups, service groups, advocacy groups, faith-based groups and other groups of people would take over the care of people. You could refer to this as the replacement of government charity with private charity. All of the programs of the New Deal, New Frontier and Great Society could be phased out over a period of say ten years as the above mentioned local groups took over. There is one caveat. There are currently some very large bureaucratic non-profits and not-for-profits such as FEGS and Goodwill that do a truly TERRIBLE job of helping people. They are actually worse than the government, if such a thing were possible. There needs to be serious accountability and transparency built into these programs. Some corporations doing business under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code are nothing more than mechanisms to pay handsome salaries to founders and executives.

Limiting government worries some people not because they dislike BIG
Government; but because they don't want big business, big religion, big military - or little lynch mobs. The issue is not size but coercion.

Power cannot be banished. It can only be concentrated or spread around. That's what we're for, precluding a big government or big anything by empowering individuals and small groups of individuals with full rights and responsibilities.
Reduce/shrink the following at all levels (federal, state, municipal, local districts, etc) of government, corporations and other BIG INSTITUTIONS:

• Spending

• Taxes

• Assessments

• Fees

• Programs

• Debt

• Assets

• Liabilities

• Size

• Scope

• Power

• Laws

• Rules

• Regulations

• Policies

• Procedures

• Bureaucracy

• Monopoly or virtual monopoly powers

According to Newt Gingrich’s organization American Solutions there are:

300,000,000 people

511,000 elected officials including

3,300 county governments

17,000 elected school boards

14,000 state legislators

50 Governors

435 federal US Representatives

100 federal US Senators.

Not included in the above list are the following:

There are layers of government that are generated by each of the entities on Gingrich’s list.

Statistical details about the Executive Branch of the US Federal Government.

Statistical details about the Judicial Branch of government at the US Federal and State levels.

Local boards, agencies, neighborhood councils and other government agencies

Non-profit and Not-for-Profit Corporations

Public-Private Partnerships

Increase involvement of the proposed State of Long Island in finding 21st Century solutions to specific problems that the current methods of government are attempting to solve. I would like to see us create lists of problems and solutions for all areas of government that could and should be reduced or shrunken.
I think that we are entering a New Frontier where it is possible to totally re-invent government. I’d like to see us look at all of the big, unwieldy government programs that have been created since Franklin Roosevelt.

• What problems was each program attempting to solve?

• How can we transform each those government programs of the New Deal and Great Society into methodology over ideology oriented solutions so that we can:

Engage this New Frontier and create a New Deal for a truly Great Society

I think that the BIGGER problem is that we as a society DO NOT know how to attempt to solve problems without the involvement of government at some level; thus we have a plethora of rules, regulations, programs, policies ad nausea with very little in the way of results. As a Whig, I would like for us to look at these programs, rules, regulations, etc and propose methodology over ideology oriented solutions to the problems. Then we can go to candidates and say, we want them to back solutions to problem while simultaneously voting to reduce the size, scope, spending, etc of government.

Another serious problem is that the two party duopoly creates these programs while at the same time whipping up passions on the “left” and “right” side of the so-called political spectrum. The link below shows that these programs, once passed have so many goodies for so many people that they grow like weeds and become so popular that it seems impossible to amend or repeal any portion of these programs.

I hope that we will take a serious look at the issues and come up with some solutions.

I find this professor and the websites below to be interesting parts of a BIGGER discussion. She might be one of the experts for us to contact.

Mildred E. Warner

Dept. of City and Regional Planning

Sibley Hall, Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

(Phone) 607- 255-6818, (Fax) 607-255-1971


What are your thoughts?

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