Does Government Make Us “Safer”?

Many people believe that government makes us “safer” by its laws and regulations. That we are protected by its police and military forces from criminals that wish us harm. The only problem with this is that government also creates situations that encourage people to become criminals. The trade in certain drugs the government doesn’t want us to use is a good example of this. Because such activities are illegal, but also extremely profitable, we have a situation where “turf wars” take place between groups involved in the sale of these drugs. Unfortunately innocent people often get caught in the crossfire as has happened here in Muskegon not that long ago. Also, the cost of being addicted to these drugs is so high that many turn to crime to support their addiction. Thus we have hold ups, houses broken into, and all sorts of violence that wouldn’t take place without our drug laws. We are also paying a high price (hundred billion dollar range) for our “War on Drugs” when all the costs of law enforcement, courts, prisons, guards, along with the high cost of keeping record numbers of people in prison, often for decades. It should also be noted that when a person is kept in prison, they are not contributing anything to society, nor do they pay any taxes. Additionally, often their families end up on public assistance with their children being more likely to turn to crime themselves, adding further costs to the taxpayers…

We have since the turn of the century also made enemies for ourselves in virtually all of the countries of the Middle East. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Algeria, all of these and more are of our doing. ISIS is a consequence of our actions. As are the individual terrorists who have carried out “actions” against Americans here inside America. We have also now managed to drag in Western Europe into the picture, and just recently also have created a couple of million or more of refugees who are fleeing the conflicts for which we were the “creators”.  This “Battle of Armageddon” we see there in Iraq and Syria is of our doing. If this is “keeping us safe”, well, “Uncle Sam” is doing a lousy job of it! Nor is it likely that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be able to put a stop to it without further bloodshed. “We have sowed the wind” and we will indeed “Reap the Whirlwind” in return with time.

Nor is the government doing all that good dealing with domestic affairs. Our police forces are now “para-military” who behave more and more like an army of “occupation” than a civil police force. We are becoming “less safe” as time goes on. People with “nothing to lose” are dangerous, and we’re creating more and more of them as time passes now. This is a “powder keg” and the “fuse” has been lit. Plus the level of armament today is such that any actual conflict is going to be a lot worse than those we saw in the past.

All of this indicates that our increasingly militant government isn’t able to actually make us “safe” regardless of what it does. The “enemy” can come to our shores and already has. Our economy at the best is “limping” and unable to create sufficient employment for all those seeking work. That doesn’t help things either. The “gig” economy may allow one to survive, but that’s about all it can do. It doesn’t create the economic surplus necessary to grow the economy. That is one of the reasons we have such large deficits. Low income people don’t pay much in taxes, and more and more Americans are now “low income”… Then our increasingly expensive health care system adds its own burden to things. We could “fix” that, but it would require doing things that would reduce the incomes of those involved in health care. And that is going to be difficult to do. We could end The War on Drugs, but that too means some people will no longer enjoy the incomes they now have. We could eliminate much of the “waste” we see in duplication of government services between state governments and the federal government, but that too means some will lose their good paying, good benefits “government job”. And there are not too many who will volunteer for that. It’s a lot like dieting. Your “fat” doesn’t want to leave…


About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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2 Responses to Does Government Make Us “Safer”?

  1. A major challenge with changing the focus of government in the USA is that the current areas of massive government spending such as the military are very labor-intensive. Politicians fight and lobby over military bases all of the time, so that they can boast of how they brought “jobs” to their district. Ditto a lot of other federal and state government employment positions. If we cut government expenditures, we have to have a plan for how to re-deploy the people displaced by the cuts. Throwing them out to the mercy of “the market” seldom works well, and the old shibboleth of “re-training” has limited upside in an era where most blue-collar jobs went overseas a long time ago with their industries.

  2. We have a shortage of skilled trades people along with a possible surplus of college educated people, many of which are in debt for tens of thousands of dollars while trying to survive in a “service industry job” because of declining demand for those with their skill sets. On the other hand we have an increasing shortage of people in the skilled trades field as people retire from these occupations. This is why it costs more today to fix your car, have plumbing work down, or have “home improvements” of any kind. With increasing numbers of senior citizens there will be an increasing demand for all sort of “home services”. Including services in helping people stay in their own homes instead of moving into nursing homes. Along with keeping up their homes which is increasingly expensive today. So there are a lot of jobs out there for those willing to “get their hands dirty”. Work that requires some physical strength and ability.

    I suspect many of those in the military already have the basic skilled needed. Plus to an employer ex-military are often better workers because of their training. So the transition from the US being the “world’s policeman” might not be as difficult as thought.

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