Skip to content

Polarization Part 1: Big Government

Wow.  What a week for words.

The NAACP calls the Tea Party racist.  A Tea Party affiliate places a picture of Obama between Hitler and Stalin.  A TV executive decries black Tea Party members the same a Jewish concentration camp guards.

Does it seem to you that our nation has become polarized on par with the years prior to the Civil War?

Has anyone taken the time to ask why our nation has become so polarized?  I have two theories:  1.  Big government and …  2.  The drift from our founding Christian faith.

These are both worthy of reflection, but in this posting I want to focus on polarization brought about by the growing size of government.

Here it all comes down to money and power.  When government becomes income re-distributors, they have massive funds to allocate. Competing groups inevitably line up to argue why this money should go to them.  Government officials also love to be in the position of distributor because they glean power from the situation.

Take for instance the topic of government funded Christian schools.  The voices you generally hear the loudest on this topic are those who are greatly fond of Christian teaching and those who are revolted by Christian teaching.  In this posting, the point is not “why” these people hold these views, but merely that these opposing views exist.

The practical outworking of these opposing views is that both sides will attempt various ways to get their government to allocate collected taxes in a way that matches their view.  Christians will want collected taxes to go to a public education that include Christian themes and Atheists will want collected taxes to go to public education that includes evolutionary and materialistic themes.

Both sides have a world view and they want the government to pay for that world view.  (Actually, the government doesn’t “pay” for anything, but merely uses taxpayer revenues or prints new money.)

This is where the strife and discord arise.  This is where the name calling starts, and the ad-homonym attacks, the bribes, the misinformation, the fear-mongering, the sophism, and the shrillness.

This all occurs because the government has an amassed base of tax revenues and is in the process of deciding where it should go.

This is exactly what the profound vision of our Founding Fathers saw as bad result of big government.

The question should be asked:  What if the government would get out of the education business and people were allowed to keep their money?  What private education systems would spring up when the people had the choice of where their child would go to school?

What type of education would a free choice system develop?  How many Christian schools would appear?  How many Atheist schools would appear?

Of course this is a radical, libertarian view.  What would happen to children of poor families?  Indeed poor children require an education to be productive and contributing members of our nation.  So what if the government took far less taxes and merely gave poor families educational vouchers?

What if the government got out of the education process altogether with all the monitoring, and assessments, and teacher testing, that they now do?  What kind of quality would develop from a free choice system?  Would you send your child to a school that has a low graduation rate or a high one?  Would you send your child to a school with a Christian world view or a materialistic world view?

I would maintain that under such a system, no Atheist schools would ever get make enough money to stay in business.

Here’s an idea that is a little less radical.  How about the Federal government getting out of the education business and allowing each state’s education system to stand on its own?  To be sure, some state educational systems would almost immediately fail without the federal funds to prop them up.  And to be sure, some states would have better educated students than others.

As a whole, however, the average quality of education and the economic efficiency of all states schools would begin to increase as customer demand for better education drives it up.  There would be some people who will actually move to the states that have the better performing schools.

Under a free-market educational system, some states would do well and others would fail.

But failure is not necessarily a bad thing.

In business, failure is the market’s way of making any enterprise both economical and efficient.  It allows the pool of limited resources to go to the company (or school) that makes the best product at the cheapest price.

Perhaps a state or two would actually try a totally privatized educational system.  The contrast between this state and a state with a failed system would actually be good.  Then it would be glaringly obvious what system worked better and why.

But another contrast could become obvious:  Which state would be more polarized?  Would it be the state where persons can choose where their money goes or the state where the government decides?

Thomas Jefferson is attributed with saying, “That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.”

And how much more “disciplined” we would be without rancorous polarization.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Warning: Unknown: open(/home/content/79/4665579/tmp/sess_8sli10qg9bfrnhvri4srvbirm5, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct () in Unknown on line 0