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When fixing the problem creates another one


How government fixes become the problem

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: “I’m here from the government and I’m here to help.”

If we had to rely upon our government to feed us we’d be in a world of hurt. That’s why it’s much easier to trust my local farmer than it is my local representatives.

Take for instance a few things I recently read that seem to illustrate my point that government isn’t about solving problems, but perpetuating them. According to the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a Sacramento-based public interest legal organization that fights for limited government, it had to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to get it to do its job related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

In short, the PLF suit prods the FWS into delisting the Inyo California towhee, a small desert bird, because the bird recovered to the point that the FWS proposed delisting it in 2008. In typical fashion, the federal government never got around to removing the bird from the Endangered Species List. The bigger picture is that the ESA is arguably not about species recovery, but is rather a hammer used by small but vocal populations of people, to – and I’ll say it here – extort money and prevent projects they oppose.

Then there’s the story about California State Assembly Speaker John Perez and his alleged ties to a scheme by former California Assemblyman Tom Calderon to allegedly clean up financially on the self-evident notion that dirty water is bad and clean water is good. Never mind the fact that water Calderon was targeting for clean-up wasn’t a problem in the first place.

I recently heard an attorney who represents agricultural organizations argue that government officials are not proactive in their efforts to truly repair the broken, but instead are reactionary. This is why those who can effectively complain the loudest and cry on cue are more effective in achieving their political goals than are people like farmers and ranchers, who see a problem and immediately go to work to fix it.


Follow me on Twitter @ToddFitchette

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