A number I'd like to have, if the AP or the so-called reality media could ever get around to it, is the number of all the people who constitute those gears you find yourself jammed in. First we'd have to identify their various teeth in the cogs, as Andrew Breitbart has been so tirelessly undertaking with his BigGovernment and BigHollywood websites.
Start with what I call the "thin, brown line" that exists between you and total anarchy. That would be the public services sector, which is sustained by your ability to go to work and pay taxes so that you can enjoy the civility of clean running water, a toilet, and the convenience of garbage pick-up at your curb. We must have these things, but those who work these jobs ostensibly, would never vote for someone who would require more efficiency, productivity or accountability that would result in the loss of one job.
So, we have decent people who are tempted by the fact of their vital services, to make every political decision based on their self-interest. Is that wrong? Isn't it healthy to secure one's survival?
At the cost of another's?
There's the gritty little, tedious truth about our so-called Democracy. It's been summed up in the "ability to vote largesse unto themselves" observation, and summarily lost in translation in the trickle-down of verbal lore. It lives quite openly, however, and robustly right next door to you. I don't think there's a need to belabor how far-reaching the self-interest has blossomed and who started it. I think Cain did.
So as we enter into more political seasons, let's calculate the number of people who are providers to the largesse--let's call it the common purse-- and those who have a self-interest in procuring a lifestyle of any sort from the common purse. From the sewer worker to the city-builder to the FDIC, to the DMV and NASA, nobody wants to lose their job. In fact, many want to create more jobs (not just the politicians) in order to demonstrate their worth to an agency or bureau. It's the order of things, and is quite acceptable among the cogs of the wheel. In fact, if you pointed it out to them as a selfish and self-interested practice, they would be dismayed, so far removed are they from the reality of where all the money to support their ambition comes from. (I know! I know! It comes from Obama, he's got a stash.)
Last year, while working for a very high-profile and saintly non-profit organization my eyes were further opened to this. I watched as the satraps and footling managers scrambled to acquire more employees and programs and government money in order to raise their own stature within the organization. It was mergers and acquisitions, just like Wall Street, all in the guise of doing good for the less fortunate.
Self-interest so artfully disguised that even the do-gooders embrace its practice.
Think. Think of the number of self-interested (in the generic, non-judgmental sense) people employed by your tax dollars. Now consider how many small businessmen, builders, makers of products and services, generators of wealth there are that do not rely on the common purse for their success.
I suspect the numbers have moved well past the middle mark. It's not the yawning abyss of a deficit that will define the mid-point because it only takes a Congressional handful of people to spend us into perdition. No, the tipping point is the sheer number of people you can attach to the Borg-like machine that will assure your tenure. Which is why we have Ivy League Borgs, Entertainment Borgs, Art Borgs, Law Enforcement Borgs, Infrastructure Borgs, Illegal Borgs, and Charity Borgs.
The personal tipping point is when you tire of the rat race, the grindstone, the taxes, the burdens of providing to the common purse, and go in for a sweet and secure bit of survival: a city/county/state/federal job or even just a non-profit museum job supported by government grants. Maybe you do vital security work or invaluable infrastructure work, or maybe you are just one of five supervisors watching one man dig a ditch. Either way, you have moved across the line into a procurer from the common purse. Whatever the intangible worth of your existence, you are mathematically a political entity at odds with diligent oversight of the common weal.
None of this makes anyone a bad person. It's just a political reality that when we cross the line in numbers great enough, when a politician can secure enough constituents either by outright welfare or government jobs and charitable grants, there is NO WAY that the providers and wealth-generators and small businesses can remove the self-interested from their own sense of survival. The house will divide against itself in the most crucial way, and will fall.
This is the math I want to see: How many singular people provide, how many singular people take.
ACORN knew the numbers were close enough to activate a full-on effort to drive the tipping point in their favor. Much good may it do them, and us, when the crossover is reached.
So, Tipping Point. We there yet? Or did we cross it during the Bush administration? I hate to blame the simplest of political nightmare scenarios on a rush to secure something so insipid as a GOP majority at the cost of our national fiscal security, but George Bush never met a spending bill he could veto. This will redound to the worst of his legacy: it appears that he put Party ahead of country, thinking it populated with better people than it apparently is.
Obama is making sure the teeter totters over to Left permanently by driving the last productive members of society into the arms of government security, making it easier to live off the dole of services and welfare than to actually work at something productive.
No matter who you voted for, we all still got the government we deserve.
Anybody know someone who can score a sweet government job for me?