The State of the UnionSubmitted by dwalters on Sun, 03/02/2014 - 06:35
state – mode or condition of being
union – a political unit constituting an organic whole formed usually from units which were previously governed separately (as England and Scotland in 1707) and which have surrendered or delegated their principal powers to the government of the whole or to a newly created government (as the United States in 1789)
Although an annual address bearing the name is given, rarely do Presidents speak about the state of the Union – in public. Such topics are likely reserved for private conversations with advisors. As of late, the Union has encountered some bumps in the road – including, but not limited to, state level resistance against drug prohibition, encroachments on the right to keep and bear arms, and further intrusion by the Central Government into the health-care industry – not to mention the quickly growing libertarian and politically independent sectors of the population. However, these are symptoms of a single underlying problem that plagues all forms of government – they tend to grow with time.
Like any other organization, governments are collections of individuals. This is often forgotten, or subconsciously disregarded, in favor of an anthropomorphized fictional entity – upon which blame can be conveniently laid. For example, one might say, “The government has stepped over the line.” Such a statement detracts from what truly governs human behavior – accountability. More accurately, one could say, “The individuals that are collectively known as government (and their associates) have stepped over the line.” After all, it’s the Representatives, the Senators, the President, individuals that work within the bureaucracy, and individuals/organizations that support/manipulate “the government” who share various amounts of blame.
A fundamental question that can be used to predict the expansion of a government is, “In practice, are the individuals comprising the organization held accountable for actions/legislation that go beyond the scope of the powers delegated to them?”
It should be apparent to most that behaviors which are rewarded and go unpunished are those which tend to be repeated. Like a child that actively prods to discover how much he or she can get away with, so do similarly disposed adults. If Fred and Mary can spend copious amounts of work-time conversing at the water-cooler, how much time can you spend at leisure while on-the-clock? If politicians can make exorbitant sums of money by taking actions that grant special privileges to particular groups of people at the sake of the rest, and the chance of suffering consequences are nil or very improbable, why would they not do so? In such circumstances, sound personal character is the only barrier to action – which cannot be relied upon for the restraint of a government (obviously).