In times of plenty, too few people want to seriously consider the order of priorities in our system of self-government. Spending wins votes, plain and simple. So our elected representatives spend.
In that sense — and at least until the state bailout money comes in the mail — any reflection caused by the current turmoil has the potential to do good.
What, for instance, defines success in a government program? In the business world or in our homes, we attack a problem until it is no longer a problem. Or at least until it becomes less of a problem and can, therefore, be worked around.
Government usually doesn’t work that way. And all too often, government’s media cheerleaders make the problem worse.
Take as an example the Lexington Herald Leader’s grief over the demise of Kentucky Homeplace, whose closure will save $2 million annually:
This “investment” has provided a valuable service by accessing charity medical products for people of limited means whose income disqualified them for Medicaid. Rather than spending the last fifteen years developing an ongoing constituency and a justification for its continuing existence, Kentucky Homeplace should have been showing people how to gain this access for themselves, their friends, relatives, and neighbors. (It’s not that hard. Use Google.)
If this approach had been taken fifteen years ago, the closing of Kentucky Homeplace would be met with satisfaction for a job well done and for lives improved. Instead, we only hear whining and crying by those frustrated in their efforts to expand government: