Republicans may scoff at the merits of the government economy, but they, and the article Government economy feeling the pinch, too (Herald, Sept. 30), miss a very important point.
Governments provide services for communities that businesses do not; in fact, businesses take advantage of government services that may actually make those businesses viable. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat running for the U.S. Senate makes this point clearly in comments posted on CBS website. Businesses rely on government services such as roads to move goods to market, police forces and fire departments for protection, public schools to educate workers, water and sewer services for sanitation, etc., even though we all paid for them.
Think about the illogicality of having no government services. If every road were a toll road, how would we like to pay just to get out of our driveways? Who would have fought the Missionary Ridge Fire? How would we like to go into every restaurants kitchen ourselves to check on cleanliness if San Juan Basin Health didnt do it? I doubt many of us could afford to hike in our fabulous mountains if all that land was privately held. Ranchers graze sheep and cattle on national forest land for that same reason.
Its true there can be friction between governments and private companies that provide similar services. The rec center vs. private health clubs and The T vs. Durango Transportation come to mind. While we can debate the merits of public vs. private, I think most would agree Durango is better off having these public services available.
Finding the right balance is where the debate should rest. Few of us are interested in having the government provide everything, nor is Grover Norquists idea of shrinking government until he can drown it in the bathtub viable. Social Security and Medicare ask one generation to care for prior generations while current and past generations provide a quality of life, through government, that benefits our children and grandchildren far into the future. Government helps address the social contract that says were all in this together.
Ross A. Worley