Letters to the Editor

Many criticize the government until they need it

“Everyone hates the government, until they need a friend,” has been a truism in American politics since Colonial times. Bill Rowling’s letter to the editor, (“Fix the Economy First," April 16) rehashes all of the popular arguments about the vile nature of government regulation/bureaucracy/corruption and its war against business. Rush Limbaugh and his squawk radio cohorts have become rich off the same rhetoric.

These same folks are amazingly quiet when the need for government money and power to support roads, emergency relief, ferries and other services comes along.  They seem to hate government but love “public” (AKA government) services when it suits their needs.

All large and powerful forces need countering forces. That’s true for government, organized labor, business, lobbying groups, Microsoft, big marijuana and so on. All have repeatedly proven the maxim (credited to Lord Acton, 1887) that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

American democracy works best when powerful, self-serving interests are balanced by other powerful, self-serving interests.  Rarely does that work out to the satisfaction of everyone. That seems to be especially true here on Vashon. Ask 10 people on Vashon for their opinion on something and you’ll get a dozen answers. My kind of place.

— Charles (Buzz) Blick

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