Superstorm Damage Doesn’t Demand Super State

Dr. Elaina GeorgeiStock_000016359900XSmall, a member of the Project 21 black leadership network, is not sold on big government like some are in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

While some people are using hurricane relief efforts as a way of justifying the need for a more all-encompassing government — one that provides disaster relief but later tells you what you can eat — Dr. George still favors a smaller and more responsible leadership.

P21DrElainaGeorgeTo follow is Dr. George’s new essay on the matter, “An Ode To The Role of Big Government.”

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a vision of the federal government as our savior is being perpetuated by the media and the left.

This romanticized vision of the benefits of an ever-expanding government assuming command of everything — from disaster relief to managing our waistlines to promoting breastfeeding to mandatory vaccinations and to how we generally live and die — must still be given serious thought.

What price will we pay to allow the government to extend far beyond its constitutional mandate to “provide for the common defense” and “promote the general welfare.”  Will it be to the degree that America descends into a nanny state that doesn’t “secure the blessings of liberty”?

Despite the immediate praise for the government’s response to Hurricane Sandy, the sight of people standing in lines for hours for gasoline or huddled in their homes with limited or no supplies of food and water seems to answer the question.

Dependence on the government has led to a potentially tragic state of vulnerability.  Too many of us have voluntarily ceded their individual authority and responsibility to a system that is designed to treat us as a collective group of children considered incapable of making decisions for both our own good and for the security of our families.

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Fear is the predominant driving force that encourages so many to remain passive in spite of what’s at stake.  These people apparently value safety above the freedom to speak, think and strive to achieve the full extent of one’s God-given talent — which is systematically stripped away by government intervention.

As the nation moves ever more rapidly towards a society that is increasingly more petty, selfish and small-minded in the name of fairness and spreading the wealth around it’s important to ask if the good of the many really outweigh the needs of the few?

Some might consider it a fairer concession if the government actually took measures to protect its citizens from harm. But the assumption really doesn’t match the reality:

  • Instead of the endless government campaigns against obesity that rely on proposed moratoriums on Big Gulps and large servings of movie popcorn, how about scaling back taxpayer subsidies on sugar and corn? Studies suggest that high fructose corn syrup plays a substantial role in rising obesity rates, yet the government that wants to fight fat is essentially paying for its production. The government promotes and props up what it wants to fight with public monies.
  • Instead of watching cancer rates rise and simply spending increasing amounts of money on treatment, leading to exploding health care costs, there are those who say that the government should look more into remedying controversial practices such as organic farming and genetically-modified foods.
  • The government should stop promoting policies that lock children in bloated, wasteful and ineffective public schools where teachers and administrators essentially pride themselves for fostering mediocrity — especially among the poor and minority children. Instead of acquiescing to recent decisions — such as the one in Florida where the state’s board of education set academic goals on the basis of race — perhaps it is time to give power back to parents, teachers and the children who are left without a choice that often leaves kids unable to compete successfully in our society.

Chest-thumping about the wonders of FEMA and the alleged efficiency the federal government leaves lingering doubts. Remember the people affected by Hurricane Katrina who were forced into formaldehyde-laced trailers? How about the prolonged fiasco surrounding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

These happen in the recent past — government has not changed all that much.  And declining goods and services in the northeast may yet reveal that a big government hasn’t really provided a solution to Hurricane Sandy’s victims either.

Expanding government can still be controlled right now. But America is coming to a potential point of no return. Emotions cannot be allowed to dominate the promulgation of policy. An explosion of government interference will not help our nation, and — once big enough — cannot be stopped.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.