‘Pork’ is Kosher!

While we’re on the subject of huge building projects in the North Carolina countryside…why are we all so dead set against ‘pork’ in the budget? Think about it.

I speak as one who believes more strongly than most that unbridled capitalism should govern the workings of the economy.

I feel that the economy like, say, the weather is a natural force. You do not seek to restrict it. You let it ebb and flow – naturally.

The job of government is to ameliorate what the Austrian-American economist Josef Schumpeter called the destructive side-effects of the overall creative and positive nature of capitalism. Or as ordinary people would understand it, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.”

And a part of that amelioration (or “picking up the pieces”) is the provision of public projects, which can provide a temporary stop-gap for short or middle-term unemployment.

Who do you think is better placed to pick those projects – a faceless, remote bureaucrat in Washington? Or a Congressmen, who knows his neighborhood backwards, and whose primary interest is in making his people happy, so they’ll vote for him (or her) again?

Instead of discouraging indiscriminate ‘pork,’ maybe we should encourage it to be more discriminating, by making it the primary mechanism for distributing federal funds?

Now, don’t get carried away with the snickering. Granted I’m having a little fun. But only a little. You see, if all politics is local, why not all government? Or, at least, more of it?

When I was a lad in England, I ran a campaign to have the government funds for our local youth center handed over to the center’s management committee. I believed that the local committee knew better than remote government how to spend the funds for the benefit of the youth in my then hometown.

There is a move within the British Conservative Party at the moment to make just such an idea the foundation of its new policy for granting funds to local government. Central government in London would allocate grants, which municipalities and the like would then spend as they see fit.

Of course, successive governments in Washington have been doing something similar since the days of Reagan. Only thing is, they’ve devolved responsibility, but have forgotten to send the funds along with that responsibility!

So. Maybe ‘pork’ should be made kosher – as a better alternative…?

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Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 7:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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