Politics & Prejudices
Is Government Supposed To Make Life Better?
Three cheers for creeping socialism.
Published: January 7, 2014
You saw this most clearly five years ago when the CEOs of General Motors and Chrysler came, wringing their hands, to Congress to ask for socialism for the rich. They wanted the government to bail their companies out, which is what eventually happened. The result? The car companies are now rolling in profits; a new Great Depression was prevented and tens of thousands of jobs were saved.
Government isn’t perfect. But it can indeed make life better … and not just for corporations.
Do Our Leaders Care About Us?
Normally, whenever there’s any kind of natural disaster, our political leaders feel compelled to show up — regardless of how sincere or not their empathy really is. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was on the beach in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy; even George W. Bush turned up — eventually — in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The power outage that affected tens of thousands of Michigan homes at Christmas wasn’t anywhere near that terrible, but it ruined the holidays for a lot of people who found themselves shivering and looking for warming centers.
One might have expected Gov. Rick Snyder to show up with mugs of cocoa and generators, or at least to appear on TV and appeal for help. He said and did nothing.
Well, a press spokesman told me that wasn’t quite true: “He issued a press release.” This might have presented a golden opportunity for his Democratic challenger, Mark Schauer.
But he, too, failed to show up.
As for lawyer J. Peter Lark, the fabulously overpaid ($300K) general manager of Lansing’s Board of Water & Light: he went to New York City on vacation. It is a sad state of affairs when even those asking for the people’s votes this year no longer feel compelled to pretend they care about them.
> Email Jack Lessenberry