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Friday, September 2, 2011

In Government We Trust?

Our motto "In God We Trust" is available on any banknote, a phrase that has provoked the ire of a few atheists. Can we say however the same for government? More important, perhaps, is the question of whether we trust our company since our paycheck depends on it. Look at GM in 2008, a bloated elephant that made quite a few high executives very rich, while wasting enormous resources on unsellable cars and projects and leading the venerable car manufacturer straight to bankruptcy. Banks? Don't even mention the word trust in the same sentence.

What about the Bernie Madoffs of this world, the ones who were caught and the ones who still roam free on their luxurious yachts. How can they abuse our trust and our savings on such a grand scale without government agencies paying attention to their blatant lies? Is there a relationship between our television taste for cop shows and handsome doctors, and our need to trust somebody who tends to our basic needs? Are we essentially trusting human beings in America, ready to be swindled by the first fast talking salesman or broker? Or are we making a mistake in believing that Government (with a big G) will protect us from professional con men and women who often operate under the mantle of respected companies?

We all know that Congress, a body composed arguably of elected officials whose only job is to watch over our welfare, has an approval rating of about 12%, the lowest it has been in decades. The President and his cabinet do not fare much better with only 19% approval rate according to the Rasmussen Reports. Even the Supreme Court rate hovers around 50%, not a good number if we remember that the Justices have a profound impact in our daily lives through their decisions.

Do we have to become, as has already happened in the last 3 months, a nation of cynics and skeptics? If that's the case, who will we vote for in the next elections? Shall we continue to favor those with the biggest campaign war chest or are we capable of filling Congress and the White House with ordinary but honest citizens? How many years will pass before we, the people, (the phrase sounds familiar) demand term limits from legislators who often have lost touch with every day life after 30 or 40 years in office?

Some naysayers will argue that only candidates with experience should be elected, "because they know how to get things done."

Hum, I wonder if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and other Founding Fathers had any experience in nation building. Yet they did a pretty good job, don't you think?

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