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Your Views: Government as sand castle: Disorder with a shifting base

POSTED: December 30, 2013 1:00 a.m.

Many years ago, a grand and glorious structure arose from imagination and hard work. One afternoon on the beach and a lot of sand equaled one exceptional sand castle. The next morning, nature asserted that she had other plans. The environment plus time reduced this magnificent structure to only a shadow of its former glory. The principles of nature had proved themselves again.

Disorder happens. When we add structure and order to a system, we increase the probability that disorder or decay will occur. In other words, no system can be maintained without the application of timely, intelligent and creative input.

Timely, intelligent and creative input often seems impossible in the gridlock of the legislative process. Good bills have stalled. Bad bills have been passed with the hope that wishful thinking will make the new law work.

In this environment, the resources of our government have the potential to be misdirected and misused on a massive scale. It’s a sand castle so big, with an economy of scale so evident, that it’s clear that it would create its own environment. There would be new departments and staff. There would be a plethora of new offices: human resources, training, payroll, employee relations, internal affairs, accounting, legal, quality control, research and public affairs. That’s a lot of sand, all paid for at taxpayer expense.

All of these offices would be filled with people. People want raises. People want promotions. People want better positions.

There can be a shifting of focus. This kaleidoscope vision leaves the employees unsure of the big picture while there is a decrease in effectiveness. All paid for at taxpayer expense.

Every system experiences disorder. Within governments, the constraints of legislation and the slow wheels of compromise could render a system archaic and ineffective. Our castle could stand as an enormous shell supported by increasing amounts of taxpayer dollars. Then “... the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew.” The house built on the sand didn’t fare so well.

Mickey F. Maddox
Gainesville


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