LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition
When I was young (seems like a long-long time ago) the term “common good” was broadly understood and we did not need admonitions from our “law givers” to remind us of our obligations. It meant succinctly something that benefited the majority directly and that as a consequence was supported broadly.Today that term seems to have morphed. Now the common good is served by giving in to every small group demanding largesse and then arguing the “common good” is served by the aggregate of all that pork (we all get a little piece). In the end everything is now for the “common good” with a resultant runaway recourse need. Why should our “law-givers” have to make choices and anger anyone – give in to everybody and call the result “the common good”!If we step back and think about it there are a couple of important points that get left out in the unceasing and vociferous calls for more. Are we all really benefiting or are the benefits focused on only a few? Are all the things we are doing of relative equal merit or are there a bunch of “dogs” in the mix? I know, we don’t like to judge! Baloney!Ever time my wife and I eat out we hear conversations proclaiming the war was criminal or that welfare recipients are abusing our largesse. Those are judgments. We need more not less! When our local “law givers” are busily adding new “goodies” to our budget every Tuesday night we should be paying attention and making clear our concerns. The LJW should be making those choices clearer for us. It is too late when you get to the annual budget cycle and our “law-givers” feed us false choices (cutting social services to address a less than 1% cut).In my opinion this whole process is a sophisticated and perpetual reelection campaign. It allows our elected officials to proffer public funds in return for political support. We think we are sophisticated here in Lawrence. In fact, we have progressed very little from the days of the “free” ham sandwich at the saloon down the street from the polls for when you vote the right way.