This post originally appeared at Imagine Democracy Oct 10, 2021.
How often do we hear that “government spending is bad,” or “the government spends too much money”?
The purpose of government in a democracy is to do things for We the People to make our lives better. We the People make the decisions, and allocate resources toward making our lives better. Government spending is the point of democracy. Government in a democracy spends to make our lives better.
Here’s an experiment. When you hear the word “government” substitute the words “decision-making by We the People.”
When you hear, “Government regulation gets in the way of business” try this, “We the People are supposed to decide to regulate business activities to protect US”.
When you hear “the private sector should decide how to spend money,” try this, “In a democracy We the People decide to have roads and rail and solar power, etc.” When you hear that “taxes are theft,” try this, “We the People decide to tax the rich and their corporations so they don’t get so big that we can’t control them.”
This is not how it is today in this country. For decades we’ve been told that government – decision-making by We the People – is bad, that government spending – We the People doing things to make our lives better – is bad, that regulating – We the People protecting each other – is bad. And this has made our democracy weak.
So now many people believe anything government (democracy) does is bad and government spending is bad. That is anti-democracy, and we are living with the consequences of decades of that anti-democracy propaganda.