Slavery?

When did we become slaves to government and its employees?

When did we all agree that we are slaves to the IRS, the police, the congress and the house? The local governments as well as the layers in between?

Seriously, when did that happen? I thought that the government was “by the people” and “for the people”, not for itself and against (or over!) the people. We elected representatives to our government, yet they again and again do the opposite of the will of the people. They fail to represent us. They make laws that are not in the interest of the very people that they represent.

We are the people. They work for us, not we for them. President, Congressmen, state senators, mayors, county councilmen, and policemen. They are our employees, rather than we their subjects.

Yet these folks who fail to represent us continue to make laws that we do not want, and spend OUR money in ways that we dislike. They give our money to people and corporations that have not earned it, bailing out corporations with poor management practices. They hand out money to people who either will not work, choose not to, who have failed to bother to attain enough education to function in today’s society, or who are culturally disadvantaged enough that they fail to hold a job. They reward people who make bad decisions over and over again. They reward failure and laziness and punish success and hard work.

There is not a person among us who does not shudder in fear at the announcement of a tax audit. Yet the IRS is a government entity, one tasked by our representatives in government with collecting taxes. Taxes are a necessary thing (let’s not discuss how those taxes are used right here) yet the IRS is heavy handed in its zeal to collect. Failing to remember that the people pay their salaries and that they are indeed public servants, they abuse their authority, not in the collection of taxes, but in the enforcement of the law for those who fail to file or whose understanding of a complicated tax law is perhaps limited.

EPA is another example of a government agency that oversteps its bounds. Tasked with keeping our air and water clean, they have become an agency staffed by overzealous, poorly educated, maniacal people overwhelmed with authority and unafraid to abuse it.

How many times have you encountered a government employee who was nice and polite and efficient? Be it federal or state or county or municipal, they all have the attitude that we work for them, rather than the other way around. Efficiency is, of course, not a part of government. But to find a helpful government employee is a rarity.

And that leads us to the police agencies. Make no mistake, like taxes, the police are a necessity in our society. Many police officers are nice people. Many police departments are not nice. Polite professionalism seems to be waning, and many police are under the impression that they are, if not more privileged than the average citizen, at least above the law themselves.

When a police officer approaches a citizen, should the law abiding citizen fear them? Sadly, in most places, we do. The officers have the attitude that we, the citizens, are subject to their orders and commands. Are we? If breaking a law, and under arrest, then yes, we are. At any other time? No, we are not. You and I are not subjects of the police, yet they expect us to be obedient to their orders. Let’s not forget that the police have a tough job, and that they interact with the worst of our society, but to expect every citizen to act as if they were subject to the orders of an officer is ludicrous. The increased militarization of the police and use of hit squads for investigations and searches is another factor that needs realistic review. The immunity from prosecution is another.

Let us reign in our government employees. Now. Right now. Somehow, we need to remind them that they work for us, not the other way around. While I am not suggesting armed revolution here, we must do something. If we cannot modify the attitude of our governing officials, then we must take action. Somehow, we must reverse the trend.

Soon.

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