In this week’s episode of Tenther Radio we’ll tell you about NSA stalking. We also talk about Obamacare’s failure to launch. Plus, as you may have heard, but there’s some actual nullification going on in Wisconsin. And closing the show, we reveal one of the lessons to be learned from this so-called government shutdown.
Host: Michael Boldin.
Content Production: Mike Maharrey
You wake up one morning with a bad headache and shuffle over to the medicine cabinet. You dig around and quickly realize you’re out of your favorite headache remedy.
What do you do?
Well, in all likelihood, you’d head to the nearest store to pick up some medicine.
But what do you do if the store is out of your brand? Are you now destined to suffer all day? Of course not! You can just go to another store. Or if you don’t feel like going someplace else, you can choose one of the half-dozen or more medicines on the shelf right in front of you.
But what would happen if only one place in every city supplied headache medicine? And there was only one type to chose from? If that store ran out, you’d be hosed!
That’s pretty much the system of government we’ve evolved into here in the United States. Virtually everything flows from Washington D.C. And a lot of people seem to want to make sure power becomes even more centralized. Obamacare is a perfect example. It creates a health care system entirely dependent on Washington. Clearly, this is a bad idea.
A highly centralized system is fragile. Even a small breakdown can lead to dramatic problems. And if the whole thing shuts down…chaos!
We’ve caught a glimpse of that with the so-called federal shutdown. With only about 17 percent of the government actually closed, we’ve seen disruptions and near panic in some circles. A report earlier this week indicated that retailers are concerned that the lack of data and forecasts generated by various federal agencies may disrupt the Christmas retail season because manufacturers won’t know how much stuff to ship. If the economy is really that dependent on government number crunchers, we have real problems!
Now imagine an actual shutdown. Just think if the whole thing closed. Imagine if the checks stopped. We really would have chaos.
A decentralized system minimizes these kind of shocks because there is redundancy and diversification – just like the system that supplies your headache medicine. You have a variety of choices and plenty of different places to buy it.
The founders envisioned such a system for America. Almost all government functions were to be handled at the state and local level, with the federal government only taking on a few specific roles – most involving foreign relations and defense. Welfare, transportation, parks, healthcare, product safety and almost everything else the feds do today should actually be handled at the state and local level, or through the private sector.
Consider how much less fragile that kind of system is. Under a constitutional system, a government shutdown or a major policy mistake in California would cause a lot of problems…in California. There might be a little ripple effect, but by and large, things in Minnesota would continue along without a hiccup. If California really screwed things up, people could flee to another state.
In a decentralized system, human mistakes and miscalculations remain confined. In a highly centralized environment, even the smallest problems become magnified and impact pretty much everybody.
That’s the hidden message in this government shutdown. We should take it as a warning. We had better work toward decentralization, because our system is fragile.