Blog 2072 – 05.28.2021
“…Not In Kansas Any More.”
I spent most of yesterday crossing the great state of Kansas, south to north, on Interstates I-35, I-135, and US Highway 81. Except for a hundred miles or so it was all toll free. I am not a great fan of toll roads especially those that were built and maintained for many years with gasoline tax dollars. I am, though I have for years earned my living working for once public utilities that have gone private, not a fan of the privatization of public utilities. Wiser generations believed that government should be directly responsible for certain things to insure that the greater good and not just the profit motive would rule decision making.
I am not a communist nor a socialist but a democracy/republic common sense sort of guy as were the founding fathers of this country who knew well the ego principle at work in us and the corrupting influence of both power and money and devised a government to separate those powers and one in which public service was intended to be for a short time for the greater good of all and not just a select few. Public service was thought of then as a calling and not just a profession like the clergy, teaching, medicine, and law were once viewed and not intended to make one rich, but to be of service to others.
Oh, I know businesses must make a profit to stay in business, but a good business must meet a need, sell a product or service at a fair price and serve the greater good and not just line the pockets of one or a few.
The quote for today’s title comes from Dorothy Gale of Kansas’ remark upon arriving over the rainbow in Oz to her dog, “Well, Toto, we are not in Kansas any more.” Indeed they were not, but I hardly think we should have to travel over the rainbow to not be allowed our fair share of the economic pie of this great land or any other. It is high time the people took back the government from the hands of those who have sold out for power and position and for money the public trust.
There is an old joke that says, “We have the best politicians that money can buy. The trouble is they just won’t stay bought.” In the beginning of this government of the people, by the people, and for the people there was not much money in government. For a long time there has been way too much. Once public lands, public utilities, and public money have all been used to make the rich richer and us as a nation far less wealthy.
Time was rich people encouraged their children to go into public service in order to give something back. For some time the rich and would be rich seem to think public service is the quickest was to amass an even greater pile of their own and the public be lied to and be damned.
This is as you might have already guessed an opinion piece. And we all have our own opinions and work pretty hard to justify them in our own minds by favoring only the evidence that supports them. It is good to re-examine our opinions from time to time to see if they really stand up to scrutiny. It is our duty to the truth, to ourselves, and to the greater good – the public trust.
Kansas was beautiful and the ride definitely worth the $5.25 toll. And yes, I know we like to say, “It is the principle of the thing” to defend our objections. The interstate highway system was begun during the Eisenhower administration as a public works infrastructure project. We called the new highways freeways, the way we used to refer to the once cheap and fast burgers, fries, and drinks at McDonalds as fast food. Both it seems are no longer true. The freeways are not entirely free and the food at Mickey D’s is no longer cheap nor fast, the profit motive at work and the private sector unchecked by the people who brought us the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Over The Rainbow