Remember: People are the government

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I'm always amused when people -- including myself -- rail against the government as if "the government" is some wooly monster that controls all aspects of our lives.

We must always remember that we are "the government" and those decisions that impact our lives are a direct result of "us" putting the government officials into their positions through our decisions in the voting booth.

But the biggest obstacle facing government today is the amazing lack of trust and faith in those we have elected.

Many of us view the federal bureaucracy as a runaway train, hell-bent on transforming the values on which this great nation was founded.

But this week we also got a taste of the failure of our state government in the heart-breaking decision on implementing a right to work measure in Missouri.

The Missouri Legislature came up short in overriding the veto by Gov. Jay Nixon on a right to work measure that has always had widespread public support.

I am no union-buster and I honestly recognize the place of union organization here and elsewhere.

But having been on the fringes of economic development efforts locally, I also know that forced union membership is a deterrent for many industries eyeing Missouri as a potential home.

This year above all years, the GOP in Missouri has the votes to put Missouri in the right to work category. And up until the final hours this week, I had high hopes that this week would be historic for the economic growth of our state.

Alas, it was not to be.

And though the GOP has promised to rekindle the argument next session, I am less than optimistic that this reasonable step toward economic development will ever come to Missouri.

Yet when we complain that our "government" failed on this issue for example, we must look at those we elected to represent our interest. And locally, I am heartened that our local pols supported the measure.

On an even more local level, the upcoming half-cent sales tax issue on the Nov. 3 ballot is extremely crucial to our safety and our future.

But I grow concerned that some who complain about government spending will lump this local issues with the national rejection of big government.

That would be comparing apples and oranges.

The local "government" has listened to the citizens of Sikeston in tailoring this sales tax issue with no fluff, no new gadgets and no inflated budgets.

In the weeks ahead, we hope to continue to make the case for passage of this critical issue and we invite questions, comments and suggestions.

All we ask voters today is to realize that we are in fact the local government and we are the ones who have recognized our community needs and have arrived at a plan to meet those needs.

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