May 02, 2004

Freedom of Speech

An Unexercised Privilege
By Fred H. Arm
The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees all Americans the freedom to speak, whether to criticize the government, promote good health, support novel ideas or whatever the individual feels he or she needs to express. Unfortunately, it is a right too few take advantage of and/or are too fearful or lazy to speak our minds.

We have oft been criticized as a nation of sheep, playing follow the leader no matter how distasteful the plans of the leaders. Sure there are always a bunch of complainers in letters to the editor, at City Council Meetings, or at stockholder’s meetings. They are very rare birds. Most people just want to go along with the program, whether it costs them dollars, inconvenience, or the loss of certain rights or privileges.

Take the City of Richmond for example. Recently, during the so-called financial crisis, the citizens were invited to a series of community meetings where they could provide their voice and input to remedies the City could undertake. Unfortunately, only a handful of the concerned populous appeared. Does this mean that the citizens do not really want a voice in what happens to them? Are they afraid to tell their leaders what to do with their money? Or are they simply “sheeple” who will follow along with every hair-brained plan the City comes up with to stay afloat? Perhaps it is all of these reasons.

What would you say if someone from the City came to your home and let us say took all your garden furniture? It is worth maybe $200.00 on the used marketplace, if that. I am sure that 99% of you would be extremely upset and immediately call the Police demanding that your property be returned. Yet when the City, State of Us Government, without any permission from you, assesses you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in extra assessments, taxes, or fees, there is little said in opposition, except for those same few concerned people who always seem to go up against the government.

It always amazed me how much less percentage of our incomes we paid for governmental services in the last two centuries. As the percentages crept up higher and higher, we blithely went along with the programs, the bureaucracy growing ever larger and larger and more inefficient. Alas, the bureaucracy is so large today that more than twenty percent of all people work for the government in one way or the other.

So wake up “sheeple”! It is all about your money. You spend thousands of dollars every year for the local government to provide the community with services that we are not getting. Can’t we just keep the money and hire out the services ourselves? It may come to that if the financial situation keeps getting deeper. Things will only change if there are enough voices out there to be heard. What do you think?

Posted by fredarm at May 2, 2004 01:33 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?