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Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Government


So much people take for granted

The example given in Ken Hansen's letter, "We all need, use public services" points out the hypocrisy of so many when it comes to debating the merits of "government." Whether it's Tea Party fanatics, Grover Norquist disciples, Ruby Ridge sympathizers, or critics of the New Deal, I suspect the common threads are ignorance and selfishness.
I wonder if these kinds of folk ever vaccinate their kids, use electricity, check out books from the library, take ferries, go fishing in stocked lakes, call 911, mail letters, fly in airplanes, eat inspected food, get passports, purchase savings bonds or securities, or send their kids to public schools? All of these things would be much harder, if not impossible, without government services. So many people take these and other things for granted, yet are quick to complain about taxes, or vilify public employees. More troubling are those who feel that government has no role in aiding the less fortunate in our society. These people should remember that their good fortune may be the result of an accident of birth, or of taking advantage of opportunities that are not available to everyone.
Fear or mistrust of government is simply irrational. Sure, as in every large-scale endeavor there are inefficiencies, mistakes, and opportunities for improvement, and we need to keep the public sector honest. But "government" is us -- it's our neighbors and relatives who go to work every day and provide important services. The irony is that those who seek to diminish or sabotage government don't understand that they are ultimately just hurting themselves.
Larry Wechsler
Edmonds
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Herald Editorial Board

Peter Jackson, Opinion Editor: pjackson@heraldnet.com (@PeterJHerald)

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.

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