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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

The Role of Government

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer's perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

Nearly everone agrees that that it would be good for the government to ensure that all children have health insurance. And how could anyone disagree? Health insurance is a good thing, especially for children, who cannot provide for themselves. And so it would be... nifty for the government to ensure that all children have this coverage. Why not?

Of course, the only way that the government can ensure that children are so protected is to pass a law requiring it. So, the government will tell us that we must provide health insurance for our kids. You should be prepared for that.


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October, 1999:

I wrote this essay in 1999. But it is still relevant today -- especially today. This should make you think.

When I was growing up, we had great reverence for the truth (even when it did not always suit our purposes), and we knew the difference between the truth and a lie wrapped in a flowery envelope. Come to think of it, people didn't lie very often.... national leaders, almost never. But there were three great lies that became legendary in our times. Ah, those were the days...

Number one was "Of course I'll respect you in the morning." Comedian Johnny Carson added, "I'll respect you like crazy!" You gotta' be a boomer to appreciate that one. I still get a big kick out of it.

Number two was "The check is in the mail." Of course, nobody believed that... then, or now. That was akin to "My dog ate my homework," It's an excuse you gave when you had no excuse. I don't think you expected anybody to believe it; you said it with "a wink and a nod."

My favorite of the three big lies was "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you." We really got a laugh out of that one back in the 60s... and for generations before that, I presume. We expected the government to take care of the big things, but leave the small, everyday things, to us. For those of you who are too young to remember, the "joke" was that every time the government tried to get involved in your business, they screwed things up. Back then, we knew instinctively (and through limited experience) that government was marginally competent at the big stuff, and virtually useless at the small stuff if our lives. Take a look at the Constitution... you'll find no reference to "small stuff" anywhere! Thomas Jefferson never envisioned, for example, the government telling you how much water your toilet could hold. Today, the government tackles issues like that all the time.

Two hundred years later, our career politicians have many Americans convinced that the government can and should be there to "help" them every time they turn around. That's the big lie I want to focus on right now.

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