Tug-of-war between theories | VailDaily.com

Tug-of-war between theories

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado

What is government for?

This is a serious question, one that used to separate Democrats from Republicans, liberal from conservative.

Keep government small on the theory that government can only screw things up?

Make government a bigger brother who can clean up the worst of the private sector’s many abuses?

Both are true, in their proper times, as the pendulum swings through history.

Right now, though, the Republicans have turned from keeping government small to running up the bill on their pet projects rather than the other party’s pet projects. That and the corruption that hubris brings are why they have themselves on the path to defeats more humiliating than last November’s congressional swing back to the Dems.

Locally, the tug-of-war is not partisan but core ideology: liberal versus conservative applications to our problems.

At the county level, the turn plainly has been toward more liberal use of government power.

The big three challenges of the moment ” child care, affordable housing and land use ” have the county commissioners looking this way.

Left to the private sector all these long years, it’s becoming clearer that the “free” market is only exacerbating these problems to the detriment of the community at large.

Still, there remain plenty of people who seriously doubt government can be the solution, especially considering that this inevitably involves more spending and more regulation.

This is our growing-ever-bluer county’s rock and hard place.

What best builds the most prosperity for the most citizens and improves the quality of community life, too?

That ought to be the test, anyway.

” Don Rogers for the Editorial Board

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