Distinguish wants, needs

  • Follow Letters

You can only shake your head in disbelief considering the implications of the debacle surrounding the partial government shutdown in Washington, D.C.

At first glance, the dispute appears to be merely a tug-of-war between Democrats and Republicans. Yet a closer examination reveals that both Congress and the executive branch have ignored a fundamental and basic distinction that even your average kindergartner comprehends. Much like the contrast between needs and wants, there is a fine distinction between essential and nonessential services.

It has been reported that some nonessential services, such as the operation of museums and national parks, have ground to a halt. While I certainly acknowledge the learning opportunities provided by museums, and the beauty and splendor of our national parks, I think we can stipulate that these government functions are secondary to the powers implicitly provided to our federal government by our Constitution.

With a $16 trillion debt, can we even remotely believe that these services are appropriate and legitimate functions of our federal government? Why not delegate these nonessential services to private providers? Should we even dwell on the lack of these services to be provided? Absolutely not.

On the other hand, essential services should continue without fail. The American Heritage Dictionary defines “essential” as being necessary or indispensable. Of course, we can inquire as to why the National Institutes of Health’s cancer research; death benefits to surviving family members of fallen soldiers; disability benefits to our veterans; and some military functions provided at Fort Gordon are not deemed to be essential by the feds. Perhaps our federal government is short on the necessary intellectual acumen to distinguish between essential and nonessential. Essential services must be delivered without skipping a beat.

As a doting dad, I can say with pride that my 6-year-old kindergartener is astute enough to distinguish between wants and needs. An example of a need is food or a roof over your head. On the other hand, a want is a toy or a sweet treat. My child discussed this concept recently in her class and was bright enough to grasp these terms at once.

To me, wants and needs are analogous to nonessential and essential services. The former are nice to have, but the latter are necessary and indispensable. A kindergartener apparently is smarter than your average president or member of Congress. I am sure there are a few members of Congress who are exceptions to the rule. Yet it pains me to realize that they are in the minority. Or I could be cynical and suggest that our leadership in Washington is smarter than they are letting on, and have staked out their positions for purely political purposes. Either way, their actions are a disgrace.

Your average kindergartener also can appreciate the need to communicate with others – even those we do not agree with. Yet our leaders refuse to even talk. Perhaps we should just send a few of our kindergarteners to Washington to enlighten those who should be looking out for the future of our next generation.

Comments (25) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/15/13 - 04:12 am
5
8
Sure, let's make our National
Unpublished

Sure, let's make our National Parks "for profit"....ridiculous!

ymnbde
9800
Points
ymnbde 10/15/13 - 06:18 am
8
3
we had to shut down the government

to find out what's in it... (no apologies to Mrs Pelosi)
privatizing is not the same as "for profit" it is simply letting better people handle things, people who would not have a motive to "inflict as much pain as possible"
much like a private school does much better than a public school
reducing the ratio of doctors to patients should cause some major rift in society, such as a partial shut-down of the government.
The largest tax increase in history should cause some major rift in society, such as a partial shut-down of the government.
a very good letter... reducing an issue to it's basic components
and one poster has already altered it's meaning to something other than what it says
even a kindergarten kid would know better than that...

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 06:39 am
6
3
"Sure, let's make our
Unpublished

"Sure, let's make our National Parks "for profit"....ridiculous!"

What is wrong with profit? Why do you hate it so?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 07:00 am
4
2
Yes, ymbde...a kindergarten
Unpublished

Yes, ymbde...a kindergarten kid would know that.....a kindergarten kid wouldn't insist to his teacher that he already answered a question and demand that SHE should go find his homework like some other people have either.

Bodhisattva
6242
Points
Bodhisattva 10/15/13 - 07:46 am
2
6
Like privatizing the

Like privatizing the probation services worked so well. The prison system too. Less trained staff, less pay for the staff, more problems in the prisons, but the guys who pour in the campaign donations and own the companies make out like bandits. Oh, don't forget, then they lobby for longer sentences for minor crimes and for more things to be illegal to keep heads in the beds for them to make more money. Keep a minor drug offender in for years, that's a bundle of cash for the stockholders and a bundle of cash from the taxpayer. I'd rather have government employees making a decent wage that they can spend in the local economy than a private company paying lowball wages and some guy in New York getting the big bucks and the bulk of the money leaving the local area.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 08:15 am
5
2
Fedex and UPS can't do nearly
Unpublished

Fedex and UPS can't do nearly as good as the USPS, can they Bod. No private company can be as efficient as the all powerful government..,.right?

seenitB4
87484
Points
seenitB4 10/15/13 - 08:36 am
6
0
The problem is

Who decides what is essential....

Po pooing a vacation that some have looked forward to all year would be essential to their good health & attitude...especially if they WORKED all year so they can continue with the give away bennies our gov so dearly loves to bestow.

JRC2024
8888
Points
JRC2024 10/15/13 - 08:48 am
5
0
User pays, what is wrong with

User pays, what is wrong with that.

deestafford
27787
Points
deestafford 10/15/13 - 08:57 am
5
0
A well thought out and articulate letter.

The problem we have is the government has been taking care of wants so long they have morphed into needs for many. There are so many, so many things the government is doing that it shouldn't be.

One has only to look at the opulent and huge government buildings in DC and ask, "Are all these people necessary to the functioning of the Republic?"

The solution to our problems has three parts: limited government, lower taxes, and individual responsibility.

Bizkit
31629
Points
Bizkit 10/15/13 - 09:12 am
3
3
I think there is a movement

I think there is a movement in the European Union to privatize all of their natural resources so countries like Spain and Greece would have to hand over their resources for private industry profit. So I would presume Progressive's would support this European-like strategy?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 10:09 am
5
2
The "Obamaphone" is another
Unpublished

The "Obamaphone" is another good example. A device that didn't even EXIST a generation ago, is considered to be a necessity.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 10:14 am
0
0
Opulent government buildings seem to be needs in CC. Needs of
Unpublished

the contractors and their church and courthouse cronies.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 10:18 am
0
0
Do taxpayers or children care if STATE buildings are opulent? NO
Unpublished

So who determined that we need ornate wood paneling in schools? Ornate exteriors on the CCBOE? It is the "new design" consultants, perhaps? Those who have no vested $$$$$ outcome.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 10/15/13 - 10:18 am
0
0
Do taxpayers or children care if STATE buildings are opulent? NO
Unpublished

So who determined that we need ornate wood paneling in schools? Ornate exteriors on the CCBOE? It is the "new design" consultants, perhaps? Those who have no vested $$$$$ outcome.

dichotomy
33126
Points
dichotomy 10/15/13 - 10:35 am
4
0
"User pays, what is wrong

"User pays, what is wrong with that."

When the government seized the property to "preserve it for future generations" they assumed the responsibility to keep it open so those future generations can see it. So now you are saying that only those that can pay any fee the government decides to impose can use it? We already pay for it with our taxes. We paid for them to seize the land, we pay for them to operate and maintain the land, and most federal recreation and parks already charge user fees......SO WHY THE HELL ARE THEY CLOSED???????? They spent MORE MONEY putting up barricades and blocking roads than they would have to keep them open.

This whole thing is the action of a totalitarian government run by despots. This was the Obama administration punishing the public for political reasons. It is time to "throw off" this government and start again. It's too broken to fix.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/15/13 - 11:21 am
0
6
No, dichotomy, this was the
Unpublished

No, dichotomy, this was the TEA Party being willing to damage our credit and good reputation around the world. Thanks to this blunder, the world financial market is now considering de-Americanizing the world financial market. do any of you have any idea what the world will be like if we AREN'T the financial backbone of the world money market? The Republicans and Tea Party are giving the world every excuse that they need to make the United States irrelevant, all for sour grapes over the ACA. They are going to make sure that Republicans never have a majority in our government again. BRILLIANT!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 11:44 am
2
1
Really? The TEA party? Were
Unpublished

Really? The TEA party? Were you OK with Obama voting to NOT raise the debt limit when HE was senator?

Good thing the Republicans had "sour grapes" over Jim Crowe laws and got them repealed. GAC would have us keep on enforcing them, because they are "the law of the land." It's the same logic he uses for the ACA.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 11:45 am
2
0
Just who in the TEA Party
Unpublished

Just who in the TEA Party gets to decide which government facility is closed and which one isn't? Was it the TEA Party that said the WWII memorial must be closed, but the Illegal Immigrants can hold a rally on the mall?

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 12:14 pm
2
0
LTE

"Much like the contrast between needs and wants"

Sometimes they are one in the same. I believe what The Republicans wanted WAS A need. Trimming the fat out of the yearly budget MUST happen to at least try to get a handle on the national debt.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 12:20 pm
0
3
LTE

"Why not delegate these nonessential services to private providers"

OK, our gov. has made the drug companies rich with Part D drug insurance and private insurence companies with privatizeing Medicare. Now we are looking to make private sector park care takers rich. I often wonder, "Just how many federal employees lost their jobs to this privatization?"

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 12:32 pm
0
0
LTE

"Yet our leaders refuse to even talk. Perhaps we should just send a few of our kindergarteners to Washington to enlighten those who should be looking out for the future of our next generation"

Why should The House and Senate be any different THAN ALL OF US! There are other topics, BUT this national debt NEEDS attention! The problem and solution stairs you in the face from the mirrow. Most of us, including me, could easily do without the yearly tax refund. Can't we at least do this for our kids' future??

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 12:37 pm
2
0
Obamacare

I get the feeling this LTE is talking about Obamacare. For tens of thousands, it is both a want and a need. For MANY of the rest of US it is neither.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/15/13 - 12:41 pm
1
4
t3bledsoe, Republicans would
Unpublished

t3bledsoe, Republicans would let their kids and mothers starve rather than give up any of their money. Profit and greed are their motivators. They don't care that insurance companies are the PRIMARY reason health care costs have skyrocketed, upping premiums by 35% after making billions in profit in one quarter. Billions in three months, yet they fight tooth and nail to bring down our government and make the United States and the Republican Party the laughingstock of the world.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/15/13 - 12:43 pm
0
3
Actually, the number who will
Unpublished

Actually, the number who will benefit by gaining health insurance is millions, but, unfortunately, the ultimate beneficiary of the ACA will be the insurance companies.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 12:46 pm
2
0
"They don't care that
Unpublished

"They don't care that insurance companies are the PRIMARY reason health care costs have skyrocketed, upping premiums by 35% after making billions in profit in one quarter. "

Yet you support a law that REQUIRES EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN to give these insurance companies more money. Make up your mind.

And just who is it that refuses to negotiate? Democrats won't even listen to a plan. And yet you say it's the Republicans who are trying to bring down the country. There is a sever logic disconnect in your reasoning, GAC.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/15/house-gop-floats-plan-to-addr...

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/15/13 - 12:50 pm
2
0
If the money of insurance
Unpublished

If the money of insurance companies is what drove up the cost of healthcare (and it did), just wait and see what the power of the federal reserve does to costs. Hint.....it won't bring costs down.

Bizkit
31629
Points
Bizkit 10/15/13 - 01:08 pm
0
0
I thought they realize now

I thought they realize now millions still won't have health insurance, nor are costs going down. Because the new mandated minimum coverage the costs are going up comparing now to the new 2014 ACA compliant plans. A $650/month plan for a family of four with a 7K deductible now will be $1,200/month and 7.2K deductible but it will have the new mandated mental health, etc minimums which is apparently driving up the costs too. Now subsidies will offset the costs, but if you make over 92K a year you won't likely qualify. Remember too that subsidies had been promised and then removed too for various groups so this can change too. I don't understand why the Dems didn't come up with a plan to prevent price gouging by pharmaceutical companies where they can drive prices up by intentionally producing less so a $4 dollar pharmacy drug suddenly goes for over $200. It seems the law is more focused on wealth redistribution than actually dealing with costs or the uninsured. The law was designed to have a large upfront cost and promised savings later down the line, but it seems now is no time for added cost and we could use the savings now because later never seems to happen.

nofanofobama
6825
Points
nofanofobama 10/15/13 - 01:06 pm
1
0
ga--ever hear of quey 1 2 and

ga--ever hear of quey 1 2 and 3 ...brought to you by the federal reserve monitizing the debt... the dollar has lost so much of it purchasing power because of massive debts, massive spending and massive printing.. the world has been talking about our currency and its devaluation long b/4 there was a tea party...its your obumler who is destroying our future and you dont even see it..i

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/15/13 - 01:13 pm
1
4
HumbleAngela
Unpublished

you go ahead and keep listening to Fox news, the news company that on election day 2012 said that Romney was gonna win, and was flabbergasted that he didn't. They're REALLY good at knowing what's going on......74% of Americans must be wrong, for sure.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 01:13 pm
0
0
GACopprhed@ 12:43

"Actually, the number who will benefit by gaining health insurance is millions, but, unfortunately, the ultimate beneficiary of the ACA will be the insurance companies"

I am glad to know someone else believes this about the insurance companies.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs