The Publisher’s Notebook: The political wasteland

By Dr. Paul Collins

My list of things to confess must include watching television.  I keep my favorite recliner positioned for an excellent viewing vantage point.  I also confess that I am very tempted to give it up as a favorite pastime when the political season is in full swing.  The advertisements are too frequent, too negative, and definitely too lacking in truth.  What a waste!  The money spent on negative “mug shots” of opponents and the manufacturing of “facts” is immoral!  If you disagree, I welcome the debate.

Politics every two years is not the only thing needlessly squandering money (and time).  The entire political system wherein bureaucracies are firmly entrenched in our governmental actions or inactions, and have become a blight upon the American way of life.  If you are a bureaucrat, how much time do you actually spend working for the people?  The people are supposed to be your employers.  “We the people” are the reason your paycheck doesn’t bounce!

It is fair to say there are many dedicated (and, yes, even underpaid) people working in non-elective governmental positions.  Before you demand my resignation from this newspaper, please note what I just wrote.  By the way, in the middle 1970’s I was a bureaucrat.  I held a position financed by the federal government even though I “worked” for the state of Missouri.  I was (please make note of the title) the Executive Director of The Special Committee On Labor Relations of the State of Missouri.  My task was to assemble a committee made up of Democrats, Republicans, labor, management, county officials, representatives of cities, and academia.  We even included one stay-at-home housewife.  Our task was to study the issue of Public Employee Collective Bargaining, write a model bill for legislative action, present it the governor, and put it into book form.  We did the job even though the bill was never introduced to the General Assembly.  I made the announcement of its completion to the governor in his office under the glare of television lights while the cameras rolled.  It was printed as a very crude, unprofessional looking book (soft cover, of course) and it was not even within sight of becoming a best seller.  In retrospect, we were all unwitting participants in a game played on the turf of the “Political Wasteland!”

Now, back to the main issue of this column: waste in “The Wasteland.”  The use of money in the political campaigns, the afterglow of positive election returns, and the acts (or inactions) of government all write the story of the temporal power of money.  When all is said and done, money is paper!  What stands behind it to give it power today?  May I challenge you to think what may be a new thought?  “The earth is the Lord’s and all the fullness that is therein” so spoke a very wise person quoted in the Bible.  That being the case, when the earth is depleted, wealth will vanish.

It will be well for all of us to realize that all wealth comes from God’s earth.  Personally, since Jesus is my Lord, I feel confident that ultimately he is in charge.


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