|Thomas J. Mazur - District 8
MARCH 10, 2009
COUNTY GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE A CORPORATION
The other day, I met with the director of Crisis Services to discuss a possible breakdown in his agency's funding. His first question to me was almost rhetorical: what do you think of our economy? I was baffled, but I immediately threw the question back at him and asked if the economy was having an impact on the folks who call and use his agency in time of crisis. And the answer was a definite yes. He told me that his agency was getting more and more calls on a daily basis that can be associated with job loss, medical coverage loss, home loss and the inability to make ends meet on a week to week basis.
One only has to stop by any local soup kitchen or food bank to realize that we're living in some extreme times. And it seems to me, that we really are becoming a society of more have-nots than haves.
I didn't study economics in college, but I learned the other day that the word economics comes from the Greek word, oikonomia, which loosely translates: the correct manner of managing goods and wealth within a household. And for the sake of this article, let's refer to the household as the community. And, then, allow for the economy to be centered in the community. And that's something I don't see happening in today's economy. I see corporations being bailed out by the billions and I see local communities to struggle and slowly become extinct.
Government was born of the people and for the people. Government is not a business or a corporation. The bottom line is heartless - too heartless for government. The bottom line is divisive and it ends up hurting those that need the help the most. People are not commodities. Last month, I talked about the closing of the W.I.C. clinics, where 46 county employees will lose their jobs. At this moment, there is no talk of transition. A program that has been in existence for 30 years assisting approximately 17,000 women and children with nutrition needs will be closing down in several months. Hopefully some other agency will pick them up.
And maybe not. And maybe someone will have to call Crisis Services and maybe they won't get an answer. And yes, we are our brothers' keepers because that's the way we were brought up. We're not a corporation. We have a heart. We live in a community and we share our hearts with one another. And there's nothing wrong with that.
I just read today where the University at Buffalo obtained a 1.4 million dollar federal grant to research suicide by veterans. In my humble opinion I think it would benefit the U.S. to spend billions of dollars on communities instead of war. As I found out during my tour in Vietnam...war was not good for me psychologically.
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