Mistrust of governments
Mistrust of governments makes our crises worse.
We are going through multiple crises: the COVID viral pandemic, the struggle for Social Justice for all
, and adapting to geo-political changes in the world
In the midst of this crises, people have justifiable mistrust of governments. This deep mistrust of governments makes current crises worse. Government recommendations are ignored or bypassed or even undermined when there is no trust.
People may not be able to articulate well why they mistrust governments, but their sentiment is rational.
People in the Westernized world pay 50% or more of what they earn as direct and indirect taxes. Out of $3.8tn(2015) of Federal spending, only 6% trickles down to social welfare programs
such as Veterans Benefits and 'Housing and Community'. Yet, every discussion on reducing taxes leads to talk of 'need for protecting social programs'. The expression 'Think of the children'
from Marge Simpson of The Simpsons is used to justify every increase in government spending.
"Traditional Jews commonly practice ma'sar kesafim, tithing 10% of their income to support those in need". Sikh religion
also has the concept of Dasvand(tenth)
: donating a tenth of your income. Why do governments impose 5 times the taxes that religions recommend?
Doing the exact opposite of what they say they are doing
Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and wikileaks proved this beyond any doubt. The practice of announcing one thing and doing the exact opposite is still occurring today
Mainstream popular programs such as 'Admen and No. 10'
explain to the general audience how government PR machinery works to mislead the public.
The fictional character Sir Arnold in the TV series Yes Minister, explains
how governments help politicians hide their failures and amplify their minor achievements: "A 1000 press officers to publicize their little triumphs, the Official Secrets Act to conceal their daily disasters
Branding innocents as criminals
The number, scope, and breadth of laws have increased so much that any innocent person can be accused of a crime and their money and property forfeited
. Civil libertarian attorney Harvey Silverglate wrote his book
'Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent'. His book is "is a frightening reminder that the federal "justice" system in this country seems to have picked up where the Soviets left off. We suffer from a combination of vague, expansive laws, the drug war, and prosecutors who are ruthless, relentless, and who face no consequences for their own lawbreaking. That has turned federal criminal law into a conviction machine, sweeping up the innocent along with the guilty."
His second book
'The Tyranny of Good Intentions' "recounts a disturbing number of cases documenting how investigators and prosecutors decide on a target, then find a crime to pin on him… It challenges the honest "law and order" types who reflexively defend our system of "law enforcement."
India ranks 142 in World Press Freedom Index. It imposed
the "Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) is a piece of security legislation that allows the government to arrest citizens for crimes they might possibly commit in the future. UAPA facilitates the government’s bypassing of various constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, and fundamental rights and freedoms that protect citizens from abuses of state power".
The UAPA law in India called "criminalizes the holding of particular opinions, or even the mere possession of literature that might possibly cause others (one’s friends/ members of a group/ one’s students/ one's readers/ one's community) to have thoughts that are in disagreement with the state, i.e. cause "disaffection" with the state."
Every situation classed as law and order breakdown, and militarization of the police: governments have monopoly for using violence and they use force often to push unpopular orders through. The police is militarized and resembles an invading army. ‘Use of paramilitary-style teams by law enforcement increased by more than 1,400 percent since 1980’ and 'public confidence and trust in law enforcement as an institution have decreased since the early 2000s'.
Prof. Alex S Vitale, professor of sociology and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project says
"The answer to police violence is not 'reform'. It's defunding." and "Every social problem in poor and non-white communities has been turned over to the police to manage" and "The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight. It is to dramatically shrink their function. We must demand that local politicians develop non-police solutions to the problems poor people face. We must invest in housing, employment and healthcare in ways that directly target the problems of public safety".
"You create this world where you're not just militarizing the police—you equip the police like soldiers, you train the police like soldiers. Why are you surprised when they act like soldiers?" Rizer, a former police officer and soldier, said. "The mission of the police is to protect and serve. But the premise of the soldier is to engage the enemy in close combat and destroy them. When you blur those lines together with statements like that... It’s an absolute breakdown of civil society."
"You cannot weed out the 'bad apples' when the entire system is what causes the rot".
The government aggressively demands full transparency and no privacy from the public, while bitterly fighting for opaqueness into its own affairs. The government trumpets the argument "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" at every opportunity. Yet, it acts as if this argument only applies to the public, not to the government. It is extensively covered here on its own wiki
Journalists, civil rights activists, and whistleblowers who expose government, corporate and Deep State corruption have a legitimate need to hide their sources and identities. It is these people that the government wants to spy upon
. You and I have nothing to hide, but those who fight corruption do.
Like the eye of evil Sauron
, the government watches everything from their ivory tower into people’s houses and private lives, but doesn’t let the public see in.
The empty arguments 'hospitals and children', 'safety and security', 'law and order', and 'preventing terrorism' are used to justify any increase in government spending and reduce individual freedom. However, only 6 cents out of every dollar
collected as taxes goes to welfare programs such as 'Veterans Benefits' and ‘Housing and Community’.
Interventions that backfire
Every government intervention leads to higher costs and lower quality. Government intervention has the opposite outcome of what it is intended for. Yet, the government intervenes at every opportunity and causes more harm than good.
by Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that Federal Student Aid Programs lead to an increase in Credit Supply and raise the cost of education. The students end up paying more in the long run. The report finds that “even when universities price-discriminate, a credit expansion will raise tuition paid by all students”.
by the prestigious Think Tank Brookings Institute says that "While rent control appears to help current tenants in the short run, in the long run it decreases affordability, fuels gentrification, and creates negative spillovers on the surrounding neighborhood". Another report says that "Economists are virtually unanimous in concluding that rent controls are destructive" and "a ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available".
Masquerading as the State
There is a clear distinction between the State and the government. They are not the same. The state is its land, people, culture, natural resources, wildlife, etc. The state has absolute authority and is permanent. The government is a group of people managing the state. People only have loyalty to the state. People don’t owe any patriotism or loyalty to the government. The state(its people) have the right not only to change the government, but also the system of governance.
"I love my country" means love for the state, not necessarily its government.
The government likes to masquerade as the state so that it is seen as permanent, and worthy of absolute authority and unquestioning loyalty. The government also equates any criticism of the government as an attack on the state, conveniently ignoring the fact that they are not the same.
Panama papers exposed
the offshore tax havens involving 140 politicians from 50 countries. All of those tax havens are still active
. "The world's top tax haven, the British Virgin Islands, holds more than 5,000 times the value of what its economy should hold".
Demonize and persecuting minorities
Governments have a history of demonizing and persecuting large groups of people. Within the last 100 years, Hitler persecuted the Jewish people, the Indian government
killed tens of thousands during the Sikh genocide of 1984
, the Chinese government persecutes the Tibetans
and is persecuting the Uyghurs in Xinjiang(China)
Every great man in history has been persecuted by the governments of the time: Jesus Christ, The 10 Great Sikh Gurus
, MLK, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama.
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All governments respond to accusation of public mistrust in the government is exactly as you would expect. They harass and imprison those who talk about it.
All governments routinely mislead. People know it, even if they can't articulate it or can’t cite specific instances, or are afraid to say it.
This deep mistrust of governments undermines our collective ability to work together to solve our major crises.
People don’t trust their government. Why should they? Do you?