Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Does Size Matter...

OK... enough fun and games. I saw the previous post's video clip and felt I had to share... maybe I just have a twisted since of humor.

Any way, the new topic of the day is... Does Size Matter? And no, we are not going to be talking about the male anatomy. Nor will we be discussing the weight of those of us that fall into the fluffy category. Follow me with this and I will explain...

For those of you who read my first posting "The Hypocrisy of Good Finance" you might remember that my wife and I bought our first home back in December of 2008. Well, not sure if it was a good thing or not, but the home does belong to a HOA. It is this very fact that truly thrusted me down the path of conservatism.... much to the joy and amusement of my friend and co-worker Kevin. You see, I now found myself in a community of about 3600 homes all governed by a Board of Directors, various committees and a management team. What more could one ask for in terms of a working demonstration of how government works. I quickly learned that the dues paid each month were the taxes, and that these committees, board members and management were spending my money on things that I either was not going to use or had no interest in. The example I have come to use so often to illustrate my new understanding is as follows: If I purchase a home in this HOA that has a personal pool in it's back yard, I must still pay dues to the management team to cover the costs of maintaining two community pools that I do not use. My money pays for someone else to use a pool that I have no intention of using... as I pay ore out of my own pocket to maintain my own pool as well. Why is this fair to me? Why should I pay for someone else's pool? Why shouldn't those that want a community pool pay for it and those that don't are not obligated to do so. And we all know the answer to this... "because it wouldn't be fair"... I can almost here one of those whiny little bastards complaining. They probably aren't even paying their dues... but manage to still get in and use the pool. So worse off I am now paying for someone else to use a pool I pay for and they don't.

Needless to say, it was this small scale version of government that really began to open my eyes to the hypocrisy of a liberal society. I used to be of the mind set that taxes should be sloped so that the uber-wealthy payed 50% in tax while the guy making $20k only paid 2%. The reason being I thought was because the wealthy could afford it. After all, what can you do with 100 million you can't do with 50 mil. I now realize that, just because you have the millions doesn't mean you should have to give up half your income simply because you can. And especially you should not have to just to pay for all the things our government now spends on that benefit those that do not pay at all. When is the last time you say a millionaire collecting a welfare check or food stamps? Why should he/she be allowed to do so? After all, they paid for it... didn't they? The government took the rich man's money and gave it to the poor man... gee... sounds a lot like socialism. Again... I didn't get it until I was the guy paying for a pool that others that had not were now using. it really chapped my ass! And let me tell you... that's a lot of real estate to chap!

But yet... I look at my 3600 strong HOA and then I compare it to our federal government and the 300 million (give or take) they have to manage. Like the HOA they have a covenant... the constitution. They have committees and such... and they determine how to solve the problems our country faces. I realize that the HOA has problems, but nothing in comparison to the run away government we now seem to be saddled with. If the HOA board tried to pull half the things the federal government has pulled, they would have literally been tarred and feathered in public. In fact, this HOA was so bad that just over a year ago, the people joined together and unanimously voted out the entire board. Why can't we do this with our federally elected officials?

So I raise the question.... Does size matter? For the HOA there are clear and simple solutions that, once reached, make sense to most everyone discussing the matter. So... should it be this simple for our federal government? If not, then why not? What makes running 300 million so much more complicated than running 3600. Why can't things simply be scaled and still work?

Personally, i think that one could scale things larger and make it work on a federal level... the only problem is that our federal government has become so large that it can not even govern itself, let alone the people it is supposed to be working for. How often have we heard of one group not knowing anything about what the other group had done... when they were supposed to be working on the same thing.

I used to believe the reason government had to be as big as it was, was in order to handle the larger problems this country faces on a daily basis. But now I think they are just there to confuse the public in regards to an issue just to cover the fact they have no idea how to SOLVE the issue. I think that our elected officials have now become so concerned with maintaining the power of their position, that they forget what they are there to do in the first place.

So.... does size matter? Are the problems of the country so big that it requires big government to solve them? Or can the simple solutions good enough for 3600 be good enough, if scaled, for 300 million? I am curious to hear from all of you. Please let me know your opinions.


  1. All politics are local.

    I've added you to my blogroll, by the way.

  2. Take a look at Dunbar's number, it does a decent job explaining why group dynamics don't scale well.