How would you feel about entering into a contract for services with a security provider that gets to determine unilaterally the terms of service?
What if this security company solely determined the price for its services and then was able to dictate where and when their services would be applied?
What if you entered into this contract for security services knowing that the money you paid to the company would be used to provide security for other customers and fund unrelated projects, without regard for your needs?
How long would you continue to employ this company if there were no provisions for compensation should the company fail to uphold its end of the bargain?
What if you were required to only appeal to this company’s in-house arbitration service in cases of dispute, even if the dispute was with the company itself?
How would you react if the executives were promoted and the fees raised when the company repeatedly failed to provide you with security?
What if, by entering into this contract, you were only allowed to seek security from this one company and excluded, by force if necessary, from entering into security arrangements with any other provider?
How would you feel about employing a security company whose primary actions took away the right and tools of defending yourself?
Such a company on a free market would be, by all measures, laughed out of existence, yet this is the very arrangement in which virtually everyone is forced into today.
This company of course, is government. It is a very unique agency, with a specific purpose and unparalleled authority.
As Thomas Jefferson clearly articulated in the Declaration of Independence, “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And here is the most important piece: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
Jefferson, in writing the Declaration of Independence, drew upon a long intellectual line of enlightened thinkers to determine this concept of government. Not the least of which was John Locke who wrote in 1689 that the first and foremost function of government was security:
“Since then those, who like one another so well as to join into society, cannot but be supposed to have some acquaintance and friendship together, and some trust one in another; they could not but have greater apprehensions of others, than of one another: and therefore their first care and thought cannot but be supposed to be, how to secure themselves against foreign force. It was natural for them to put themselves under a frame of government which might best serve to that end, and chuse the wisest and bravest man to conduct them in their wars, and lead them out against their enemies, and in this chiefly be their ruler.”
Clearly, the idea of a more perfect union begins with justice, peace and security, yet a historical view of how these intentions have played out demonstrates that government has failed in fulfilling its primary function. Far be it for an agency that fails in living up to its promises to take on new business, such as providing retirement security transfers, insurance policies and the delivery of medicine. These too are products and services ill fit, from inception, for government to provide but that is an issue for another time.
The result of over 200 years of government provided security services in America has been the devolution of quality at the increase of costs. More importantly, rather than being a provider of security against aggression, government has become the primary aggressor its clients should fear most. Every taxpaying citizen is charged for this security service based on a payment plan unilaterally decided upon by government. The security, defense and policing services are primarily focused and delivered to the segment of the population that not only pay nearly nothing for those services, but it is also the primary recipient of other government services, totally unrelated to security.
The policing agencies themselves take those tax dollars and instead of providing actual security and defense to the people who are paying them, administrators and bureaucrats develop increasingly complex ways to spend money on unrelated programs such as equal employment opportunity, diversity in the workplace, sexual harassment awareness, ensuring gender equality and every other politically correct cash cow. It appears that government run policing agencies have no shortage of things to spend money on, thereby justifying a larger bureaucracy, bigger budget and additional personnel, in order to pursue politically expedient ends totally unrelated to the provision of security for those footing the bill.
Added to which, the tax paying public is further victimized when forced to pay for the safe keeping, rehabilitation, entertainment and comfort of those offenders imprisoned for committing crimes. That is of course, based upon the unlikely scenario that government provided police forces (also known as crime historians for their propensity for showing up after crime has been committed and forcing the victims to fill out wasteful paperwork) are actually able to catch a criminal.
Then the taxpayer is required to support a bloated, inefficient, and ineffective court system where the “rules of evidence” are geared to distort the facts of a case in favor of the offender. These rules also support an expanding bureaucracy, and all the salaries and expenses that come with it. It is a system where continuations, pre, post, and concurrent hearings backlog the caseload, and ensure tax paying witnesses and victims will waste time responding to numerous court summons to give a portion of their side of the story. Of course, the court’s rules of evidence are designed to whittle away the facts, and misrepresent or obfuscate the details of a case so that a jury, also people conscripted by government to serve, must deliberate upon partial evidence that bears no resemblance to reality, let alone a factually complete telling of the case.
In the unlikely event of a conviction for a crime the offender is then remanded to a tax funded, government or government proxy run “correctional facility”, where meals, entertainment, recreation, sanitation and education are provided for by the taxpaying public that was already wronged once by the offender and then by the “justice for criminals” system. In the realm of domestic security, the tax payer is triple victimized by the state justice system. This is the evolved system that has resulted from over two centuries worth government monopoly on the use of force, as well as the security and defense sectors.
It is a system that rewards failure. Consider the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Following the immediate exigencies of war, a huge bureaucracy, known as the Department of Defense, was created to look after the security needs of the nation. This new Defense Department expanded the existing bureaucracy and added an Air Force as separate military service with its own unified, i.e. bureaucratic, command. It is safe to say that the existing tax funded military apparatus was rewarded for its failure to prevent the Pearl Harbor attack with a larger bureaucracy, greater amounts of funding and an a name change that diluted its mission away from its original purpose; making war on the enemies of the United States.
At the same time, a new intelligence agency was created to centralize the disparate functions of the various military intelligence services. This Central Intelligence Agency was intended to be the single repository of all intelligence relative to national security and would effectively unify the efforts of those agencies working independently. In essence, the CIA was supposed to be the bureaucratic over the existing intelligence stovepipes that failed to predict and prevent Pearl Harbor. This to is an example of expanding bureaucracy, with all the personnel, financial resources and executive positions that go with it, created as a reward for security failure.
This pattern repeats with the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on 11 September 2001. this attack occurred in an area where government strictly controlled security functions to the extent that airlines and passengers were prohibited from maintaining the means to defend themselves, yet the federal regulations and air marshals could not prevent a rather amateurish and primitive attack. The department of defense’s failure to defend America’s homeland led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security; the creation of a new bureaucracy, with new budgets, new headquarters, new support staff and new senior executive positions to oversee those agencies that failed to protect America from rudimentary terrorist attacks.
The 9/11 attacks also resulted in the creation of the Director of National Intelligence’s office. A new bureaucracy, with a new cabinet level position and the support staff to go with it, to oversee the existing 15 member intelligence community that failed to heed the indications and warnings of impending attack. This new overarching bureaucracy was intended to “unify” the efforts of the disparate intelligence efforts already in operation amongst the military services, federal law enforcement and diplomatic channels.Yes, there appears to be a pattern developing. Essentially, the DNI was a new bureaucracy created to perform the functions that the CIA had failed to perform in the wake of 9/11. When government security services fail, they are rewarded with an expanded bureaucracy, an increase in budget, a larger staff and more senior level executives, all at taxpayer expense. Those that received no return on investment are further burdened to throw good money after bad.
A long tradition of political philosophy dictates that government has but one primary purpose. In America, government exists to provide security to its citizens and ensure their unalienable right to life, liberty and the freedom to pursue their own happiness. When unable to fulfill this legitimate function, it can hardly be expected that government should take on new business such as, dabbling in retirement accounts, insurance plans, education and medical services. Failure to master one’s craft is hardly the foundation from which an expansion of services and products can be launched. However, this reward for failure and inefficiency is the typical mode of operation for all services government purports to provide. Further, the federal government’s Supreme Court has provided, time and time again, rulings that justify abrogation of responsibility. Citizens have no legal expectation for security or protection of themselves and their property from government run policing agencies and defense services.
History shows that government service pays the same for failure as it does for success, for indifference as much as customer satisfaction. When government holds a monopoly, unilaterally sets the price for its services and closes off all avenues for viable alternatives, the economic incentives are hardly arranged for the fulfillment of their raison d’être. This is essentially true for all monopolies, yet history also shows that an economic monopoly is nearly impossible without government’s coercive power. The delivery of security and defense services is a fundamental example of the unintended consequences found in the nexus of a political monopoly and a monopoly on the use of force In a given territory. Yet this is the very definition of a nation-state.
Essentially, allowing any agency a monopoly on the use of force in addition to the unilateral power to tax (meaning it charges what it wants and applies its services at its own pleasure, regardless of customer needs) will predictably illustrate the absurdity of a tax funded protection agency. these predictable results are manifesting with greater intensity and frequency in the American experience. It is an escalating trend, fascinating to behold.