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People who grew up in public schools, run…to the embassy the instant they get a runny nose overseas, stuff burgers down their throats without worrying about E. Coli and sleep happily in planes they know have been inspected by the FAA…can with straight faces make the argument that having to pay any taxes at all is tyranny. It’s almost as if people feel the need to announce that they don’t need any help with anything, ever—not even keeping bridges safe or drinking water clean. It’s this weird national paranoia about being seen as needy, or labeled a parasite who needs government aid, that leads to lunacies like the idea that having a strong disaster-relief agency qualifies as a “big government” concept, when in fact it’s just sensible. If everyone could just admit that government is a fact of life, we could probably do a much better job of fixing it and managing its costs. Instead, we have to play this silly game where millions of us pretend we’re above it all, that we don’t walk on regularly-cleaned streets or fly in protected skies. It shouldn’t take a once-in-a-generation hurricane for Americans to admit they need the government occasionally, but that’s apparently where we are. Matt Taibbi, at Rolling Stone. (via thesmithian)
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