In the front page March 27 Bellingham Herald article about night market, Rose Lathrop repeated the oft said canard that “Real unique, creative ideas are not going to come from city government.” I believe comments like this are culturally harmful because they promote distrust and cynicism about government. Individuals who work for governments of all levels have produced real unique, creative ideas in solving problems. And the governmental organizations they work for have implemented these ideas. I believe Ronald Reagan was wrong and also culturally and politically destructive when he said “Government was the problem.” Governments, along with their bureaucracies, regulations and taxes, are not problems but are good and necessary solutions to living in an environment we humans did not evolve in. Somalia doesn’t have functioning government, bureaucracy, regulations or taxes; do we want America to turn into a Somalia?
Recent textual analysis of the content and patterns of President Reagan’s speech has demonstrated that when he made the famous “government was the problem” comment, he was already showing clear signs of senility.