Friday, January 8, 2010

Government depends upon informed, involved citizens

A newspaper article in the Arizona Republic, January 8, 2010, written by John W. Greco discusses why he feels the end result of poor governance comes from "an uneducated and undereducated public..." "When voters do not know how government works and do not get involved, our system simply falls apart."

"This is the case in our state (Arizona) and in America today, where increasing frustrations with bad economic times have resulted in all kinds of proposed solutions, many of which are dangerously based on ideology rather than fact."

"The public must monitor what elected public officials do, and knowledgeazbly participate in the political process. And there must be a state and national commitment to educating everyone in what we used to call "civics".

"Even competent political leaders are no substitute for a well-informed citizenry. We have been told this time and again, beginning with Socrates and continuing with Thomas Jefferson. It's about time we listened, learned and reformed, because today we are part of the problem"

Mr. Greco is a former interim city manager of Tempe and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mr. Greco's article brings out exactly what this blog is talking about. It may not necessarily be the fault of the citizenry. Their lives are jammed with work, responsibilities, child care, salaries deminished, etc., however, being a citizen has certain responsilities that are necessary for a democratic-republic to exist.

The Founding Fathers founded this country based upon people who were responsible citizens in the society. Initially the term "men" in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, meant exactly that, men. The term Freedmen was defined in 1639 in the form of the "Freeman's Oath". A Freedman was defined as: A person of Sworn Alligance to the Crown, 21 years of age, male, owned personal property generally valued at 40 pounds or 40 shillings per year, must be of a quiet and peaceful manner, must have membership in a duly recognized church, and other Freemen in the area endorsed him. Those were the responsible members of the society and were the only ones eligible to vote because they would know the issues, because they had a vested interest.

"Being a Freeman brought certain duties and rights among others:
1. The right to vote in town meetings
2. The right to hold public office
3. The right to elect deputies to the General Assembly
4. Required to pay taxes
5. The right to elect new Freeman.
These people were the ones that were entitled to vote etc. in the new Government as of 1787. Over the years the term "men", through legislation and judicial review, has changed to mean "a people above the age of 18. People above the age of 18 does not necessary represent those who have a vested interest in the government/society. Politics has caused this problem. The two major political parties want more voters in their party. An example is the Democratic party pushing for illegal immigration rights, because they have found people coming across the Mexican border generally register as democrats, thus the Democratic Party has the immigrants on their agenda, because it has more to do with the numbers.
People entering most industrialized countries are required to have an occupation that will allow them to live without falling back on welfare, health care, etc. An example is New Zealand. You must take a preparatory citizen test online, answer many questions, usually finding out if you will be a burden on the society and how much money you are bringing into the country. They are not really interested in a business man unless he is bringing AT LEAST $100,000.00. College degrees are usually required and how much time you can use the degree in their country.
Early immigration into our country had a list of requirements, including funds, contact people already in country, clear bill of health, and usually an occupation that could allow you to NOT to be a burden on the society.
Our requirements were altered in legislation moved through Congress by Democrats led by Ted Kennedy,in 1973, to remove the occupation requirement. This lowered the requirement and established many of the problems we currently have in our country.

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