A friend of our's had a very interesting conversation with a clerk at the City Utilities Dept last week that I wanted to share with you -- it is in regards to the new trash bins everyone is going to get, along with a new automated truck system. Even if you don't care about garbage cans, the words spoken by the clerk are important to keep in mind for any of these issues, straight through to provincial, state, and federal govts. I believe it shows the mindset a lot (most?) of those people are in and it is WRONG.
Our friend does not want the bin. He has put his trash in the special enclosure he had to build years ago in the back alley. Take your garbage out there whenever it's full and just leave it. Tada - all done. But now we have to wheel these bins out and put them on the road on garbage day, making sure of proper clearance on all sides (so no one can park in front of their own house on garbage day unless they have a wide property frontage), and then hoping our lovely winds don't take them on a merry trip down the road because we only get one and if we lose it, we have to buy another one from the city, etc etc etc.... kinda hard to bring the bin back in while you are at work but apparently we are supposed to figure that out.
Okay fine, but our friend phoned the city about it (he got a letter saying he had to go PICK UP his bin - how are people with small cars or those that don't/can't drive supposed to get their bins I wonder???) and he phoned to say he doesn't want the bin. The usual story was told to him about how this program is starting this fall, he has to use the bin, there is no other way his garbage will be picked up, etc etc etc. He still said he doesn't want it and since he is the one paying for it, he should be able to refuse it. She said "WE bought this bin sir". Oh really? He, admittedly in a very angry tone, said "How do you figure that?"... she responded "WE bought this bin. The City bought all the bins". He was quick to correct her that the City bought the bins with TAX PAYERS money (property taxes, etc) and that no, the city did not buy (pay for) the bins, the people did. The clerk's tone was one of 'we bought these for you, you should be thankful' - and I think that attitude sounds very familiar.
The govt keeps saying 'they' will pay for these programs. The govts don't make money (unless you count interest I suppose, or any money made by investments - but even then the interest is actually accumulating on money that taxpayers were forced to give them so they would not make 5 cents without it). The City says the same thing, the Province says the same thing, the s Feds say the same thing = "We bought it", "We paid for", and they don't mean you and me - they mean themselves. That is categorically untrue. They signed the deal, they scribbled on and typed up the paperwork, but they did NOT pay for it. But they like to take the credit.
I just thought it was a good example of the mentality that seems to spread through each level of govt from municipal up to the top. I thought the govt was supposed to reflect the people's wishes? Be representative of their people? But constantly they are doing things they deem 'in our best interests' without consulting us or even giving us a chance or a say in the matter. Sure, they might host a meeting here and there and then claim that the public did not show up to speak their dissent so they assumed most people were on board - but you know as well as I do that people don't even bother anymore because they know that their voices will be ignored. Things will still go ahead as planned by the officials whether you attend the meeting or not. Look at the Town Hall meetings in the US. From what I have seen, the majority of people at these meetings do not want the Health Care reform to be done in this current manner, but they have been told outright and directly that their own officials are going to pass this no matter what their people say. What? Even if the people are wrong and the funding should move ahead as planned, it's supposed to BE about what the people want. Not what the govt decides they want... isn't it? And as time goes by and people start calling to complain, they will hear the words "We paid for it" coming through the line and it won't just be about a garbage can anymore, it will be about everything. In many cases, it already is. If your representative is supposed to vote on issues based on your thoughts, people in your community, why are we not being asked about things like this? Why when thousands show up at every town hall meeting (usually 50-300+% more people attending than normal) to express concern, why are they told that it IS going to go through. What is that all about? And why does the govt think this is their money? Why do they say "We paid for it" when you say you don't want something? Perhaps they don't want to admit outloud that really YOU paid for it and they took it and did something with it that you did not approve, so they don't want to admit that they stole your hard earned cash? Hmmm... what do you think?