Role of Government

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John N. Mitchell

"Mitchell devised a type of revenue bond called a "moral obligation bond" while serving as bond counsel to New York’s governor Nelson Rockefeller in the 1960s. In an effort to get around the voter approval process for increasing state and municipal borrower limits, Mitchell attached language to the offerings that was able to communicate the state's intent to meet the bond payments while not placing it under a legal obligation to do so. Mitchell did not dispute when asked in an interview if the intent of such language was to create a "form of political elitism that bypasses the voter's right to a referendum or an initiative."

Public Works Construction Spending, 2016

The Value of Construction Put in Place Survey (VIP) provides monthly estimates of the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this program. The survey covers construction work done each month on new structures or improvements to existing structures for private and public sectors. Data estimates include the cost of labor and materials, cost of architectural and engineering work, overhead costs, interest and taxes paid during construction, and contractor’s profits. Data collection and estimation activities begin on the first day after the reference month and continue for about three weeks. Reported data and estimates are for activity taking place during the previous calendar month. The survey has been conducted monthly since 1964.

Data Source: http://www.census.gov/construction/c30/c30index.html

What we actually lose when the USDA and EPA can’t talk to the public

"The weather app on your phone that can sometimes tell you when it's going to rain with minute-by-minute precision—or warn you about an impending tornado—is underpinned by government science (in this case by the National Weather Service). You may roll your eyes at the importance of weather data that occasionally leaves you stuck in a downpour without an umbrella, but the predictions are right more often than not, and the information is incredibly important."

The Real Story Of Apollo 17… And Why We Never Went Back To The Moon.

"On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 touched down on the Moon. This was not only our final Moon landing, but the last time we left low Earth orbit. With the successful launch of the Orion capsule, NASA is finally poised to go further again. So it’s important to remember how we got to the Moon — and why we stopped going."

On December 14th, 1972, Cernan became the last human to step on the Moon’s surface:

07 00 00 47: “Bob, this is Gene, and I’m on the surface and as I take man’s last steps from the surface, back home, for some time to come, but we believe not too long into the future. I’d like to Just list what I believe history will record that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus Littrow, we leave as we come and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”

In the forty-[four] years since those words were spoken, nobody has stepped on the Moon. The levels of federal spending which NASA had received before 1966 had become untenable to a public which had become financially wary, particularly as they experienced a major oil crisis in 1973, which shifted the nation’s priorities. Spending in space was something that could be done, but with far more fiscal constraints than ever before, limiting NASA to research and scientific missions in the coming years. Such programs included the development of the Skylab program in 1973, and the Space Shuttle program, as well as a number of robotic probes and satellites.

Apollo 17.

Forty-four years ago today was the last time since man kind has put his foot on the moon. While we still have the International Space Station and probes to Mars, it's been nearly a half century since mankind has been on the moon, reflecting changing priorities and the diminished interest in having man on the moon.

America is the one of the few countries that protects minority rights through our political system. Most democracies do not have a mechanism that protects the rights of minorities through the power of the filibuster, federalism, and the ability of different political parties to control different branches of government.

We also have a Constitution which protects additional rights, that can not be questioned by Congress or the President. Congress has two branches, the House and Senate, drawn from distinctively different constituencies. It also have a separate executive, the President, who is drawn from a national constituency. Unless all these diverse groups agree, no policy can be implemented.

Most countries allow their governments to engage in rash decisions, allow a simple majority to act in a tyrannical fashion. Fortunately, America is globally unique, and and we restrict the power of the majority by empowering minorities. This is one of the reasons why America’s democracy has outlived most other countries, and has proven to be a stable, long-lasting form of government.