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The State of the State

Our blogs are platforms from which we share our experiences, opinions, and views with the world. For Mind the Gap challenges, we…

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Our blogs are platforms from which we share our experiences, opinions, and views with the world. For Mind the Gap challenges, we want to hear your take on a divisive issue. Each challenge includes a poll where you can cast your vote along with fellow Daily Post participants. After you vote, expand on the topic in a blog post. Be sure to visit other participants’ posts to get some healthy discussion going.

To participate, tag your posts with DPchallenge and leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed each Friday.

There are few aspects of our lives that government doesn’t touch in some way, from macroeconomics to home economics. But should it? This week, we’re getting philosophical — we want to hear about what you think the role and scope of government should be. It’s time to mind the gap.

We see daily examples of governments dealing with crises — be they real or perceived — by prescribing our decisions. From the Cypriot government’s attempt to avert a financial crisis by taxing bank deposits to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s fight against the obesity crisis via the now-defunct soda ban, most modern-day governments touch every facet of our lives in some way.

There are some actions swathes of us agree are appropriate for government, like requiring us to pay taxes that fund national defense. There are other issues on which governments weigh in – many others, from gay marriage to campaign finance laws — that cause bitter division. These debates play out in our communities and homes, too. Cities ban the sale of foie gras, citing animal cruelty. Suburban communities tell homeowners what colors they can paint their houses.

Where do you draw the line between a reasonable government attempt to maintain stability or solve a problem and an unnecessary infringement on your decisions? Our poll is framed using Bloomberg’s soda ban, but please feel free to run with this question in your own posts — tell us about the ordinance on late-night public playgrounds that’s causing a rift in your community, or explore your country’s approach to a hot-button issue like reproductive rights or health care. Go hyper-local and tell us about your relationship with your kids and the challenge of encouraging their growth while keeping them safe, or step back and paint a wide-angle theoretical picture of the ideal relationship between government and individual.

And remember, we call these challenges “Mind the Gap” for a reason. We want you to take a side and discuss your views with candor and energy, but we also want to keep it civil; we can disagree in a reasoned way.
 

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  1. I’m with DWPEANUT (below) on this. Too many people reaching their long arms into my classroom. Bravo to you, Darcy, who wrote this post:

    http://darcywightwriting.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/weekly-writing-challenge-politics/

    Here’s mine. although it doesn’t qualify for being a day early, but man, talk about the DP stars aligning to my thinking:

    http://christinemccartney.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/a-message-to-parents-from-your-childs-teacher/

    1. Michel W.
      I am dying to know more about blods. About how many words are expected to be too many and how many are too few. I am also interested in how to link or rather, how to make about 4 links to create a decent size newsletter. Curious George and his friend baka8, mostly just baka8 at
      Thanks and muchas gracias

  2. It would not have been necessary for the government to intervene had the subliminal ad campaigns been rooted out from the beginning…young minds are highly susceptible to the power of suggestion, KFC, Mcdonalds, sugar laden and fatty foods should carry a warning, just like cigarettes…

  3. Government means well, but what if we behaved in a way so excellent, that government had little to do? I am obese, and I realize that I cannot defeat the problem by myself. To me, government intervention is good, but easily defeated. If I want a larger soda, I can buy two and defeat the well-intentioned initiative. Government can curb evil in many ways, but cannot totally defeat it. This is basic, but if people decide (whether prompted by government or not) to curb bad and self-destructive behavior, isn’t that more effective than government intervention?
    Let’s determine to know what is better for us and to do it. Let us encourage others to follow. In this way, the competitive spirit can be used in a constructive way for good. But beware of those self-interest groups who speak lies for their own benefit, fund false studies and try to minimize the effects of bad behavior. Be reasonable, look at all sides, then use your brain to reason why you should alter your free-will behavior. You may learn something about yourself!

  4. I find it very concerning more people my age (25 age range) aren’t compelled to weigh in on these issues. I understand we are all caught up and busy fighting the recession to get jobs and pay bills (just like everyone else in the world, we were just all pampered as a generation so we feel wronged that we went through 4 years of college aka bindge drinking and obtaining crap degrees to find the real world is moneyless and jobless)… but the direction of this type of government intervention will only grow stronger if we as a group of people that realize OUR FUTURE IS GOING TO REALLY SUCK IF THE GOVERNMENT CAN CONTROL EVERYTHING WE DO INCLUDING THE SIZE SODA WE BUY. Not to mention our country is currently in the process of financial implement so not only are we going to be drinking small size soda and working out to fight the governments guidelines on obesity but we’ll be doing it in huts and cabins because no one will have money or jobs. There is a reason we read about thousands of years of men and women fighting for rights and independence to create a democratic country where free choice is promoted. This is because the way government was before was intolerable and unsuccessful. NEWSFLASH TO MY GENERATION: Unless your a trust fund baby odds are you probably aren’t ever going to be rich. And we’re slowly dooming ourselves to an economic future much like the one we fought so hard to get away from…if your not rich your poor. College degrees won’t save you…that includes even those of you obtaining a masters…we all have them. These new rules are mind-blowing, where is everybody else that cares???? Im 5 ft tall and 90 pounds and I would like to fight for my right to super size. I don’t even drink soda but I want to CHOSE not to drink it on my own. Not by some outdated right wing “leader of a dying party” idiot. If any CEO in America did their job (as described in their legit job description) as crappy as Bloomberg but fixed every drinking fountain in the building to promote cleaner water we would fire him and laugh at his stupidity and incompetence.

    1. Better not to talk about politics or religion until the child you put through college can’t get a job, despite being qualified simply because he’s “obese”. I hear what your saying and I respect your position, I just hope not everybody takes that position. Somebody has to say something about something or nothing happens.

  5. I’d like to participate in this challenge, however, I don’t want my post to be accessed by the public.. I would just prefer if the post was a link-only access. I don’t want my political views displayed or accessed by anyone who wants to visit my site. Is this possible?

    1. I hadn’t heard of this attack. But certainly is tragic. How awful. But I don’t think it is the government’s job to take any role in it. The governing body of the town or city or state usually already require dogs to be vaccinated for rabies and registered. They also provide a animal control service for problem dogs–for example if someone complains about a dog being vicious or an owner not taking proper care of their dogs. So aside from that I’m not sure what they could do unless you mean banning pit bulls. I met the sweetest young girl while walking my dog one night and she had a cute little dog but she had a huge bandage on her arm where a pit bull had attacked her. I felt so bad for her. But a lot of pit bulls are not vicious so—I’m not sure the solution but perhaps its a problem the community could tackle. Providing rabies vaccine for those that can’t afford it and reporting animal cruelty and irresponsibility when they see it. Though i don’t think the government is the answer I understand how your heart aches for this girl and her family. They need lots of prayer right now to get through this tragedy. I wish there was some way to keep this from ever happening again but that is no doubt and impossibility.

      1. I think it’s not so much the dogs that need controlling but the people. In the UK dogs don’t (legally) have to be vaccinated or registered, this is what a dog licence would do. I think the problem is the dog fighting culture we have at the moment. The ‘chavs’ who think its cool to mistreat their dog until it becomes a dog constantly afraid and therefore vicious. These people need policing and these animals need saving. I think the problem has become too big for communities alone to deal with. It’s nationwide and therefore should be a government issue :) xxx

      2. I see what you mean. You are right about the dog fighting culture. It’s odious. We have laws against it in America. So I guess that would be part of the government being involved that is a good thing.

  6. The soda ban issue was a lame attempt at addressing an underlying problem – inadequate information and access to services = poor choices. If we give people the education, preventive healthcare options and other tools to make the right choices, most probably will. Better yet, provide incentives for farmers to sell their fruits and vegetables in the city for less. Junk food is cheaper than healthy foods and an easy choice when some folk have a limited budget. Just saying… Yeah, I should write on this one when I catch my breath… Hectic lately!
    Have a great week y’all!
    Eliz

24 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More