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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 | Public vs. private


Ocala, FL - November 4, 2012

Published: Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.

Public vs. private

I believe a critical consideration in the upcoming Marion County Hospital District bond issue has been overlooked amid the din of pro-and-con arguments. MCHD is as much a branch of government as a water district; to imply otherwise is disingenuous. The governing board of the "tenant" Munroe Regional Health Systems comprises the directors of MCHD along with others confirmed by the County Commission, both governmental entities. The essential issue is whether government should operate business in direct competition with private enterprise. This transcends all "ends justify the means" arguments.

To empower government to undertake enterprises competing directly with private enterprises is un-American and violates the intentions of our founding fathers.

When I was in the commercial furniture business in New Jersey, the state implemented a program employing prisoners to manufacture such furniture, and required all agencies to purchase this inventory. The public approved without weighing the deeper consequences of destroying real, private sector jobs with forced labor. This extreme case exemplifies the inherent dangers against which the founding fathers sought to protect us. Companies and corporations are citizens' enterprises and therefore entitled to this protection.

Admittedly, there'll be gains and losses either way โ€” $5 per month doesn't sound like much. But restraining government from harming private enterprise by direct competition transcends these considerations. Government holds property for the common good, or engages in enterprises impractical or impossible for the private sector such as developing infrastructure. But in markets where the citizenry are gainfully engaged in lawful enterprise, it is the government's responsibility โ€” its duty โ€” to protect, defend and promote that freedom and prosperity, not to usurp or infringe. I therefore urge all citizens to vote NO to this tax bailout of a failing government-run business that directly competes with gainful private enterprise.

Thomas Fusco