Voters Need the League in Election Years (Jackie Parnell)|
Planning Meeting on December 9
Why League Concentrates on Government (Pearl Johnson)
Progress on Recycling (Pearl Johnson)
Rail Transit Fares
Welcome New Members
Effect of HOT Lanes
Did Voters Follow Our Advice?
Why League Concentrates on Government
On the front page of this Voter is this description of the League of Women Voters: "A nonpartisan organization to encourage informed citizen participation in government and politics." Why is government so important? We can easily see its importance in developing countries. Well-intentioned donor institutions trying to better the quality of life by building roads and water systems are dismayed by corrupt governments siphoning away most of their donations.
But good governance is important to us Americans as well. Most of us are aware of government's role in health care, fixing potholes, providing clean water, etc. But have you thought of how government affects our eating habits?
The nationwide "obesity epidemic" is the subject of much newsprint and airtime. Nutritionists say Americans don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. But many find them too expensive, compared with the junk food so readily available. And where do government subsidies go? To corn and soybeans which are grown largely to feed animals and to make high fructose corn syrup which is the principle sweetener in America. Hence the low price of junk food. What would happen to the American diet and health if fruits and vegetables were subsidized?
Why are subsidies not going to fruits and vegetables which Americans really need? Because agribusiness has a huge voice in determining what is subsidized by the government. Our government does not use its economic resources for the common good, but rather for the good of those who have the best lobbyists.
Here at home, what can Leaguers do? Honolulu League has studied the rail transit plan and is against it. You can help the League in this effort. But this is an obvious concern. Just as the connection between obesity and government policy was not obvious, you can think of almost any concern and find the government component to it. Then work with the League to affect that concern.
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