White House Press Photo / March 23, 2009/ Lawrence Jackson(cc)

Does government work for you?

United States Capitol

Barack Obama told a joint session of Congress that people don’t want to continue the argument about big government or small government. They want smart government and effective government.

What is smart and effective government in 2009? While it’s easy and sometimes fun to demonize government when times are good, we learn in times of crisis the power our government can exercise. Government can keep credit flowing to our nation’s banks. It can create jobs in short periods of time. It builds roads, dams, and clean water systems. Provides avenues to get an education. Government can provide basic needs like food, shelter, energy assistance and bridge loans to the unemployed. It can change the tax code or provide basic research that fosters the growth of new industries. Government can keep existing industries afloat. There are countless other functions.

More Americans have had to ask the government for help during these hard economic times. Join the conversation and tell of your experience whether government has been smart and effective in caring for the needs of its citizens.

Has government been smart?
Has government been effective?

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The Crossroads for Government and Business

business_government

Two of the major forces that have shaped America into the world’s lone superpower are a democratic governing system and free market capitalism.  Have these societal forces shaped over time to compliment one another or do they counter balance?  The answer is both.  They are interdependent on one another.  The government both regulates private enterprise to protect citizens from capitalisms excesses and at the same time provides incentives to encourage private business and industry to thrive.  Major industries like banking, energy, telecommunications and aerospace down to small corner businesses can be helped or harmed by government action.

Regulation:
www.regulations.gov
Government help starting a small business:
www.sba.gov/
www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/Introsbafinance/index.html
Finding a government grant:
www.grants.gov
Contracts for business with the federal government:
www.business.gov

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Can government change?

gov_change

One of the most treasured rights in American democracy is to lobby or petition the government to influence pubic policy.  That right to petition has turned into a billion dollar lobbying industry in Washington D.C.

President Obama campaigned to change the way Washington rewards special interest lobbyists and instead plans to give more voice to the everyday citizens. Obama said that “the system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington.  But I don’t (work for them). I work for the American people.”

With that in mind, have you tried to contact or “lobby” the White House on an issue?   Have you contacted the members of congress who represent you?  You know that every American citizen has that right.  Join the conversation and discuss your experience fighting for the change you believe in.  What kind of response did you receive? Were you satisfied or did it feel like lip service?

White House – http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Senators – http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
House of Representatives – http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

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Citizenship Quiz

Becoming an American citizen is the dream of many people around the world. The promise of the freedom to create your own destiny and wealth in America has made her citizenship a prize. But can those fortunate to be born in the USA answer the questions that we require immigrants to know in order to become American citizens. Take the test below and then tell us.

Citizenship quiz

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

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