Shared Sacrifices and Sanctuary Cities

Sanctuary cities require shared sacrifices by their citizens to fund programs. George G talks about the important questions we should be asking!

May 14, 2024 | Blogs, Podcast

About the Episode

Sanctuary cities require shared sacrifices by their citizens to fund programs. The social contract demands we make small sacrifices of individual liberties, but at what cost? George G talks about the important questions we should be asking in the context of major American cities making decisions on how they allocate taxpayer dollars!

 

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Host

Episode Transcript

moral and political philosophy, social, social schauffele, red leather yellow feather, red leather yellow feather in moral and political philosophy. The social contract is an idea, the theory or a model that concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state, over you and I individual, it’s a core concept of constitutionalism, while not necessarily convened and written down in a constituent assembly and constitution. Social Contract arguments typically are that individuals have consented either explicitly or tacitly to give up to surrender some freedoms and to submit to authority in exchange for protection of the remaining rights, or maintenance of the social order. So when we’re in the state of nature, we’re wandering around like The Walking Dead or some post apocalyptic movie or story, there’s no governments, there’s no police. It is just one woman out for herself man up for himself we band together, fortunately, wasn’t awesome. It was a brutish, terrible way to live. So we came together, we agreed on certain things, we formed social contract. Okay, makes sense. Going to give up a little bit, to get more the net is going to be greater than the sum. The sum is greater than the individual parts, make you understand what it is that I’m trying to say or talk about? Why am I thinking about this? Why am I talking about it? Why are you listening to me talking about the social contract? I read or saw, you know, we received so many inputs these days, it’s difficult to remember how it is that something crawled inside of our brains. Mike Johnson is the mayor of Denver, he was recently talking about the necessity of what he called a shared sacrifice, shared sacrifice. And it was in the context of realizing or achieving Denver’s goal, as a sanctuary city, and being a welcoming place for illegal immigrants. Or for whatever term you’re interested in using people that are not necessarily in the country recently. And now they are and they have no place to go. Anyway. There’s around 40,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver since last year. That is a lot of people. I grew up in a town of 80,000 people, so half of the entire city that I grew up in, and they came into the United States, through Texas, and then found their way, one way or another, to Denver, because Denver is a sanctuary city, they want to be welcoming. And in service of becoming welcoming. A shared sacrifice is required. So says Mayor Johnson. So the surge of people has put a strain, obviously, on city resources, because, you know, every entity, every entity, your house has a budget. Your town has a budget, your city has a budget, your state has a budget. Federal government, theoretically speaking, even has a budget. And we make budgets, looking backwards. And then look at boards. We’re making some assumptions. And I don’t know how big Denver is. But let’s assume Denver’s million people, oh, you throw in 40,000 additional people, that’s a pretty good number of people. So that is going to mean All right, we’re going to need to take from some existing programs or take some resources from here, and now put them over there. Okay. Denver, unlike the federal government does not have the ability to simply print new money. Colorado, unlike the federal government does not have the ability to simply print new money, just like you and I in our households do not have the ability to simply print new money. So we must make do with what we have. And if all of a sudden there’s three more people living in your house. Well, you need to figure that out. How are you going to feed these people? How are you going to pay for the new the addition of three new people three new everything’s so that it’s going to make some people really happy and it’s going to make some people really upset At the idea of Denver’s so called generous sanctuary city policy, I help I don’t want to say sanctuary city too many more times. But Mayor Johnson defended Denver’s policy as being a balanced approach to dealing with the crisis because they’re not getting federal aid for this. So Johnson says, it’s a balance, we want to be a welcoming city. He explained how he didn’t want migrant families to be left out in the cold, don’t want them living on the streets. And that’s a really compassionate and nice thing. And he also wants to provide high quality public services for taxpayers. So are these two things possible? Can these two things coexist? I don’t know the answer to that. That’s the question. What do we do? How do we handle these situations? So in the context of that, without any support, to do both of these things, it requires here’s the term a shared sacrifice, it requires compromise. And that used to be what politics was compromise, compromise, compromise. All politics are local. So Johnson says that they’re making cuts both to the city budgets to meet the financial needs, and making cuts, the amount of services that can be provided to the migrants that arrive and the number of folks that we can serve. So in March, city officials pleaded with property owners to house migrants. So the city was asking its citizens to take in almost migrants. Talk about the mother of all NIMBY, would you do that? Would you take in a migrant? Are you currently, if you’re currently doing that, I would love to have a conversation with you? If you’re not, then why aren’t you? That’s an interesting, interesting thought exercise right there, isn’t it? If the people in Denver want to be a sanctuary city, why aren’t they readily taking in these people into their homes? Because then there will be much less of a problem. Right? It’s interesting. I don’t know the answer these questions. All right. So it asked people to how’s the migrants after it’s scaled back some of the services. Mayor Johnson apparently announced recently that nearly $46 million would be slashed from the budget to help fund a $90 million package funding migrant aid and housing for the rest of the year. Now, we have watered down numbers. A billion used to be a lot. And remember when the richest person on earth was a billionaire, and now it’s just these numbers are just astronomical. So 90 million, maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s still just an immense amount of money. And yeah, it’s not a big number for the federal government. But again, city governments are much much much different. So that’s a huge number. So Johnson is asking the city council to cut 45 point 5 million from the annual budget and 2024 to help pay for this $90 million new migrant response called the Denver asylum seekers program. Where are these cuts going to take place? Turns out that the city was looking to hire 106 160 positions. Now they’re not going to fill those so they’ll just remain empty. So that’s then that that’s that. But then other departments that are being hit. The mayor’s offices is making cuts, clerk and recorder’s office, auditors, departments, those are fine. Public safety with the city spends most of its money, we’ll take the biggest dollar hit. So there it is. There it is public safety. Of all the things to make cuts on be like public safety should be the last thing that you start cutting. Because the whole reason that we came together in cities hold social contract thing is that I am safe. That if I am in danger, there’s a policeman or policewoman or fire woman that will come and help me. So feel like that’s really, really important. But we’ll take a step back. I’m not really commenting as to whether or not this is a good idea. Even I guess it kind of but I’m bringing it to your attention because I think that we all need to be good stewards of our money. Our money

been ragging on the federal government about overspending quite a bit lately. But because I think that we’re overspending and The money that Denver’s spending this $90 million is coming directly from Denverites pockets. They’re making the decision the elected officials, the mayor is asking the city council to make the decisions to divert money from one thing and put it towards something else. Is that good or bad? If the answer to that question, it ought to be up to each of us to make decisions, that it’s really important that we’re paying attention to how our elected officials are spending our money because it’s our money. Again, the government does not have the means production. least not yet. To be able to create new money, they get money by taxing us by taxing the citizens, they create debt and sell it. So they print new money and sell it. issue bonds taking cash that way. But it’s our money. Revenue that flows into the city, Deborah, that they make their budget off of is based on tax payer payments. So sit shared sacrifice, shared sacrifice, that term really got me reminded me a quote that I heard some years ago. And the quote is, with my family, I’m a communist with my close friends, I’m a Socialist at the state level of politics. I’m a Democrat. at higher levels. I’m a Republican, and at federal levels, I’m a libertarian. I like that sounds right to me. What do you think? I know that in some circles, communism and socialism, those are dirty words, some some circles, they’re really, really exciting, fun words, and great ideas. So I just submit that, that we need to be thinking about these things. But I’m going to read that again. With my family, I’m a communist. My close friends, I’m a socialist state level of politics. I’m a Democrat at higher levels, I’m Republican at the federal levels. I am a libertarian. So do you know what those things are? Do you think that most people understand what a communist is, what a socialist is what a libertarian is? I don’t know. But from a, from a definitional standpoint, a communist, a communist society would entail the absence of private property, social classes, so the absence of private property, the absence of social classes, and ultimately the absence of money, and the state. Okay. Socialism is characterized by social ownership of the means of production as opposed to private ownership. So the government would own all, all the means of productions. Okay? Libertarians, Libertarian Party goals are as libertarians, we seek a world of liberty, a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. Okay, so there you go. So makes more sense. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, I’m a communist at home with my family. My friends on the socialist highest level of government makes more sense to be a libertarian. That’s just what the quote is saying. And I think in a lot of ways, a lot of ways I agree with it. But it’s part of a far greater conversation conversation about what really matters. And in a lot of ways, I think it’s one of the most important conversations that needs to be had. It’s a mean that we internally need to be asking ourselves, what’s right for my family, what’s right for me, what’s right for my community, it’s right from my state, and then what’s right for the country. And I guess humanity in general, one of the key ideas, facts of this is that not everything can be the most important thing. It’s just not possible. Because if everything is the most important thing, then nothing is the most important thing. So we have to make a hierarchy of things. And I know that people don’t like that either. I just don’t see any way around it. This is the thing that is of the highest value, not everything can be of the highest value, which means that other things, other ideas, other initiatives are of lesser value. So lesser importance. I just don’t know that we understand that. Just it doesn’t appear to me that that we do. The second key idea, fact is that we have finite resources, finite resources, which I think about talk about as our mvrs, our most valuable resources. And those are time, attention, energy, and money. All of those things are finite. Each of them is finite. You only have so much of each. So the game the trick is making the best decisions that you can in service of what matters So that demands that we know what matters. And then we do what is needed to, we do what we must do in service of what matters. So this is true of you personally. It’s true of your household, your community, your city, state and your country. Even though we’d like to think, or we’d like to pretend that it doesn’t it does. We don’t have an infinite amount of money. We just don’t, do you have an infinite amount of money? Even Jeff Bezos doesn’t have an infinite amount of money. Even Elon Musk doesn’t have an infinite amount of money seems like it, they have a lot, but not infinite. You don’t see a Denver doesn’t. Your city your state doesn’t. And we’d like to pretend that the federal government doesn’t either, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that. So what are our priorities? It’s just what matters what matters most. And then what matters, what must be done in service of what matters. So what’s the minimum, the minimum that must be done? To do what matters? I called ours are table stakes. And that’s a poker term, or it’s a gambling card table term. In order to play the hand, you have to pay the table stakes. So that gets you in the game. Okay, these are the things, table stakes are the things that must happen for society to function properly, to honor the social contract. If we’re not honoring the social contract, then it breaks down. So things that must happen for society to function properly, or what the constituents want. So if you live in in Denver, does this make sense to you? Is this where your tax dollars should be spent? If yes, you’re good to go. Awesome. If now, you say why are we doing this? Why in the world will be cut public safety? To do this? Well, then pick up the phone, call your elected officials have a conversation about it. Maybe Maybe I’m missing something that’s very, very clear, very obvious. That’s extremely possible, at the very least, show up on Election Day and vote for the people who say that Domo, more closely represent your interests. What do you think about this idea of shared sacrifice? What do you think about it? It’s essential. It’s essential. It’s what the social contract is based on that we’re giving up some things in order to have security, safety. That shared sacrifice, those are the table stakes that we’re paying to be able to have a functioning society. So the current allocation of money aligned with what you believe, to be its highest and best use context of this conversation, its city of Denver, is directing money to this new endeavor, this new program, is that the highest and best use of that money. Only you folks in Denver will be able to answer that question. But that’s a question that we must ask. At every level of our lives, household community, what I’ve been talking about. So, for the reminder, it’s your money. All that money, the government spends yours. They work for you. Another friendly reminder, never going to be anybody more interested in your financial success than you are. I encourage you, dear listener, to act accordingly.

 

 

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