During an Oct. 28, 2011, speech in Atlanta, Charles Murray of American Enterprise Institute had this to say regarding the preference by framers of the U.S. Constitution for limited government:
"In the secular world, the principle of subsidiarity means that local government should do only those things that individuals cannot do for themselves, state government should do only those things that local governments cannot do, and the federal government should do only those things that the individual states cannot do."
What we've been experiencing since the Great Recession is the cold reality of unsustainable debt compelling subsidiarity upon a society otherwise reluctant to adopt the principle, especially while politicians could borrow from the future to do things their constituents wanted now, without having to pay for them.
That reality is intruding on presidential politics. How that plays out - higher taxes? lower spending? - remains to be seen. But here in Seneca County, people are collectively trying to do what individuals cannot do for themselves.
One such collective effort involves the Community Task Force in Tiffin. This month, Morrison House is to open at 107 W. Perry St., and offer emergency and transitional housing to homeless individuals and families. A front-page story Wednesday reported the increase in homelessness in our county.
The same task force, as noted in a column today, also is beginning to organize a latchkey program before and after school. Cost-cutting efforts by Tiffin City Schools are to shuffle elementary students to different schools, and the task force anticipates a latchkey program would help parents deal with the restructuring.
This may be a trend. At a time when the federal government's debt equals the gross domestic product, and Ohio's budget calls for another 25-percent reduction in local government funding during the next state fiscal year, local communities - townships, villages, cities, counties, libraries, schools - are going to find themselves being more self-reliant.
In some cases, this will require more from residents of these communities - not only greater financial commitment, but donations of time and effort. Consider ways you can help.