The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 1, 2012

Mike Pound: Government appears to be working again

It appears it worked again.

It’s been several days since Hurricane Sandy first began battering the East Coast, and government appears to be working. I use the term government somewhat collectively because a host of hardworking folks in not just the federal government, but in state, county and city governments did and are doing their jobs.

They produced accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings. They made sure that folks heeded those warnings. They helped folks in the path of the storm evacuate and, later, helped rescue those other folks who chose not to evacuate.

By the way, I’ve always found it admirable that when rescuers get a call for help from some moron who ignored warnings that he should leave and, as a result, found himself in need of saving that they go ahead and rescue the guy. See, my response would probably be: “The heck with him, he’s a moron.”

But that’s not the way government is supposed to work. Government, since we all pretty much pay for it, is supposed to be there for everyone. Including the morons. After all, morons pay taxes, too.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the government. Since my dad served in the military throughout most of my childhood, my view of government’s role is probably a bit skewed. See, I believe that government provided my dad a pretty good job that allowed him to raise a family of seven kids. Sure the government sent him to war three times, but, hey, my dad had seven kids. War was probably a break for him.

Government provided my family with free health care. Government, at times, provided my family with housing. It did and still is providing my dad a comfortable retirement. Government did the same for hundreds of thousands of men and women my dad’s age and continues to do that for the hundreds and thousands of men and women who followed my dad’s generation into military service.

I like government. Even when it screws up. And, let’s be clear here, government does screw up. But the successes of government, the good things that government does, far outweigh the screw-ups.

Nobody knows that more than the people of Joplin.

Before the 2011 tornado hit, folks with the National Weather Service were issuing warnings to residents. Those warnings likely saved thousands of lives. After the tornado hit, city and county first responders rushed to aid the injured, fight fires, provide traffic control and guard against looting. Later, emergency workers from across the state and eventually from across the nation showed up to help. The National Guard stepped in to provide assistance.

And then the federal government stepped in with money to help pay for all of the local help. It stepped in with money to help clean up, and later with money to rebuild. And that federal money continues to flow to Joplin as the town begins reshaping itself.

Government worked in Joplin, and it’s working along the East Coast.

Over the past few days, as I’ve watched and read coverage in the aftermath of the most recent storm, I’ve been struck by the similarities between the response to Hurricane Sandy and to the Joplin tornado. I’ve watched incredibly brave and selfless government employees rush in to save lives and assist victims. I’ve watched them help folks dig out of destroyed homes and I’ve seen them provide food and shelter to thousands of people.

In short, I’ve seen government do what government is supposed to do.

We here in Joplin have an idea what the folks on the East Coast are going through. We also have an idea of what lies ahead for them. We just pray that the government continues to work as well for them as it is working for us.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ruling modifies gas rates; MGE says bills to remain the about same

    An agreement to settle a Missouri Gas Energy rate change will modify the company’s various rates, but the net bill to consumers will remain largely the same, according to statements released Thursday by the gas company and the state’s utility regulatory agency.

    April 24, 2014

  • Railroad conducts training session; law enforcement officers work on crossing enforcement

    Joplin police and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers trained Thursday and will continue today on railroad crossing safety with Kansas City Southern Railway Co. The annual event, called “Officer on a Train,” puts law enforcement officers in the locomotive cab to give them a real-time view of how motorists and pedestrians approach train crossings through the city. The event began Thursday morning on tracks crossing Fourth Street near Murphy Boulevard.

    April 24, 2014

  • East Newton High student designated semifinalist in Presidential Scholars Program

    An East Newton High School student is among eight Missouri students who have been named semifinalists in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for their outstanding academic achievement. George Bennion, a senior from Stark City, said he was “super excited” when he was notified of his selection as a semifinalist.

    April 24, 2014

  • 042314 Rec funding Build a Lion_72.jpg Missouri Southern students to vote on new fee, going smoke-free

    Students at Missouri Southern State University will vote next week on whether they support creating a fee that would fund athletic and recreation projects. During the annual student senate-sponsored spring election, students also will be asked whether they support a completely tobacco-free campus.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • New Kansas gun law draws support, some reservations

    At John’s Sports Center in Pittsburg on Thursday, firearms manager Adam Gariglietti said he supported Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to sign a bill that will ensure it is legal across the state to openly carry firearms. But, he offered some words of caution. “It’s great that he signed the bill,” Gariglietti said. “But at the same time, common sense goes a long way.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Baxter Springs chili feed to raise money for family of girl facing surgery

    On a Sunday morning in February, 9-year-old Izzy Morris woke up her mother complaining of a headache. Teresa Morris gave her daughter medicine. But an hour later, the headache had worsened. “She was in a lot of pain and started screaming and yelling uncontrollably,” Morris said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Carthage budget committee hears proposal for water, sewer rate increases

    The proposed budget for the Carthage Water & Electric Plant, including increases in water and wastewater rates, dominated discussions Thursday night as the Carthage Budget Ways and Means Committee continued its review of proposed city budgets for the fiscal year starting July 1.

    April 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Self-driving cars mean not having to teach teens to drive

    I may be wasting my time trying to teach my 16-year-old daughter, Emma, how to drive.
    According to The Washington Post, self-driving cars are on the way. What used to be a dream of bored engineers has now become something that certain car companies are taking seriously.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • World Tai Chi Day to be celebrated on Saturday

    At least two communities in the area will be celebrating World Tai Chi Day Saturday with outdoor events at area parks.

    April 24, 2014

  • Groundbreaking set for MSSU residence hall complex

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, April 28, for the new residence hall complex at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 24, 2014

Must Read


What’s your favorite tree?

A. Maple
B. Oak
C. Dogwood
D. Redbud
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter