Welcome back to the Conversation! The article last time ended a bit abruptly, due to the fact that it's a two-part column.
As a continuation of The Conversation this week, several factors are on my mind, which will lead to a rather lengthy introduction to make a rather short point.
First and foremost, I hope everyone reading this column understands the fact that a US-based governmental system is a system based upon representation of the will of the people by their elected government officials.
(Please forgive me if this next section is an insult to either your intelligence or your education, but I feel it needs to be said as a backdrop to the conversation we're currently having.)
In other words, one individual is elected to represent the wishes desires and needs of 500,000 people for example. It could be many more, but let's use that number as a starting point.
Now, 500,000 people could easily be the amount of individuals occupying a small to medium sized city in the U.S, and as such would be represented by city government officials who are tasked with various aspects of the citizens well-being.
(That number of citizens may seem like a lot due to the fact that our population here in American Samoa is how much closer to 70,000 people. Those who are represented in the government through the Fono are probably closer to the 50,000 category.)
After the city level, would be the county level which is a grouping of cities, and after that would be the state level followed by the federal level. So in the States, there are many levels of government officials representing different groups of people.
Regardless of the number represented, it is the job and duty of the government officials to serve the will of the people and work for the good of the people who they represent.
This is why many times government officials are also called Representatives. They are many times called public servants also.
"Why are they called public servants?" you may ask. Simply put, while they are leaders and in positions of authority, they are supposed to be servant leaders.
This may be a New Concept for some of you that a person in a leadership role is meant to be the servant of those being led.
There are worlds of difference between a Servant-Leader, and a Serve-Me Leader.
Unfortunately, many leaders in US government have decided to shift from being a servant-leader to being a serve-me leader, and it has not gone well for the people who are being led by these types of leaders.
One of the easiest ways in which serve-me leadership is shown by is the way in which taxes and fees are assessed to those in both the business and the private sector.
What I mean by that specifically is if laws are being put in place by those representatives of the people that require taxes and fees to be paid, and the individuals affected specifically have told their officials NOT to enact, and yet it is pursued anyway, this is indicative of the goals of leadership.
There are only two and results of leadership: To be served, or to serve.
More taxes and fees simply lead to a population that is financially poorer, not one that is enriched. Time and time again, government bodies the world over have been shown to be wasteful with money. Throwing more money at a government entity is not going to solve more problems — it will simply be more money that can be wasted, simply on a larger scale.
The Simple Point of Today
So this week, I want you to look at not only the OMV proposed bill that you can download at the bottom of this article, but I want you to consider all of the other bills that are in front of your representatives at this very moment in time.
Do the proposed laws and bills to enact this host of new taxes and fees reflect a Servant leadership focus, or do they reflect a Serve-Me Leader focus?
If you are in agreement with these laws, support them wholeheartedly! If you are not in agreement with these laws, it is your duty to let your representative know. It is then their duty to communicate to the body they're connected to the wishes of their people. The Fono meets on Monday.
What will your action be?