Published Thursday, May 3, 2012
Most of the early European settlers of the US were running from government to escape the domination of those who governed. In less than 200 years Americans have reversed that process by running to government which is promising to create a heaven-on-earth life that in reality does not exist.
Our ancient founding forefathers came to America, for the most part, to escape the tyranny of ruthless rulers, abridgers of freedom and opportunity, unreasonable taxation or a host of other transgressions upon the human spirit.
Oh, how that has changed. Too many of us have welcomed the intrusion of government into every segment of our lives. And, believe me; in the interest of acquiring more and more control of our lives, government has acceded to the wants of those who aspire to a redistribution of wealth and an all-powerful government. Our early forefathers came to earn their place in the world — free from domination by government. Alas, how we have changed!
Several years ago, a man of recent immigration ancestry was quoted in a nearby newspaper as saying, “It is the government's duty to look after me.” If you had told that to my granddaddy, he would have laughed at you. In fact, if you had said that to my Dad, he would have said, “You're crazy! They both would say it's your duty to look after yourself and your family and the less government has to do with it the better off everyone will be.”
In the beginning of our nation, folks just wanted to be left alone to seek fulfillment of their individual lives unencumbered by government. This was especially true for those who migrated to the frontier regions of the interior of our nation. Expansion continued Westward until we ran out of frontier more than a hundred years ago. We “mined” the frontier and when it gave out we turned to “mining” the government via a multitude of government “programs.”
Yes, indeed, the rationale of the American psyche has been transformed by politicians who have mostly one goal in mind: RE-ELECTION and a willing body of voters seeking something for nothing.
We have reached a point in which about one-half of Americans pay no Income Tax at all and are living off the fruits of the labor of the other half. Of course, they want to continue this methodology of government because as it has often been said, “Paul will always be in favor of robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Of the half that pays no Income Tax, over 70 million of them receive a monthly check or other “entitlements” from the Federal Government each and every month. It's human nature for most of these folks to engage in “class warfare” and insist that Peter pay more and more of his hard-earned wages to support Paul.
The truth is, if government taxed 100 percent of all the income from the top tax-payers who pay almost 100 percent of the cost of government, our government still could not maintain the current rate of spending without borrowing more and more from the Chinese and others.
There is a substantial body of Americans who want nothing from government. They just want to be left alone to seek their own positions in life. But these folks are ridiculed by many of those in power as being simply naive, hard-hearted, greedy and somehow their hard-earned fortunes must have come about by nefarious means. Paul once again agrees and we have “class warfare” — promoted by failed administrations seeking re-election.
We have, perhaps, gone too far in the wrong direction. We may not be able to recover and our kids will pay the price. The day is fast approaching when there will be no more Peters to rob.
But in the holy name of “re-election” the political Pauls continue to seek an impossible “heaven-on-earth” society in which everyone is “above average.” Of course, that will always be a mathematical impossibility.
Before I go any farther down this road, let me say that there will always be among us those who are incapable of providing for themselves because of a myriad of reasons: old age, mental or physical handicaps, loss of job, bad luck, etc. We must as a society always offer a helping hand to these fellow citizens. And we should do so with glad hearts. But to provide equal status for those who refuse to utilize their God-given abilities to produce a decent life for themselves and their families is beyond the sympathy of most productive Americans.
Truth be told, government policies have wreaked the lives of many worthy citizens with a failed economy which has wiped out hard-earned savings and home values.
With all of the commonsense of our forefathers behind us, we continue down the road of reverting to the present nature of many of the countries they left behind. Can you say “Greece?”
I am an aged American who can't muster much hope for a nation that is being led by fellow Americans who, for the most part, have lived or are living sustained from the public trough. We need to be led by fellow Americans who have proven abilities in making economics work and are willing to do so even at the risk of not being re-elected.
More power to them. It's our only hope.
John Brock is a retired newspaper editor/publisher and college professor. He can be reached by mail at this newspaper or by Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org