Saturday, July 19, 2008
Phil Gramm's resignation as John McCain's Campaign Co-Chairman underscores McCain's inability to deal truthfully with the American public and McCain would rather appease weak minded people and his opponent. Phil Gramm was correct in his assertion that we are in a "mental recession". While the dollar is weak and oil has been very high, causing rising costs for most things, americans seem to be getting along just fine thank you. I think this situation underscores issues regarding the change in the American psyche in the last 50 years. To put it plainly, Americans do not want, like or think they should have to suffer for anything. The sense of entitlement that many americans have is frightening and it is my belief that it will lead to a weaker America. We whine about many things. Take the Iraq war for instance. First let me say that I do not support Bush's assertion that promulgated the war. I believe he used an a priori supposition to get us into the conflict. I believe his true reasoning was to reshape the middle east by putting Iran in a vise between ready made democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran has been and is one of the bad guys in supporting terrorism. Now, over 4100 soldiers have died in the Iraq war since March of 2003. that is over 5 years. Peaceniks, and other left leaning americans bemoan this and you'd think we were losing a generation over there (I do not belittle the sacrifices made, but rather show the shallow indignation of the protesters). Even non-political americans are showing weariness of the war. Part of this is the coverage of the left leaning media, but most of it is because we just don't have the stomach for such things. For instance, in WW II, we lost a total of about 5100 soldiers in D-Day. That's more killed in one day than in 5 years in Iraq. I believe in the Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War, the Union lost over 17,000 in one day. One day. We have lost our will, our ability to persevere, to endure. Can you say Sprechen Sie Deutsches?, Yukkuri hanashi te kudasai? or "I was born in the land of cotton....dixieland". We haven't had two consecutive quarters of negative growth. There is no recession. People are basically whining because of the free market and now they want the government to step in and end their minor suffering. During WW II, gas was rationed and people would run kerosine in their cars. They got by. No one whined, they worked harder. People are complaining about the mortgage crisis. Who told these people to over extend themselves? Where is personal responsibility? The entitlement mentality in this country has largely grown for the fact that people can get money without earning it. Want a new car? Apply for credit. Want that 3000+ sq ft house with 5 bed rooms and you only have 1 kid? no problem. Take two mortgages out and one of them is interest only. Want to eat out every night? No problem, I'll just use the mastercard. Credit allows people to live a lifestyle that not only they would not be able to afford without it, but they haven't earned it. What people do not realize, is that they have put themselves into a form of peonage that will continue until after they are even dead. My supposition is that when you do not earn what you have, it loses its value. It becomes meaningless, and the result is that you want more crap. When you pay cash for something, you had to work for it up front, and chances are you will appreciate it and cherish it. This entitlement mentality has infected many americans to the point that they do not value their very freedom and the capitalist democracy that guards it and promulgates it. In aversion to having to suffer, or in reality, earn their way, they would give up much for security. Ben Franklin said that "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic". So it is not enough that we can buy things unearned, but we also should enlist the government in giving us entitlements to things our founding fathers never considered, nor have we earned any of it. Of course there is no free lunch here as well. Nationalized healthcare, prescriptions, welfare, college tuition, etc would be paid through increased taxes (consider how poorly the government does in this area. social security pays back between 1 and 1 and a half per cent. A certificate of deposit in a bank pays at least 2.75%. So, if you get $1000 a month from SS, you'd get $2750 if you put it in a CD). Taxes are in a sense, peonage. You have to work to pay taxes and that time you work is time you will never get back. Time is one of the few commodities that is very limited, and whose quantity one never knows. The one entitlement I stand by is for every person to keep every bit of currency they earn. It should be up to the individual how it would be distributed. Now, I am sure there are people out there that would say, look what you get in return, look how society benefits as a whole. I would reply that such arguments were made by plantation owners that owned slaves. The greater good has been used oppress, to steal, to obfuscate, and to kill. Supporting and elevating individual rights and responsibilities does not hurt society. So where does this leave us as Americans? Credit is the chain around our neck and government entitlements are chains around our ankles. A future of a more socialist American government presents a picture of a servile, ignorant, feckless and pusillanimous people. How did we get here? I'll leave that for another post, but I will leave you with quotes from two famous and eloquent Americans:
"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
"To make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken the moral and mental vision and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason."
Thank you for reading this blog.