The cost of dependency

Worldview Thought for the Day

“Well, President Bush never asked me to do anything.”

The previous quote, it all its variations, makes me want to be violent.

Usually, and especially recently, people have been saying that as a justification of the reason they support President Obama while they did not support President Bush. Every time someone says this, I immediately wonder how I came to live in a country purportedly of, by, and for the people whose citizens believe their president has to ask them to do something before they act.

Then I realize this is the terrible cost of dependency.

We often hold up the Great Depression-World War Two generation as an example of the kinds of people we should be as Americans, and not without cause. The people who lived between 1929 and 1950 endured some of the greatest tests the modern world has seen and survived them with their integrity and nation intact.

What everyone seems to miss about the members of Greatest Generation is what they did for themselves. Certainly, the government did things, but what the government did simply supported what the people were already doing.

It was the people who started soup kitchens and food drives for people left destitute. It was the people who took in homeless neighbors. It was the people who organized community campaigns to help people do home maintenance. It was the people who planted gardens. It was the people who moved to where the work was rather than expecting the work to come to them.

It was the people who worked and saved and endured the trials inflicted upon them, and they did not wait for the government to do these things for them. They did them on their own, without government prompting.

Now, find a person today doing even a fraction of those things. It seems they are all waiting for the president to tell them they need to do them.

As a result, our nation is in the mess that it is in. People did not get out of mortgages they could not afford before they were bankrupt. People did not stop spending even when their credit cards were at their limits. People did not look for new, better jobs even when the handwriting was on the wall that their industry was on its way to tanking.

Instead, people sat waiting for the government to tell them to do something.

What exactly is the government going to tell them to do? It appears the answer is that the government is going to tell them their lives are no longer their own by raising their taxes, forcing them into government service programs, and dictating how they care for themselves and their families.

So much for a nation of, by, and for the people. We waited to be told what to do. Now we are being told we are all just part of the machine. I wonder what happens when the machine breaks down and no one is left who knows how to fix it?


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2 Responses to The cost of dependency

  1. Keneil says:

    I am not too sure that people of the greatest generation were much different than people now. They didn’t have credit cards but they did have dollar down, dollar a week installment plans. They bought what “stuff” was available and lost their homes, cars, household items for non payment. They wanted the government to do something, Roosevelt said he would and got elected. The same reason Obama was elected.

    People/groups provided food and shelter for the destitute and were overwhelmed with the needy. Today more and more people/organizations are providing food and shelter for the destitute and are overwhelmed with the needy.

    War brought us out of the depression. If a war is needed, it will happen. Again, not much difference.

    People are herd animals. Even in our country it has always been that a few will lead and the majority will follow.

    History is just trying very hard to repeat itself.

  2. dlhitzeman says:

    I am sure there is some truth to all of that, especially the part about history trying to repeat itself.

    Nevertheless, that repeat is not inevitable, and like with the Greatest Generation, there are many in this generation capable of weathering this storm with little harm if they just apply themselves to the act of weathering it. From my perspective, what is missing is the will to act and the action. Something needs to spur people into action, and I hope that words can before war does.

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