News from Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Are We To Become A Welfare State? Haven't We Learned Anything From History?

The politicians governing this country, in Washington, DC, are so far removed from the reality of who we are they seem to be living in a parallel universe. In his inaugural speech, President-elect Obama, described his ideal world as one where the people owed all to big government. In his perfect world, every facet of our lives, our life style, how much income we would be allowed, the education of our children, and their futures, would be in the hands of the government. Subtext: We would be provided for according to what the government felt we needed and our duty was to accept and be content. This is a peculiarly European philosophy of government.
Is that what I heard? Surely not. He was describing a total welfare state—like the one that failed so miserably for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We all watched while Russia imploded and shook our heads at the futility of a government trying to separate into an elitist, ruling class that subjugates the remainder of the populace to total dependency. It was called Communism, or Socialism and it didn’t work. Eventually, the little guys, referred to as the Proletariat, rebelled.
European history has always been about a privileged class, created by accident of birth, or dint of politics or religion, keeping a portion of the populace dependent and powerless in order to maintain elitist power.  Dependency was maintained by a government welfare system. Work was for those who were too dumb to play the system.
Remnants of the idea remain in Europe. We see it in public riots triggered when welfare checks are threatened, or people are asked to work a few more hours a week, or beleaguered governments try to balance their budgets by cutting back on benefits. Somehow, a portion of the populace has acquired contempt for honest endeavor. They are like baby birds sitting on a fence, demanding more and more food from their beleaguered parents.
Not everyone in the late 1800s bought into the “work is bad” idea. When the lower classes had enough, the bravest and best of them left for a new land across an ocean to seek the freedom to find a better life, free of government oppression, taking their solid work ethic with them. Thus began The American Dream, battered and beleaguered lately, but still alive.
Descendants of those stalwart legions are the bedrock of this nation, not the whining, privilege-seeking, corrupt men and women who govern us from Washington, DC. We need only to look to California to see what the “everybody on welfare” philosophy of government can do to destroy a nation. Again, the employed and business entrepreneurs who are supposed to pay for this have had enough. They are leaving.
How can our DC leaders be so unfamiliar with who we are? We are hard working, entrepreneurial people who will tolerate only so much interference from government. Forty-nine percent did not vote for the idea of the government-controlled life dreamed up by the socialist thinkers in DC. They will put up with only so much before they rebel. Gun control, outrageous corruption in our financial community, labor unions exploiting their workers—they all might be the last straw.
Our leaders would do well to learn from history. In “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire,” historian Edward Gibbon wrote what might foreshadow history today.
“In the end more than they wanted Freedom,
They wanted security.
When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society
But for society to give to them,
When freedom they wished for was
Freedom from responsibility,
Then Athens ceased to be free.”
-          Edward Gibbon (1737 – 1794)

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