At a San Francisco fund-raiser last week, President Obama warned the audience that if he’s not re-elected, it will bring a new era of self-reliance in America.Read the rest of it here.
In this dystopian future, people wouldn’t be able to rely on the government to give them health care or college or anything else we now consider a need. That’s just an awful, scary thought these days. Which begs the question: Are we too sissy for freedom anymore?
Not everyone acknowledges how scary true freedom is. Sure, you get to make your own choices, but then government won’t be there to catch you when you fall.
Some people considered freedom worth that risk, though. When the Pilgrims came to America, there was no government to make sure they had food or shelter or even anti-bullying laws that kept others from making fun of their silly hats with the buckles on them.
Similarly, in the 19th century, settlers moved out West despite the complete lack of cellphone service there. Again, no government awaited to make sure they’d be all right, and if they were attacked by bears, they couldn’t call animal control to come help them (no cell service, remember).
But we’re a different kind of people now. All the federal government did back then was basically keep an eye on Canada and make sure it didn’t invade. Today, more than half of the federal government’s budget is spent on entitlements and safety nets. In fact, a fifth of federal spending is devoted to making sure we have crummy retirement savings that no one can live on.
If the Founding Fathers ever found out about that, they’d probably shoot us with muskets. But the fact is they’re dead, and we’ve decided we have other needs as a people.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Frank J. Fleming explores the issue:
Posted by Rick Moore on 11/04/2011