What do you want?

Students, seniors, workers, families with children, lower income, all have one thing in common.

They want more and apparently they want it from that infinite, ambiguous source – government.

It appears many people believe government should fund their retirement, their college, raising their children, their health care, even their basic incomes.

There is no understanding that government has no resources it doesn’t take from citizens be it the current or future generations.

Life choices, individual behavior, irresponsibility have no meaning or consequences. The demand for more carry’s no criteria.

Not even true need is a criteria. We accept broad brush conclusions based on stereotypes, widely accepted generalizations and simply misleading propaganda. We set policy based on self-serving surveys.

Seniors are poor, Americans can’t afford to save, student loans are a crisis, child care is a crisis, Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

And yet we fail to view any of that in the context of American’s buying and spending habits and priorities, accumulation of stuff and the widespread inability to differentiate between wants and needs or to live beyond the moment.

Instead of focusing on the truly needy with a goal of helping them achieve greater independence, we are creating a society totally dependent on government and the politicians who run it – funded if at all, by anyone other than ourselves.

We are a society of spoiled thirteen year olds.

10 comments

  1. Our country is no longer of by and for the people. It is of by and for the corrupt political elite, corporations, and special interest groups. We are no longer talking about millions, billions, but trillions in debt. In 1960 corporations paid 60 % of the Federal income tax, today corporations pay just 14 %. This is what you get, when you have a corrupt political class bought off by campaign $$$$. Term limits will not fix it, because in our 2 party system in most elections, you get to vote for the rich republican or rich democrat. What we need is a 10 party system to slow down the corruption.

    Like

  2. Alexis de Tocqueville 1805 – 1859 quotes – “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
    “I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.”
    “Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
    “Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”
    “It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the ‘right’ to education, the ‘right’ to health care, the ‘right’ to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.”
    “As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?”

    In almost 200 years, not much has changed, except the Federal and State Governments have grown all powerful and our freedoms have been reduced. By rules and regulations that add cost to everything, that lower the average person’s standard of living; without regard to the value or cost to society of such legislation.

    Like

    1. “A republic, if you can keep it.”

      How much regulation is too much?* For many of them, the benefits clearly outweigh the costs. Same thing goes with taxes or social spending. There is a middle ground.

      de Tocqueville is interesting and quotable, but how does that help us balance these issues today?

      Sounds like we’re still bargaining with the whore.

      Socialism is a whore? Unrestrained capitalism is a bitch.

      *And how much freedom is too much?

      Like

  3. The crescendo of wants is increasing because of the cheerleading from Washington. The promise of free college and pay off college loans, expanded Medicare, and a host of goodies that are included in the bills pending now.
    When you say we want all this stuff because we “are a nation of spoiled 13 year olds” you act as if Congress is merely acting on what is being demanded. I don’t remember any of these giveaways being demanded prior to the current crop of representatives calling for these giveaways.

    Don’t blame me or the folks I know for this mess. Likewise, I’ll wager you and your friends aren’t responsible either.

    Like

    1. We are all to blame until term limits are enacted. It is never the career politician that we vote to go back to Washington. It is always the representative from another district. I could throw stones at representatives from California, but I don’t have to throw that far. I can’t figure out how my two Senators keep getting re-elected.

      Like

  4. Here’s the joke:
    Man to woman: Would you sleep with me for one million dollars?
    Woman: Sure.
    Man: How about for ten dollars?
    Woman: What do you think I am?
    Man: We’ve already established what you are. All we’re doing is bargaining about price.

    The rest of the joke:
    “And yet we fail to view any of that in the context of American’s buying and spending habits and priorities, accumulation of stuff and the widespread inability to differentiate between wants and needs or to live beyond the moment.”

    The difference between wants and needs is what drives the ever increasing GDP. “Students, seniors, workers, families with children, lower income, all have one thing in common.” They are the market for producers of goods and services. That’s why SNAP, for instance, is run by United States Department of Agriculture.

    “They want more and apparently they want it from that infinite, ambiguous source – government.”

    Call it what it is… income redistribution, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Millions of very hard working people simply do not receive income in proportion to their effort. Millions of others receive much more, for myriad reasons. Capitalism, free enterprise, market forces, rely on the economic concept of “perfect competition”; a concept explained mathematically in econ 101. Sometime between there and senior seminars, we learn that concept is just an ideal, not a reality.

    The U.S., we know, is among the highest income equality of all major countries. Leveling out that inequality is a benefit for all.

    In the concept of income redistribution, we are not asking for a million dollars. All we’re doing is bargaining about price.

    Like

    1. Ben Franklin was supposed to have told that joke, back in the 1700’s.

      I’m paid more than half of all American wage earners (above median). And, my compensation is no where near the value I deliver to my employer, the results I generate, nor is my income in proportion to my effort. And I am certain I work hard, and more hours than 90 % of all workers. So what! No one cares, and no one should, except me.

      Haggling over price? What am I supposed to be buying when government takes my property to give it away? What if the current administration gives it to illegal aliens – a plane trip, food, medical treatment…. People who broke into our country, violated our laws, committed a crime … and what?

      I don’t have any legal or moral claim to your income or wealth. Please respect my private property ownership as well.

      Like

      1. Would that it were so simple.

        For years I worked with a partner* who raged, literally and often about how he, a single guy, was paying for other people’s kids to go to school. Worse yet, he was paying —more— since parents get a tax reduction for dependents. Yeah, much later he was paying for my kid, too. Karma.

        I asked him who paid for his schooling, and did his parents get a deduction also? And tried to explain how education is a public “good” that we all benefit from, and share the cost, sometimes begrudgingly. He had other rants also. Immigration, of course, that’s a popular one apparently. And, “Why are my gas taxes going to subsidize mass transit? They are supposed to go to building and maintaining roads?”

        Dick, I said, (his real name) without Bart (light rail) and the busses, (subsidized), the roads would be so crowded it would double your commute, or worse. These are some of bargains we make. They don’t always seem fair.
        Most people are OK with paying for K-12. ( They aren’t Dicks.) When I was in school there was no K. Times change. Another thing that might change is “free” college, a bargain in the making, in both senses of the word. When I graduated from university in California (50 years ago) there was no tuition up through BA. Don’t know about graduate programs. I believe two year community colleges and many adult education classes are still free. Is that “progressive”, or just common sense? I’m good with my taxes going to college, it’s not –just– for the students benefit, it benefits us all. Win/win.

        The government takes my property to give it away, too. My wife mentioned that, without taxes, we would be able to trade up to a new car every year! Wouldn’t be any roads to drive on, that’s the bargain we made. Off the top of my head I can’t think of a good line about government being a whore.

        *Found out later I was assigned to him because I was the new guy and everyone had refused to work with him. But that’s another story.

        Like

      2. All true. But my taxes paid more than my “fair share” to build those roads, and fund public schools,etc. I served in the military at wages that qualified me for welfare ( no I didn’t claim it). I went to catholic schools up to 10 th grade, and I delivered newspapers, and worked at the school to pay the portion of my tuition my parents didn’t pay. And, yes my parents paid their taxes, as I have -even though my children both went to private universities.

        Where’s the contribution from folks like President Biden who is a net recipient of tax dollars, yet he lectures/scolds Americans.

        We’re not talking about national defense, roads, K-12, etc. however to use your example, only a quarter of Americans have a degree. Most with degrees have higher incomes as a result. That’s the payoff for making that investment. Why should others, likely lower wage workers, fully subsidize higher Ed? Don’t forget, taxpayers in each state already shoulder a portion, sometimes a majority of the cost.

        What we are talking about here is the expansion of federal government far, far, far beyond envisioned that of one with limited, enumerated powers.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s