We, as a nation, need to get off the Big Government drug. Like any drug, it sounds fantastic when the pusher is trying to get you to take that first hit, but in reality it’s simply a step toward a lifelong addiction. And like any addiction, it will ruin your life, and the lives of those around you.
The Declaration of Independence stated that among our unalienable Rights are the Rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. You have a right to pursue it, but you are not entitled to it. Meaning the government has no responsibility to provide it to you.
The people walking around with 8 kids and living in a row house do not need our help. They need to get off welfare and get a job. They are no more disadvantaged than anyone else. America truly is "the land of opportunity." Everyone, regardless of background, has the opportunity to succeed here. Look at guys from India, Pakistan, Somalia, and other countries that are running convenience stores at every corner… they didn’t benefit from growing up in a rich white-collar neighborhood and attending nicer schools than someone in the inner city. Look at all the immigrants who came to this country over the past 232 years with next to nothing. How many grandfathers came over speaking no English, having almost no money, and didn’t benefit form our educational system. But did they sit around and get a welfare check? No. They got a job at places like Ford, Westinghouse, and U.S. Steel, saved enough money to pay for their wife’s (and kids’) boat trip over, bought a house, and retired with a pension.
We all have choices in life. Social programs or the lack thereof don’t define the character of a person. It doesn’t make someone commit a crime. Parenting plays a much larger role than government programs ever will. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, can succeed in this country if they reach down inside themselves and strive for that success. If you ask any successful person, (and I’m not talking about someone from "old money" like Paris Hilton) they’ll tell you the same thing: being successful is hard work and it’s not easy. There is no Great Oppressor holding you under an iron thumb. Even with increased government regulation, ever-increasing taxes, and endless seas of governmental red-tape, anyone can be successful in this country. Regardless of how you were brought up, regardless of where you live, if you have it inside you, you can be successful. No one is holding you down, no one is holding you back… except yourself.
Thomas Jefferson said it best: "All eyes are open, or are opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to give ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others." The only difference between a person deemed a success or a failure is a failure within the person, not with the government. Government hand-outs are no substitute for hard work and personal responsibility. Remember the Three Pillars of Liberty: personal responsibility, personal charity, and free markets.
So the solution is simple: do your part. Save for your own retirement. Be responsible with your money. Be a good parent. Help out a friend or a neighbor. Start a business. And most importantly, get involved.
Tomorrow: Part VI — A Light in the Darkness