"This is your last day in jail. You’ve served the time that you owe to the state for your crimes and you’re now free to go."
"Um, what if I don’t want to go?"
"In all of the years I’ve been working here I’ve never heard that one before. Why on Earth would you want to stay in prison?"
"Are you kidding me? Life in here is great! The government pays for my housing, it feeds me; it even pays for my health care! Sure I have to give up a great deal of freedom, but if I leave here I have to get a job and produce something useful enough to society to earn a paycheck. I don’t want to be put back in the chains of the responsibility of having to show up in a certain place when and where someone tells me to."
"But that’s a two way street. Yes, we pay for your room and board here, but do you really like only having a small cell to yourself? Do you really like the food in here? Yes, you have free health care but your care and all of the other prisoners’ care falls under our budget. You may not get to see a doctor as quickly as you might like and if a treatment is outside of our budget you won’t get it, either. While being on the outside does mean that you have certain responsibilities, those responsibilities offer you the freedom to walk whatever path you want. If you don’t want to work hard you can find a place and the means to live cheaply. If you want more out of life you can choose to work harder, or learn a trade that pays more. If you don’t like living in a small apartment in a dangerous neighborhood you can choose to work harder, and earn the income to improve your lot in life. In here there is no income inequality, but that only is achieved by putting limits on success, not improving opportunity for the bottom. Wouldn’t you prefer to sacrifice guaranteed mediocrity for the chance at living a fulfilling life?"
"You obviously don’t understand the new enlightened view of what human rights entail . It should be a human rights guarantee that a nation as wealthy as ours can provide to feed and house its poorest citizens."
"Being guaranteed something doesn’t mean that you’re going to get what you want. Having someone guarantee to pay for your health care is not the same as actually seeing a doctor. Being guaranteed housing could have you living in dangerous conditions, like people who have followed some notorious slum lords. And of course, you are ignoring the liberty of the person whose money has to be confiscated to pay for something that you don’t want to pay for."
"Your unwillingness to have these items provided for me shows that you are nothing more than a pro-starvation and pro-homelessness extremist."
"Let me ask you a question. If these positions are extremist what happens if everybody adopts your philosophy? If we have everybody holding their hands out for free things but nobody left willing to pay for them then society collapses. What happens if everyone follows your lead?"
"Stop presenting me with inconvenient truths! Do I have to go commit another felony or are you going to lock me back up?’
Calling an upcoming presidential election the most important in our times has become a cliche, but this time I agree with it. The fact that the current election is expected to be close is disturbing at best, and terrifying at worst. The same people who decried George W. Bush’s economy and in 2004 were asking if you’re better off than you were four years ago then are now willing to overlook the fact that the economy is in far worse shape than it was during the Bush presidency. The same people who angrily denounce banks that are too big to fail are thrilled at a government that is doing the same. We now have higher unemployment, low growth, trillions in new debt and absolutely no sign of improvement from a president who has proven to be economically illiterate and is too brilliant to learn why his policies are failing. Instead of worrying about trivialities like these the president’s supporters are focused on critical issues like hating chicken sandwich makers, buying birth control for future one percenters, and making fun of the therapy treatments used by a Multiple Sclerosis patient. And of from my occasional viewings of MSNBC I think that the key issues America most wants to hear about are, in no particular order, rape, rape, rape, rape, and rape.
Every time I hear them use that word I get hopeful in that they’re using an over the top metaphor for what President Obama is doing to our economy, but those hopes are always quickly dashed. The closeness of the current polls are a scary barometer as to what kind of grasp our country has on reality and looks for in its leadership. So why do the same leftists who decried the Bush economy still support Obama?
I don’t know, but I have a theory…
On one side we have one party that either lacks the intelligence to understand or is willfully ignoring the problem of our unfunded entitlement liabilities. On the other side we have a party that lacks the courage to stand up and loudly educate the American public that the threat is real, possibly out of fear for implicating so many of their own in this crime. We have one vice-presidential candidate in the race along with a Republican governor of a blue state who understand this, and hopefully we’ll see and hear a lot more from them.
Who we elect as president and who we elect to Congress is going to be telling for what we want to be as a society. Will we continue the "me first" approach and keep demanding things from our government as fundamental rights, or do we have the will to be adults and take hard looks at real problems? Having over $61 Trillion in unfunded liabilities is not going to become any less real a problem regardless of who we elect. Whether we are ready to tackle these problems now or decide that we’re going to ignore them until they become a very real crisis remains to be seen. As the Baby Boomers and Gen-X ers move toward retirement the millennials and the kids being born today are going to be the ones gradually taking power and they will have to deal with the seeds we choose to sow. And they might not be too happy with us when they see what we’ve left them.
As a bumper sticker goes, "Treat your children well. Someday they’ll be choosing your nursing home." If we keep on wanting others to make choices for us, we might not like what gets chosen.
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog