We have somehow found a way to become more and more dependent on those in power to tell us what to think as the generations have come and gone. The country, when it first started out, was learning some lessons that wound up getting learned the hard way. We had rebellions, wars and a host of other horrible happenings that led to us finally learning the lessons that we were meant to learn. As we examine the country today, we see that there are some lessons that we apparently haven’t learned.
First, on wars. The fact that we all want to see the eradication of atrocities around the world is admirable. We have always believed in the greater good, and the power of opportunity. Without this, the United States would not have been the nation that it was, and still is today. However, we have tried too hard to force these same ideals on other people that we think want them and it has put us in some rather sticky situations. The current engagement that we find ourselves in – moved forward by executive action (illegally, once again) rather than an actual declaration of war – is one that I believe should be a really simple decision for the upper echelon of our defense organization. They shouldn’t have even moved into that conflict in the first place. The best thing would have been to let the whole thing ride out and try to maybe provide aid to the people who were stranded or displaced while not engaging anyone. We would then show that we were not there to fight, but to help the people who need help. The hard part would be watching the enemy do whatever they wanted once they figured out that they could “walk all over us” – so to speak – and do what they pleased now.
The eventual outcome, once they finally recognized our nonviolence as something more than just “submission”, they might actually be open to talk and see what they really wanted. The displaced people of Palestine would probably be more willing to listen to someone who finally fulfilled one of the most basic demands that they’ve had since the beginning of this whole, the creation of the state of Israel. However, the other side is true that they might not listen and do everything in their power to continue to hurt us on our soil. But then who will be the martyr in that situation? The United States, who just offered a white flag and a peace offering finally after all these years of conflict and of death, was now being attacked by the people whom they just obliged. It might not sound exactly like that, but we’ll have some global support on that one.
Second, on the economy. The more that I watch us and our government start to hurry the rush toward the financial edge, the more uneasy I get about our situation as a country. We have always been smart with our money and that’s been a point of pride for us. Through the last couple presidencies, we have changed our philosophy on spending and the size of government, and it’s starting to bite us. Hard. We’re taking on more and more debt every second, and the fact that our government is well over 100% of our national GDP is a bad sign for sure. That means that we’re spending more on our government and keeping it running than we are on anything else, and this is simply because of all the programs that the government is in charge of now. Without these institutions, what would happen?
We have become a generation that expects things to be given to them rather than us having to work for whatever we receive. The government has created a group of people that are making more money than they should – their employees – and are starting to shrink the middle class bit by bit with these policies that mandate a higher pay rate for those that are under the direct employ of the federal government. Our dollar is backed by almost nothing – more dollars – since we decided to stop backing our currency with gold way back when, and now it’s starting to show up in the fact that our currency is worth a lot less than it used to be when we backed it with a material that we actually had in store. We used to make sure that we had the money before we spent it on something that would cost us, and now we just spend the money because we can always print more. The power of the American dollar has become so diminished that some countries are starting to turn other places to borrow from because of our lack of responsibility when it comes to handling our national debt and credit. Our national credit rating has dipped for the first time ever during Obama’s presidency, and nobody has called him out on it.
The current administration – while they may be attempting to do things for the good of the country – is doing more harm than actual good for the entire populace that it supposedly is trying to provide security for. Back around the time of the turn of the century, even though the history books won’t tell you this, our country was the most successful it has ever been, and ever has been since. The national budget was about 3% of the GDP and we came about as close as we have ever gotten to being completely dependent upon each other instead of the government for help. The job market was huge, and the cost of living was way down. This allowed for the quality of living to go up, and even though there were slums and places where poor people lived (there are always going to be those) the average man was able to earn a wage that would provide for himself and his family. The women were put to work as well, and even though some families had to work two jobs for long hours, there still wasn’t much that could have been wanted for. Legislation that stemmed from the publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was the start to the decline that we saw at the end of the 1920s, and eventually led to the stock market crash and the Great Depression.
We have this viewpoint – because of what’s being taught in schools nowadays – that says that the government saved us from the Great Depression and that the whole thing was caused by rampant greed in Wall Street and the economic elite, when actually it was the government regulations and union negotiations later on that caused the decline of the country and ended up stranding us in a global recession that lasted for far too long. The programs that were put in place under the false pretense of stemming the tide of Wall Street evil doings, while fulfilling the “promise” that the government was going to be there to take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves. The truth is, the most amount of charitable donations that this country has ever seen came about around the time of the turn of the century, and those who had money were giving it to those who didn’t, without the redistributive help of the federal government.
The thing is, we have all the facts in front of us but we just don’t care to look for them. We would rather be spoon-fed information from an armchair that we don’t know is true or not, so we just have to trust it. The lessons that I’ve outlined have to be learned, or we’re going to perish as a nation. There is enough unrest about the current and past policies of this administration to create some noise possibly, but we have to spread the word first. There’s not going to be any way that we can do this separately, so we have to come together and realize the truth in order to set the entire country free from the bondage of government subsidy and charity, while also changing the way that we look at foreign conflict forever.