6 Nov 2011, 6:28am
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  • Grow Your Own Food4Wealth

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  • Too Sissy For Freedom?

    The best writing appeals to us on several levels. This article by Frank J. Fleming, a political satirist, cracked me up and punched me in the gut at the same time.

    The ‘Self-Reliance’ Menace

    By FRANK J. FLEMING 

    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. 

    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. 

    Right now, getting rid of any entitlements is unthinkable. If left to our own resources, we’d be too worried about starving to death or not having access to broadband.  

    We’re just used to the government taking a larger and larger portion of our paychecks while putting lots of regulations on us to ensure we’re all safe and minimally cared for. It’s not quite all-expansive liberty, but then again, how often do people get mauled by bears these days? 

    Entitlements keep increasing, though, as we keep finding new things that we all need and that the government should have a hand in providing. A lot of people consider health insurance a right, while the people who founded this country never even heard of it. Of course, they never heard of electricity or running water, either — other necessities — and probably had to fight off lots of bears while wearing silly hats. No one wants to live under those conditions anymore. 

    Problem is, an ever-expanding amount of America’s wealth is tied up in just making sure we have whatever it is we consider necessary now. When settlers relied on themselves, they devoted all their resources to getting ahead. That eventually led to this awesome country that has Disney World, the Internet and cheap and readily available nachos everywhere.  

    Maybe the fact that more and more of our resources are used for maintaining the status quo is partly why we’re in such doldrums: With so much of our wealth spent making sure we get basic necessities without having to be self-reliant, we have little left to put toward succeeding.  

    Because that’s what freedom is: a chance to succeed — married with a chance to fail. As a country, we’ve decided that success just isn’t worth the risk of failure. Or bear attacks.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_self_reliance_menace_gtEW8snBHWpgrawho0CV0J#ixzz1ch2jvMCu

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