Saturday, January 17, 2009

Life's lottery

Warren Buffet once remarked that we (Americans) won life's lottery by being born in the United States, and while it is true we are experiencing significant economic turmoil there are very few places in the world where life is as easy as we have it. I'm willing to criticize the .gov as much as the next guy (or gal) but let us not forget how we got in this situation; we took out the mortgages and saddled ourselves with crippling debt under the delusion that real estate prices would appreciate in perpetuity. We voted for the laws and politicians that made promises of something for nothing. Our elected officials are adept at giving the citizenry what they want (i.e. home ownership for everyone facilitated by easy credit and artificially low interest rates) if not what they need. The truth is the majority of Americans are ignorant and apathetic towards government unless there is "something in it for them", a sad reality that has gradually allowed the founding principles of America to erode beneath our feet weakening the very fabric of our society. Like it or not our government was not designed to provide bailouts, ease the pain of recession, provide you with a comfortable retirement, or to spread "democracy throughout the world", yet all of these are considered by most people as it's responsibilities. We trifled away unconcerned with the goings on in Washington D.C., outraged only when it had an observable undesirable impact on our daily lives. It is our native responsibility to be aware or our governments actions, notions, and plans at all times. It's too easy to blame the government for our current predicament but it's also un-American.


We elected them to office, and we are getting what we deserve. Sometimes the truth hurts, and it makes me angry to think how long I wallowed in my own ignorance, followed the madness of crowds, and that I was not instructed from childhood on my responsibilities as a citizen in a republic. What will I, we, you do now?
Changes to our lifestyle will unavoidably need to be made, what we don't yet know is whether they be voluntarily and gradually applied or violently cast upon us? In the midst of these changes it is essential that we allow our rights to be trampled upon to relieve discomfort. We (and our parents, and their parents, and our parents, parents, parents) allowed this to happen; but today, right now we must also decide to make the necessary changes, to plot a new course and to support others interested in doing the same. Our task will not be easy nor our burden light, but then again neither was the revolutionary war that painfully birthed the freedoms we now take for granted.
I'll finish with a quote from Benjamin Franklin: "they that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".

Enjoy the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, people are ultimately responsible. The question is;
    How do inform those who allow soundbites and media to form what truth is?
    What we have today is -
    'Generation Me'