Your Government At Work…Who Is Responsible? Who Will Fix It?

Take a look at these three snippets from recent news articles.

From Breitbart:

Reports indicate U.S. soldiers and British Royal Marines have been urged to show “courageous constraint” by not shooting Taliban members spotted planting IEDs.

From Fox News

A Mexican telecom mogul who holds the title of world’s richest man, and one of President Obama’s top donors are both getting even richer from the U.S. government program that supplies so-called “Obamaphones” to the poor.

Also from Fox News

The U.S. government paid a Chicago consultant hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on diversity training workshops that, according to one watchdog, included an exercise in which employees were told to chant “our forefathers were illegal immigrants.”

So, we have our brave young men and women in uniform being put in harm’s way in the name of political correctness. We have the richest man in the world benefitting from cronyism and we have the USDA spending your tax dollars to have their employees chant “our forefathers were illegal immigrants”. Is this what you elect your officials to do? Is this what you want from the bureaucrats that your elected officials put in place to do? Of course not! Yet these types of things have gone on for decades or longer, haven’t they? Let’s think about that.

Who Is Responsible? Who Will Fix it?

I came across a really fun read by Jim Tankersley in the Atlantic. The article is written in the style of a mini-novel, which makes it interesting reading. The subject, however, is serious. One of the protagonist in this mini-novel is the author himself. I will call him the Younger. The other protagonist is the author’s father. I will call him the Elder. The Younger and the Elder love each other very much. The Younger has great respect for the Elder and knows that over the years that he (the Younger) can count on the fingers of one hand the times he has bested the Elder in a debate. Both the Younger and the Elder are lawyers; but the younger also is interested in economics and has often pinned articles on economics.

The primes of the story is that the Younger is planning to publish an article damning the baby boomer generation for being the first to pass off an America to their children that is worse than the one they inherited from their parents. The Younger and his four-year old son are joining the Elder for a long weekend at the Elder’s cabin in the woods to enjoy some fishing and enjoy some time together. But, the Younger has something else planned, as well. Knowing the article he is planning write about the baby boomers, he decides to engage the Elder in a debate over the baby boomers. He, the Younger will prosecute the case and the Elder, who is a boomer, will  play the role of the defense attorney.

Because the this article is written in the style of a novel, the Younger makes his arguments early in the day and then they go about enjoying the country side or fishing and other things that father, son, and grandson would do. The Elder mulls over the Younger’s arguments during the day and in the afternoons presents his defense of the boomers. After two days the Elder has made a very good defense of the his generation and the Younger is feeling like he is losing his case.

The next day the Elder takes his grandson off on an adventure and the Younger stays in the cabin with his computer. He puts together a number of graphs and charts that show just how bad things have become during the years the boomers were in charge. Later when the Elder had returned,  he passes him the computer and asks him to take a look. Paraphrasing, the Elder’s reaction went something like this: “Damn! You’re right. My generation has really screwed things up. My friends and I use to talk about what was going wrong and complain; but we didn’t do anything about it. We kept on electing the same kinds of politicians.”

Later, the Younger was sitting at the table and reflecting back over the few times he had bested the Elder in a debate and he was feeling pretty good about himself on this latest debate. Then he noticed the the Elder was at his side and had just stuck a knife in his ribs (figuratively speaking= and was beginning to twist it. Again paraphrasing, the Elder said to the Younger: “Well, has your generation learned anything from the mistakes of my generation? Is your generation ready to step up to the plate and make the hard choices that need to be made?” The Elder turned his head toward his grandson, Max, and said; “Or, will Max be having  this same conversation with you in thirty years say “ Dad, you knew what was wrong, You wrote an article about it and, yet, your generation did nothing and things today are so very much worse,”

So, what do you think? Do you think the baby boomers are responsible for passing on an America that is worse than the one they inherited? Technically I am a tad too old to be a part of the baby boomer generation. But, not so much that I don’t feel as though I am a part of that generation. Personally, I think my generation did a pretty lousy job and our children and grandchildren are the ones who will have to pay for our mistakes.

What do you think about the generation of the Younger? Have they learned from the boomer’s mistakes? Will they be willing to make the hard choices? Having lived the last twenty years outside of the country, I don’t have a good feel for the Younger’s generation. If I look at was is happening in countries like Greece and Spain and italy and France and other European countries, I would have to conclude that the generation of the Younger has not learned much and is not likely to make the hard choices. However, Americans have a different history from that of our brethern across the pond.  So, I still hang on to a thread of hope that the Americans of the Younger’s generation will find a way to pass a better America to their children than my generation did to them.

Well, now you know what I’m  thinking. What are your thoughts?

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20 thoughts on “Your Government At Work…Who Is Responsible? Who Will Fix It?

  1. As much as I’d like to say we can make the hard choices I have my doubts. Whenever we try to cut spending someone will start whining, “But we need that program.”

    No you don’t. You want the program. And wants and needs are two different things. Unfortunately too many of us are already too far addicted to the Federal government to change anything.

    We can only hope the rest of the world goes to hell before we do.

    1. Betweeb The Powers That Be setting the stage for a major Mid-East comflict and the world’s economies on the brink of collapse and too few pwoplw willing to make the hard choices, it is hard to see a possibility for a bright future, isn’t it?

  2. All the boomers can be blamed (I am not one) for is believing what they were told. When you are enjoying unprecedented prosperity, it is easy to suspend reality and cold-eyed judgment, and subsequent generations are no better.

    I pray I am wrong, but it will take a catastrophe for us to change our ways.

    I hold out hope that a President Romney could change the trajectory, but I admit there’s only about a 50/50 chance

  3. Big bird was classic example of want rather than need. Even though the program is well over the requirement funding to sustain itself without federal funding, the thought caused outrage. If we can’t kill big bird, we can do nothing.

  4. Here is my pained observation of America’s youth here in the United States over the last 20 years…

    Most American youth growing up today do not have a work ethic. Not all of them, but vastly more than than in the past.

    Kids are far more concerned over the latest features in the smart phone given them by their parents, who also pay the horrendously high monthly service charges for them.

    I don’t know a single kid growing up who even thinks about getting a job to pay for their own expensive phones. They have become content to have everything bought for them.

    Kids don’t get jobs to have their own cars anymore as in the past. In the past most couldn’t pay all their own expenses but bought their own gas, paid for some maintenance and insurance if the car was given to them. That used to be an agreement between parent and child.

    Most kids today don’t even care much to get their licenses anymore. They are content to bug someone else to pay for taking them from place to place.

  5. The boomers confuse me. The idea of the counter-culture wave of boomers was one of freedom. They didn’t want government interfering in their lives, from telling them to go to Vietnam, to whether or not they could have all the sex they wanted. “Never trust anyone over 30” and not conforming to “the man” were calls for keeping those damned politicians out of their lives.

    Then something changed. Now they want to put more of “the man” (the government bureaucrats) into people’s lives. They moved from wanting to get the government’s grimy hands off of them, to wanting the government involved in everything. “Power to the people” became “Power to the government” but they still think it’s the same thing.

    I know people, two absolutely rabid Obama supporters, who absolutely hate government. Yet, they support the guy who is expanding government intrusion into their lives at a rapid pace. One of them is a guy who is very immersed in native-American culture and study. He doesn’t think government can be trusted any farther than you can throw it, based on the broken promises to the Indians and the way the government bureaucracy works on the reservations. A really strong argument can be made that the poverty and hopelessness on the reservations is a result of so much of their lives revolving around leaving their fate to what the government will give them, and following government rules. Yet, this guy who hates the government and sees the destruction of a government dependent people (the Indians on the Rez) is a defender of Obama.

    How do you talk into that contradiction? The only entity that can shackle you and dictate your choices to you is the government. The only entity that can take away your freedom is the government. So these people who were once all about freedom now want to impose more government on more things.

    I absolutely don’t understand it. If the same baby boomers who wanted so much freedom in the 60s and 70s understood that they were contradicting themselves now, they’d all be libertarians or even Republicans. Maybe they bought into the rhetoric that it was big business that held them down. Maybe they just don’t understand economics, or free market capitalist principles. Obviously, they don’t understand that the only time a business gets the power to assert its will is when it can do it with the aid of government (cronyism).

    Ya got me… I don’t understand. I know that I’m the tail end of the boomer generation (1961) and that what switched me firmly into the opposite camp of so many boomers was two things: 1) noticing that the unintended consequences of government programs hurt people (specifically welfare and what it did to minorities); and 2) studying economics and becoming familiar with the principles of free market capitalism.

    1. I was in college in the sixties. the flower children were less than half to the youth of that era. Unfortunately, they were the ones that later migrated into teaching and journalism and Hollywood and they have had an extraordinary impact on our culture.

  6. The youth in America buy into the fairness/equality/diversity mantra. The impending defeat of Obama won’t be a mandate to turn our backs on ‘hope and change’, rather it will be a search for a new deliverer.

    Romney has promised to create 12 million jobs. Our population is expanding at a rate of over 3 million annually. His claim sounds good relative to the anemic growth under Obama, but in reality is far short of what we need. Particularly if we are to grow our way out of our debt noose.

    Speaking of a noose, Romney now has that hanging around his head in the form of a ‘no new middle-class taxes’ pledge. That alone will likely hang him before the next election.

    Romney is the lesser of two evils candidate. He really is no one’s idea of the candidate we need to turn things around so why would anyone expect it to happen in spite of him?

    1. I don’t know if we are talking about the same youth group, 5e. The children of the baby boomers are in their thirties, forties and some in their fifties. You may be describing the children of generation X. But, they still vote and that makes your argument valid. I know that Romney’s plan is not near bold ebough. Still I habf on to the hope that once in office he will see he has to do more. I’m going to do a post on that on Tiesday or Wednesday next week.

      1. I refer to the Gen X’ers because they will bear the debt burden and it will have to be them that enact change. The boomers have shown they won’t do it and with trillion dollar deficits now built into the baseline budget, reversing course hasn’t even entered into the discussion yet.

        Time will tell, but Romney hardly strikes one as the reformer willing to sacrifice a political career for the good of the country. Sorry, but I can’t board that train and hold out no hope for avoiding the cliff.

    2. I don’t think gen X kids were completely saturated in the liberal ideology. However, subsequent generations have received a full dose of the fairness/equality/diversity mantra.

      I’m hoping gen X starts pushing hard for the reforms we need. Otherwise, look out.

  7. I agree with the thesis in Michael Creighton’s book, State of Fear. Government controls us through our fears, and if we are not afraid, government will spend untold billions to convince us we should be: we should be afraid of the Hun, the Jap, the Rusky, the Arab, and the disaffected goat herder. And then, just in case we learn to overcome our fear, government will spend hundreds of billions more on the Sustainability Movement, to convince us that the sky is falling, all whites are racist, and it is patriotic to give all our money to the government, or to GM for electric cars, or for light bulbs made in China.

    Somehow, we’ve developed this strange idea that life must always be fair. Well, it isn’t. And no one has a right to live on another man’s dime. Yes, we should be good caretakers of our planet, but no, we don’t need so much government —but thanks any way.

    I think it is amazing that America’s forefathers gave us “near utopia,” and we are so idiotic as to think we need to improve on it. We don’t need legislation that protects homosexual behavior; we simply need to let people do whatever they want in the privacy of their homes, and expect them to live with the consequences of their odd behavior.

    But yes, there are generational differences; there always has been. My parents and grandparents belonged to the self-sustaining generation; today we live in the entitlement generation. I don’t see much progress in that.

    1. “Somehow, we’ve developed this strange idea that life must always be fair.”

      The idea of fairness was spoon fed to our young in the school systens since the 1970’s. Many of the boomers and their children have been totally indoctrinated in the concepts of “social Hustice”. Still, the Tea Party movement began in 2009 and that gives me a little reason to have hope. But, Romney and Ryan have to be bolder than they are at this moment. Time is not on our side.

  8. Sadly I don’t think we have learned a thing, I hope I am wrong but we keep electing people who do not have the courage to do what needs to be done and I think that is because most people don’t realize how close we are to losing it all. I hope we can turn it around in time but part of me thinks nothing will change until after we crash and we begin to rebuild our nation.

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