Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Government Intervention

Ronald Reagan claimed: “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Government includes police officers who are protecting our communities, and the servicemen and women who are defending us abroad.  Government is the roads we drive on and the police that enforce speed limits to keep us safe.  Government ensures that coal mines adhere to safety standards and that oil spills are cleaned up by the companies that caused them.

During the Great Depression FDR and a Democratic controlled Congress recognized that senior citizens were committing suicide at an alarming rate. They devise a solution entitle Social Security, which became a very popular program.  It demonstrates that the claim: "government is the problem," is untrue. 

Social Security was instituted 81 years ago, and since then the suicide rate among senior citizens has dropped dramatically.  Today, white men have the highest suicide rate of 29 per 100,000 over all.  Before Social Security, 50 percent of seniors lived in poverty.  Today, only 1 in every 7 seniors live in poverty.  Americans, like Social Security, because it has always paid out benefits.  It works very well, but if you’re a right wing Republican ideologue, who hates government, it doesn’t support your agenda.

Republicans continue to argue government intervention is usually inefficient.  And that it restricts individual freedom and dampens individual initiative.  We have had a welfare system that sometimes tended to discouraged people from taking responsibility for their own upward mobility. 

Some citizens insist that all of government is inherently bad.  They ignore the fact that in our democracy, government is us.  We the people have the power to choose our leaders and change our laws, and shape our own destiny.

Winning the Electoral College vote and not the popular vote isn’t actually choosing our leader.


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