I Can’t Believe This

Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on January 20, 2012

I can’t believe what I’m reading today on the internet. I found this unbelievably juicy piece:



by Karen Schoen

On October 9, 2011 Jack Chambless, Economics Professor, Valencia College, Orlando, wrote to the The Orlando Sentinel on The American Dream.  His students had to write an essay explaining their definition of the American Dream and what they expected the federal government to do to help them achieve their version of this dream.

“When contemplating the role of Washington, D.C., in helping them achieve their goals in life, my students — most of whom were educated in America’s public schools — wrote that they wanted government to “pay for my tuition,” “provide me with a job,” “give me money for a house,” “make sure I get free health care,” “pay for my retirement,” “raise taxes on rich people so that I can have more money” and so forth.

“One student, who thought her American Dream could be best achieved with more government regulations, went so far as to say, “We all know that there are many bad side effects when regulations take place, but as human beings, we are not really responsible for our own acts, and so we need government to control those who don’t care about others. It makes sense that our freedom is reduced every day with the new regulations.”

The first mistake in this exercise by Jack Chambliss was asking students (what age were they?) how they expected the federal government to help them…

As a kid growing up, I wasn’t thinking about how the federal government was there to help me. Moreover, I doubt if you could find many Californian students who think that the President is going to just GIVE them a job, GIVE them money for a house, and GIVE them free healthcare. That is just not true. That’s some kind of fantasy. If there’s anyone in this country that is that delusional, I’ll set them straight right here:

The government does not create jobs. You create your own opportunities in life. Even when the government wants to improve our roads or send military overseas, they need to have taxpayers working at small, medium or large businesses paying their fair share of taxes in order to cover the costs of these things.

Secondly, no one gets a loan for a house without providing collateral, a means to pay back the loan, and a downpayment. In addition, s/he will pay interest on the loan. Loans are not free.

Third, the government does offer medical care to the poor and the elderly. So if you’re unlucky enough to be poor, you have something that may or may not do a good job of at least keeping you healthy so that you can work or seek employment.

Whether or not Jack Chambless’ students really believe that the government takes care of them, this rhetoric is ruining the thinking power of the masses. You should be smart enough to know that whoever wrote this is trying to make you think there’s a whole bunch of people out there assuming they are entitled to live on the dole. It’s just not true. Find me these Americans who think like this and we’ll educate them!

And the final insult to our intelligence: this whole thing with “government regulations” being the worst thing in the world. Yes, when they reduce our freedoms, like the Patriot Act or the NDAA you’re right: they reduce our civil liberties and go against our Constitutional rights. But if you’re talking about regulations like the Glass Steagall Act, then you need to understand that some regulations were best kept in place. It’s because these regulations were lifted that we’re in the financial crisis we’re in today. The above excerpt is proof that our electorate needs to be educated.

Maybe the American Dream used to be owning your own home, sharing your life with your spouse and maybe a kid or two, and living out your life the way you saw fit. I didn’t buy into that whole American Dream thing when I was a kid, because I saw myself being single, renting, and traveling. Government didn’t feature in my dreams when I was a kid. At all. And I doubt very much that government features in any of our kids’ dreams, either.

Our present government is more like a nightmare, because it’s being ruined by special interests. If anyone is responsible for writing these horrendous regulations that don’t work for the American people, it’s the special interests. They write such omnibus legislation, when it gets passed by their lackeys in congress, it’s nearly impossible to detangle. Case in point: Travelers and Citicorp. In order to go back to the days of Glass Steagall, these two companies who merged would have to be ripped apart. Who’s going to stand up to Citicorp/Travelers?

I’m not giving up on Americans to understand these things. But before you believe everything you read, find out the facts please!

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