Checking Out of the Race
The Lonely Conservative (being from New York state) has posted an email from an online acquaintance that voices a sentiment with which increasing numbers of us are surely familiar:
And I watch countless news stories about people who are criminals (illegal aliens, felons) liars, cheats, or just stupid getting help with their mortgage loans because they “need it”. And people getting free medical services because they “need it”. And people declaring bankruptcy because it’s just too hard to pay the bills, they “need to”. All the while I see my government crushing people like me–expecting us to just keep doing, just keep paying, just keep being responsible in order to make up for all of those people who were not.
My mind has drifted in much the same direction as I’ve watched the mail, eager for all of my tax documents to come in so that I can get the refund that will make me able to stop the calls from collection agents. It would have saved us substantial money in late fees to have had that money dispersed with our regular paychecks, rather than siphoned off as a free loan for wild-spending governments.
Some substantial mistakes on my family’s part have made us slaves to debt, and it is a daily temptation just to walk away. As it is, we’ve pared our lives down to minimal expense, and frankly, as we offload the debt, I’m planning to use that space to ease my workload rather than chase lifestyle improvements. Productivity just isn’t worth it, unless it’s in line with something that you’re passionate about regardless of pay.
The receding economy has revealed some stones that lay just below the water, and the blogger above suggests that the sight of them is changing Americans’ perception:
My friend is the “Forgotten Man” of our day. Most of us are. How far away are any of us from feeling just as she does? It’s one thing to go through these challenges knowing we’re all going through it. But we aren’t all going through it. Because we now have four Americas:
1-The public employee union class
2-The entitled/welfare class
3-The elite ruling class
4-The rest of us who are paying dearly to support #s 1, 2 and 3
In my industry, I’ve watched employees eager for layoffs, who game the system to get back some of what they’ve invested in it. One contractor recently expressed his disapproval of that tendency, calling it immoral to leach of the system and pass the buck on to him. I was actually surprised at my own disagreement. Until very recently, I’d have nodded along; now, I have to admit sympathy for the opposing view.
It’s most definitely wrong to pass the burden of one’s galtishness on to those who are still striving to produce, but it’s all too easy to see the target as the giant tumor of a system that lays across us all, taking the money that would allow us to repair windshields and fill oil tanks in order to finance lavish benefits and years of unemployment checks and then borrowing money from our future labor and that of our children and grandchildren in order to bolster public-sector employees through the recession and promise the time-delayed boon of pensions.
We’re all limited in the length of our view, especially when it comes to social and cultural matters. We can only know so many people and have personal experience with so many walks of life. I do worry, though that something in that unique American attitude is changing, and it won’t be healthy for anybody involved. It’s not too late — I have faith — but much will depend on the ways in which our leaders address the various crises that we now face.