Sometimes you have to do a little grinding and scraping to get beneath the surface and see what is really underneath the paint. Many times, absent doing just that, any conclusion about what lay underneath is pure conjecture. One could ponder endlessly, analyze and surmise, but without stripping things down to bare metal, you just don’t know. And, once revealed, the picture becomes clear and all need for guessing is gone.
As a culture we are deep into over-analyzing everything, it seems. Health care reform is a good example. It’s pretty clear what is wrong with the system, two or three things jump out, like the rampant and flagrant abuse of mal-practice suits, for one. We all know who pays for that at the end of the day, and it isn’t the insurance companies, hospitals or doctors. It’s the premium payers. Yet we have studied and probed for decades, back and forth, while pragmatically there can be no argument posed that it is a simple fact. Mal-practice suits are an industry. May I cite John Edwards as an example.
So it is, also, with the reaction to the reaction of the passing of ObamaCare. Folks are acting surprised at the level of anger, even though it was well known, before the “vote”, that better than half of the country was vehemently opposed to it. I wrote last week that I certainly do not condone or recommend a violent response by anyone, towards anyone, but at the same time, I understand the anger fully.
Strip away all of the talking heads and over-analyzing and it’s really quite simple, where this anger comes from. It’s been brewing for a long time. It’s about more than health care legislation. It’s about more than political affiliation. And, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Folks who opposed this over reaching piece of legislation oppose it for good reason. The government has a really lousy track record when it comes to staying on budget, achieving goals and conducting honest business. We’ve all known this for years, but it’s much easier to overlook when your own world is in order. However, when a gargantuan piece of law like this comes along, with a multi-trillion dollar price tag that we all will share regardless of how we “voted”, at the same time that the country is in the throes of the worst recession since the Great Depression…well…you can pretty much count on an uprising, can’t you?
Here’s the problem. People like me, who find the expense and expanse of this bill as a literal threat to the security of our country but are still expected to pay for it, are at our wits end. In the crowds of Tea Party folks I see the very people I grew up with. Regular people who have played by the rules. Worked several jobs, raised families, sent children to college without aid or handouts. They’ve spent a lifetime sacrificing for family and community. They have sacrificed themselves, choosing to save money rather than spend it frivolously. They have core beliefs of being good neighbors and good community members. They are charitable, but painted as being cheap and selfish by our boorish media. They have spent a lifetime getting up and going to work, always doing a little more, not a little less, and taking pride in having done it themselves, without a hand out from anyone, especially the government.
Now, the country finds itself quite divided between essentially two groups, the one described above and a newer group that expects that so many of the things in life which were previously expected to be earned, are now entitlements. Yes…you’re “entitled” to it simply for being here. For having a pulse. You don’t need a degree to see that this can never work. There has to be a commonality in ethic, in expectations, and that simply doesn’t exist anymore. And I don’t think it’s coming back. Stripped to bare metal…those of us that bust our humps are not going to be kicking in any extra for those that choose to sit home watching television and hitting the bong. It’s over. The message is clear.
This same sense of entitlement has ruined our industrious nature and weakened us. A recent article in the Union Leader by Greg Kwasnik cites a speech given to students at Saint Anselms College by Ken Solinsky, co-founder of Insight Technology of Londonderry, NH. His company is wildly successful but Solinsky grew up in the projects in Brooklyn. He is self made and understands what it takes to succeed, and the danger of taking that drive out of society at large.
“When I’ve been to China, those people are working harder, they’re griping less and they don’t need air-conditioned buildings. I feel it’s very important for this country to regenerate its manufacturing capability.” Solinsky has stripped it down to bare metal. He fears the increasing sense of entitlement as a cultural cancer. “I’m concerned that if we as a population feel we are entitled to things and we don’t take a sense of ownership and responsibility, we’re going to lose our place in the world.” Yes, we will. He encourages young people to study sciences or business. “There are a finite number of massage therapists this country needs. If you make meaningful contributions I would suggest to you that your work will be meaningful and you’ll be very well rewarded for it.” Bare metal.
Do we really want to take all that away? Do we want to discourage innovation and hard work and replace it with a one-size-fits-all society where it is all leveled out. I’ll work three jobs to make sure I have enough to make it “fair” for the guy who doesn’t work at all? Is further explanation needed to enlighten the other side?
We’re killing the whole thing. It’s not just about health care, it’s about America. It’s about the values that so many of us were raised with and are now being told that we are fools. And sure, it’s about history because it is the bracing journey to create a comfortable life for oneself and ones family that has made this country great. The self-satisfaction of achievement, of overcoming a fear, of pushing oneself to limits and then beyond to attain a goal. Don’t ask us to trade that in for a world where everyone waits in line with their bowl. This is America. That’s not gonna fly.