Howard Blitz

More About: Philosophy: Libertarianism

The Right and Wrong of America

Former President Bill Clinton recently spoke at a forum sponsored by the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he stated that disasters such as worldwide famine and an obesity epidemic could destroy the U.S. health care system unless politicians begin to look ahead and cooperate.  He continued to state that governments fail to act even when disasters are anticipated because leaders are distracted by fulfilling campaign promises and scramble to respond to immediate emergencies. 



Mr. Clinton’s talk, as well as the call by many others, whether democrat or republican, epitomizes what is wrong with America.  The idea that somehow politicians and other government officials can somehow create the solutions to all of man’s problems whether it is famine, obesity, saving for old age, providing health care, or making sure individuals receive a proper education is not the source of strength that made America great. 



When one observes how government officials handled the disaster of Katrina, how they control health care, the way in which they tell individuals how much they can save for their old age, and even how much they can earn proves that to rely on government to solve man’s varied situations is not only ludicrous, but extremely un-American and dangerous.  Yet individual leaders like Bill Clinton, George Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Cheney, and with the exception of one, all of the current major candidates for president continue to call for more government meddling in the affairs of the individual. 



Government does not do a very good job in solving the many situations in which individuals find themselves.  In many cases government actually either causes the disaster or makes the disaster worse as happened in the 1930’s depression and the breakdown of the levees in New Orleans.   By giving control of the lives of all individuals to a select group of people allows for the mistakes of those few to impact all of society as opposed to only a very small portion of society when the individual is left to his own resources.  In addition, one finds with every single government intervention in the life of the individual chaos and dispute whether the situation is education, health care, jobs, the economy, construction, or agriculture. 



What is right about America is that America was built upon the self-reliance, frugality, entrepreneurialism, risk-taking, personal and family responsibility of the individual with very little dependency upon government to do anything, but maybe adjudicate disputes and defend against an attack.  To say that times have changed and that more government is necessary is a cop out.  The only thing that has changed is the technology current individuals live with that actually provide better methods with which to take care of themselves.  The principles of human relations and the need for individuals to take care of themselves have not changed. 



One can see what is right about America all the time when individuals come to the aid of others in distress, the organizations that help others through voluntary contributions, and the free voluntary trades between individuals that take place on an hourly basis.  The private retirement planning business has exploded in the past several years in spite of Social Security.  Many physicians and hospitals are opting out of the Medicare-Medicaid system.  Even the number of children enrolling in home schooling and private institutions is on the rise.  All of these activities indicate that the can-do spirit that made and makes America great is still intact.  



Alexis de Tocqueville came to America to find out why America was great.  The answer he found was the individual’s dependency on faith rather than reliance upon government for his way of life.  It is the reliance on government that has changed that has taken America down a notch from its greatness.  As de Tocqueville mentioned, “ America is great because she is good.  If America ever stops being good, she will no longer be great.” 



America is good because of the individualism of her people.  It is through the free interaction with others that the individual will get to the solution to provide protection from a disaster and to provide solutions to his lot in life. The only function government has in the whole situation is to make sure that individuals do not infringe upon others or initiate force on others to get their solution implemented. 



Instead of spending $1.5 million over the next two years on a study as to why governments across the world have failed to act on threats such as heat waves and hurricanes, maybe the Kennedy School ought to spend the money on teaching individuals how to survive disasters should they occur and how to prevent disasters from happening in the first place.



The People for the USA will host Luis Heredia of the Union Pacific Railroad tomorrow, May 10 at 7 PM at the Yuma Community Food Bank conference hall.


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