I wonder if during The Great Depression, the people carried the same sort of angst we hold now. Whether they believed they had destroyed America for the generations to follow or were they more worried about their current plight?
With the pre-election crash in the market, a continued fear of market investment, high unemployment, high taxes, and a government that leans to protectionism and massive spending; the scene is set for a Great Depression. Two major factors keep us on the brink of what we deserve and what we will allow; the individual American and the Government. This doesn’t bode well for us.
Government’s heavy handiness occurred during the Great Depression. The individual American had legitimate arguments. They hadn’t lived out-side of their means or risked it all in the stock market; their only sin was depositing money in an unsecured bank. As banks failed, they lost everything and the first “US” generation was born. “We, the people” was forgotten and selfishness and entitlement set in.
We are entitled to benefits when we get older! Why? We fixed the problem and now bank deposits are insured. Save for yourself to ensure it will be there when you need it, instead of when Government says you can have it.
We are entitled to jobs! Why? There were no jobs when the Pilgrims came. They opened stores, created industry, and started the building blocks of our modern economy. If you don’t have a job, go and create a job. We are entitled to a chance at wealth, not a chance at Just Over Broke.
We are entitled to a house! Why? A house is nothing more than wood and bolts; a home is truly what you seek. If you mature to a place where you can create a home, getting a house will be no problem. If you can’t pay your bills you won’t have a happy home and more than likely you don’t deserve a house.
You would think I’m talking about the current situation, but sadly this argument was waged and defeated during The Great Depression. Social Security still exists and is deemed ‘popular’ even though Congress has raided it’s lockbox. People still look to Government to create jobs and wonder why those jobs don’t create wealth for the lower class. And the introduction of the Federal Housing Administration has brought us Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the housing bubble. Government made it’s mark.
Did the individual American make a mark? Indeed. The car radio, the Laundromat, the supermarket, chocolate chip cookies, copy machines and Monopoly all got their start during the Great Depression. People with no job, or jobs that didn’t provide security, branched out and invented something new. They created wealth in companies that still exist today; Parker Brothers, Xerox, Tollhouse, and Schick razors.
Remember, this is the first generation of ‘US’. They set limits on what they would allow by utilizing the freedom found in America. Times were hard but in America anything was possible. They took advantage of the economic downturn by creating a demand even when consumer spending was dismal. They created REAL WEALTH, while the Government spent Millions and Millions of dollars and failed miserably at creating permanent JOBS.
In today’s crisis, we are dealing with generation ‘me’. Forget “we, the people”, forget ‘us’, and focus on ME. What are you going to do for me? More and more individual Americans are willing to give away their right to build wealth. That’s the most disturbing aspect looking towards the future of America and the individual American.
The government is still up to its same old tricks, showing its heavy hand at every turn; healthcare, cap and trade, and increasing regulation. How much will we allow? Will we look to government to create jobs that don’t last and don’t create a better situation for its workers? Or will we look to ourselves and create a demand even when consumer spending is at a stand still? How can we make the individual American understand the strength of this country comes from his or her sweat and determination and not the Government Pocketbook?