A friend from Facebook posted a note on his thoughts about the recent healthcare reform that was passed over the weekend. The following is my response to "reform," a word I use to loosely describe what has been passed into legislation.
I first agree that the cries of partisan peoples have oft' times incited fear and panic, but also ask that you and your readers reflect that while many shout out extremes, it is in the small truths that their fears rear their ugly heads and in the message beyond the aggression that come around later as truth.
Not far from the time of the Emancipation Proclamation a born-free widow to a free black man, Mariah Stuart, not only fought for abolition, but followed her fight encouraging her black brothers and sisters to uplift themselves. She did not intend for the gov't to follow behind the emancipation and take care of them, but asked instead if her "African Brothers" were "soulless" and willing to allow their white masters to rule their lives. She told the people she spoke to, which was unheard of at the time for a woman to speak, much less to men, to stand up and do it on their own. Speak out. Act out. She considered it her calling (from God btw) to stand up and speak out so she might encourage others to take their lives in their own hands. Abolition was long and hard fought, not just for individuals, but for the benefit of a great nation.
As an independent woman, my studies of Women's Suffrage would be without balance if I did not note that our freedom as women, while certainly bringing new heights to the recognition and success of women and the acknowledgement that women can conquer many of the same mountains as men, has been without balance and brought about many undesirables to our society. A dramatic increase to homes without fathers. The current statistics represent 7 out of 10 African American children are born out of wedlock. STD's amongst white women on the rise and either 1st or 2nd in growth. The freedom is great, but sadly, the attitude that often accompanies the freedom of many is simple *I* can do whatever *I* want, without any thought or concern for the outcome of ones actions and how they may affect society as a whole. Our generation is none too happy about being latch key kids...our generation of women are not always happy about the sexual freedom with which we so greatly "received" from our female foremothers. I point these things out and then refer back to Mariah Stuart...where is the personal responsibility? We have the freedoms we have so that we may benefit society, add to the great nation of America our gifts. Each gift one receives should be shared, not perpetuated for personal gain. Just b/c we are free to do anything, doesn't mean we should and in the name of "me" we have brought about a huge burden on the gov't systems that were not created to carry such a heavy load.
Medicare and SS are failing, P. Broke financially. Our generation is told, "Don't depend on it." I also watch many members of my family, who relied on the great plan, living in poverty. Again, expecting legislation to be the Savior of an entire generation -- where is the personal responsibility? Anyone who will rely on the gov't to take care of you in your senior years....I hope that all of your independent time has fostered a greater community around you who will love and take care of you. I hope you have shared your wisdom with those younger than you and have taught people to depend on people, not depend on gov't. Without sharing that love, you will be left alone.
I am no alarmist, but I tell you this much, although my elder relatives have medicare, the quality of care is Poor and they are forced to rely on the charity of others to get by. It's not the golden ticket they were promised. They wished they had been more personally responsible.
I am on board with understanding the bk rates b/c of medical bills are insane. The cost of medical treatment is criminal. Really, criminal. However, I would also ask this nation how much personal debt do you hold? Go back to your grandparents and ask them about charging clothes, eating out, the pair of shoes they must have, whatever else they charge so little Johnny can have the newest hand held whatever...oh yeah, they didn't. They were hardly able to charge bread and milk. They couldn't imagine collecting the acceptable debt you, me or our neighbors think is normal b/c every other 30 something is driving such and such, so why shouldn't they have a $300-400 car payment? We like to cry foul about bk and health care costs, but how many of those 62% also have credit card debt? Vehicle debt? The debt per person ratio in our country is $40,000+. Um, with 40K I can go and visit the doctor and pay cash for normal health care. I acknowledge that in case of detriment and debilitating, that $40K won't touch the expense, but that leads to the cost of living, which has, btw increased significantly over the last several decades...why? b/c we want more stuff, so we need more money, then the prices increase...we're working harder, longer, and for ultimately more stuff, but a poorer quality of life.
Finally, P- (who I respect and enjoy our FB visits), what you find comical, I find sad. There is NO NATION on Earth that outgives the USA. No nation. There are no people in the US that outgive the conservative sector, either...yet here we all stand, in a country that now has greater debt than what can be paid back, whose now consists of consumers instead of manufacturers, whose nation simply does not produce enough money to fulfill our debted obligations unless we raise the debt ceiling, whose welfare recipients increase in number as we read our FB posts, and who is foolish if they believe other nations give a rats a$$ to help us.....
All that to say, the individual freedom Americans have taken for granted have led us to a nation where we believe the same gov't we have fought so hard to make unique in form, different from our European ancestors, turn right back into a nation now reliant on government. Surfs, where an upper class (politicians) are now deciding what they believe is best b/c those they represent don't know what's best for them. Taxation without representation. All the examples you gave, P-, to make for better life, have instead led to a new kind of enslavement -- our nation has stopped living under personal responsibility and now expects our gov't -- broken and divided by BOTH parties -- to pass legislation to correct the err of our ways. The old adage, money makes the world go round, is true. As a nation, we no longer have the $$$. That's what it all boils down to. We can no longer afford to fund all the great ideas that come forth from this nation. We have instead created a HUGE welfare state, reliant on the gov't to take care of our basic needs. Since many of us here, already are displeased with the gov't leaders regarding war, healthcare, insurance, debt, and few of those leaders are regarded with respect or seen as persons of integrity, I ask this, how on Earth does anyone think the gov't can fix anything?
You want to change the world, readers, YOU must do it one step at a time. Until people return to a society where personal responsibility is the norm and measurable by the fruits of ones lives....we're all screwed. It wasn't politicians that created the free society we lived in, it was those whose sweat and toil, blood and tears; those who survived a Wisconsin winter in the 1700 and 1800's; those black and white who fought against the British for freedom b/c they were being taxed without being represented...those who took the personal responsibility.....gov't can't fix jack....the independent struggle, relying on oneself and ones neighbor or family...that will create the turn around. Relying on gov't is not the answer.