Societies develop rules and laws and programs to get people to live together peacefully, prosper, and create vital environments for the next generation. That’s perfectly fine. However, what we are seeing is the fruit of one misguided progressive experiment after another. These ideas are destroying people’s lives, their initiative, and are making our country a worse place. Instead of allowing institutions like churches, charities, neighborhoods, and families make positive impacts on people’s lives, we are increasingly relying on government to take care of every little stinking want and desire to the detriment of us all. I’m going to explore three case studies of just how endless social experiments and artificially created moral hazards have erected a culture that is entitled, greedy, and just plain dumb.
First up is a video from Judge Judy’s television show. I will set it up for you. A young Minnesotan woman is suing her ex-boyfriend for rent. When the video clip begins, we discover a few salient facts about the defendant. He’s a 21year-old, junior in college who has his tuition paid, a monthly stipend to live on and Ramsey County, Minnesota gives him over $400 per month for his rent. Instead of paying that money to his girlfriend for his portion of the rent, the young man just spent it on himself. Judge Judy tries fruitlessly to explain that he has committed a fraud on the county because he didn’t use that money for rent.
The young man adamantly opposes that idea, and instead tries arguing the arrangement between his ex and he is what matters and not his covenant with the state. Judge Judy explains that she and Officer Byrd, her bailiff, don’t want to fund his good time. She states that the government earmarked that money for his rent, not his personal income. Finally, exasperated she asks, “What do you do?” referring to his justification for getting the government money. The man blurts out, “I’m me. You know that’s why. I’m me. That’s the only reason.”
Judge Judy, “That’s what we’re creating.”
Judge Judy, “That’s what we’re creating, a him.”
Now, obviously, we were witnessing a thoroughly selfish young man who believes the government owes him a living because he exists. We have ‘participation’ ribboned, praised, enabled, bribed, gifted, and paid off an entire generation of young people who feel the world should be served up on a silver platter for them. This case study is disturbing because there are just so many people out there like him.
What was far more telling in this exchange was the recognition by Judge Judy and Officer Byrd as to what drove this young man philosophically. They recognized from those very few words and his attitude up to that point, they were witnessing the fruit of a progressive system of total empowerment of youth without their ever contributing to society. Progressives created a ridiculously expensive system to take care of people who aren’t and will never be worthy of the gift. They’ve managed to erase all responsibility from these children’s lives and create a world where they can just take and take and take, and someone else will have to do the giving.
The exchange is available at Townhall.com at the link which follows. I don’t know if I wanted to laugh or cry.
That’s What We’re Creating. A Them.
State fairs are happy events with children trudging through barns looking at animals, teenagers canoodling under bleachers, and everybody eating things on sticks. However, the progressive/socialists in the public employee unions in Wisconsin had a different take on their state fair. Wearing red t-shirts and logos of fists, these union thugs decided to interrupt everyone’s good time.
While watching the clip of these protestors, I was struck by two interesting things. First, the protestors sounded like a bunch of mindless robots chanting, “Shame, shame, shame,” and “Recall Walker” like Jacobins. They were quivering with fury and red faced with rage. It reminded me of Ann Coulter’s book, ‘Demonic’ and how Gustave LeBon noted that mobs are indeed thoughtless machines that only react with emotion. Certainly these protestors who chanted inane mantras weren’t accessing the higher functions of their brains. The fact that they protested the opening of the Wisconsin State Fair seems utterly pointless. What are they protesting exactly? The Walker plan merely forced them to do two things: pay more for their benefits and limit their ability to extort more from local school boards. This hardly seems like the kind of thing that would warrant interrupting the opening ceremony of the state fair. To most people, this would be a political loss but not an ongoing campaign.
But, these people are so used to getting their way without a fight, they cannot stand to be told no. This is the grownup version of our friend on Judge Judy. These union protestors are so incensed at being told to pay for their own party, they react with mindless, unreasoned fury. The Wisconsin situation is our future if we don’t learn to stand up and say no.
The second thing that came to mind is the reaction of the local news reporters on this story. The anchor pointed out that Tom Barrett, the Democratic Party nominee for governor who lost to Walker, seemed annoyed at the display. The reporter blamed it on the heat. But she did say that, “nobody really seemed to enjoy that (meaning the protest). They just wanted to open the fair and not make it a political situation.” I think this is quite telling.
When local news outlets are visibly uncomfortable with the behavior of a crowd, it’s worth noting. Media outlets are structured to display controversies and drama and even gin some up if need be. If the Fox6 reporters are seemingly annoyed at a controversial behavior, it must be quite significant. The actions of these government union thugs must have been even more disquieting than is event on the tape.
That’s What We’re Creating, An Us
Gallup Polls have shown that Americans are deeply concerned about the debt and deficits feeding it. In an April survey, they asked if the then budget cuts were enough. Seventy-one percent worried the cuts weren’t deep enough to do any good. But, when you look back just a couple of months to a January survey in 2011, the pollsters asked what areas you’d support cutting. We, as a society said we didn’t support cutting funding for the arts and sciences, agriculture, Homeland security, the military, anti-poverty programs, Medicare, Social Security, or education. We all strongly favored cutting foreign aid.
So, who’s to blame? Washington or us? As a society we’ve all become just a dependent on federal spending as the defendant on Judge Judy. We all want our stuff, we don’t want to look mean, and we are only willing to cut the infinitesimal foreign aid budgets because those are cuts we know we won’t feel. (I want to stress that by ‘us’ I mean American society and not ‘us’ conservatives or Tea Party adherents). But we can see all around us the debris from a government overgrown and overbearing.
Hope Springs Eternal
However, there is a great deal of hope in this as well. Judge Judy is a big liberal and a Democratic Party supporter of Obama, or at least was. She was on “Is Larry King Alive” many times and always supported social experiments and progressive programs. But, it seems her faith in big government is being shaken. While I doubt she’s writing out a check to the Republican National Committee right now, it is the mainstream Democratic Party that is awakening. The prog/soc’s have made such a supreme mess of things, it appears they overplayed their hand. In her last interview with King, Judge Judy was not so comfortable with the direction Obama is taking the country.
When local mainstream media news reporters are questioning the wisdom of union thug tactics, there is a brisk wind blowing at our backs. For the Democratic Party stenographers to doubt left wing demonstrations are appropriate are tantamount to an outright condemnation among the general population. Perhaps the ‘go-along-to-get-along’ moderates are getting tired of the constant drama and controversy. Maybe we are seeing a genuine change in direction of this populace and their attitude.
Finally, you know the Democratic Party is having troubles when one of their biggest supporters, Steve Wynn, lambastes the president in a conference call with investors. This kind of language is the type which only the Tea Party and conservatives would have used a mere six months ago. He said:
“Well, this is Obama’s deal. And it is Obama that is responsible for this fear in America. The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest, they are holding too much money.
You know, we haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody is afraid of the government and there is no need soft-pedaling it. It is the truth. It is the truth.
And that is true of Democratic businessmen, and Republican businessmen, and I am a Democratic businessman, and a repu — I support Harry Reid, I support Democrats and Republicans, and I am telling you that the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he is gone, everybody is going to be sitting on their thumbs.” Wall Street Journal, ‘Casino magnate Steve Wynn slams Obama,’ July 19, 2011, by Shira Ovide.
Now, those are the words which should strike fear in the heart of every progressive/socialist out there. If you’ve lost Judge Judy, the local media, and Steve Wynn, perhaps there is a reckoning on the horizon.
Crossposted at Looktruenorth.com