Ok, time for Roger to let a skeleton out of his closet for the sake of making some very important points in this column.
I have an addiction that I am “recovering” from but that I have been fighting for 25 years. It’s not important what the addiction is to, just that I know what it means to be addicted to something.
The first step to recovery is to realize you have a problem. Once you have done that, you must realize that your addiction is not a good thing, it is a bad thing and it is time to end the dependency. You must also realize that you can’t do it alone and you have to start looking for the help.
The beginning of the recovery process, often called “withdrawal” is a living hell. It is the worst experience you can EVER imagine. Every bone in your body, every single cell demands that you give it some of what you are addicted to. You feel physical and emotional pain. You feel despair. You feel empty. You feel anger. You feel anxious. It is an emotional cocktail that simply cannot be described.
America has an addiction to two things, and it is time to start the recovery process.
America is addicted to credit and government.
Our addiction to credit is obvious. You don’t have to be a genius to see it. The amount of credit card debt the average American has is staggering. We simply do not live within our means. We spend more money than we earn in the name of spreading out the payments to get that bigger TV or that leather couch. When we start to fall behind on our ability to make those payments, we “consolidate” the debt and then run it up again.
Our addiction to government isn’t as obvious. We complain about the government. Most of us want them out of our lives. Yet when we see something like the Katrina response, we curse them for not being involved enough.
Our Founding Fathers created a country where our opportunity would come from within ourselves, not from our government. They created a country where the government was only supposed to defend us, equip us with roads and other infrastructure and keep an eye on commerce happening over state lines. They had a vision of a limited government because they knew that is how opportunity can truly be created.
If we are to break these addictions, the bailout simply cannot happen. If the crash is what it takes, let it crash. The credit markets will tighten up to the point where getting credit will be as difficult as it is supposed to be. If the bailout goes through, the government will have far too much influence on our financial markets and we will be on the fast track to socialism, which is a COMPLETE dependence on government.
The withdrawal period from our credit and government addiction will be painful. It is not something we can do alone but we won’t have to. We will have each other and we are Americans! We face the challenges, we conquer, we overcome.
We can do without that 60″ LCD TV, unless you can afford to buy it for cash. We can afford to stick with the fabric couch. We can afford to stay in the house we are in. We want more. We want bigger. We want better. It is human nature. We just have to have a better sense of reality. Breaking our addiction to credit will help us do that.
We can also do without more government intervention in our lives. We in fact, could do with less. We need to stop looking to the government to meet our needs. We need to stop looking for the “grants” and the “programs” and the “entitlements” and everything else that is a feel good program, but gives the government more control over our lives.
We can break these addictions, but we have to realize we have a problem first.
Do you have a problem with either of these addictions?
I’m willing to bet that you do!