Crossposted at The Rockefeller Republican
A nation-wide strike in France severely disrupted air, rail and commuter service last week. Hospitals reduced staff, and teachers, civil servants, journalists and transportation workers decided not to show up to work to protest the global economic crisis. The French called it “Black Thursday” with workers venting their concern as the country teeters on the edge of recession. While normally what happens in France is not something we take much note of here, this recent news is a trouble sign of what could be our future. With the U.S. looking at the largest government investment in infrastructure and services in it’s history we are moving in a troubling direction. The more U.S. citizens come to rely on the government, the more like France we look. How far away are we from national strikes to vent frustration over the failures of the nanny state to take care of us.
Anyone who has kids, or knows one, realizes that spoiling them inevitably leads to problems. If, as a parent, you cave to your child’s every whim and demand eventually they will come to expect what once may have been a treat or a special occasion. This leads to ungrateful children who are not willing to strive for much, because they have been accustomed to getting their way with minimal effort. All one has to do is look at a modern college campus to see the result of this parenting style. Students who are utterly lost when presented with their first real taste of freedom and responsibility are all too common. They don’t have the self discipline to monitor their own studies and the lack the self control to avoid the ever present credit card offers. Soon they are deep in debt with sinking GPA’s. We instinctively know that spoiling our children does not help them in the long run. Then why do do many advocate it for their country?
The U.S. is in danger of becoming a spoiled child if the senate passes the Democratic “stimulus” package as it is now constituted. While President Obama has given the appearance of bipartisanship and has made a show of talking to Republicans, when it came to actually craft a bill either he, or Nancy Pelosi, has reverted to an extreme leftist position and created one that instead of providing real stimulus, funds every social program that any Democrat has dreamed up over the past 10 years. We all know that Bush grew the government at far too great a rate, but this makes him look like a small government libertarian.
While no one like to see someone suffer, go through hard times, be forced to adjust to painful new circumstances, it is sometimes necessary. If we do not want to look like much of socialist leaning Europe in the next generation we need to face the fact that we need to go through a rough time right now. Bailouts need to stop. The financial industry does not seem to be using them wisely anyway, just look at the billions of dollars that have been given out as bonuses at the same time they are begging for more tax-payer handouts. Instead of spending $1 trillion on a programs bonanza the government should institute a tax holiday. That amount of money put directly into consumers hands will do more for the economy than any government run social welfare could.
The cleansing fire of a recession is going to be painful but it is part of living with a capitalist society. The Great Depression helped spawn “The Greatest Generation,” the exact opposite of the spoiled child syndrome we see taking over countries like France. It is time to stand up and decide who we want to be.