We need the government to work for everyone while providing each of us the freedoms we value and opportunity to create the type of life that fits each citizen’s personality.
Every society has its overachievers and underachievers, and sometimes underachievers become overachievers and vice versa. It’s called motivation, and it’s what makes our world go around. Without motivation or a strong sense of self drive, what will spur creativity and production?
Like it or not, this country is based on capitalism. Capitalism rewards the risk takers and entrepreneurs and is the basis for many of the freedoms we enjoy. We’ve always been a very competitive society, but with advances in technology and a growing global economy, more countries have adopted a form of our economic system. Combine that new aggressive competition with a less then united effort from this country and the results speak for themselves. We’ve lost our collective focus.
At this point in time, given the recent debt deliberations, downgrading of the country’s credit rating by S&P, the political blame game coming out of Washington, and the stock market plunging over 600 points as I’m writing this on Monday, I think we can all agree, that things aren’t working well at all. What absolutely does need to work at this point is finding solutions to reach across the aisle without digging in our heels. Do we really care who’s right or wrong, or do we want our leaders to set a course correction to put some confidence back into our economy? Regardless of your personal perspective, I think most of us would choose the latter.
Vilifying the opposition in place of respecting their position and seeking common ground may seem the best course for those on the fringes of our political system, but I’m convinced cooler headed centrists who make up the majority of our country must step forward and prevail if both sides can agree to reason fairly and think about what best for the country not what best plays to their corresponding political base.
This nation was built on hard work by enterprising people — people who only wanted an opportunity, and with that opportunity were willing to work hard and sacrifice to make the most of it. They knew what they were working toward and were willing to pay the price to reach their goal. Handouts, free rides, get-rich-quick schemes, and not pulling your own weight were discouraged by society as a whole, not celebrated or condoned as seems to be the case today.
Things like work ethics, courage, reliability, honesty, integrity, loyalty, faith and commitment are values that were ingrained in our nature at one time. Is it any wonder, as we strayed from those values, we find ourselves in the mess we’ve created today. From the time I was a youngster, it was these values passed down from my parents and grandparents that were forced upon them by the Great Depression. We can only hope these strong moral values find their way back into our future as perhaps a byproduct of what we are about to go through.
This country has always been at its best when we’re all pulling in the same direction, at the same time. Until we return to the values that made us strong, get everyone truly pulling in the same direction and fairly sharing the burden, eliminate the free rides/entitlements and see a return of honesty, integrity and respect, we are destined to flounder in blame, self-righteousness, and a widening of the financial divide that is at the root of our issues today.
While the problems are most apparent right now at the federal level, it will begin quickly to trickle down to the local level as dollars become scarce and borrowing gets even more difficult. As a nation, state and individual communities, we must all take a more active role in voicing who we send to elected office and how our tax dollars are spent.
I have no doubt our country will find its way through this difficult period. Let’s hope the lessons we learn and scars we’ll wear will help us build a better future for our children and grandchildren, giving them a better grasp on the hope and optimism our parents and grandparents gave to us that we let slip away.
Dan Alexander is publisher and owner of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.