This is why I’m a libertarian. This right here…this quote I heard on an interview on CNN last Saturday evening.
Contrary to popular belief, I’m not an “I’ve got mine, so screw you guys, I’m goin’ home” kind of person. I believe in helping the needy, the poor, the hungry, the whathaveyou. But I believe that it’s our job–as adult people–to do that ourselves.
You know, we are adult people. We have jobs and houses and cars. Sometimes the jobs lay us off, the houses have burst pipes and the cars break down. It sucks. It’s called “life” and it happens. And as adult people we do the best we can. But if we just can’t find another job or enough money to fix the pipes or the car then there are charities that can help.
But this new attitude is sickening me. This attitude of chronologically grown people who behave like children. Newsweek says “We’re all socialists” (partially because the Newsweek editors haven’t met me), but they ought to say “we’re all acting like babies”.
Uncle Sam will take care of me? Really? That’s how you want to go through life? Yes, Virginia, there IS an Uncle Sam.
What sickens me most about this attitude is not that there is hope for the truly needy. It’s that so many adults don’t understand what true need is. Going without something you want does not you a needy person make.
True story. There are a few people I know around the way. One of them desperately asked another one for money. We’ll call that person “Annie.” Well, “Barbara”, the person Annie asked for some cash, figured that Annie’s need must be desperate if she was asking. So Barbara–who is struggling financiallly, by the way–took the few dollars she had set aside to go out to the movies on her birthday and gave them to Annie. Barbara was sad about missing the movie but she at least felt good about being able to help Annie out. The very next week, just a few days after Barbara spent her birthday alone at home, she heard the grapevine that Annie had gone to a concert and out to dinner. Turns out that Annie can always find the money for fun stuff–dinners out, concerts, movies but just doesn’t like paying her light bill. A few months after that I found out that Annie was also spending a lot of money on buying pot. (See, I’m not in love with all pot smokers, mom.)
I have the feeling there are a lot of Annies nowadays.
And I’ll be honest about something. Part of my libertarianism is a “judge not” attitude. I believe that if you’re an adult you should be able to do just exactly as you please as long as you don’t hurt anybody. But here’s the thing. I’m finding myself getting awfully judgemental about the folks who are receiving stimulus money. And I don’t know if I mind. Because honestly, if you can’t pay your way and are asking other folks to do that for you I think it’s perfectly okay for those folks to ask if you are going to concerts, restaurants or pot dealers with the money they gave you.
Uncle Sam may take care of you. But that also gives Uncle Sam a right to know what he bought with his dough. And if that were me, I’d worry. I don’t want to have to justify myself to anyone else–especially the government.