Posts tagged ‘Government’

June 3, 2012

Political Initiative

“Suppose you were a politician. Now, suppose you were an Idiot–Ah, but I repeat myself.” -Benjamin Franklin

I have been thinking about politics as of late, and the issues that come up when I think about politics are practically always the same. The economy is in need of fixing, and the civil liberties of americans are being curbed. Religious fanaticism is on the rise, and what are we to do so that the government becomes unjammed? These fears, doubts, and concerns are probably shared by the majority of the country, perhaps even transcending continental borders to be shared by our fellow brethren in Europe.

I don’t know what to make of the american situation, as that very situation has never seemed so bad, though I can say that much power that formely lied within the confines of the United States Legislature now is held by corporate entities, who funnel countless reams of money into politician’s election war chests. As a result, many a politician will take an angry stance while running to become elected, but will suddenly become wary of crossing his corporate backers once ushered into office. At the same time, many of these corporately sponsored attack ads actively paint a negative picture of “Washington Beauracrats”, completely ignoring the fact that they themselves are the beauracracy, and not Washington.

Should something be done? Should american citizens take up arms and ammunition? Should we storm city hall, the gates of the White House? I don’t think so. Much of the problem that corporate beauracrats would have us believe resides in Washingtion actually resides in the complete hold that Corporations have over the United States economy. Any true attempt to retake the nation will be decided victorious not by the sharpness of our pichforks, but by the willpower of our fiscal restraint.

A perfect example of this is the consumption of sugary foods and beverages by the American Citizen. In any capitalist economy, the goods that capital is spent on determine the nature of the culture. So if every american in the country eats at McDonalds at least five times a week, then the McDonalds corporation will grow. What needs to be understood is that money is not just speech when applied towards the election of some political candidate, but that every expenditure is indicative of support towards what is purchased. This is especially important in a capitalist economy like the United States, because investment in any infrastucture is not just made at the federal level. Investment is made at all levels, and consumption is made at all levels, which means that the ability to solve the economic crisis lies in the hands of the countries citizen’s themselves, and not in the federal government.

For example, a person could spend their income on sugary soft drinks and snacks, or they can save their income and finance their higher education. The root of the choice lies in personal responsibility. Does a person have the willpower to say no to a thirty six ounce of Coca-Cola in favor of a collegiate degree? It is beginning to appear that Americans do not really have that ability, but I think that the current situation is misleading. One of the the proudest elements of American culture is our sense of entitlement, so it is only natural that many americans believe they should have their drink, and also have the government pay for their healthcare.

It wasn’t always this way, but I think that the expanding sense of entitlement that made Americans so great is also a double edged blade. Entitlement tends to eat out the roots of self-restraint and personal responsibility. But what is to be done? Well, first of all, we will have to become conscious of the root cause. Then, we will need to consciously decide the route we want to take. If something is bad for us, and we are consciously aware of that fact, then it is by a similiar conscious decision that we will change that bad habit.

Consciously exercising the will like this takes effort, but we should feel entitled to the fact that we possess what it takes to do so.

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