Right Direction?

By Louis Avallone

Folks, we need to talk. Despite a U.S. economy that continues to stagnate, or declining consumer spending, or plummeting home prices, or record unemployment, or declining wages, not to mention the unraveling of national security resulting from illegal immigration to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, there are still 1 in 3 of us, as likely U.S. voters, who believe the country is moving in the right direction, according to a recent poll. Seriously? I mean, by all objective, measurable standards, how can seemingly responsible and rational adults still muster the motivation to pretend that the country is moving in the right direction, even as the proverbial “wheels” are coming off?

Some might explain this by pointing out a lack of political awareness among Americans these days. For example, only 2 in 10 Americans know there are 100 Senators in the U.S. Senate, and only 4 in 10 of us know there are 3 branches of government (and also can name each of them). Plus 53% of Americans don’t know the name of the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court or, for that matter, can even name a single member of the highest court in the land. And a National Geographic poll revealed that 6 in 10 people, aged 18 to 24, could not find Iraq on a map.

But here we have one of the most critical, nation-altering elections upon us, just a little more than 7 months from now and, if the polling data is correct, nearly 1 in 3 likely U.S. voters seemingly want to double-down on this administration’s policies and programs, rooted in socialism, that empirically have failed, time after time, throughout history.

Maybe it’s true, in the words of George Bernard Shaw, perhaps “(d)emocracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve”. Well, my fellow Americans, we deserve better.

And it starts at home, around our kitchen tables with our families, and talking about the issues. Now, these are issues that aren’t glamorous to talk about and won’t necessarily make you the most popular guy or gal in the class. They probably won’t be subjects of conversation on Entertainment Tonight, but these are issues, for all Americans, to not merely talk about, but to understand.

After all, the next generation of Americans are in great need of our voices of reason, our common sense, knowledge of history, and they need our protection now, more than ever, from those whose vision for America includes less liberty, not more…from those who prefer government control and management of people’s lives, rather than the freedom to choose and a desire to be left alone. And yes, this is the slippery slope we’re on.

Do these folks (who think that the country is moving in the right direction) realize the historical evidence that governments will always find a need for the money they collect (or borrow, from future generations), and that collecting money from some people, in order to “do good” for another group of people, is the most inefficient method of spending money? Or that such spending may not “do good” at all?

And since you brought it up, I’ll give you an example. Deficit spending during the Obama administration has been nearly $5.17 trillion, including $787 billion in “stimulus” spending to “save” jobs. The results have been record unemployment, and those looking for a job for more than six months make up 40% of the unemployed (which is the highest level since 1948). If you include those who have simply stopped looking for work, this makes the actual unemployment rate almost 20%, despite trillions of “stimulus” spending.

And I’ll give you another example. Our nation will spend $953 billion on welfare programs this year (up by 42% since Obama took office). Still, we still have record levels of poverty—46 million are classified as living in poverty—the highest number since 1959.

And why is this? Why is more and more money, towards stimulating the economy, or moving people from welfare to work, failing? One reason is because, again, spending someone else’s money on someone else is the least efficient way to spend any money, for the value you receive. Yet, in 2012, local, state, and federal governments will spend $6.3 trillion dollars in this very way, on services and bureaucracy (and we wonder why our local and state governments are nearly bankrupt as well).

So do these folks (who like the direction our country is heading), understand that a society that puts equality before freedom will get neither? Or that fairness is not achieved by having someone else, or the government, decide for you, what is fair? Or that liberty means equality of opportunity, not equality of results?

We may be headed in the wrong direction, but in the words of Zig Ziglar, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” So whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or none of the above, let history be our guide, and liberty light our path. In the words of Ronald Reagan: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” And that goes for the 1 out of 3 that still thinks we’re headed in the right direction. We should probably make them a copy of our map.

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