Monday, February 16, 2009

The Morning After: A Declaration of Dependence

With the passing of the Economic Stimulus Bill, we see the dawning of a new day. A day where every bank that makes a bad decision can count on Uncle Sam to come to the rescue. A day where every Californian making minimum wage can count on Uncle Sam to pay for the mortgage on their $600,000 lunchbox of a home. A day where single moms with 14 kids can count on Uncle Sam to pay for every aspect of her children's lives, including their conception.

Our founding fathers had it totally wrong. We don't want to declare independence. The only thing any of us want to declare is bankruptcy so Uncle Sam can cancel all our debts. Since our constitution is a living breathing document, it is only fair that the Declaration of Independence also be subject to the will of the people. Keeping this in mind, I have gone ahead and made a few edits.

We hold these truths relatively valid ideas to be self-evident, that all men people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator Evolutionary Process with certain unalienable undocumented rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness free mortgage payments for life, Universal Healthcare and the ability to marry our cousins. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed junk bonds sold to the Chinese.

Don't tell me the new Declaration of Dependence does not represent the zeitgeist of America. Just a month ago I saw a homeless man standing on the street corner with a handwritten card board sign that said "Denied Social Security. Denied Housing Benefits. Next: Freedom of Speech." I have no doubt the forefathers are nodding in consent. Social Security, housing benefits, freedom of speech. In today's America, they are one and the same. We have become so addicted to public assistance that we can no longer distinguish between rights and social programs.

In our desperate attempt to create rights, we have completely neglected to fulfill our own individual responsibilities. We fight for universal healthcare while ignoring our own personal health. We champion gay marriage while doing nothing to preserve those marriages that already exist. We fight for the right to abort a child, while ignoring the personal choices that lead to the unwanted pregnancy.

In reality, we are not looking to create rights as much as we are trying to erase consequences. And that is ultimately what this stimulus bill hopes to do. Erase the consequences of the past 10 years. Erase the greed that saw Wall Street buy into unproven mortgage securities. Erase the foolhardiness that saw millions of homeowners buy homes they could not afford. Erase the recklessness of state and local governments who spent like sailors on leave even when it was obvious the ship was about to sail.

This stimulus bill is the economic equivalent of the Morning-After Pill. It provides short term relief while doing nothing to change the drunken behavior that got us here in the first place.

It is morning in America and we have all woken up with a bleary-eyed hangover. Good thing we can count on Uncle Sam to write us a prescription for what ever ails us. After all, today is our dependence day.


Trait said...

Well said, Joel. A tip of the cap to you for an excellently written blog entry. We have not heeded Franklin's warning concerning liberty and safety. We've chosen safety lock, stock, and barrel. As a result, we are less free.

Christa Jeanne said...

Wow, Joel - excellent post! You've hit the nail on the head. People today focus so much more on rights (many of which are not even truly rights)than on responsibility and expect the government to step in and fix everything. It makes me just sick that the porkulous monstrosity passed. It's saddling future generations with enormous debt for short-term fixes - I cannot comprehend how it's a good thing.

What worries me is that those of us who have the integrity to not take a piece of the porkulous pie may be at a disadvantage now, when others in our income brackets take handouts to get ahead. Just because you can do something doesn't make it right - basic playground knowledge that today's politicians should heed!

Lewis Family said...

I'm glad you are so good at writing down and explaining how I feel. Thanks for venting for me.

boymystere said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Average Joel said...

Boymystere, you know my policy on language, i.e. if my mom can't read it, I must delete it. However, I don't want to erase what you have said so I am going to repost your comment below with my subtle edit. Thanks for posting

From boymystere-

"I love it how most of those same people that used to complain when American government help or money went outside to starving, or war ravaged people in other countries, those who were saying: "Hey what about the starving people WE have over HERE? What about OUR homeless situation? OUR country needs help," are now also usually the ones who complain about the American Government bailing out its people and financial institutions. Whether we like it or not, the American (and global) economy is in some deep RANK DONKEY POOH right now. Millions of people are losing their retirement money, their homes, their jobs. Businesses are failing everywhere. And unfortunately its just about EVERYONE'S fault. Greedy wall street workers, greedy house-flippers, greedy house mortgage lenders, stupid home-owners who refinanced and refinanced, deceived buyers in China and abroad of CDO's, banks and politicians who wanted to de-regulate the economy.... just let it go and do whatever it wants, the rising home values will never pop! Right? Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, clearly a ton of us were affected: grandmothers, children, working families, stupid people, greedy people. When are we going to stop competing against each other and just say we are in this together? I don't understand why the Republican party is so afraid of the government stepping in and helping the underdog. Oh wait... maybe its because they're greedy just like the rest of us, and want to keep more money in their own personal pockets. Well if the rich are doing ok, well then there must not be a problem. When are people going to realize that there is enough for all of us, if we just work together? People need help right now, and that is partly what governments are for. I personally have a lot of faith in this stimulus package. I have a lot of faith in Obama. The stimulus package is poised to create somewhere between 1 and 3 million jobs in the clean energy sector alone just by encouraging companies to go green. I understand that our children will partly be paying this package off for years to come, I know its a tough call to do that, but we need something to get the ball moving again. And I disagree with you completely on the fact that this all stems somehow from people wanting rights. Universal healthcare, gay marriage, and a woman's right to choose are all things we should strive for, but I'll probably never convince a married religious straight white man of that. Why? Because they're stubborn and usually have difficulty seeing beyond their own seemingly perfect cookie-cutter lives."

boymystere said...

Sorry Joel. Sorry Mom. Thanks for not deleting it entirely. =)

Chris Monson said...

Now we just need to admit that dependence on government programs is also a bad thing for students, no matter how many taxes they think they'll pay later, and we'll have tackled one of my biggest peeves.