In a comment today, someone claimed that “The natural right of freedom necessitates that one take responsibility for his or her individual life and decisions. Our present societal mindset is one in which we frequently allow, or even request, that our federal government eliminate freedoms we once cherished”. I argue that nothing in what our government does precludes that right to this day.
“Our present societal mindset” has been formed by the ever encroaching freedom someone has expressed that ended in the oppression or some problem for someone else; ergo a law is written for all because of the abuse of some. That is what societies of people do. It is what societies of people have always done. True freedom is closer to anarchy than any of those bemoaning the loss of “freedoms we once cherished” want to admit.
Nothing that the federal government “dictates” is without an impetus from citizens. Either a direct petition from the people or through their representative elected to do so. This pretense that things have been “taken” from anyone just to empower government is ridiculous. The quickest way to lose a right is to abuse it.
Why would the government care how you use your own property? Well if it is for a dump, for an animal sanctuary, a farm in the City, a hostel, a motel, a brothel, a business, band practice…
Our economic system has always left us with the indigent who could not earn enough to support themselves and save for their retirement so again, the need was met with a program citizens supported. The federal government did not just decide to usurp. You are still free to save what you can for yourself. Why do you deny help to those who need it? Why do you pretend low wage jobs that need doing, can support workers existence and retirement? They cannot.
We have looked to the federal government to provide for the common good for a very long time for a very good reason. Society needs that equilibrium, whether you like it or not.
Modern Americans speak of wanting “to be free” but few mean it and fewer could afford it. Sure a “freedom-loving person dutifully accepts responsibility for his or her own life and the lives of their family” but that does not preclude a poor, disabled, orphaned, widowed, or low wage worker from also having a life and a family or desiring that freedom.
In truth, we are all “afraid of real freedom” because of the multitude of laws we ask for. This notion you are free without having to abide by laws or pay taxes to help this nation be strong in all places (not just the well off) is just not honest or realistic.
I see it as “tragic and disturbing that we live in a time when so many Americans view” helping the less able and fortunate as a “means of extracting assets from achievers with singular purpose of giving them to non-achievers” because that is virtually untrue. The real “two Americas” are the one where people think only their own hard work got them where they are and that they should not have to contribute and the one where those who are unable to achieve that level of success are still allowed a living and even a vote. America has always been a nation of producers and a nation of takers. Some just describe each through a different prism, Jesus, for example.
Our government gets as much “correct” as private business and industry does and for less than it would cost us otherwise, without the discrimination of judging. Government is a necessity to any society and so is charity and forbearance. We need reform in many programs, we certainly need better leaders and to get the influence of money and power out of our Republic, but the notion of less government is a fantasy 300 million people cannot indulge in.