The United States has an entire sector of our market devoted to doing things yourself: gardening, general home improvements, automobile maintenance, even brewing your own beer. There is another sector laden with self-help snake charmers claiming that they have what it takes to inspire you to become a better you. And apparently there are enough Americans out there willing to fork over large sums of money to either be a weekend warrior in their front yards or attempt to improve themselves vis-a-vis the words of some one who doesn't even know them. All of this would be encouraging if it would only transpire a desire to decrease the persistant encroachment into our lives by the federal government.
It is common knowledge that the top issues for voters this year are the economy and health care. People perceive the economy to be on the brink of recession because of a number of things such as the housing/loan troubles that have sprung up of late and the seven year drum beat by the liberal media that President Bush and the Republicans have destroyed the economy by giving tax cuts to "their wealthy friends." Health care is in a shambles due to the cost and the number of uninsured that there are in this country, but there could be a case made that it is not quite as bad as it seems. All that said, there are legitimate problems going on right now with the economy and health care, problems that need to be solved with a quickness, but what seems to be the solution according to the American people? Their solution is probably the worse solution of all: more government.
Just as polls show the economy and health care being a huge issue for voters, these same voters also claim that the Democrats have better solutions to these issues than Republicans. Well, if the Democrats are said to have better solutions, what would they be? More government--I mean we are talking about the Democrat Party for crying out loud. So the voters, the people who try to do-it-themselves when it comes to home improvement, are seeking the government to solve these particular problems. There is a great mentality in this country for Americans to think of themselves in a certain way, but when put to the test they just shrink away from their own perceptions of themselves. People are willing to build their own deck in their backyard, but they are unwilling to do what it is that is necessary to improve their own economic standing. Suggestions to do so are met with "oh, it's too hard" or "my uncle so-and-so lost his job and doesn't have anywhere else to go." So it's too hard and there is nowhere else to go turns into we need more government handouts. And worst of all, we are starting to hear this from sectors of the American public who are not traditionally viewed as being on the government dole.
So far all this year--and election year mind you--there have been articles after articles shouting from the mountain tops that capitalism has fail yet again. E. J. Dione Jr. of the Washington Post
penned a column
discussing how he doesn't want to hear anymore about the brilliance of capitalists because of the recent government bailouts that some Wall Street banks have received in the past couple of months. The dirty little secret is that these loan houses on Wall Street wouldn't be in such trouble had the federal government not come along some years ago and told them that they had better give loans and mortgages to high risk borrowers or they were going to feel the wrath of Washington. Well what do you think happens when you loan people money that either won't pay it back or not in a financially stable position to pay it back, which leads to the do-it-yourselfers. Now, the fact is that many mortgage owners are making their payments, only five to six percent aren't, but look at how everyone is reacting to the state of the economy. Now listen to what some are saying should be solutions.
Health care is the same way. It is rather expensive and there aren't going to be any quick fixes to health care in this country. But what is the number one stated fix for the American voter? Yup, universal health care, or as it should be called, let-the-rich-pay-for-my-health-care. That's right, universal health care is just another way to tell the do-it-yourselfers out there that some one else is going to do this one for them. There is no attempt by the people in this country to take on health care the same way one would take on home improvements. This mentality has been around in the U.S. for quite some time beginning with social security, which is just some one else paying for some one else's retirement.
It is a great feeling to think of one's self as independent and self reliant. Many of us were told as children that this country was founded by rugged individuals who had no help from anyone, and that is a romantic ideal. Today many around the country look at themselves as self reliant, but when examined closely, there is no self reliance there. So the next time you put that waterseal on the deck that you built last spring for your home, or the next time you are changing the oil in your car, don't think about what a great handyman you are. Ask yourself, "Have I thanked my boss for the taxes that he pays which enables me to have universal health care and social security?"