Politicians and the main stream media have convinced the majority of Americans that societal change is required for the pursuit of happiness to be realized. Really? Have we become so self-serving, has the sense of entitlement become so entrenched, that we are blinded to the blessings that surround us?
For the past six years, all we have heard about is hope and change without a hint as to why, if at all, we want or even need change. Without a crystal ball at our disposal, we have no way of determining if the change they all talk about is actually change for the better, or will we be left wishing for the good old days.
We need to be careful of what we hope or what we allow government to impose on us. When change comes from the government it comes with baggage, government force. It isn't change that is voted on by the American people with their consent to willingly accept it. The will of the people is ignored.
It is definitively American to believe that something better is around the next bend. As Americans, never being satisfied with our current circumstance is woven into our psyche. It is the trait that has pushed us to excel and succeed, to achieve American exceptionalism.
Politicians have hijacked that belief to use as a tool to acquire power by promising to be the only agent by which positive change can happen. And many Americans have abdicated to the government what heretofore was the personal responsibility to chase their dreams, only to cede to the government control over their lives that would make the Founding Fathers spin in their graves.
We have become complacent about our lives. All you need to do is ask anyone who has lived anywhere else on the planet. They will tell you how lucky we are to live in America. As much as politicians and the media try to convince us differently, just by being alive in 21st century America, even if you're earning the minimum wage, you've won first prize in the lottery of life.
Let us examine this from a purely materialistic point of view. If you had $250 to spend in 1952, purchasing from the Sears catalog, you could have only purchased the following four items totaling $256:?Argus C-3 35mm camera - $69, Smith-Corona Sterling typewriter - $95, AM-FM radio - $39, and a 3-speed phonograph - $53.
Now contrast that with today. Using the Consumer Price Index, your 1952 $250 today equals $2,200, an 880 percent cumulative rate of inflation. What can you buy shopping at Amazon? The list includes a Dell Laptop Computer - $349, HP Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier - $69.95, Canon 16.0 Mega Pixel Digital Camera - $101.94, Samsung 32-inch LED HDTV - $199.99, TiVo Digital Video Recorder - $129.95, Sony Home Theater System - $127.50, Xbox 360 - $179.00, iPod 16GB - $144.99, iPhone 4 - $189.00, Panasonic 5-Handset Cordless Telephone - $99.99, Sony HD Digital Camcorder - $127.99, Panasonic Microwave, Stainless Steel - $139.99, and a Garmin Portable GPS Navigator - $76.99 totaling $1936.28 and still have $263 in your pocket.
What a difference 60 years of capitalism makes! These are all products that greed invented and greed provides at ridiculously low prices. The government didn't invent or produce one of these items - the freedom to apply the laws of supply and demand did. Most teenagers today can afford things that even a billionaire couldn't have purchased 20 years ago. It is free market capitalism that makes this standard of living possible.
Allowing the media and the politicians to stoke the fires of class warfare and jealousy based on the false premise that it is somehow un-American for one person to achieve more than another is blatantly disingenuous. Striving to better one's lot is the very vehicle that has given us everything you see as you sit reading this.
Eighteenth century political economist Adam Smith coined the metaphor "The Invisible Hand" to describe how individuals, acting in their own self- interest, benefit society as a whole even though they have no conscience intention to do so. Magically, while striving for greater individual profits, one produces better products at cheaper prices more efficiently with less waste.
How can we possibly take seriously a politician who invents or at the very least, over exaggerates issues with the sole objective to play to the ignorant, the impatient, and the unappreciative in an effort to win power? By touting these fictitious struggles, politicians create legions of malcontents who look to government to solve a plethora of perceived injustices. They prey on this unrest to convince the masses that only they can remedy the inequality that imprisons the underprivileged to a life of despair. When in reality, these people are infinitely better off than the 5.6 billion people that the World Bank tells us have average incomes below that of Mexico.
Our leaders should first and foremost be a positive influence on the attitudes and perceptions that the American people have towards their country. They should be cheerleaders at home and abroad promoting America and free market capitalism.
It is unconscionable that we have elected officials and bureaucrats that decry the virtues, the positive influence on the world, and the unprecedented freedom and abundance enjoyed by its citizens that America represents. To emphasize for personal gain the negative while ignoring the positive should automatically disqualify a candidate from public service.
Americans need to once again begin to appreciate what our country has given us. We need to confront the naysayers and label them for what they really are, un-American. The federal government was designed to provide us with one service, protecting our freedom; not create a bloated bureaucracy whose stated purpose is to correct an unlimited list of make-believe societal transgressions.
Only when we focus on the lone responsibility of the government, defending our freedom, and punish those politicians who do not make that task their only priority will America return to its past glory.
Read Jack Loesch's web site at www.TorchNFork.info.
He may be reached at: TorchNFork@frontier.com.