State of Governmental Dependency

Brad - Bexley, Ohio
Entered on February 15, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe our country has a whole has moved into a state of dependency on the government. Voters today have begged the question of each candidate, “What will you give me if I vote for you?” I heard a joke in the midst of this past election that went something like this; two kids are running for class president in the 5th grade. One little boy gives his speech about how he will form study groups and push for cleaner hallways and classrooms, and how he plans to go about it, the students clap and the boy sits down. Another little boy gets up and tells the class if he is elected president, everyone will give longer recesses and pizza every Friday. The classroom erupts, and the second boy wins by a landslide. Sadly, this is a representation of what takes place in elections, but on a much smaller level.

Anymore, it seems like our country will vote for who promises them the most “free-stuff”, whether that be health-care, education, welfare, food stamps, and even housing. The saddest thing of all is many people who are collecting these government handouts don’t even deserve them.

The first thing I hear when trying to have a civil discussion about these matters is, “You rich little white boy don’t know nothin bout what it’s like to be poor”. Therein lies the problem. You see, the reason I believe this is because I do know a little something about it, and the way to get yourself out of poverty is not by holding out your hand to Uncle Sam, it’s by busting your butt to provide for you and your own.

I am from Cincinnati, which ranks 3rd on the top ten poverty cities in America. My grandpa moved here from Tennessee with his wife, and two children, three suitcases, and a dream to do better for his family. How am I a middle class citizen today? Because he worked two and three jobs for years on end, walking to each of them so my grandmother could drive the car when they could finally afford one.

What I have seen growing up is people working the system to get every dime of the taxes they can. Don’t get me wrong, people fall on hard times and need some help sometimes. I have witnessed people coming from more wealthy families than my own getting food stamps and welfare checks because they know how to cheat the government out of a couple bucks. I can name many instances, but simply do not have the allotted time.

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1776, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury… From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship”