Great Divide: The bigger they are the harder they fall


A lonely snare drum beats until a bass player begins to pluck away a deep rhythm. After awhile a woman’s voice begins to sing, “One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.”

If you don’t believe Jefferson Airplane, why don’t we ask Alice? I’m sure Alice would reason that choice is the beauty of life and the larger the institution the more freedom we give up. I won’t lie either though, you do get more security. But the same could be said for a teenager’s curfew.

This world is filled with choices, and when we get down to it, some of them may not be best for us. For example, (not to drag the healthcare debate out of the closest) if the government mandates you to buy a service how can you ever learn its worth? That’s true with anything the government hands out. Choices are what make us grow and learn; expand our individualism. How can we become strong individuals if we never learn plight—and most American families have felt this plight.

Ask any American where they came from, they will say another country, we are a nation of immigrants. When we immigrated though, we worked. In Missouri, German immigrants worked the land or raised cattle. In small towns and cities they owned shops. In the first one hundred years of this country there was no social security, no Medicare for the poor, and definitely no universal healthcare.

How does the concept of federalism tie into poverty? Simply put, (and I say this with the risk of being labeled a fear monger) socialism and American federalism are very similar. Socialism doesn’t just hurt the rich as they will have to pay higher taxes, but it also hurts the poor. Think about this, you are being cheated out of an important American learning process. People don’t succeed out of pure luck, they do it through generations of hard work and investing in the family unit, not the government unit.

The family unit can fail though, no doubt. Our 44th president came from a weaker family unit, but with no father he relied primarily on his community, whether it was neighbors or college mentors. But what happened to the community?

In the twenties when a person lost their home and couldn’t make it, the community helped them, whether that was the local government that had set up a poor farm or good ole’ George Bailey with his Buildings and Loans.

Higher federal taxes on citizens and mandates on local governments prevent these things. There is little to no incentive for companies or small businesses to donate to charities, other than small tax deductions. How can a local government maintain a poor farm while the federal government is telling them they have to spend extra money on new speed signs for their state’s highways?

The American dream has been realized, and for the decades after we were lost. What do we do now that we know what we want and how to get it? Remember though, it wasn’t about getting the goal, but the journey we took getting it, the individuals that shined during these times, Lincoln, Armstrong, Douglas, Yeager, Parks— all individuals who helped realize the American dream. So, enjoy your journey and “remember what the door mouse said, ‘Feed your Head.’”

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