I typically avoid talking about politics at all costs because that discussion, as President Obama said last night at the end of the State of the the Union Address, has become so divisive in our society. I hate that. I am a lover, I do not thrive on discord, and I hate it that we have gotten to the point where you and I cannot be friends if we find ourselves on opposite sides of the political spectrum. But I have something to say in response to a Spirit of American friend that is more about personal responsibility than politics. I am responding to Joe Naff‘s “State of the Union 2010” on his Freedom Watch News blog.
Please be careful of your use of “Americans [verb]” Americans want… Americans believe… American were looking…
I am an American and I can’t say that I want/hope/whatever every time you used that phrase. For example, I do not believe that the government is to blame for the economic crisis. It is the banks’ capitalistic predatory loans (they just want to make money, not that I’m excusing it; we just need ethics, too) and–I truly believe this–it is the fault of Americans who took on more debt than they could repay based on their income.
If you cannot pay for it–whatever it is–and still put food on your plate, you do not buy it, no matter how much you want it, think you need it. Period. That is fiscal responsibility on a micro level.
The American Dream is to own a home, clean and clear. Not to live in a home for which you can barely make the payments. We must be responsible, save our pennies and dimes, and when we can afford it, buy a home in our price range.
Now, I admit, there are circumstances beyond our control, like a husband losing his job because of cutbacks, that could make a family default on their mortgage. But for the most part, the families who lost their homes were working, and they lost their homes because their poor credit qualified them for a tricky, sly loan with variable interest that got them where it counts later.
Still, I argue that if you have bad credit, you should act in a way that gets you out of debt and repairs your credit, proving that you can handle the huge financial commitment that is a house. Otherwise, you live in an apartment. Again, that is fiscal responsibility.
It is blatant disregard for personal responsibility that got us into so many of the problems we have, but no politician is going to scold their constituents. That is one major problem with representative government, or maybe just with our ME ME ME, fast food “I want it now” society.
Another major hot button issue that could be somewhat alleviated if each of us Americans showed personal responsibility? This health care crisis. You and me, if we (1) stop overeating (2) get 30 minutes of exercise a day, we can decrease this problem more than the government ever can with legislation and regulation. Is any elected official saying this? No, not that I’ve heard, but, please, correct me if I’m wrong. (Here’s a cute graphic about this; warning, strong language)
There is only so much any government can do, and the rest of it must be done by us, the Americans. I don’t know what political persuasion that groups me in, but that is what I believe.
This is an experiment. I very well might never publish another political comment on this blog; we’ll see. :)