Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We Perform Best When We Fly Without A Net

We've become a nation protected from the consequences of our actions. It sounds good, but it's not good. It's actually destroying us. Feeling the consequences of our actions is what teaches us what we should and should not do. A lesson we've been pitifully slow to learn. We make a misstep and fall on our faces, or even just skin our knees, and the nanny government runs in to protect us. This is fine for a nanny and a toddler. It's not fine for adults and their government.

Our lives are shaped by the decisions we make. Be they good decisions or bad, these choices determine the path of our lives. But as adults, we've learned that if we misstep and fall on our faces, we still have a nanny to come make it all better. As a result, we don't pay all that much attention to where we're going. We have that safety net beneath us to catch us when we fall and prevent us from being hurt, so where's the incentive to be careful? There isn't one.

The government has been, and is continuing to, protect us as individuals, corporations, and state governments from the consequences of bad decisions. As a result, we're not learning to make good decisions. Health care coverage for everybody, doesn't that sound wonderful, but what about the people who made the conscious decision not to have insurance so they could have more spending money? Why should they be protected from that decision? People made the decision to spend way more money than they had or could pay off. If we protect them from the consequences of that decision will they start spending responsibly? Why would they when there's somebody there to bail them out.

The worst part is that the safety net, the federal government, is protecting itself from the consequences of it's actions by getting more money from the people they supposedly protect. So it's a cycle. We make bad decisions, get bailed out by a government making bad decisions, who gets bailed out by us.

Removing that safety net is one of the best things that could happen to us as a nation. If we aren't protected from overspending, and have to really pay attention to what we're doing, we do a better job of promoting the free market. If you're cautious about what you spend, and pay attention to getting the best deal for your dollar, then the companies have to compete to give you the best deal. When we can overspend and the government will come in and save us, we pay less attention.

The current process is to have the responsible people, monitoring their actions, and paying attention to where they're going, bear the cost of the irresponsible. Any parent will tell you that if you protect your child from the results of irresponsible decisions, they'll never learn to be responsible. That's what is happening right now. We're doing the entire country a disservice by protecting people from bad decisions. A disservice to the responsible by making them foot the bill, and a disservice to the irresponsible by not teaching them the lessons in responsibility they need.

We've bailed out bad companies and bad banks, and will now probably bail out a bad state government. California has behaved irresponsibly and instead of making them deal with the consequences of that, make some tough decisions, and learn from their mistake, we're going to bail them out with money from taxpayers in other states. Not good. Not good at all.

So I say remove the safety net and let the American people feel the consequences of their actions. Some people will have very hard lessons to learn, but we have to remember that they're in the positions they're in based on the decisions that they made. Some people HAVE to learn things the hard way and will never learn until they are faced with the hard consequences. I know. I am one of those people.


  1. Great points here, the entitlement mentality is a cancer that rots the soul. As you say, the 'safety net' should be removed so that people learn from mistakes and have consequences for their actions. I don't even really like the term 'safety net', as the 'safety nets' take respbonsibility out of human nature....great blog!

  2. Thank you. I know I personally would never learn anything if I didn't have to deal with the consequences of bad decisions.

  3. Yes, same with me. And our own government that was founded on that concept - the sanctity of an individual to pursue happiness; good and bad results included in this pursuit. Our government now thinks that it can level the playing field and take the pain out of life. The result? A lower level of happiness for everyone. Socialism.

  4. I've stated before that whenever the government tries to institute "fairness" it only shifts unfairness from one demographic to another. That gets the result you mentioned of a lower level of happiness for everyone.