Stimulus will hinder self-reliance |

Stimulus will hinder self-reliance

Out on a Limb
Ross L. Talbott
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

It’s amazing to me how clever and prescient are some of those who would destroy our democracy. Norman Thomas, who was a six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America, said back in 1944, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But under the name of Liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” He went on to say, “I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”

Remember that was 65 years ago he said that. To a great extent, we, as a culture, have backed ourselves into that corner.

The urbanization of America has isolated a huge number of people from the big picture.

We have had people move into our community who didn’t understand shoveling snow. They didn’t realize the lawn needed to be watered and mowed, the leaves raked and the trash picked up. These people were totally addicted to government caring for them at some level.

Now we have the great payoff called “The Stimulus Package.” In reality, it is just the opposite of stimulus. It’s more like a sedative. It increases peoples’ dependence on government to keep everything calm.

We have become so dependent on our supply lines and our electronics, if those things get cut off by either a natural disaster, a gamma ray burst from the sun, or an atomic war, city people will be in deep trouble.

How many people do you know who could split wood, even if they had an axe? For that matter, how many have wood stoves?

Very few people raise gardens, preserve food or even have a pantry.

Our ancestors understood self-sufficiency. They could sew, make quilts and walk to the local store. That’s a lost concept.

We are literally hurtling toward some monumental climax. I remember when television started and when cameras took black and white pictures. Now I have a camera that can hold 2,000 color pictures on a chip the size of a penny.

As population and technology continue to grow exponentially, so does our dependence on everything from transportation to communication.

The history and weather channels keep running programs based on the potential for a major disaster. “It Could Happen Tomorrow” is their frightening theme.

Well, Hurricane Katrina smashed New Orleans, and showed how incapable city people are of taking care of themselves. The rest of us spent billions of dollars helping them, and they still haven’t recovered.

Texas did a whole lot better with Hurricane Ike, but Texans have a special attitude of independence.

My fire department experience drove home the fact people react to disaster in three basic ways. Some resort to crime. They will steal, lie and even kill to survive. The second category just slumps back and screams for government help. They would literally lie down and die making minimal effort to help themselves. The third group is the survivors. They will build, dig, create and do everything to survive, including helping neighbors. These categories are the same whether they are poor or rich.

If hard times come, will you lie, cheat and steal to survive? Will you sit back and wait for a stimulus package or will you dig in and display the kind of initiative and determination that made America great?

Ross Talbott lives in New Castle.

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