Whiting column: Individual freedom requires us to make a decision
We can’t have it both ways.
Recently, however, an increasing number of us expect it though it is neither reasonable nor responsible. The areas of expectation range from annoyance to complexity.
Bicycle enthusiasts can’t demand developers and governments provide more bike paths and then refuse to use them.
We can’t desire both unemployment benefits and an additional $600 weekly stimulus check and not be willing to go back to work when our job, or a new job, is available.
We can’t value freedom and accept increased dependence upon the government. The more they provide the more they control. We can’t be surprised when productivity decreases because it is human nature to lose one’s internal drive when everything is provided. Our country maintains its place in the world through innovation which tends to stall as freedoms and incentives decrease.
Similarly, we are not entitled to a job when we don’t do our part regarding education, training and work ethic. An employer hires us because we show up for work and meet an employment need better than he can do so himself; not because we need a job and need to pay our rent.
Taking it one step further, we cannot expect a high paying job when we don’t possess a marketable skill that is needed by an employer. Our economic system can only provide the opportunity. We must take advantage of it.
Anyone choosing to expend the effort to graduate high school with good grades will not only be admitted into college but receive some level of scholarships. Good grades in college will open the door to numerous secondary scholarships as one progresses to a degree. If they choose to save their money from work during their high school and college years, including summers, they will graduate with little or no college debt.
We cannot hope to lower the cost of owning or renting a home by preventing the construction of more housing. Supply and demand will always prevail. We cannot facilitate increased population, regardless of source, and not incur an obligation to provide employment, education and housing.
On a local level, we cannot desire additional municipal amenities, whether it be services, streets, parks or other infrastructure when we don’t favor local companies in our bidding procedures. This lack is magnified when the difference between the bids would be more than recovered by the additional sales tax generated by the spending of the company’s local employees.
Our governments cannot urge local citizens to buy locally in order to help business through the pandemic downturn and then not do so themselves.
We cannot be disappointed that successful, capable and quality individuals don’t run for political office, when we desire their lives to be examined back to what they did with their milk money in 2nd grade. People who haven’t made mistakes haven’t done anything. We cannot be disappointed when a politician doesn’t act, when they haven’t been in a position that involved decision-making experience.
China cannot deny culpability in the COVID pandemic given the only two sources of its genesis. If they created it and it got away from them, they are culpable. If it developed in the open-air markets, then it would have been present and gradually increasing for many months prior to their divulging its presence. In either case, they are responsible.
Nevada cannot desire us to use less Colorado water in order to send more their way and then spray it up in the air in a fountain.
Educational institutions and their teachers cannot desire to avoid in-school learning because of COVID and in the same breath decry the ineffectiveness of online learning without the willingness to go the extra mile to regain lost learning. This will require additional hours in the school day and additional days in the school year. But all professions from health to grocery, trucking to dining are doing more to help us make it through the pandemic to normality.
Those protesting cannot expect us to be empathetic let alone supportive when they camouflage their cause with violence. A protest that destroys public or private property is a riot. Riot and justice cannot be used in the same sentence.
Politically, it is inevitable that we are going to see more protests because they have worked. People are getting what they want by doing so. This isn’t only the justified race-based changes. Those losing an election or failing to get their specific legislation passed will use the protest strategy or in Colorado the ballot strategy to try and achieve their personal agenda. There are also some who protest because they have nothing better to do or are paid to do so. Having been in college during the ’60s, I am well-aware of the “bored rebel without a clue” position.
We must be careful and not sanction or disguise abnormal behavior by calling it diversity. A safe and successful society requires a degree of adherence to common behavior and standards among all its citizens. Right and wrong must not only be present but dominate. It is our personal responsibility to assure it.
Bryan Whiting feels most of our issues are best solved by personal responsibility and an understanding of non-partisan economics rather than government intervention. Comments and column suggestions to: bwpersonalresponsibility@ gmail.com
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