Monday, July 1, 1996

Week of 07/01/1996

The New Government Addicts…
Something wrong in the world? PASS A LAW!
- By David Matthews 2

Did you ever hear the term "government addicts?"

No, I’m not talking about some covert drug experiment conducted by the government in the 1960’s. I’m talking about people who are addicted to the government.

For the past few years, people have been hearing about one kind of government addicts- those who addicted to government entitlement programs. Food stamps, welfare, WIC programs, unemployment compensation, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Those who use such programs, even temporarily, have been branded "social welfare addicts" who are dependent on government to provide for them. It is the rallying cry of conservative Republicans to "cure" these people from their addiction to government money by giving such programs to the states, who can then make them go "cold turkey."

But while the GOP wrecks havoc with these entitlement programs, they are also getting the ear of another breed of government addicts- the social control addicts.

Unlike social welfare addicts, social control addicts feel government can solve all their problems in society. Their government "fix" not coming from programs, but instead from legislation. They feel that everything will be all right if the government would just PASS A LAW.

People driving too fast on the streets for you? PASS A LAW! People driving too slow for you? PASS A LAW! You don’t like a certain book in your library? PASS A LAW! You don’t trust your librarian to do their job? PASS ANOTHER LAW! You concerned about child abuse? PASS A LAW! Drunk Driving? PASS A LAW! Abortion? PASS A LAW! You don’t like what’s on television? PASS A LAW! How about the Internet? PASS A LAW!

Of course, just passing laws does very little to actually SOLVING the problem. But it doesn’t matter to these addicts. It doesn’t matter if there are sound and effective measures that avoid legislation. They don’t want to utilize personal responsibility as individuals or as parents. That requires some work out of THEIR part. Why put up any effort when they can have someone else- namely the government- do their work for them? After all they elected these people, and are paid handsomely through our tax moneys. So these people are only satisfied when government abides to their wishes and PASSES A LAW.

And to do so, they must routinely go to their "dealers," who just so happen to also be the oldest form of addicts- the politicians. After all, these are the ones who got these social addicts hooked onto government in the first place! They first got us addicted to social welfare programs.. and now they’re getting even more people hooked on social control.

But unlike any other form of addiction such as drugs or alcohol, this is not something we can go "cold turkey" on. We just can’t shut ourselves off from government.. we still need it in our society, and our political addict/dealers know this. But what we need is to slowly cut back from it’s grip. We need to come to the realization that government CAN’T solve all our problems. WE have to put in some effort first if we want the problem to truly go away.

Benjamin Franklin once said "Those who would trade a little bit of freedom for little more security deserve neither." And if we want more security in our lives, the answer doesn’t lie with the politicians, but rather with ourselves.

If you don’t like what kind of materials are available in the library and you don’t want you kids exposed to it, then take the effort and WATCH OVER YOUR KIDS! And while you’re at it, TALK to the library about your concerns instead of going to the local government and try to pass a law outlawing such materials! If your kids are having a hard time learning in school, don’t go screaming to the school board about inadequate funding or overpaid teachers. Go to your child, pick up the school book, and ASK them where they have the problem!

There is an old adage that best applies here- In all things, moderation.

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