Busyness. What can I say? But life is beautiful. Beautiful. And it is all so intriguing, every new bend, every passing week brings a fresh vale of life, and with it, experiences. The glamor of youth, I might call it. I was tied up at youth government camp down at the state capital, and savored every moment of it. ‘Twas pleasant, overall, the interesting things I got involved in. This being my second year at TeenPact, I enjoyed being Alumni, and as part of the alumni course we got to discuss Entitlement Programs in the U.S. Yes, it was quite a weighty subject, and the discussions got heated, but were so fascinating, as the debate went back and forth as to whether Entitlement programs ought to be in this country or not. We were required to write an essay criticizing Entitlement programs in America, and one essay supporting them. Below you can read my essay critcizing them–that’s my opinion right there. Think about it. A vast percentage of America’s populations lives off of entitlement. Yes, remember the Great Depression. That is a crucial part to understanding Welfare. As the Romans did, we have plenty of “Bread and circuses.” We have plenty of debt too. We have many people who depend on Entitlement. But please read the essay below:
America has changed significantly over the centuries. Americans have changed. Since this nation’s founding, the United States has flourished into a world superpower, thriving in her wealth, liberty and glory. Throughout the nineteenth century pioneers staked claims on the Manifest Destiny that the country has believed is our entitlement—our destiny to span from the Atlantic to the Pacific, an unbreakable unity of a melting pot of people, who join together beneath the Stars and Stripes as a single Federal Republic, a shining beacon of freedom in the world. America’s prosperity stunned the empire of Britain, old aristocratic France, the entire globe for that matter, as the young nation became a rising star of hope and optimism, the refuge to the oppressed and liberty-yearning people. The U.S. emerged from the Civil War, with slavery, the evil practice that had divided the land for so many years, at last vanquished. From there America continued to rise in power and affluence. The 20th century rolled around and World War I struck.
The horrors of that war sent a shudder through most U.S. citizens, and, in Warren G. Harding’s words, America “returned to normalcy”. By this, he meant, America hurried back to isolationism, and throughout the twenties rushed through a roaring whirlwind of trying to forget the horrors and devastation of war. But this period lasted only a decade. For, at the end of it, the violent tempest engulfed the country, and the U.S.A. plunged into the Great Depression. Hence, the beginning of the American entitlement programs, and the first step towards socialism. What is socialism? Take a look at what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, the president from 1932-1945. He began America’s history of entitlement, which is in full swing today. Yes, he is venerated, lionized, adored by many Americans, but his measures have become a blight to the nation. When FDR entered office, he promised Americans “New Hope” which directly contrasted the former president’s endeavors to let the state of affairs heal on their own. It is said that Franklin Roosevelt began America’s incline towards socialism, which can be clearly seen today as millions live off of welfare programs while the rest of the population work for reduced salaries (as a result of excessive government spending), while their hard-earned money goes to absurdly high taxes and to the individuals on welfare.
Today Americans are faced with a crisis which, while not as devastating as the depression of the 1930s, has come to be known as the Great Recession. Socialistic ideas have weakened this nation fiscally as well as reducing it in power. In this day the country diminishes in its former strength, while it struggles with a massive debt, and a large number of the population living off of the entitlement programs. Roosevelt, back in 1932, called the system of entitlement America’s “New Hope”. But as the U.S. suffers these bleak circumstances, one may desire hope but find no reason to expect it. The 18th-19th century “pioneer” has become a mere shadow of history, and where might one find such a population nowadays, as much of that old vigorous spirit and ambition of our ancestors is considered “outdated and unnecessary”. But now excuses are wielded as shields against attacks on Welfare. “The government ought to help out in the affairs of the people”, “Why not universally share in everybody’s wealth?” Why not?
Why, it is not the American way. To clarify that term: the American way can be manifestly exemplified in the life of a certain man by the name of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie, who immigrated with his family from Scotland in 1848, as they sought a chance to find better circumstances in the Land of Opportunity, the U.S.A. Carnegie, son of a poor handloom weaver, set out to work in America, struggling against poverty and hardship to become a world-famous industrialist who headed the great expansion of the steel industry in the nation. Did his family live on welfare? No; they set out from their home in old Scotland and journeyed across a wide ocean to settle in America, and the son of a handloom weaver rose to immense wealth and importance as an industrialist with the steel commerce, opening numerous institutions, libraries and facilities with his wealth. Men such as him, the very men who founded this nation did not sit back and beseech aid. Rather, they rushed in and put their hands to the plow, with a fervor and optimism that has become known as the American Dream. The Welfare system threatens the very idea of that dream, contradicts fortitude and integrity and demeans whole segments of society. In opposition to standing up and fighting for one’s visions and aspirations, the modern attitude constitutes a lackadaisical spirit, a surrendering pessimism that threatens to poison this generation and this generation’s posterity. But it would be a dreary day to find this unique nation, this “City on a Hill” and the light of liberty of the world, sinking into a slough of disparagement. Men such as Carnegie clearly show what Americans are capable of, what can be accomplished if our people should take hold of the American dream for which our founders planted the seeds that flowered and throve for over two hundred years. We ought not wither and die due to defeatism and apathy, but should struggle against these diseases of past, crumbled nations and rise above to the power of principle, liberty, perseverance and optimism.
R. E. Williams