The other day I ended an argument with my wife by yelling, â€œI donâ€™t think like a normal person, I think like an American!â€
In addition to ending the fight, the comment left a look of puzzlement on her face.Â I didnâ€™t bother explaining.
I believe crazy things.Â I believe I can become a millionaire.Â I believe I can become a billionaire.Â I believe I can become the wealthiest man on earth.Â I believe I can become President of the United States, a movie star, a captain of industry.
I canâ€™t tell you how I might accomplish all these things; I can hazard a guess, but nearly fifteen years in business has taught me, if nothing else, things never go like you plan.Â
I donâ€™t imagine these things because Jim Pontillo is some extraordinary or some extra-special human specimen, I believe these things because thatâ€™s the way Americans are suppose to think.Â At least thatâ€™s the way I was brought up.
I wasnâ€™t much of a history student; for that matter I wasnâ€™t much of a student period, but I did absorb one very important American ideal, we in the United States are free to succeed or fail, ultimately, we individuals decide.Â
â€œAll men are created equalâ€ and â€œendowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rightsâ€ isnâ€™t written into the Declaration of Independence to confuse us.Â The clear eighteenth century language simply means: Government yields to the individual.Â
Government hasnâ€™t the power or authority to interfere with the moral goals, dreams, or aspirations of the individual.Â Furthermore, the Declaration demanded that neither man nor government could rightly usurp this mandate; it was a decree from a higher power.
By subjugating Americaâ€™s established reverence to God in favor of humanistic whim in the name of â€œopen-mindednessâ€ and of â€œtoleranceâ€ we have sacrificed the principles that insure democracy and freedom will thrive.Â Our governmentâ€™s propensity to feed itself at the expense of these concepts and at the expense of citizen freedoms has delivered us to one Founderâ€™s timeless prognostications:Â
â€œOur Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people.Â It is wholly inadequate for any other.â€
â€œDemocracy never lasts long.Â It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.Â There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.â€
John Adams’ wise and measured words suggest no technological achievement, and no amount of sophistication can change the immutable character of man.
Today, Americans boast to be the most technologically advanced beings in human history; yet the people who put a man on the moon, â€œIn this decadeâ€¦â€ and built the atomic bomb in just a few years to stop WWII in nothing flat, canâ€™t figure out how to fix Social Security or Medicare.
It isnâ€™t such an esoteric problem.Â A seventh grader with decent math skills could figure it out.
â€œPromote the General Welfareâ€, doesnâ€™t mean, â€œLazy people come on down, youâ€™re the next contestant on Donâ€™t do Shit!â€Â
The entitlement debacle is a one way trip to American insignificance.Â America didnâ€™t become great by taking from the most productive in society and giving it to the least; and it certainly isnâ€™t moral, reminding us of Adam’s cautionary ruminations.
How is it people in the United States have come to expect that government should take care of them?Â Is this the new American culture?
Socialist politicians from F.D.R. on have convinced us that certain unalienable rights endowed by our Creator are not nearly as important as those unalienable entitlements endowed by government.Â I donâ€™t think these guys read the Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution, and if they did, discounted them as propaganda pieces.
Minimum wage, Social Security, Medicare, Farm Subsidies, Tax Breaks for Starbucks Coffee (evidently grinding coffee beans qualifies them a manufacturer), the list is endless, are designed to do one thing, empower government to conspire with big business and make the individual subservient, contrary to the concepts of our founding.Â
The government, big business partnership locks out opportunity for enterprising individualists, rewards politicians with generous corporate donations, and rewards big business with tax preferences impossible for the â€œlittle guyâ€ to get.Â
And yet without the efficiencies driven by industrious competition big business encourages its own demise, and politicians choose corruption over service to their country to advance their careers.
To see how well this parasitic relationship works, along with the socialist philosophies championed by workers unions, and the irresponsible retirement programs that fund their payouts with future earnings instead of interest bearing savings, one should examine Ford Motor Company.Â
At one time the worldâ€™s premier business, and Americaâ€™s shining jewel, Ford has recently acquired massive loans where every asset it owns is used as collateral to stave off bankruptcy.
Today, citizens in the United States would rather buy Toyotas than Fords because Toyota has embraced American culture better than Ford has.
I wonder how it sits with generations of Ford workers knowing Fordâ€™s failure has been hastened by the socialist policies of the UAW where pursuit of excellence has not been nearly as important as protecting mediocre and bad workers.
America was never meant to be a welfare state, in government or in business, and our greatness wilts from the attempt.Â Plenty of people donâ€™t agree with me, but then again, Iâ€™m not normal, Iâ€™m an American.
Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo
Happy 231 America!