I’m getting really frustrated by this prevalent attitude of, “oh, poor me…I got struck by this natural/economic disaster and now I need the president to give me everything I need.” In my own humble county, we had FEMA come in to assess the damage from recent flooding so the governor could decide if he could write to the president and ask for money to repair it.
Come on people!
Straighten up. We’re talking about the foundation of a bridge crumbling, and we have a spokesperson from FEMA saying, “yeah, so, uh, we found that there’s quite a bit of damage to this bridge, so we’ll be telling the governor about it, and hopefully he can get some federal money before it floods again the bridge is further weakened.” That could be months, if not years. Can you imagine the paperwork? The red tape? The countless people this information must go through before we get our “handout” to “fix” this problem.
Let me be clear: I’m not complaining about the inefficiency of getting “free” money. If that were the problem, I’d suggest that the local government just grab their guns and go rob some rich looking people in the community. They could get their money in a matter of days.
What I’m complaining about is the attitude that we somehow deserve to petition some level of government and get aid. If the American spirit of independence and resilience was ever common (maybe is just another one of those politically correct myths…who knows?) it certainly has been obliterated by now. If that bridge were privately owned, I would bet that the bridge would be fixed within a week–if not a few days–of the flood.
And sadly, we didn’t have the good sense to keep this attitude to ourselves, we had to share it with the rest of the world. There’s flooding in Pakistan, as I’m sure you know, and it is very bad. So what are the people saying? “We’d rather have a military dictatorship than this democracy if it meant we’d get some help from the government.” The people are upset because governments (not just their’s…I guess they must be entitled to global government aid) aren’t helping them like the people think they ought to. Don’t get me wrong. I know that these people are suffering horribly. I know that the disaster is of epic proportions. I know that people are dying and disease is spreading. But please…don’t send the government in, and please…whatever you do, people of Pakistan, don’t ask for government help! The most humane thing I can do is call on private organizations and charities to assist these people. It is cruel to think the government will actually ever help them. All the government can do is solve one problem and cause a greater problem.
So, I call on you, as a sensible human being, to think this through…and don’t ever ask for a government handout or aid just because you’ve suffered a misfortune. What do you think that our family is for? What do you think the church is for? Or our neighbors? Or in the case of the Pakistan floods, what do you think international charitable organizations are for?
Together, let’s rethink “help,” let’s rethink “aid,” and forget the government and their bumbling and most-of-the-time harmful attempts at caring for their humble subjects. Let’s turn to other alternatives, like our family, like the church, like the community, and discover a brighter and stronger future for ourselves and the next generation. Instead of demanding handouts, let’s be the people who offer assistance to those we know are in desperate need. Like all other areas, the free market is a better alternative, if only we’re willing to realize it.