Friday, January 13, 2012

More Political Thoughts

I got an email this morning as a response to a comment I left on a news article on Yahoo. The writer informed me that I'd been brainwashed. Gosh, and I didn't even realized it. Must be all those history books I've read. (Including the Bible and Book of Mormon!)

A common theme in this, and past, election cycles is that the government should take care of everything in our lives; any problem that comes up can be solved by the government. WRONG! That is exactly what is wrong with our country today. We (speaking collectively rather than individually) have forgotten or neglected or actively rebelled against the commandments of God and then when things "go south" we want the big, all-powerful government to bail us out.

I'm currently teaching the Old Testament Seminary class and can't help but see parallels between ancient Israel and today. God gave them commandments and promised them that if they obeyed they would prosper; if they turned to idol worship they would be overrun by their enemies and destroyed. His commandments included the care of the poor, the aged, the sick and infirm, the widows and orphans. There were commandments governing health and what to eat; commandments regarding commerce and trading; commandments about working, employer/employee responsibilities; commandments covering just about every aspect of their lives. Obeying the commandments was strictly voluntary, but the consequences for disobedience was swift and sure. When the Israelites obeyed, they prospered, just as promised; and when they fell into idolatry and forgot the commandments the consequences promised came to pass.

The same can be said of today. When we obey God's commandments we individually and collectively prosper. When we don't obey, we don't prosper, especially collectively. What did Jesus say were the two great commandments? To love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. That covers everything! Yesterday's post included a link to Ezra Taft Benson's speech, The Proper Role of Government. It is long, but so worth reading. I believe it has the power to change minds and hearts. 

Today I'll share an interesting story from an email sent to me:

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because 
when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Remember, there IS a test coming up. The 2012 elections.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

End of email.

I don't know if the story about the economics professor is true; but the same kind of thing happened in the 1620's with the Plymouth colony. Collective farming was tried as a way to take care of everyone, but it was found that able bodied men didn't work and those who did felt, rightly so, that their labors were in vain because they didn't benefit from them. No one prospered. When the families were given individual plots to work, those who didn't work went hungry, and those who did work prospered and got ahead in life. Those who couldn't work (elderly, infirm, etc) were taken care of.

The person who told me I was brainwashed also told me: 
Now, open your mind to a society that is all inclusive. Where each man, women and child goes to sleep at night without fear of hunger or health insurance. A land where all can have the possibility of a good education and family growth. 
 I like the sound of that, it sounds like a land where everyone obeys the commandments. All parents are married, one of whom works hard to provide for his family, the other is home seeing that the children are fed nutritious food and going to bed early enough to be well rested and have strength against disease. A land where parents read to their children instead of propping them in front of a TV, and through wise financial choices the family stays out of debt and prospers.  Sounds like a utopia to me! 

What it doesn't sound like is a place where there is government intervention. It sounds like place of liberty and personal responsibility.

And one more thought--Health insurance is not the same as medical care. Everyone in this nation has access to medical care--who pays for it is the great question. Some people seem to believe that health insurance is a health maintenance and service contract, so that no matter how I abuse my body, the insurance company will pay for the repair and maintenance of it. Wouldn't you like a contract like that on your car! Wow, for a monthly premium, paid out of taxes, I can have my oil changed, brakes repaired, new tires, burned out light bulbs or fuses replaced, anything at all done to make sure my car is taken care of. Or how about the same kind of thing for our homes. Need new double paned storm windows? The insurance will pay for it. Something wrong with the plumbing? The insurance will pay for it. New flooring? Call up the agent. Goodness, why hasn't anyone thought of this before? 

Before the days of medical insurance people took care of their needs at home, unless it was something that required a doctor, such as a broken bone or surgery. I have read enough depression era memoirs and histories to know what people did. Even my parents took care of all our colds, sore throats, and such at home. I only went to the doctor when it was something they couldn't take care of.  I've always wondered when insurance to pay for medical care became a right. 

And that's enough of my ranting today. I firmly believe that the answers to all of societies ills are contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

  1. I came upon your blog through a post you wrote that I liked on someoneinmind blog. After reading through some of your blog, I feel I have met a long lost sister. Amen! I wish I saw a thousand amens on this one post of yours, but it seems you might be surrounded by the same types as me. I hope I am wrong!