I can’t be the only one wondering what has happened to us, why we became Corruptible. The denizens of Washington and, for that matter, the people who eat, breathe, and talk politics non-stop, are not your average Joes. Average Americans want to live their lives with minimal government oversight, except when it might benefit them. That’s the insidious nature we will talk about today. As for myself, I hope I stay on the right side of the event horizon and not get sucked further into a political Black Hole.
Let Me Ask; Is Everyone Corruptible?
My Father, a self-acknowledged philosopher King stated it was! He postulated that need and opportunity would overcome societal restraints if the need was great enough and the opportunity presented itself. I disagreed with him for decades but came to witness and understand an essential truth. The famous 1862 classic Les Misérables by Victor Hugo chronicles a man who stole a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving family and received a 19-year-long prison sentence. Who wouldn’t steal a loaf of bread in such circumstances? Perhaps this is how the situational ethics crowd views all such disparities and injustices without regard to severity.
Today, there are far fewer analogous circumstances to the plight of Jean Valjean’s family. Help is everywhere. Whether from private individuals, groups, or the government, no one needs to starve today. However, situationists use Valjean to symbolize righteous permission to shoplift, cheat, rob, and loot at will.
And corruption is no longer limited to the poor. Perhaps the worst thieves are found within the middle and upper classes. Why? We’ve created a system that begs you to be dishonest and sees reduced consequences, if any.
Here are just a few ways our system has designed to tempt us and, in the process, destroy our societal morality:
1- Higher Education:
Higher education is incredibly expensive. Financial aid induces people to take risks they would not otherwise assume. It increases the demand for education since schools can ask about any price they want to attend and get it, with 60% of students taking out loans they may never be able to repay.
Did you know that only 41% of students graduate within four years? Students want refunds, loan forgiveness, or they simply default, believing educational and opportunity promises made were unfulfilled. We teach people to think they are owed something that hasn’t been received. This is another way we train people to believe they are owed something for nothing.
Middle incomers in our country pay less than a third of the income taxescollected. The top 20% of taxpayers pay over two-thirds, and the bottom 20% pay less than 2%. Yet, we hear a constant refrain that the rich don’t pay their fair share. How much should they pay? Too often, there is little rational and unemotional discourse on this subject. The facts be damned in our experience because it does not jive with the narratives we are supposed to believe. After all, our betters told us to. Such is the root of political demagoguery amplified endlessly, to our detriment.
3- Activist-Entrenched Bureaucracy:
An activist-entrenched bureaucracy is perhaps our most dangerous adversary. Dangerous on multiple fronts, especially the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to support it, the drag it places on our economic development, and the support and cover it gives to dangerous concepts and actions that threaten our lives, pocketbooks, and continued belief that America is still exceptional. Bureaucracies exist ostensibly to carry out the needs of the people.
How many of us still believe that? Government agencies, departments, and their subdivisions have taken on the characteristics of living beings where the first imperative is to exist, procreate and extend their reach. This cannot be what our Founding Fathers intended, but this is what we have now.
Is it any wonder bureaucracies fight against the people, Congress, and even the President when threatened? The weaponization of our political apparatus must cease. We must restrain all Federal agencies, from the F.B.I. to the Education Department and others, that are more political than those which genuinely carry out the intent of Congress and the Constitution.
As a people, we are taught to be narcists. An apparent truism is that a healthy society must be concerned with the betterment of the whole. This cannot happen when our focus is on ourselves. Yet, that’s precisely what our advertising screams at us, with our leaders never mentioning sacrifice, just what they’ll do for you, and we then reward anti-societal behavior like homelessness, crime, and sloth with protected class status. Have you heard that obese people are now demanding special status? Where does it all end? The opposite of narcissism is self-sacrifice. We see far too little of that today. We subsidize our narcissists.
Allan’s rule…you only get more of what you subsidize.
5- Marriage and Kids:
Is there a correlation between the conundrum of divorce and being a good parent? Maybe. The divorce rate in America is actually down, but so is the rate of getting hitched. Here’s an interesting tidbit:
“Living together before marriage is one predictor of the likelihood of divorce. 57% of couples who did not cohabitate before marriage had a union that lasted 20 or more years, compared with just 46% who did live together before tying the knot.”
Another telling point is that about a third of children live in single-parent households. Progressives don’t see anything wrong with that statistic. I do. Worldwide, that number is only 7%. What has happened here? I believe we have forgotten the importance of our children, focusing instead on short-term pleasure. We are all paying for that hubris. Having a Daddy at home is still vital.
Something fundamental has been lost on us all. Too many people have lost faith in our system. Many election officials are openly partisan with little interest in open, free, and fair elections. According to the Census Bureau:
“Many voters used alternative voting methods, with a large shift to early voting and voting by mail.”
Voting by mail is an invitation to fraud and seems to benefit Democrats by design. It undercuts the importance of taking the time and effort to show up at the polls on a particular day and participate in a historical manner enshrined within the American experience.
I could go on endlessly. Who we are will largely be determined by the effort we are willing to put into fixing this broken process which has robbed us of the trust we so desperately want and need in our systems, our fellow citizens, and, ultimately, ourselves. Dark forces surround us. It’s happened before, and we’ve come back. You are the sleeping giant that can change things. Will we wake up in time and right the ship while there is still time? The jury is truly out on this most consequential of issues.
God Bless America!
Allan J. Feifer—Patriot
Author, Businessman, and Thinker. Read more about Allan, his background, and his ideas to create a better tomorrow at www.1plus1equals2.com