Radio and culture commentator Kerby Anderson believes the government “gridlock” we often hear about is essentially a clash of worldviews. “On one side,” he says, “is the view that people cannot take care of themselves. So government needs to step in and provide for its citizens.” He suggests that is the culture of dependence.
“On the other side,” he explains, “is the culture of independence. The people who hold to this view are a much larger group than just those who attend a tea party rally. They realize that as government grows, it increases a citizen’s dependence upon it and it squeezes out their ability to pursue their dreams and goals.”
For the first 175 years of our “united” federalist government, the goodness of human character and compassion prevailed to “help our fellow man.” Laws, regulations and taxes favored philanthropic purposes. When extended families or charitable institutions and private organizations could not provide the needed necessities, then the limited social services of our government were meant to provide a temporary back-up. But, always, the goals were to provide a hand up, rather than a handout. Public programs were geared to help citizens become self-sufficient.
Rather than fostering welfare dependence, America’s was a culture of willful independence.
Then the bi-partisan “progressives” stepped in to initiate a “war on poverty,” which we have waged for the past 50 years. It has been a massive failure. Not only has it chased fathers from our homes, but ubiquitous government regulations and hand-outs have expanded poverty into the suburbs. The 22 trillion dollars spent over the past five decades on anti- poverty programs often rewarded ill-behavior and actually increased poverty, while creating an entitlement mentality and entrenching poverty across generations.
What is the answer? Is there a new way out of this “clash of worldviews”? Is there hope in our nation for 2015 and beyond?
A new worldview is needed, where self-sufficiency and independence are honored, religious liberties are respected rather than rejected, and where we use our God-given gifts and talents, to pursue our personal dreams and common goals.
The Brookings Institute has studied these issues and suggests a simple strategy for success, for our nation’s youth: (1) graduate from high school; (2) get a job and work hard; (3) get married before having children.
These simple steps will refine our nation’s culture and provide the present generation a positive and practical worldview, with a foundation for personal success, happiness and fulfillment!