Monday, March 24, 2014
Moving Down that Slipery Slope
I wrote a short blog on how we as a nation, in an effort to help those less fortunate then ourselves have created an environment that will eventually enslave the lower class. Hard truths are hard truths. It is not our nature to want to hear them. We prefer to gather information that supports our point of view, not challenge it. One of the roles of the Reticular Activating System within our brain is specifically designed to ferret out those sources of information that move us from internal conflict to peace.
Even agnostic George Holyoake's in his 1896 publication English Secularism defined secularism as: That it is good to do good. Whether there be other good or not, the good of the present life is good, and it is good to seek that good. So as Americans we strive to do what we feel is in the good.
I ran across an interesting whitepaper entitled "The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerization ", September 2013, Oxford University Engineering and Science Department. It's over seventy pages, but it boils down to the graphs below:
The population at the greatest risk of having their jobs replaced by automation are the low wage, low skill jobs represented by the lower class. If we add to this our propensity to compensate for low income by providing financial support through government programs, we are creating a class of people held in bondage. They just simply don't have the where with all to climb out of the dependance based inviroment they find themselves in. They have to find employment that catapults them from lower class to middle class in one fell swoop.
The problem is that they may find that the normal intermediary steps required to improve their financial life are punitive. They may actually have to decrease their standard of living, now at the bottom of the American dream, before they can move upward. They have to give up government subsidies, start paying taxes and still have enough income to maintain their lowly standard of living. Tough love...
Kerby Anderson talks about the ten stages in the decline of a nation. They are (with my interpretation):
1. Spiritual Faith (our founding fathers)
2. Great Courage (American Revolution)
3. Birth of Liberty (The Constitution)
4. Abundance (World leadership)
5. Selfishness (My specific wants and needs rule my decisions)
6. Complacency (sometimes under the guise of Tolerance)
8. Moral Decay
I stopped notating after number six because I am not sure exactly where we are as a nation. We clearly have moved into, and perhaps beyond selfishness. Have we become complacent? It is hard to say. We seem to be broadening the definition of acceptable behavior. States now run the gambling concession through lotteries. States have also started to legalize drug use. Is this because we selfishly feel that we should not be stopped from doing what pleases us, or are we just too complacent to stop some fringe niche group from eroding our sensibilities.
Twenty, thirty or fourty years from now, where will we be? Will we be a nation that has a substantial population that is dependent on the government to the point that they are incapable of taking care of themselves. Will those who actively contribute to the cofferes of the government be able to contribute enough? Will we be overtaken by Stage 3 or Stage 4 countries, some of which have population three and four times ours.
If this does happen.... will we all slip into bondage because we do not have the resources to maintain our independence? Will their economic engines run ours?