Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As American as Store-Bought Apple Pie

There's something remarkably lazy about our culture.  From robotic brooms, vaccuums and mops that scour our floors to cutting corners in the political process, laziness is beginning to define how I see America. 
That's not to say that the majority of Americans don't work hard, because we do, sort of.  We don't work as hard as our parents.  They didn't work as hard as their parents.  Technology has made life easier generation after generation.  Cleaning and daily chores no longer require hours of labor every day. 

Our meals are pre-packaged.  My peers look at me funny when I talk about making biscuits or muffins from scratch.  Why not just use the tube or the mix?  Even our homemade applie pie comes out of a can and into a pre-packaged pie crust. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not knocking any of this.  These things make our life easier.  We spend less time on what we consider unimportant to focus on those things we consider important....and if you feel that homemade pie crusts are as important as biscuits and muffins made from scratch instead of a mix, you can do that too.  These time-savers, short cuts, improvements, advances, whatever you want to call them are also a reflection of something else in our culture, something not so appealing, impatience. 

We are very much an on-demand society.  We demand immediate responses to emails, immediate assistance from customer service, instant coffee, fast food, overnight delivery, 24 hour grocery stores, and when we decide we want political change, we demand it be done when we want it done. 

So, we have an underlying laziness and an impatience.  From a political persepective these two are dynamite. 

The laziness coalesces around the something for nothing crowd.  The one that says government needs to "create" jobs or "fix" the economy.  This is the group that wants the rich to pay more than their fair share but pretend that it's still fair. 

The rest of us understand that government doesn't create jobs, it takes them away.  For every job that is created by the government, taxes were taken from hard working Americans.  Those taxes could have come from a middle class family that would have spent that money and created more jobs by doing so or it could have come from a wealthy person who would have invested that money or put it in the bank.  Lest you think that this does not create jobs, let me remind you that wealthy investors, investing in startups has fueled more job creation in the past 20 years than the government has employed people in the last 40. 

We also understand that the government doesn't fix the economy.  That would be like trying to remove a bullet lodged in a shooting victim by shooting it out with another bullet.  In other words, it's more of the same bad policy and restrictions that got us into this mess in the first place. 

If you add in impatience, you get Occupy <Insert Geographical Location Here>.  This crowd is lazy in that they want a government solution instead of working hard at it themselves AND they want it implemented NOW.  Instead of working hard, trying to educate people to their position (do they have one yet?) or becoming involved in the politcal process by running for office, they want to make demands of politicians, claim "majorities" and expect that this entitles them to the reforms they want. 

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