Hell in a Handbasket

 Posted by on 14 September 2005 at 7:40 am  Uncategorized
Sep 142005

My friend Ari Armstrong and his father Linn recently published a good op-ed on the proposed “Referendum C” tax hike. It wasn’t heavily philosophical, but mostly focused on the political nuts and bolts of the issue. I mention that to put this letter in response in its proper context.

The writings of Ari and Linn Armstrong, those appearing in the Free Press opinion section, interest me greatly. That is not surprising, as they reflect an attitude that has become much too prevalent throughout this country. It is the worship of money and materialism and the shirking of all responsibility to anyone but themselves.

No doubt, like is noticeable in those who believe as do those individuals, some believe that they did everything by themselves. The truth is that that most of them have been subsidized since childhood. They just don’t want to admit to it.

When their parents took them as deductions or credits on their income taxes, they were being subsidized. When their parents moved one or more columns to the right on the income tax table, they were being subsidized. If they went to public schools, they were being subsidized. If they went to public colleges or universities, or even private institutions, they were being subsidized. If they had children or non-working spouse, when they took those as tax deductions or credits, they were being subsidized. If their own children went to public schools, they were being subsidized.

The Armstongs’ position is quite seductive, if one does not examine it closely. At its base is what Lt. General Rosa, the departing superintendent at the Air Force Academy said was his biggest problem. That was the egocentrism within the cadet corps. That is also the basis of the Armstrongs’ position. In simpler terms, an “I” and “Me” type of mentality. Their position and that of their followers toward others in society is: I got mine, the heck with everyone else.

What is really interesting is that those who believe in that way are frequently the ones who preach “personal responsibility.” Unfortunately, what they mean by that term is not what most people believe it to be. What they are advocating is for others to accept the responsibilities, and assume all the burdens, in order for them to avoid their share. How distorted that type of belief is, or how they arrived at it, only they can answer. It is a position of moral bankruptcy, one based upon selfishness with complete lack of social conscientiousness.

Robert I. Laitres, Delta

Is the world really speeding to hell or does it just seem that way lately?

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