Saturday, October 2, 2010

State of the Nation/Planet

I find myself thinking a lot lately of how things are in the world today.  Living in America its not that easy to get a worldly perspective, but I do try to follow news websites as well as other non-American news sources to get my worldly news.  There is at least one constant that I find around the world, and the one I'm thinking of is how it has become such a great desire of everyone, or so it seems, to help out the little guy.  Help the person who is struggling.  Donate money to help the third-world countries.  Now that's all fine and good, but I feel like it has gotten a little out of hand.  Suddenly its everyone's responsibility.  Literally, children these days are born right into it.  They are born and grow up and learn and all along this time it is hammered into their head that there are people worse off than they are, and its their duty to help those people out.  Right away that seems a little unfair doesn't it?  I mean, there are two ends to every spectrum, and on one end you have kids born into trust funds.  On the other end you find kids born with nothing.  But why should it be their responsibility to be the aid?  What have they done and what choices have they made that put them into that situation?  Nothing and none.  If I was born with a trust fund, I'll be the first to say that I would not donate it.  I'd hope my guardians or whomever set up said money for me would have the mind to hold it at least until I'm old enough to be smart about it.  But truth be told, I'd use that money for me.  Not to blow it on a big house or a nice car.  But to get my life in order.  Pay for college, or start a business maybe.  But that's my money, once my life is in order, and I feel secure with my income then yeah, I'd definitely help out others where I could.

Now I'll take a step back and make a few amendments.  First, I understand that their are people out there in hard situations where they have no choice.  Being born into a family with nothing, or in some third-world countries where the government cannot even help them or is nonexistant is slightly different.  And I'm not saying to tell those people, "well sorry, but thats just life.  Deal with it."  At the same time though, I don't need to feel pressured to do something about it.  Especially when I have my own college debt to worry about.

I'm not sure how things are outside of the USA with this next subject, but welfare is ridiculous.  I know that welfare and unemployment serves a good purpose.  One of my closest friends was laid off from work and collected unemployment until he found a new job.  The thing is, he was looking for a job the entire time, and I know for a fact that there are a lot of people out there who collect unemployment/welfare and just sit on their ass waiting for their check in the mail.  Maybe even the majority of people on unemployment.  I just don't understand how people can be content to live that way.  Oh yeah, lets just eek by through my entire life.  I mean, a person must really love sitting around doing nothing if they manage to live that way.  And I'm sure a lot of people saw medicare simply as another hand-out they could use to eliminate the need for a job.

And just one example of how backwards the system is right now, comparatively welfare recipients are held to no standards while employees or entrepreneurs have systematic performance reviews of all sorts.  Such as, entrepreneurs are subject to inspection of their business periodically, employees are subject to drug tests and quarterly or yearly (etc) reviews.  Meanwhile, to get on welfare or unemployment you have to meet very little criteria, just one time.  Then you're good, for several months.  I'd vote that if you are on unemployment, not only should you be subject to drug tests in order to receive each and every check, but you should be held accountable for your efforts to better yourself.  If someone is just collecting welfare and doing nothing about their situation, fine, you are not contributing to the society you live in, so the society you live in will stop contributing to you.  If you have been trying to find work, or improve your situation but have met with little or no success, ok, then the government/tax payers with continue to fund your life (because thats literally what it is, people are paying for your daily life).  I doubt many of my readers were even around to remember the booming 40's and 50's of American life.  I wasn't either, but just hearing about the motivation of people to do something productive, which was a nationally mutual feeling, just gives me shivers.  Imagine if that's what people were like today.  For one, I guarantee that USA and the world would not be in an economic slump.  Think about it, labor has value.  When you work you are adding value to the company you work for and the nation you work in, and realistically adding value to the planet.  It might not always be paid for with cold hard cash, but it will always be rewarded with something else of value.  And while we as a nation are content to sit on the couch and watch tv and order in pizza, we are just transforming an entire country into that.  A country that does nothing and pays everyone else to do things or make things for us.  How can you expect anything but a recession?

I guess my main issue here is I really feel like sometimes the people who really need the help are those who are trying hardest to succeed.  Who's to say that the people who will design the cure for cancer or invent the vehicle to take human beings to other worlds is not going to be, or even has already been overlooked?  Pushed to the wayside in favor of coddling everyone else.  Like I said before, there is nothing wrong with helping people out who really need it, but there is a line between people who need it, and people who use it.  Some of those people just need to be left alone.  If they are unwilling to start supporting their society, fine, maybe they will starve, maybe they will die.  But its not anyone's fault but their own.  I guess my thought process is comparable to Isaac Asimov's main point in his novel The End of Eternity.  If you haven't read it, I suggest it as its a good read.  But essentially his thought is that in order to have great successes, or leaps forward in technology and medicine there needs to be great failures, somehow it all evens out.

I've decided that it would be more than appropriate that I go and see the movie "RED" when it comes out in a few weeks as it shares its name with my blog (it looks like it could be good anyway).  With that said, I hope and plan on more updates in the time in between, but as my readers you can all expect that review.