|Among the ideals that have made America a great and strong nation is that of personal
responsibility. We are not a nation of dependents. We are Americans because of a frontier spirit. We were founded on the principles
of self-reliance and responsibility for our actions. If we were successful in
our endeavors, we reaped the rewards; if we failed, we took our "lumps",
retrenched and tried again.|
Over time, we have begun to lose sight of this concept. Today, we have a Congress does not believe in risk and reward, success and failure, individual liberty and personal responsibility. The action by Congress in regard to the Wall Street and banking failures, and now with the automotive manufacturers has been characterized as "capitalism on the way up and socialism on the way down." The message is it is OK to take risks while you are succeeding, so much so that if failure looms, the government will swoop in to save you - at least if you have enough assets to get them to pay attention.
The problem in the long run is the loss of accountability and responsibility. Risk has been largely removed for those annoited by the government, and increased dramatically for those who do not have that clout. Corporations may get the message that they can take all the chances they want, be lazy, complacent, inefficient, even corrupt. No problem. The government will rescue you with the taxpayers' dollars.
When there is no risk of failure, individuals and corporations lose their sense of proportionate risk; greed replaces a healthy skepticism. What are the lessons we are teaching our children, who will one day run the small businesses, farms and corporations in this land?
It takes courage to oppose the powers that be, to stand tall and say it is not the government's responsibility to step in when businesses fail. But it is the best thing for everyone concerned in the long run. Businesses will learn to be better, smarter, and wiser.
We understand that when a business fails, people lose jobs and livelihoods - it's painful and it deserves the concern of government as well as private citizens. In a truly unencumbered free market, opportunities will be available for people to start over and build wealth. If we ever actually make policy of these core principles, we will all be better off as individuals and as a nation.