Rediscover the lost art of self-reliance in America

Well intentioned people have misconstrued and transformed the meaning of equality. There is a big difference between the government treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. Unlike the signs in our national parks cautioning us not to feed the animals, Americans are being taught that distributing food to each other through the tax code is economically wise and socially just.

In November 2011, the number of people participating in the food stamp program called SNAP was 46.3 million, an increase of more than 60 percent under the reign of President Barack Obama and more than 160 percent since 2000. The government continues to aggressively promote participation and in 2013, “invested” 76.4 billion in the program. Even Robin Hood didn’t consider himself an investor.

Once upon a time, the purpose of welfare programs was to eliminate the need for their existence and their measure of success was how many people leave welfare and not how many are added. We are witnessing the ever-increasing welfare state, the ever-growing sense among our citizens of “entitlement,” and the ever-shrinking understanding within the American soul of our founding traits of self-reliance and voluntary private and family charity when self-reliance is insufficient. We are becoming a society that makes poverty more comfortable instead of doing what we need to reduce poverty.

It is axiomatic what the government gives to someone it must first take from somebody else and a government that gives you everything you need has the power to take everything you have.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in his book “Democracy in America,” observed, “Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”

Ed Konecnik


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