Average American Weighs in on Why the Government Deserves Love

I’m just an average American with two kids and a nagging worry that when they become adults, there will be no government. I’m worried because Average Americans have forgotten why the government they shape with their votes or their indifference still deserves their love. Okay, maybe not love. Just support.

If my kids try to make it in an America whose government has been steadily downsized, dissed, and degraded, here’s how they’ll live.

1. They’ll send my grandkids to school in dilapidated classrooms of 35-40 students where textbooks are 30 years old and teachers are burned out. 2. They’ll drive on rutted roads linked by rusting bridges. They’ll have to drive because there will be no trains and little mass transit. And air travel, thanks to cutbacks in air traffic control and security, will be dangerous. 3. If they breathe or drink, perhaps their air and water will be clean but both were much dirtier before the Clean Air and Water Acts . 4. God help my kids if they get sick because health insurance, if premiums keep rising 10+ percent a year, will take up half their salaries. 5. On the job, they might, like tens of thousands of Americans each year before the creation of OSHA, be injured. 6. Finally, they’ll have no safety net. If they get sick or injured, too bad. If they’re laid off, tough. And they’ll live on or near mean streets where educational opportunities for the poor have vanished, job training is gone, and crime is the quickest way out.

Many Average Americans romanticize an era of “less government.” They should read more history and less Ayn Rand. Before the New Deal, kids like my two toiled in mines and mills. Before Social Security, 50 percent of seniors lived in poverty. Before LBJ’s Great Society, the poverty rate was 22 percent. By 1970, it was 12 percent. Before the Civil Rights Bill and Voting Rights Act, African-Americans were second class citizens. Before. . .

No one is trying to turn America into a socialist state. Socialism means nationalizing the banks, the mines, the factories, etc. Get real. That’s not gonna happen here. But all Average Americans should support a government that does for us what businesses will not. And if you think you can live without government, or that we can’t afford ours, then spend your next tax cut to visit a country where people don’t choose their leaders, where government plays little or no role, and where the only hope is coming to America.

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