Another guest post by Scooter today! I am so glad he’s willing to help make this a more lively and engaging debate. If others are interested in guest posting differing (but respectful) opinions, please let me know. Also, you can follow Scooter on Twitter @ScooterSchaefer. He’s always got interesting things to say.
Re: So, what’s next Occupy? (A Cautionary Tale)
Aristotle once said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Perhaps one of my favorite things about Rachel and her dear liberal heart is that she finds value in opinions differing from hers, and in this case I will not be one to let her down.
To begin, let’s pose a hypothetical situation to better understand the ideological underpinnings of the Occupy Wall Street movement and what it means for America’s future.
Imagine you are watching two rival football teams play each other in a large stadium filled with spectators from each of the team’s respective cities. As a fan, you and your friends want to see a good competitive match. Now here is the question: which of the following scenarios has to occur for the game to have your desired outcome?
1. Referees should meet before the game to determine how they intend to fix the rules and manipulate the game in order to make sure there is not an excessive margin of victory or loss.
2. The referees should simply enforce the rules and regulations of the game to the best of their ability, and not try to help determine the outcome.
If you are like me, you chose the second option because you understand that for the game to be hard-fought, competitive, and really bring out the athleticism and skills of the individual players, the referees have to enforce the rules of the game, while certainly not try and determine the outcome.
So I ask you this question, are economics that much different? I would contend that our nation has achieved unrivaled prosperity in the world because for hundreds of years we have had a system of governance based on the idea that the government is the referee and we are all the players. This system has allowed winners and losers along the way and has determined that the best possible outcome for the game and our future is one that we determine, not the government.
Today, we have a movement “occupying” parks and town squares on Wall Street and in cities across the country protesting the fact that they are losing the game. Their gut reaction is to look at the “winners” and say they must have cheated and therefore should be penalized for their success. Their next reaction is to look at the referee and say the game must have been rigged as an excuse for their own failure. Unfortunately, they fail to see (or choose to ignore) that they themselves, their choices, actions, and how they played the game, is the single largest contributing factor to their failures and the game’s outcome.
Can we do a better job in America of making sure winners do not have an unfair advantage? Yes. Can we also make sure that the government – our referees – are doing a better job of ensuring that the game is played fairly with equal opportunity to all sides? Absolutely.
But our power will languish, our competitive edge in the world will decrease, the prosperity we have been blessed with will subside, if we give in to the “occupiers” and others who share their philosophy that we as individuals are not responsible for our decisions, actions, or failures, that we cannot determine the outcome of the game.
Ultimately, I see the “Occupy” movement as a microcosm of an ever-expanding entitlement culture that has begun to take shape in America. Where it goes or how far we descend, I am not sure. The 2012 election should be a good indicator of how Americans feel.
As I noted in my previous guest post, I am very limited in my number of recipe options. In fact, was about it. However.. I can make a mean grilled cheese. People accept grilled cheese mediocrity, I say make them with excellence.
Grilled Cheese with Salami and Tomato:
2 slices of thick multigrain bread
2 slices of thinly cut genoa salami
4 slices of pepperjack cheese, with thickness to your preference
2 hearty slices of tomato
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Make full sandwich, with cheese, salami, and tomatoes, make sure buttered sides of the bread face outward. But buttered side of bread on frying pan on low temperature, cover frying pan with lid, cooks to preference. (I prefer my bread to be golden brown with cheese beginning to melt) After one side is browned and the cheese has begun to melt, flip the sandwich to the other buttered side and cover with lid.