Is it just me?

…or is expecting fiscal responsibility now considered radical and extreme, while expecting government to spend like crazy the norm?

…or is expecting government to follow the Constitution considered too extreme, while expecting government to make it up as they go along the norm?

7 thoughts on “Is it just me?

  1. People’s expectations and demands for government fiscal responsibility are inversely proportional to how much they expect to benefit from that government spending.

    As far as the Constitution is concerned, how do you expect people to learn the Constitution when it is not taught? Most people today – especially younger people – never learned much about the Constitution in school. The time that use to be spent on what was called “government” or “civics” has been replaced by “social studies.” A people that have no clue about the Constitution cannot be expected to hold their elected officials to its principles.

  2. Have you noticed that the leftists seem label things they don’t like as “old”, as in “ideas or values of some old, white guys”? It’s my thesis that this notion of “old” or “old-fashioned” being bad plays well with people whose motto is “I want it all and I want it now”. These people want the rewards of hard work without the hard work part.

    For example, consider grammar. Today, correct grammar and spelling are often derided as “old-fashioned” and replaced with ambiguous, misleading and unintelligible renderings, not on purpose, but out of ignorance, by people who don’t want to bother (to spend the time and effort – the hard work) to learn things correctly.

    It’s the same with other endeavors, like economics, science and, yes, government/civics. People want – and expect – a superficial, spoon-fed version rather than having to put forth the time and effort to gain a deeper understanding of things… the meaning or reason behind our political institutions, why the electoral college exists, why the Constitution required the indirect election of US senators, etc.

    People don’t want to be “bothered” with actually learning – that would take too much time away from TV, video games, Facebook, etc. It’s much easier to make stuff up as they go along. Many politicians do the same – sometimes out of ignorance and laziness and sometimes because they are more concerned with the polls that upholding the Constitution.

    • True. It’s disappointing.

      If the 5 second sound bite sounds good, do it. If it doesn’t sound good (e.g. electoral college), let’s get rid of it. Never: Hmmm…maybe I should first try to understand this better before I decide.

      Then, let’s talk sports.

  3. What’s the feedback people get for being fiscally responsible? That is to say, what kind of rewards or punishments are people getting in our culture, at this particular time, for spending less than they have and saving some?

    Perhaps this question is an obvious follow up but what kind of feedback are people getting for being fiscally irresponsible? That is to say, what kind of rewards or punishments are they receiving for spending more money than they have?

    • Wally, your point – I’m assuming the question is a rhetorical one – is well taken. The feedback people get is that you get punished (with higher taxes) when you’re more productive and rewarded (with government handouts) when you fail to be productive. I recall someone on another site making the comment that a big reason for the rise in single parent (mother) black homes is that the federal government promises handouts to poor black women with kids……unless there’s a man in the house. The negative feedback for having daddy in the picture has had tragic results, yet reward recipients still (largely) opt for the present reward. We’ve conditioned people to understand that it’s unlikely that they will have to bear the brunt of their bad decision if they spend more than they have.

    • Great questions. Mike offers more direct examples. But, there are many more. Some subtle. You can see some prior posts I’ve made about those feedbacks here:

      Some more examples:

      Home ownership was a reward for fiscal responsibility. In the last few decades that feedback was distorted as politicians attempted to let everyone ‘realize the dream of home ownership’, w/o necessarily leaping the hurdle of fiscal responsibility first.

      Unemployment insurance is a reward for not saving for a rainy day and helps prevent having to make tough budget choices or accept a lowering paying job to make ends meet.

      How do we behave when when we encounter people down on their luck? It seems we use to be more open to evaluating the personal choices that may have contributed to their position. Now, that seems to be a taboo. The smarties say it’s systemic and people down on their luck are there through ‘no fault of their own.’

      Or, how about when government welfare agencies advertise to increase their rolls?

      It use to be that the implicit obligation with accepting charity in the past, is that you would try to get back on your feet and then repay that help others who were down on their luck when you could. If you overstayed your welcome, you were shamed as a freeloader. But, dependency seems to an expectation nowadays, rather than a temporary state.

      If you look closely, you’ll see lots of these feedbacks.


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