Monday, October 13, 2008

Personal Responsibility

In the recent V.P. debate, Sarah Palin made a comment about personal responsibility that was so profound that it definitely needs repeating:
We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings and we need also to not get ourselves in debt. Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don't live outside of our means. We need to make sure that as individuals we're taking personal responsibility through all of this.

In those simple words, she had summed up the entire crisis that we now have at hand.

As a country, we have literally become a "buy now and worry about it later" society. Ever since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal following the Crash of 1929 and the Depression, we have become a society who increasingly believes that the Federal government will pull our butts out of the fire whenever we find ourselves in trouble. That attitude was even further fostered by President Johnson's Great Society. We don't save for our retirement anymore. We expect the Social Security System to take care of us. Half of the people who have credit card debt in this country have credit balances that are in excess of $15,000 and that is, in a lot of cases, more than half their annual salaries. The subprime loan crisis clearly reflects the lack of any personal responsibility; especially in the making a major purchase like a home.

Personal responsibility starts with education. Education is something that, ultimately, only the student can achieve on their own. While it is true that some students need personalized assistance or extra time to learn a specific curriculum, it still comes down to the desire to learn; and, this is where the parents and good teachers need to take charge and nurture that desire. At a time when nearly half the high school students in our major city school systems across this country fail to graduate, it is no wonder we are in the economic mess we now find ourselves in. Too many people in our society can't read or understand the math behind taking out a loan. Our schools don't teach the basic business education for our citizens to survive in an increasingly complex economic society.

Maybe all of those Community Organizers out there would better serve their communities by focusing on education instead of getting people into loans they can't afford.

Just my opinion.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Amen George, Amen. We love your site! :)