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Economic justice based on victim mentality

To Rose Ann Miele, regarding your Nov. 21 column; I would like to address the issues you raise and the solutions you propose. The following are what I understand to be your premises and conclusion:

1. Economic justice means that everyone should have a home, food, employment, education and health care. Everyone does not have these things.

2. The federal government has the means to provide them.

3. Therefore, the federal government should step in and guarantee jobs to everyone that wants one.

Let’s start with premise one. You seem to be misapplying the term “justice,” which has become more and more common these days. The implication is that since life is difficult and there are people that are struggling to make ends meet, they have somehow been treated unjustly. This places the blame on everyone but the individual, a common diversion.

I know, I know, here comes another man just blaming the victims, but could you please tell me what they are a victim of? A victim of not being given a job? A victim of having to pay for child care? A victim of not owning a car? A victim of living in a town that is too expensive and too far away from their place of employment? If they are the victim, then there must be a perpetrator. Who is the perpetrator?

Of course there are exceptions, but rules are not made based on exceptions. Life can be “daunting,” but how do you make the logical leap that this is where the federal government should step in?

You claim that you couldn’t go to the private sector with your “great skills in a variety of areas,” but in reality, that is exactly how the private sector works. Hiring the best person for the job is in their best interest. You cannot blame the private sector for not valuing a college degree in U.S. immigration history.

On premise two, there is a fundamental disconnect between what the role of the federal government is and what progressives would like it to be. Fortunately, this role is not something that is fluid. Rather, it is clearly written in the constitution; have a look at Article I, Section 8.

You are incorrect in your assumption that the federal government has “means to provide for all.” The federal government only has what is given to it by us. The bloated federal government that we currently have is already unable to meet its obligations. The federal government does not produce, create or earn anything.

In order for the federal government to provide the funding for the program that you are proposing, it must take that money from someone else. Thievery. Your proposal is simply a veiled form of wealth redistribution, an inherently immoral concept. You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you penalize. Penalize discipline, hard work, ingenuity, grit and innovation with more and more taxes and you will surely get less of those things.

Since both premises are false, your conclusion is as well. Why is it that you skip over every other form of government and go straight to the feds? What about self-government, family government, church government, local government and state government. In the representative republic, limited government, free market capitalistic, individual liberty valuing society that we live, aid is meant to work from the bottom up through charitable living, not the top down through coercion. A lack of self-government cannot be made up for by any other form of government.

Because some jobs do not have monetary value does not mean that they aren’t valuable. My wife should not be compensated by the government for raising our kids. I should not be compensated by the government for looking after my sick neighbor or grandmother. This is a gross misunderstanding of societal roles and their inherent value.

In the United States, our rights are not derived from the federal government. They are, according to our constitution, endowed by our Creator. … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. None of these rights require taking from someone else. On the other hand, the things that you declare to constitute “economic justice” — housing, food, employment, education and health care — all require something to be taken from someone else if they are to be provided by the government.

We want “free college,” but who pays for it? The government. Where does the government get the money? Taxpayers. Who are the taxpayers? Every working American. So, who pays for your college, housing, food, job guarantee and health insurance? We do. Enough with the victim mentality.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, imagine the world the way that the pilgrims saw it in 1620. Life was hard, kids got sick, food was scarce, housing was nonexistent. They had no one to blame; they were not victims. There were no jobs, but there was plenty of work to be done.

Ken O’Shaunghnessy is a five-year resident of Boulder City and father of five.

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