The Social Contract ~ Why We Have Government

Private enterprise cares nothing about the poor! This is so abundantly clear to me; opportunity does not, never has, and never will trickle down from the good fortune of the few. 

It puzzles me why so many don’t get it, that government is not the problem as President Ronald Reagan suggested. As it is today, it certainly isn’t the whole solution. But to the extent that it is not the solution, we have only ourselves to blame. We have allowed the money changers to gain control of it.

These are words that people have come up with to describe what is meant by a social contract, one like that which we are all part of by being citizens living under the Constitution of the United States.

Private enterprise cares nothing about the poor! This is so abundantly clear to me; opportunity does not, never has, and never will trickle down from the good fortune of the few. It is from us, the workers and consumers in this country, more than from their own efforts, that the privileged few owe their good fortune.

Government is not only the guarantor and protector of the social contract, it is the facilitator and arbiter as well. If you doubt this, read the Preamble to the Constitution — again.

Yes, there are a “thousand points of light,” as George Herbert Walker Bush proclaimed. But left to these alone, to individuals, benevolent corporations, churches and private charities, to help the less fortunate, millions more would be standing at road intersections with cardboard signs begging. Millions more would be living in shanty towns again. And how many of us stop to offer aid to those who are already begging? No, government is the most efficient way to alleviate suffering and to build scaffolds for the disadvantaged, perchance to restore the middle class. Government compels us to do our part, to contribute to the general welfare, to do our civic duty.

By all means, continue giving to churches and private charities. But “Render unto Ceasar” as well, for ours is a very different Ceasar from the government that was ancient Rome. Ours, if we choose to let it be, has been elightened by history, by great thinkers, and by religious teachers. Ours has been inspired by great leaders such as Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, Roosevelt (both of them), Eisenhower, Kennedy and yes, the Reverend Doctor King. We need merely to drive the money changers out of Washington as Christ did to the money changers long ago in the temple of Jerusalem. He did this as an example for us.

Please feel free, whether you agree or not, to leave a comment in response to this posting.

Published in: on August 2, 2013 at 10:31 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My father was also an Opa. He was a Korean veteran who worked 2 jobs most of his life to make a place for his family in a middle class economy. He mistrusted the government and hated socialism. I read your blog and wish your name was anything but Opa.

  2. I’m sorry that the coincidence disturbs you so. If your father and I could have met, perhaps we could have been friends despite our different persuasions.

  3. You are right that private enterprise generally does not care about the the poor, but the beautiful thing about capitalism is that they don’t need to. You say that people will not willingly give to the poor without the coercive force of government. The free market incentivizes private enterprise to give money to people in exchange for their labor. The bottom line is the more free market a county is the more prosperous its people are. When the rich become richer so do the poor. Do you think that America developed a strong middle class because government forced us to? America continues to have a strong middle class in spite of all that government has done not because of it. Capitalism harnesses humanities natural tendency to be selfish while socialism fights against that natural human instinct and puts your self-interests in the hands of uncaring bureaucrats.

  4. Ahemmm… The middle class has been loosing ground to the upper class for the past thirty-five years. Or haven’t you noticed? Yes, capitalism drove our economic engine following WWII to build it up, but that was back when labor unions still afforded workers a means to collectively negotiate for a fair share of the economic pie they were producing. That was back when our progressive tax system was more progressive and wages were sufficient to support families. That was back when a young person could get a college degree without having to sacrifice so much of his future to paying off student loans. That’s back when American companies wanting to manufacture goods had to hire Americans to do it.
    Obviously you are one that still believes that greed is good.

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