Is economic slavery around the corner? I’m not referring to bonded labor or any type of slavery involving the forceful subservience of one person by another. No, I’m talking about creating an economic climate that encourages and nurtures learned helplessness by removing the incentive and ability to fulfill a desire through hard work.
First, let’s make certain we’re on the same page when it comes to learned helplessness. Learned Helplessness (LH) is a psychological condition that occurs when people create artificial barriers to their own wellbeing because they, over a long time, were in circumstances that were harmful. They learned that they weren’t able to succeed (in leaving a bad place, in getting a good job, in leaving an abusive relationship) and learned it so well that even when the environment changes they won’t leave. The door is open, the person is out of town, but the involved people no longer wants to leave.
Zig Ziglar in his must read book – See You at the Top – discusses training flees. In the beginning, a flee will jump right out of the cage if it isn’t covered; but if you leave the cover on long enough the flee learns to avoid hitting it and jumps lower. From there, the master can remove the lid and the flee only jumps the same amount as before. There’s an opening to escape but the barrier is all in the flee’s mind.
Is an economic stimulus bill that paves the way to a nanny – the gov is the answer to all risk – state going to create learned helplessness? Will the increase in taxes and the burden of success reduce the amount of entrepreneurs who are able to take the big risk; and reap the big reward?
I’m unsure right now, but there won’t be a blog post if the answer was a define no. The argument for government intervention to ensure a financial meltdown doesn’t occur, but there’s an equally valid argument that suggests government involvement merely talks awful quick pain and makes it a terrible long pain. The Feds keeping the engine running, while everyone gets their mental house in order is probably helpful. The Dems using this to further an agenda hell-bent on creating Europe 2 Social Democracies isn’t just scary – it’s foolish.
Don’t misunderstand my point – I think there’s a huge role for government in this turn-around, but most of those roles include ensuring commerce can occur freely with as much information for decision makers as possible, children and adults need an education so the government needs to unscrew education, which probably means trust busting all local school systems with vouchers and educational freedom. In other words, the government needs to play police with the market – not setting speed limits – more like ensuring all the cars have good tires and everyone stops at red lights.
All our governments need to run lean and mean so we can reduce the debt, defend our boarders and encourage economic freedom because we have the makings of a wonder economic recovery led by Gen X; Gen Y (independent people who want to run things – well get your ass in gear already) and supported by the wisdom of the Baby Boomers.
The government may need to step in right now, but it needs to be limited and come to a close quickly. The pain needs to happen and people need to be free. Free to risk; free to reward; free to pursue life, liberty and true happiness that will never come from the government but from their own minds and their own ambitions becoming reality. Dems you can cement your leadership for 50 years by weaving the right amount of government fuel and encouraging freedom.
Leadership is about finding the solution with best results. Our country is the shining city on the hill; and we’d like to keep it that way.