I have joked occasionally over the last several weeks about applying for bankruptcy so that I can claim my share of government bailout money. After all, I figure I can’t mismanage it anymore than these companies that are getting billions of dollars. But realistically, I find this whole bailout thing quite discouraging, even depressing. Daily I get little advertisements in Facebook inviting me to claim my share of government bailout money. It’s as easy as clicking on their website. From what these ads claim, I could have several thousand dollars in no time and with no effort.
Beside the fact that I think these websites are making fraudulent claims, I am appalled by the mentality creeping through American society that believes that people are entitled to something for nothing. I don’t believe I have a right nor a need to “free” money from the government. Where exactly do people think this money is coming from anyway? It’s not like the government just has pots of money ready to hand out to any and everyone. Maybe we need to all take a basic lesson in civics combined with a lesson in basic economics. Governments cannot create money. When they do just create money, you get inflation. They get money from taxes, which means from you, me, businesses and others. When the government spends more than that money, it is basically borrowing it from someone and will have to repay it at some point. That means that this trillion dollars the government is going to “pump” into the economy is really borrowed at the expense of ourselves and our children and possibly their children as well. So if I were to receive a bailout from the government it would really be at my own expense, or worse still at the expense of my children. Or it would be borrowed from someone else, which isn’t really any better since I would not be responsible for repaying him or her. There’s no sense of taking responsibility for oneself. Instead it seems a lot of people have the idea that they are entitled to this “free” money. Get real. There’s an old saying that “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Apparently we believe there really is.It seems to me that American society is exhibiting more and more the basic sin of greed and self-interest. We don’t care what impact it has on others now or in the future, as long as we can get as much as possible for ourselves now. I realize that there are still many Americans who believe in the value of hard-work, taking responsibility and making the best of what one has. But that portion of the population seems to be shrinking. Maybe I’m wrong. I certainly hope I am. But that’s not the impression I’m getting from the news and ads around me.