What Went Wrong?

Recently, I attended a luncheon for a high school graduating Class of 1956. Looking around the room, it occurred to me these folks are the products of what Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation”. They are, by and large, a middle class group, unassuming, and unpretentious. Some, of course, did quite well in the 56 years since high school, and all are financially okay.

I would certainly like to know what happened during the more than five decades since 1956. Our own children were raised on respect, honesty and hard work, although, admittedly, we gave them far more than required–none of us had much during our World War Two childhood. Now, however, we’ve somehow become an “I want it now” population, impatient for the American dream to take hold. Young folks nowadays cannot wait to work up in employment, to save for that dream home, to achieve only what perseverance and hard work can achieve. Too, they have come to expect instant solutions to all difficulties or problems.

We were raised to work to avoid problems in the first place, leaving room to solve emergencies as these arose. Now, however, we teach our children problem solving after the fact, an altogether reversal of common sense planning.

So it is with our government. It throws money at a difficulty, rather than disciplined problem avoidance. Until that mindset changes, our governmental units will struggle, and our tax bills will continue to increase. …but, that’s just my opinion.

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