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Old 02-14-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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It will never happen, but my idea of utopia would be a culture whereby people take full responsiblity for themselves.

Government would be profoundly limited, and people would have to provide for themselves. If you have children, YOU pay for them...you pay for their education, their healthcare, their food, everything. If you are poor, YOU dig yourself out. There are no handouts. If you are sick, YOU find a way to pay for your medical care.

It would be a tough world, but it would be right. What is right in life is that people are accountable for their actions and their decisions. What is right in life is that people face the responsibilities and obligations they take on. What is right is that people face the consequences of their poor decisions.

I am so sick and tired of having to foot the bill for other people's stupidity. You have 14 kids, and half of them are retarded...I gotta pay for them. You drop out of high school...I gotta pay for your welfare. You have no job and no medical insurance...I gotta pay for your emergency surgery when you get in a car accident.

You run your bank into the ground...I gotta pay to bail you out. Your home gets torn to smithereens by a tornado...I gotta pay to put it back together again.

Well, I'm sick of paying. I'm sick of taking responsibility for people's lives when they should be taking responsibility for themselves.

I've lost my compassion for those "less fortunate" than me. They're not less fortunate, they're just selfish and lazy and stupid. And I've lost my compassion for their kids too. I've been bled dry...just as so many Americans have. There's nothing left. It sucks.
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:35 PM
 
492 posts, read 927,001 times
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Quote:
Can you Imagine...A Culture Based on Personal Responsibilty?

It will never happen, but my idea of utopia would be a culture whereby people take full responsiblity for themselves.
It has happened but is slowly being legislated away.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:06 PM
 
8,975 posts, read 15,893,690 times
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Originally, that was the idea America was founded on. The crafters of the Declaration of Independence, etc., went to great lengths spelling out the many "freedoms from" all sorts of things...tyranny, oppression, heavy-handed government, etc etc.

They didn't say too much about personal responsibility, because it their day, it was TAKEN FOR GRANTED. It was simply ASSUMED, that those 'worthy' citizens who were now 'free' from oppressive government, would henceforth be "controlled" by another power..THEIR OWN CONSCIENCES, and SENSE of CIVIC DUTY; and if they did NOT, they'd suffer SOCIAL STIGMA and SHAME.

That was the 'idea'..people were to be henceforth FREE...to live upstanding lives, guided by common decency, comon sense, and public morals. So 'taken for granted' were these things, they were never made 'law'. It was simply assumed that a man would support his family; that parents would raise their kids decently; and that MOST people would 'do the right thing', and that those who did NOT would be marginalized.

It worked for a while, but apparently now it doesn't. Decades of 'feel good' excuses, rationalizing bad behavior, blind 'tolerance' of everthing, good OR bad, and the general belief that "nobody is BAD, and no lifestyle is 'better' than any other", have just about made 'personal responsibility' a thing of the past.

So now we can't control our society, can't seem to diffeentiate right from wrong, can't agree on any values or culture....and we wonder why things 'no longer work', why people no longer know 'how to act', why no one has any sense of shame, and why so many of us are beginning to hate each other.

Seems pretty plain to me. What may at first SEEM to be the "road to Heaven", is often actually the road to "that other place"
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:24 PM
 
1,117 posts, read 1,913,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Originally, that was the idea America was founded on. The crafters of the Declaration of Independence, etc., went to great lengths spelling out the many "freedoms from" all sorts of things...tyranny, oppression, heavy-handed government, etc etc.

They didn't say too much about personal responsibility, because it their day, it was TAKEN FOR GRANTED. It was simply ASSUMED, that those 'worthy' citizens who were now 'free' from oppressive government, would henceforth be "controlled" by another power..THEIR OWN CONSCIENCES, and SENSE of CIVIC DUTY; and if they did NOT, they'd suffer SOCIAL STIGMA and SHAME.

That was the 'idea'..people were to be henceforth FREE...to live upstanding lives, guided by common decency, comon sense, and public morals. So 'taken for granted' were these things, they were never made 'law'. It was simply assumed that a man would support his family; that parents would raise their kids decently; and that MOST people would 'do the right thing', and that those who did NOT would be marginalized.

It worked for a while, but apparently now it doesn't. Decades of 'feel good' excuses, rationalizing bad behavior, blind 'tolerance' of everthing, good OR bad, and the general belief that "nobody is BAD, and no lifestyle is 'better' than any other", have just about made 'personal responsibility' a thing of the past.

So now we can't control our society, can't seem to diffeentiate right from wrong, can't agree on any values or culture....and we wonder why things 'no longer work', why people no longer know 'how to act', why no one has any sense of shame, and why so many of us are beginning to hate each other.

Seems pretty plain to me. What may at first SEEM to be the "road to Heaven", is often actually the road to "that other place"
I couldn't have said it better myself, Macmeal.

We're told we have to accept everybody, no matter how deviant. We're told we have to provide for everybody, no matter how irresponsbile. And now, for the first time in American history, we're being told we have to forgive and bail out corrupt businesspeople who have financially raped the American people.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:26 PM
 
7,339 posts, read 9,870,231 times
Reputation: 1893
Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Originally, that was the idea America was founded on. The crafters of the Declaration of Independence, etc., went to great lengths spelling out the many "freedoms from" all sorts of things...tyranny, oppression, heavy-handed government, etc etc.

They didn't say too much about personal responsibility, because it their day, it was TAKEN FOR GRANTED. It was simply ASSUMED, that those 'worthy' citizens who were now 'free' from oppressive government, would henceforth be "controlled" by another power..THEIR OWN CONSCIENCES, and SENSE of CIVIC DUTY; and if they did NOT, they'd suffer SOCIAL STIGMA and SHAME.

That was the 'idea'..people were to be henceforth FREE...to live upstanding lives, guided by common decency, comon sense, and public morals. So 'taken for granted' were these things, they were never made 'law'. It was simply assumed that a man would support his family; that parents would raise their kids decently; and that MOST people would 'do the right thing', and that those who did NOT would be marginalized.

It worked for a while, but apparently now it doesn't. Decades of 'feel good' excuses, rationalizing bad behavior, blind 'tolerance' of everthing, good OR bad, and the general belief that "nobody is BAD, and no lifestyle is 'better' than any other", have just about made 'personal responsibility' a thing of the past.

So now we can't control our society, can't seem to diffeentiate right from wrong, can't agree on any values or culture....and we wonder why things 'no longer work', why people no longer know 'how to act', why no one has any sense of shame, and why so many of us are beginning to hate each other.

Seems pretty plain to me. What may at first SEEM to be the "road to Heaven", is often actually the road to "that other place"
The problem with your assessment is that it completely leaves out the social and economic realities of the time. Back in the day of the Founders:


1) capitalism was manifested entirely in individual, small businesses

2) the land was still healthy, and people could grow their own food--and most did

3) education at the highest levels was not needed for a nation of farmers

4) the population was significantly smaller and more spread-out, except in the very few "urban" centers

It's easy to accuse people of being responsible for their own failures, but when large segments of the American population have been systematically programmed to feel like nothing unless they consume as much as possible--even beyond their means--and are actively encouraged to do so, then I think it's hardly surprising that so many people are so deeply in debt. Furthermore, the variables which contribute to a person being "responsible" don't always come together for everyone. It takes a good family or uncommonly strong character for someone to rise above the lures of capitalism in our society.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I think you're going WAY too far with the idea of personal responsibility. I do however agree with certain parts of what you've said, at least to a lesser extent.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:54 PM
 
Location: exit 0
5,023 posts, read 3,729,298 times
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Many years ago when I was in graduate classes at William and Mary I had a professor that had this posted above his desk:

Quote:
You and I, at all times and under all circumstances, have the right and the responsibility of choice.
This small quote made quite an impact on me. As time progressed I kept this in mind each time I was faced with a life altering decision. I knew that the choices that I made were going to have an impact, not only on me but on those that I loved. I was responsible to make sure that my choices were well thought out before I acted upon them. Once acted upon, I had to be responsible for making things work, and if they didn't I was responsible to make it right.

When my sons were growing up I let them make their own decisions about many things. I always told them that they would be responsible for those choices. They would have to "do the right thing" whatever happened because of their choices. There were times that I heard, "Mom, I decided to do _____, and it's not working." Or better yet, "Mom, I did _____ and it just stinks." And I said to them, "Bummer. Now what are YOU going to do about it?" Now, as young men, they are making life altering decisions and accept the responsibility that accompanies them.

Both of my sons made the choice to join the military. I asked all of the questions that a parent should ask. "Are you sure?" "Do you know what you are getting into?" "You know that you could go to war if commanded?" "You know that your life is not your own?" etc. Both of them, at different times said, "Mom, you taught me to look into things and think about them before I jump into them. I have decided to do this."

Now, I do have to say that one absolutely loves what he does and the other doesn't particularly care for the military life. But, the latter is doing his job to the best of his ability and making the best out of this life experiences. After all, it's his responsibility to do so. It was his choice.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:58 PM
 
8,975 posts, read 15,893,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingForward View Post
The problem with your assessment is that it completely leaves out the social and economic realities of the time. Back in the day of the Founders:
.
OK, I glossed over some realities. You added them. I'm not arguing with you; essentially, you're quite correct. The bottom line, though, remains the same..we don't "do" as well as we once did, because we no longer think, feel, or "act" the way we did. In cleaning up our failures of an earlier time (racial injustice; social stratification; civil rights violations) we've also thrown out common sense and responsible behavior.

We've changed. WHY, exactly, is beside the point for now. We've changed, and it's not 'working' out as well as we thought it would.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,967 posts, read 15,680,760 times
Reputation: 4583
Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
OK, I glossed over some realities. You added them. I'm not arguing with you; essentially, you're quite correct. The bottom line, though, remains the same..we don't "do" as well as we once did, because we no longer think, feel, or "act" the way we did. In cleaning up our failures of an earlier time (racial injustice; social stratification; civil rights violations) we've also thrown out common sense and responsible behavior.

We've changed. WHY, exactly, is beside the point for now. We've changed, and it's not 'working' out as well as we thought it would.
Yes, but I'd hate to see a society where there was absolutely NO support system and no assistance available. I'd hate to see no education provided to kids. We'd be very uncivilized.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,779 posts, read 3,779,582 times
Reputation: 964
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerCaliforniaGirl View Post
It will never happen, but my idea of utopia would be a culture whereby people take full responsiblity for themselves.

Government would be profoundly limited, and people would have to provide for themselves. If you have children, YOU pay for them...you pay for their education, their healthcare, their food, everything. If you are poor, YOU dig yourself out. There are no handouts. If you are sick, YOU find a way to pay for your medical care.

It would be a tough world, but it would be right. What is right in life is that people are accountable for their actions and their decisions. What is right in life is that people face the responsibilities and obligations they take on. What is right is that people face the consequences of their poor decisions.

I am so sick and tired of having to foot the bill for other people's stupidity. You have 14 kids, and half of them are retarded...I gotta pay for them. You drop out of high school...I gotta pay for your welfare. You have no job and no medical insurance...I gotta pay for your emergency surgery when you get in a car accident.

You run your bank into the ground...I gotta pay to bail you out. Your home gets torn to smithereens by a tornado...I gotta pay to put it back together again.

Well, I'm sick of paying. I'm sick of taking responsibility for people's lives when they should be taking responsibility for themselves.

I've lost my compassion for those "less fortunate" than me. They're not less fortunate, they're just selfish and lazy and stupid. And I've lost my compassion for their kids too. I've been bled dry...just as so many Americans have. There's nothing left. It sucks.
I agree with most of this and will also add.....LIVE within your means. I'm getting so sick of people taking out credit they should never have gotten in the first place, default on it, and then whine when their credit score goes down..... and then they continue to receive credit they never should get. That's part of the reason we got into this mess in the first place.....no I'm not referring to the controversial lending practices..... I'm referring to the societal attitude in general of not living within your means.

Greed is a fundamental problem as well. Banks make high risk loans with high rates based on greed....and when they fail, we gotta bail em out. The auto companies continued resisting improvements so they could maximize profits, the unions demanded outrageous benefits which destroyed many companies, outsourcing..... and even worse, the PCA shipping peanut butter they knew was contaiminated in order to avoid the expense of replacing it. Maddof is another greedy piece of junk.

this "me first" and "entitlement" attitude we have has got to be slowed down, otherwise we're heading for disaster.... the system is not suistanable...
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