“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” A proverb used throughout history whose meaning had as much significance in early centuries as it does today. If today’s psychology and culture in America could be summed up with a new proverb, it would probably sound more like this: Take a man’s fish, cut a piece for him and give the rest away.” If he dares to catch more fish, it too will get taken and divided accordingly.
America has gone from a society that was proud, hard working and pushed for success. In a matter of 50 years, society decided it was not worth the effort to work hard, pursue dreams and aim for the stars. What can this be attributed to? There are a few theories.
One theory is the gerbil in the wheel effect. Americans across the land get up early, put on their best and go to work, day in and day out and realize every week that they just can’t make ends meet. The harder they work, the more they get frustrated. This reduces morale and slows down productivity or even desire to work. Many Americans are going through this every day. At the dinner table they are trying to figure out why responsible citizens cannot keep up with the price tag of today. Many make the decision to seek government assistance. Many decide to take more drastic measures and shrink their lifestyle, spend less and ride the recession wave. Certainly, society does not shoot for the stars but merely seeks to survive.
The next theory is the box within the box theory. It’s becoming a culture within America’s culture to subsidize life styles with government assistance. Radio stations across America have commercials begging listeners to call in and apply for government assistance. Many are directed at specific groups, targeting their audience and promoting government assistance through various radio programs. Some commercials even go as far as telling their audience that if they own their own home and have cars and cash in the bank, they still qualify for assistance and food stamps. Obviously those that bite may not necessarily need the help but are told it's o.k. Pride is no longer an issue.
Finally, the last theory is the giveaway theory”. If the government is giving money away, why would an American not stand on line and take advantage of it? A family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) went into a real estate office. The family was able to rent an entire detached house with 4 levels, a garage and driveway for $2,000 a month. They receive a $2,000 rent stipend every month under the section 8 housing program. They did not shell out a dime. They also obtained assistance for the actual move, their monthly utility bills and of course food stamps and government splurge checks. Both adults were physically healthy and of sound mind but chose the easier way. A year later, the man left his wife, had 2 more babies with another woman and no doubt repeated the cycle with his new family.
The tragedy in all this is watching the world laugh, snicker and joke about the USA. America was once a nation of dreams where you can hope for a better quality of life. Today it’s a nation of haves and have nots; those that pay asphyxiating taxes and those that pay nothing. Heartwarming, isn’t it?