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Who owes you?

LibertyI am not going to talk about money someone may owe you, but about surprisingly rising common believes among Americans when we talk about success, opportunities, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

Usually, in socialistic countries, in central economies, people tend to rely on their governments that they would take care of them. If you traveled to the post-communist eastern European countries, you could hear a statement from older people (I no longer have an experience about today’s young generation) that it was a government fault (no matter what the issue was) that they failed in their lives.

It is no wonder. People lived under a strict rule of everything being managed by the government. The government took care of pre-schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges, market, regulated prices of everything, housing, your job and your vacation. Without government’s blessing you couldn’t travel, get a job of your dream, study a school of your choice, and pursue your happiness. If something went wrong, it was the government’s fault. But on top of that, you couldn’t say it out laud or you would end up in a concentration camp.

Today, the situation isn’t much different and people still think that it must be the government who must, by its nature, be responsible for their lives. They were raised up in such believes and ideology. They did not know that it could be different that there were other ways to live happy.

It makes me more surprised hearing similar claims from Americans themselves who were blessed enough to be born in a country which was established on democratic principles (although at that time not perfect and fragile) and the Constitution and those principles protect everyone’s rights, liberty, happiness and opportunities.

Every American has his own chance and opportunity to go and pursue his dream, if he or she has one. The beauty of this country is that you have that chance and if you go for your dream, in most cases you will reach it. There will not be any local government or federal government waiting for your money collected via thousands of different fees (and bribes), local business mafia (called lobby) which wouldn’t allow you to get into the business (one would say they dug the economic moat on their own state subsidized business) unless you accept and play their game, using clientelism, protectionism, and corruption. Just try it on your own in any other country and we can share our experiences.

What I have read on the internet this morning was a claim of a commenter that her government owes her her rights:

Most of the non wealthy that I know don’t possess a victim mentality either.
Although they do believe that they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I do believe that I am owed the chance by my government to attain such.
I might make $100k less than the “wealthy” but I find great happiness in life.
I might have been verbally abused as a child, molested etc., but I find happiness today & push out the memories of yesterday.
Sure, bad things happen in live, but I don’t believe that the “masses” have “victim mentality” in excess. There will always be some – but I’ve learned that they seem to be happy in their misery.

Emphasis added by me. Most of the time in the past I met many Americans who understood their country and appreciated the blessings it provides. These days, I am meeting more Americans whining about their life and their country. Where is the patriotism and proud to be American I always admired left? What happened to it?

I understand that economical situation is hard and a lot of people struggle, but that doesn’t mean that it is government’s fault that you struggle. Although I agree that it was the government and their improper intervenes into economy which got us into the economical mess we are experiencing, it also is not a reason to blame the government for our miserable life unless we tried the first and the last of what we could do to change it.

If we allow this to happen to us and start blaming everybody around us, as is typical in the post-communist countries, we will soon slip into a personal lethargy, apathy and unwillingness to do something for ourselves. We will become dependent to our breeders (in this case the government) and unable to take care of our own destiny.

The government owes you nothing and you do not owe the government anything either. Thinking that the government owes you something and is responsible for your life is a first step to everyone’s misery. You will never step out of that vicious circle of blaming the government, the weather, parents, bad roads, bad schools, bad neighborhood, bad health care, bad housing, bad (manipulated) market, bad (manipulated) stocks, and bad this and that. That’s not the way out. This country provides you with opportunities. Just spot them and grab them.

Believe me. I am an immigrant who came many years ago with nothing in his pocket. It was not “waiting for the government”, but hard work and seizing all opportunities provided to me, which made me rich (not by millions in a bank, but my life, work, family and house over our head). It is not a government, but you who can take care of you and make you rich, free, and happy.

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