The Bigger the Government the Smaller the Citizen

Bigger the Government In the United States of America, we have always known that once the government gets bigger and has a greater role in our lives, the worse it is for us as individuals and society. And the fact that we knew that, was the key to America’s greatness. We have always known that free individuals are supposed to be important and have big roles in society, but that is impossible once the government gets bigger.

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and author Dennis Prager originally coined the phrase: “The bigger the government the smaller the citizen.”

Everything  about the individual becomes less important once the government gets bigger. Individuality gets smaller. Liberty gets smaller. Human character gets smaller. Happiness gets smaller. Even goodness gets smaller.

This idea of big government was never an issue until modern times when concepts of European values have come in to our country. Selling the notion that when the government gets bigger, our society gets better.

That is not the case.

We have always known that we have to have self-responsibility and take care of ourselves. But once the government takes a larger role in our lives, we start to rely on the government to take care of us instead of taking the responsibility to do it ourselves. That is why it is very common in Western Europe (with their big governments) for people to live with their parents until the age of 30. When the government gets bigger, it is no longer that we have to take responsibility and be independent. We rely on the government to do that for us. The idea of taking care of ourselves is a moral demand. We are in fact commanded by G-d to do so. Hillel says: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”

This also means that when the government gets bigger, the less we do for one another. That is because we also depend on the government to take care of our fellow citizens. We have always known that we are supposed to take care of and help our loved ones and then help others in our community. But when the government gets bigger, we count on the government to do that. In most parts of Europe, if you want to take care of you parents you have to go to the government! The idea of the government taking care of our parents is so distant from us Americans. We are in fact commanded by G-d to “Honor thy Father and thy Mother.” But that is impossible as government gets bigger because we start to depend more on the government to take care of our fellow ones. That is why Americans volunteer far more hours and give much more charity than Western Europeans. I believe that it is doing good to take care of others and it is doing good to give charity for the world.

When we have government take care of us and give us so many benefits, we start to tell ourselves that there is no need to work since government is giving us all we need. This also tells us that there is not any reason to work hard for anything since government will fulfill all of our needs in life.

When we have government give so many benefits in order to take care of our lives, we start to feel entitled to the benefits we get. In other words, we start to depend on the free benefits that the government provides us. And once we do not get these things that we are entitled to, we will become very unhappy people. That is why there are so many riots in Europe over the fact that they did not get some of the benefits they felt entitled to.

When people work hard for their earnings, the chances are that they will be more grateful for what they have. People who are grateful are happier people. There is not one happy person in the world who is ungrateful. People who are grateful and happy end up giving more to others. However, when people feel entitled to things instead of working for them and are given something for nothing, the chances are that you will produce ungrateful people. People will be focusing on what more the government can give them instead of feeling grateful. Therefore, instead of feeling appreciative for something, you will feel as if you are owed more. Ingratitude produces unhappy people and does not make a better world.

Once we rely on government to take care of all of our needs and troubles in life, we start to worry about other things such as where we can travel on vacation. We no longer have to worry about working or having to take care of ourselves and our family when government gets bigger since government will do it for us. Our preoccupations start to become more self-centered such as having more vacation time. That is why there are constant riots and protest in Western Europe over receiving more vacation time from the state. Many people also try to prevent working, since working is considered pain to be avoided rather than a duty when being taken care of from the state, that is the reason why there are riots over lowering the retirement age in Europe.

The bigger the government, the less our character develops. Big government is not an American value, it is a European value. The founders of the United States never envisioned a country with a big government, but it was what the founders of the Welfare States of Europe wanted. Whichever one you think is better; it is your choice.

The American Value System

e-pluribus-unumWhen we think about the United States of America, people usually think of it as being a concept.  And it is! Whenever people see something as going against what America stands for, it is usually known as ‘un-American.’ However, if something goes against what France stands for, as an example, it is not referred to as ‘un-French.’ That is because America is an idea.

Many in the world have, at some point in their life heard about ‘American Exceptionalism.’ Moreover, America is known to be exceptional in the world mainly because of the ‘American Value System.’

Whenever you ask an American the question, “What is the American Value System?”, they may give you a ten-minute speech or what their views on it are, but, in fact, it can be seen on any coin. And they are three different terms that only America stands for: Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.

These values are the key to building a good society and making people do good for the world.

Liberty:

The United States was the world’s first free country and it is the only country with the desire to spread freedom throughout the world. Americans have fought for freedom throughout our history, and it has never been so precious as it is today, with many who wish to replace our American values with values from Western Europe.

Liberty requires people to take responsibility for themselves and to earn money to support their families. It also requires people to pursue their dreams and goals in life through hard work and commitment. However, this also means that failure may be okay. In order to learn and improve when working for your goals in life, you need to fail in order to learn from the mistakes you make. Without having the ability to fail, there is no freedom. The only way to prevent failure is to have government take care of you and stop you from failing.

This notion of preventing failure has been tried in America today such as in public youth sports leagues. I will never forget my brother and I receiving trophies when we got last place in our soccer games. Even the kids who didn’t play received a trophy! This may seem like a nice thing to do, but the truth is it teaches children to forget about the notion that if you want to succeed you have to work hard. It tells them that you don’t need to try hard in order to do well because failure is prohibited in life, while we need to teach our children to never give up in order to pursue their goals. It also has kids thinking highly of themselves without having anything to merit thinking highly of themselves. The truth is that when these children go out in life in hopes of earning money, they need these ethics of hard work and commitment in order to succeed. Moreover, there have been many successful people who have failed before in life before succeeding. (i.e. Write brothers)

When people work hard for their earnings, they will have most probably gained the most important quality in human life: gratitude. When you try you hardest in order to earn something in life, the chances are that you will feel more grateful for these things. Grateful people are happier, and they feel as if they have a moral obligation to help others around the world and to do good. That is why Americans give more charity that any other citizens of any other country in the world.

In God We Trust:

When our founders gave so much freedom to the American people, they knew that they would abuse it unless they had something to constrain them from doing evil. That is why the second in the American trinity is God.

The United States was founded on the basis of Judeo-Christian values. I truly believe that these values as well as the belief in God is the force behind why America has been the best force for good the world has ever known. It seems that America has a moral obligation to fight evil in the world and bring freedom to others living in tyranny.  And sometimes, the truth is that the only way to stop evil in the world is to fight evil. The only reason I could think of to not to fight evil is to be loved by the world because if you are a strong country, you will never be loved in the world. The opposite is being taught in our different schools and universities. Teaching people that instead of fighting evil, fighting is evil. Thus it has taught people to come up with naive slogans such as “war is not the answer.” Death camps were liberated by the United States military, not peace activists.

The United States has had the urge to liberate other countries such as Korea and half of Vietnam. The truth is that Americans die for others so that other people around the world can also have a chance to pursue happiness and live in freedom and safety.

Our Judeo-Christian values are also a reason why Americans give so much. In fact, we are commanded by religion to take care of others and ourselves.

If America were gone today, the ideas of liberty and goodness would lose in the world because no other country has risked so many lives to fight for the cause of freedom.

E Pluribus Unum:

President John F Kennedy once said that no other nation has called itself a “nation of immigrants” as America has. Anywhere you go in the United States you will see people of different backgrounds. In fact it is actually strange to not see someone from a foreign country with an accent. They don’t even have to speak English and they will still be considered American.

If you are Chinese, you are Chinese because you have parents who are Chinese. There is no other way to be considered Chinese, even if you are not Chinese becoming a citizen of China. However, if you are Chinese becoming a citizen of the U.S., you could be considered American in a day!

E Pluribus Unum, meaning for many one, has gone away from the significance of race, ethnicity, and blood.

Our society today, especially from the Left, has started to drift from E Pluribus Unum, replacing it with multiculturalism. This can be seen in the case of affirmative action where special treatment of admission is given to people of color. Furthermore, this gives the intention to them as if they are different and that they couldn’t get there on their own.

Before in America, every citizen of the U.S. was treated as equally American, and color was irrelevant to the society. History of left-wing policies shows that every policy decision is based on what feels good instead of what might happen in the long term. In this case, the consequences are that you will have people thinking as if they are different and not equally intelligent as people of a different color. I hope that someday we return to our motto of E Pluribus Unum.

It seems that we are forgetting what our country stands for. Many in this country are starting to adopt European values instead of American values. We have to learn and be able to articulate what the best country in the history of the world stands for. If we fail to do that, the best system ever constructed to make a good society will be lost.

We cannot just do whatever makes us feel good in life; we have to also do good. Join me in keeping America, as Abraham Lincoln said, “the last best hope on Earth.”