Sunday, April 24, 2016

It's Official - America is Out of Problems

Years ago, the insightful Mrs. Graybeard came up with an interesting theory behind the epidemic of gang violence in this country.  Perhaps it was born from talking with a friend's high-school age daughter who had just returned from a year long mission trip to Uganda, and told us of how earnestly and seriously those kids go to school.  How they'll do anything to get an education; compared to her peers in an American high school the previous year who acted like studying was doing their parents or "society" a favor.  Perhaps it was an NPR story, similar in tone, about Indian children who work in factories putting the flammable heads on matches and desperate actions to get them into schools.

The conclusion was that Americans have it too easy.  It led Mrs. Graybeard to theorize that instead of having to "hunt and gather", meals are provided at school or EBT cards are handed out to vast numbers (almost 50 million).  With the time on their hands that might have been spent hunting, they turn to hunting each other, giving their predatory instincts an expression.  Dominance posturing that might have been done with mock fights, like some animals, or by collecting shiny baubles like Bowerbirds, turn into death matches over gang turf.  Same instinct, more malignant in expression. 

I don't know if that's really true or not, and I'm not advocating for a return to child labor.  What's more, I don't even know how to test the idea, but columnist Derek Hall of writes a piece with a similar theme, saying "We're Out of Problems".
It’s 2016, right? I hope so because that’s the year I put on my check when I paid my taxes.

That’s means we’re at around 6,000 years or so of recorded human history, right? Add to that that thousands of years unrecorded before that, and you realize people have been around here for a while. Yet, in the year 2016, we find ourselves in a heated debate over what is or isn’t a man or a woman.
Seriously, he says, we must be out of problems.  That's not to say that individual people don't have problems, but that Western society - especially American society - is out of problems.
Since we are out of problems – we have food, shelter, medicine, etc. – we’ve decided not to celebrate but rather to create problems out of thin air.  
For example, the left rambles incessantly about "income inequality".  Of course incomes aren't equal, that's meaningless.  But no one stole income from someone else.  To think so is laughably juvenile.  The left always seems to believe the economic pie is so limited in size that if one person has a larger slice, it must mean they took pie from someone else.  Conservatives always believe we can make more pies, and we're surrounded with proof of that idea.  Derek Hall talks about Mark Zuckerburg from the "Book of Faces".  While I dislike the company and don't have an account, Hall is 100% right when he says,
Mark Zuckerberg is not worth $35 billion because you aren’t, or because anyone else isn’t. He didn’t take $35 from a billion people. His wealth was created, not taken. Earned – a concept we used to understand and celebrate, but now go out of our way to scorn.
It's worth repeating that the poor in this country have more material wealth than much of the world.  Certainly they have more material possessions than were common even a generation ago.
Many of our nation’s poor are fat, lazy and satisfied. They have flat screen TVs and cable, microwaves and Internet, and all the food they need. Even our homeless have cellphones. Because we don’t have to wake every day to forage for food and hope some simple scrape won’t lead to an infection that kills us, we’re afforded the luxury of feeling cheated by someone having more. 
It's a good piece and worth a read.  Last words to Hall:
Just imagine how bad things would be if we had real problems…
(Indian children working in a match factory - Getty Images)


  1. Always nice to see someone put things in a logical, well reasoned piece. won't stop the screaming from the leftists and liberals who remind me of the neighborhood busybody who just has to have *something* to stick her nose into.

  2. I think we are in for a rude awakening. I believe that once again the new generation will get the opportunity to become "the greatest generation". It won't be pretty and I am not sure they are up for the challenge. But the challenge is coming ready or not.

  3. This is a frequent conversation in our house. That there is no actual 'suffering' today to teach humility and empathy and it's all false platitudes.

    It's a giant contradiction; "there are no problems". Progressives have spawned a whole batch of new problems and only they can "solve" them. We just view them through the lens of normalcy bias and since we aren't uncomfortable enough, and since people aren't dropping dead from in the streets from death, disease or actual survival, we do nothing.

    If karmic justice (God) has anything to say about it, this is going to be corrected. One can not serve two masters.

  4. My aunt has a friend from Zimbabwe. She met her in a park where apple trees grow and many apples fall and lay on the ground. The lady asked my aunt if she could take the apples without being arrested; she said it was a shame to waste them. Aunt was momentarily surprised into silence but finally said that she thinks it would be all right. A conversation and a long friendship proceeded from that first perspective-changing encounter! The lady, a wife of a student of a near-by university, has taught us about our good fortune in the USA. Parents in her country make incredible efforts to give their children an education; waste is shameful. But she couldn't believe our freedoms and at first was afraid when she heard tv commentators criticize the president (GW Bush at that time). She taught us a great lesson in appreciation.