Posted: July 20, 2011
America’s moral compass
A list of things we must rememberBy John Heckers
The ideologues in Washington are getting very close to causing our country to default on many promises it has made to many people. This will dramatically affect your job, whether you have a job now, are in business now, or are looking for employment. People will lose jobs, the economy will go into a double dip recession (or worse), and businesses will go bankrupt - maybe yours - as billions are pulled out the economy.
There are some important things I believe we have forgotten as a nation. These forgotten things are what made this nation great. If we do not remember them, we will, indeed, be nothing better than a Third World America. Here is a list of the things I believe we, as a nation, must remember.
1). The needs of the vulnerable must trump the needs (and wants) of the powerful. The unemployed, the poor, the disabled, children, battered women, elders, and others who are the most vulnerable must be looked after before multi-millionaires and billionaires. It is plain wrong that the deficit is being balanced on the backs of these folks when some in Congress are unwilling to close tax loopholes for the very wealthy, corporate jets, and the nation's most profitable corporations. It is shameful that we are giving corporations welfare when we, as a nation, are unwilling to help the vulnerable among us. It is both immoral and un-American.
2). Jobs matter more than light bulbs. Do you know what Congress was doing last week while the nation's solvency hangs in the balance? They were debating the repeal of a Bush-era law that is phasing out energy-hogging incandescent light bulbs. Yep! Instead of fixing our debt problem or putting together a program to get Americans back to work, Rep. Peter King of NY introduced a repeal of this law, saying that it infringed on "personal freedom" to save the country billions of dollars in energy costs through phasing out an inefficient, heat producing and often dangerous product. Please!
3). "Personal Freedom" is not absolute. There are some in this country who narcissistically believe that they should be able to do whatever they wish to do in the name of "personal freedom." I hate to tell you this, but that is not patriotism. That is anarchy. All of us who live with others have many limits and boundaries, rightfully so, to our personal freedom.
4). Everyone must pay his or her fair share. There is not one person in America who does not pay taxes in one form or another, including the homeless. But there are those whose income is taxed at a very low percentage rate, or even at a 0 percent rate. It is the very wealthy who have lawyers and bought and paid for elected officials to keep them from having to pitch in. Anyone with two working brain cells knows that this is immoral and wrong. So why do our elected officials keep them from paying taxes? To quote Ross Perot, "Follow the money!"
5). Government is not always the solution, but sometimes it is. There is a belief among certain folks that private industry is somehow sacred and government is always evil. Sometimes the private sector is the solution. Sometimes government is the solution. Sometimes either government or the private sector are the problem. But this ideological fanaticism that sees everything the private sector does as right and everything government does as wrong is just crazy.
6). It is time for a jobs program. People need to work. If we wait for "the market" we'll be waiting a very long time. Our government has a responsibility to "the general welfare." That is from the most radical and liberal document ever written: The United States Constitution. Putting people to work should be the absolute priority of our government, not reducing the deficit, not debating light bulbs, and not discussing Michelle Obama's hamburger choice.
7). We cannot have a good economy with crumbling infrastructure. America is crumbling! This means that people, especially those who can afford it, will have to pony up some taxes to keep bridges from collapsing (as many have) and highways from falling apart. America needs repair!
I am sure that these reminders of what America should be will not sit well with everyone. But I'll bet they sit well with the majority of Americans. In fact, polls show that they do. Elections, indeed, have consequences. Let us hope that the consequences do not include the destruction of the United States of America.
Join John and Nicole Heckers and Nicole Raphael Monday, July 25th at the DAC, for "Making Money and Finding Success Through Real Spiritual Principles." For more info and to register go here.
John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.