For the past 70 or so years, increasing numbers of Americans have misplaced their trust. Instead of relying upon their families and communities, Americans have looked to government to solve social problems, from poverty to healthcare costs. This tendency has damaged our economy, and shown a great failing as a people.
To understand the history of dependency upon government, one should remember the Great Depression. America’s economy was devastated by the stock market crash of 1929, jobs were lost in record numbers, and people became desperate. They demanded that President Roosevelt act, and act he did. Countless government programs, collectively known as the New Deal, were established to combat problems such as unemployment.
However, it was not until World War II, and the drafting of many young men into the Armed Forces, that employment rates rose above pre-Depression levels. The new trust in government solutions was not over, however.
Despite the shortcomings of the New Deal, it paved the way for another government expansion in the 1960’s: The “Great Society.” President Johnson created massive new government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, which exist to this day. Medicare and Medicaid cost hundreds of billions of dollars per year, and are partially responsible for the outrageous healthcare costs in the United States. Americans trusted their government to address the issues of poverty and health care, and were saddled with massive spending and healthcare issues.
Not only has blind faith in government cost tax dollars, it has increased prices as well. During World War II, the Roosevelt Administration imposed limits upon how much businesses could pay employees. Business owners had to find new ways to attract workers, and many of them used health benefits and insurance. This meant that instead of simply shopping for healthcare and insurance like other products, people depended upon a “middle man” to acquire healthcare.
The result was that consumers had less reason to be cost-conscious, allowing companies to increase prices. The results of this “temporary” measure still contribute to healthcare costs. Yet again, Americans trusted the government to solve a social ailment and suffered the consequences for decades.
Washington, D.C. has a unique solution for the problems caused by their meddling: They want to meddle some more. The healthcare overhaul known as “Obamacare” was passed in response to increasing healthcare costs. President Obama promised Americans that under this law, “If you like your [insurance] plan, you can keep it.” Unfortunately, due the regulations within Obamacare, thousands of people have lost their insurance plan, or seen costs rise. America was deceived, yet again, by the belief that government is the answer to social issues. Due to this delusion, thousands more are now uninsured.
One can see at this point that our government is not the solution to society’s problems. We are. Christians, especially, should step up to the Biblical command to love and sacrifice for others, and love our neighbor as ourselves. If someone is in need, we should assist them ourselves, instead of depending on some far-off, uncaring behemoth in Washington. This could be as simple as providing a meal for someone, or it could involve disciplining children who are growing up without fathers. As followers of Christ, we should be the “first responders” to need and suffering.
– Andrew Rock, Contributing Writer