The Ant and the Tsunami Victims: A Marxist Perspective

by: Nancy Salvato

Bring on the hate mail. I know I’ll be receiving plenty of it from the people who don’t want to hear what I’m going to say. To begin with, I’m tired of the hard working people in the United States playing Atlas to those who don’t plan beyond the moment or to those who believe that the rest of the world exists to bail them out when they encounter disaster.

Government spending of citizens’ hard earned tax dollars to bail out every victim of disaster, poor business practice, or persons lacking in motive to overcome adversity has led to a greatly expanded welfare state and unnecessary regulation of private industry predicated on the idea that the government knows the best way to spend our money and that we exist to take care of those “deemed” unable to meet the demands of society as we know it.

Under Attack

Communism, which forces individuals to sacrifice their own interests for the good of the state, was allegedly defeated at the close of the Cold War. Yet our personal and intellectual freedoms are still under attack by many who play on the collective guilt of those who have achieved wealth through hard work and enterprise; suggesting that they be required to contribute a greater share of their hard earned dollars to take care of those
who are not doing as well -without any expectation of return on their money.

It has just come to my attention that Kerry Sieh, a professor of geology at California Institute of Technology, “repeatedly warned Indonesian officials ┬áthat an earthquake and tsunami would soon strike their shores.” Because these officials weren’t acting on the warnings, he and his teams began warning people directly. Unfortunately, he couldn’t reach all of the people in time.

Now I have complete and utter sympathy for the people who have suffered and lost loved ones due to this tragedy, but I also feel resentment that because their government didn’t heed the warnings that other countries have to bail them out.

Irresponsible Actions

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. On any given day, you can be sure that people are rebuilding their homes in areas of known mud slides, hurricane force winds, and tornado alleys. People are eating fast foods, not taking care of their bodies, and driving cars irresponsibly. While it is no concern of mine that anyone should want to do such things, it becomes my burden when the government pays the disaster relief or Medicaid costs of those
who choose to put themselves in harms way or allows exorbitant punitive damages to be awarded, raising everyone’s insurance rates.

We should not bail out individuals who do not use “common sense” or corporations like Chrysler, who does not practice fiscal responsibility. Who can say what might’ve happened to GM and Ford had we let events unfold as a true capitalist society mandates. We should not regulate some areas but leave others up to chance. The government should not involve itself in areas of private industry – period.

Free Market and Freedom

In a true free market, the cream rises to the top. Others will adjust to succeed. Those willing to work will survive one way or another. Those truly unable will be the beneficiaries of the generosity of a people driven to success.

We are not a welfare state. We are a free country and freedom means that you can build your house on a cliff or on the shore or even next to power lines. But with that freedom comes responsibility -for your self. Buy more insurance, find storage for your valuables on safer ground, but don’t expect me to pay for your lack of concern or foresight. If I choose to contribute a sum of money to a charity on your behalf, that is up to me. Not up to the government.

Should a person be made to feel guilty for living like the Ant instead of running around like the Grasshopper, who in the original fable dies because he does not live in a collectivist society which exists to take care of him no matter what? The moral of that fable is lost when those sworn to uphold the Constitution no longer believe it protects a person’s individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Nancy Salvato is the Director of Online Communications at Americans for Limited Government. She is an experienced educator and an independent contractor with Prism Educational Consulting. She serves as Educational Liaison for Illinois’ 23rd Senatorial District. She works nationally and locally furthering the cause of Civic Education. Her writing is widely published on the internet and occasionally in print venues such as the Washington Times. Her opinions have been heard on select radio programs across the nation. Additionally, her writing has been recognized by the US Secretary of Education.

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