To the Editor:
I once asked a gentleman why he placed so much reliance on government and he replied, “Because your life can turn on a dime.” To me, that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A recent example can be found in the recent problems with electronic bank transfers for food assistance. For these people, life did indeed turn on that dime. In the time it took to say “system down,” they went from being able to walk into the grocery store and purchase their whims to not being able to put food on the table. Dependency placed them in a very vulnerable position.
Dependency is as much a mindset as it is a financial position. Those that ascribe to personal responsibility were better able to weather that storm because they took the time to practice restraint, watch the sales flyers, and cut coupons. They opt to methodically build upon their pantry staples. When the system went down, they were prepared. They may have failed to get that gallon of milk, but their family was not going to go hungry.
This exposure to vulnerability is not limited to individuals. During the government shutdown, when the White House ordered the park closed and the Pisgah Inn to cease operations, it had a ripple effect because so much of our area’s prosperity is based on tourism.
The good news is that our citizens rallied to support the Pisgah Inn and both North Carolina and Tennessee decided to use state funds to reopen the park and preserve our local economy. The bad news is that both of these measures were reactive versus proactive.
We must be like the individual I noted above and keep staples in the pantry. The state must reconsider the current political power structure and revenue stream. It is as if we send a whole pig to D.C. then beg for a few strips of bacon for our compliance.
In 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, ... reduces us to a single consolidated government, it would become the most corrupt government on the earth.”
A bureaucrat in D.C. does not know you as a neighbor or friend, but rather as a statistic and a nuisance to be dismissed. As Brian Roberts stated in a recent piece regarding our politicians in D.C., “They are ignoring you, return the favor.” We must reclaim our state’s authority granted under the Tenth Amend-ment. If we do not change our level of dependency upon the federal government we will always be vulnerable to its decrees. After all, it was the states that created the federal government, not the other way around.