The World According to G: There Ain’t No Free Lunch

I recently visited my Father who is 92 and lives in Florida. He is a World War II veteran and a retired physician and still one of the smartest men I know. We talked about many things, watched lots of football games, and enjoyed each other’s company.

We talked about our country and what we think is “wrong” with it. He grew up and watched the Soviet Union grow from a 1917 revolution by fanatic Marxists to the break-up of the Soviet Union. The current rise of Russia seems to be a rebuilding of the Soviet state with its “Man of the Year” leader V. Putin. My Dad visited Poland in the 1970s and remarked that the communist country was poorly run and that socialism and socialized medicine resulted in poor health care, indifference among doctors, and not the “best and brightest” going into medicine. He says that he sees the same results happening in the United States with the Affordable Care Act (that’s Obamacare for those of you in Bloomington). My Dad feels that rewarding hard work and making good decisions is desirable for society and provides incentive to better oneself and strive for success. Yet he sees Progressives saying that doctors are overpaid and that they should treat people out of the goodness of their heart. He is amazed that Socialists (a synonym for Progressive for those of you in Bloomington) believe that the best and brightest students will go into medicine and be willing to accept a salary set by legislators who also think that doctors get paid too much.

My Dad grew up during the Great Depression and he remembers two important lessons from that time. One lesson from the Depression of the 1930s is that anyone who received assistance from the government was expected to work for that assistance. Somehow working for food or other assistance is now no longer necessary.  That breeds laziness, arrogance, distrust, and strains government coffers (that’s taxpayers for those of you in Bloomington). My Dad calls working for one’s wages or assistance as “There ain’t no free lunch.”

The second lesson my Dad learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s is that the Depression did not end because of Progressive policies pushed by the Roosevelt administration. The Second World War, according to my Dad, ended the Depression. While putting the unemployed to work did help some regain their self-esteem, the various programs and policies to steer the economy stunted research, stunted invention, stunted investment, and stunted job growth. The war provided reason to increase production and employ more people.

My time with my Dad reinforced the lessons that he has lived and taught to me over the years. I appreciate his candor and the many stories of the incredible people that helped him throughout his life. I take his comments and lessons to heart.  I hope that my children can understand my Dad’s experiences and viewpoints as strong counterpoints to the current Progressive reign that speeds these United States toward Socialism.

– G Dub Dub

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