the late, great Sam Cooke's pardon, the classic song he and Charles
Cooke co-wrote may soon be revised to reflect twenty-first century
With barely a whimper, America -- and many other world
nations -- has joined a march that is reminiscent of this great 1960 pop
song. Those in charge of "fiscal spending" have been so eager to skim
AMAP (as much as possible) under several guises, have created a scenario
eerily similar to Great Depression days.
Today's unemployed may
not 'ride the rails' -- after all, the heavily subsidized railroads no
longer pass through rural neighborhoods where kindhearted folk dare
share meals with hobos whose presence may signal something far more
ominous than a simple meal in the offing.
As the number of acres
planted to food- and fiber-growing crops in America shrinks -- but is
expected to grow more per acre to feed/shelter more consumers per acre
-- the regulatory burden on America's farmers, ranchers, lumberers,
etc., increases exponentially. The average age of resource providers is,
itself, aging, as America's youth seeks another means of making a
living, one that barely resembles the dreams and goals of just a
generation or two ago.
Like the doctor of old, who did not
specialize in any one facet of medicine, but who practiced most --
resource providers no longer "just farm" or "just ranch." Instead, many
of today's rural families boast several children and grandchildren with a
variety of college degrees in many areas of expertise. Just managing
the farm finances means having a savvy set of eyes trained on that one
area of knowledge. Another might be the health and well-being of the
farm's livestock. A third could be the marketing arenas in which the
Meanwhile, in distant Washington, D.C., the wheels
of government still grind. Unfortunately for many, those wheels seem to
be forcing the outsourcing of natural resource utilization to other
countries, countries whose bar is not set by federal agencies enforcing
legislation like the "Endangered Species Act," "Clean Water Act," "Clean
Air Act," etc.
One example is Energy Recovery, Inc., whose March
5, 2012, article, touts two major mining plants in Chile where "The
mining industry in Chile is growing. We are pleased that, to date, ERI has been selected for the vast majority of desalination projects in Chile for mining applications."
the American tax base is further eroded by land leaving the tax rolls
-- in the form of more national parks and other non-producing resource
areas -- American camels (taxpayers) feel the straw burden steadily
increasing, expecting them to 'take up the slack.' There is little
wiggle room left.
"The news" reports almost daily of the
staggering number of homes in foreclosure, their owners set out like
non-paying renters. Where does this leave a growing number of people --
who owe debts, but no longer have homes, jobs, etc., to show for their
Enter the modern-day version of the chain gang --
low-wage, little-or-no benefits jobs that are snapped up by those in
dire straits, needing "almost any job" just to keep the wolf pack from
the rented door. Plastic -- in the form of credit cards -- has been made
so easy to use that record numbers of people are now ball-and-chained
to the owners of their cards.
Is there a cure for this situation
and the ever-mounting debt burden impinging upon every man, woman and
child, and all "future generations"? I believe in miracles, though these
hurdles may seem insurmountable. One requirement is to learn how to
climb from that hole in which many of us find ourselves. It seems
simplistic, but the sage advice: "Stop digging!" is a great start.
People do not need government to coddle them and wrap them in
unrealistic safety measures. Instead, people need to dust off those
overtaxed brains and engage them in optimistic, independent, 'strait and
narrow' goal-setting. We do not need a 'nanny state.' We need far less
than we've come to think is required in our lives.
way to show the difference between continuing down the slippery slope to
"future third world country" is to make two lists. One list shows the
things we actually need. The other -- and the one most painful to face
-- itemizes the things we merely want, or thing we must have.
old Sam Cooke song may be easy to sing along with, but it's not a
scenario we'd want to live. In the fifty years since the song, "Chain
Gang," first hit the radio airwaves, we've been on a collision course
with that chain gang. It's time to decide whether to put our entire
families to work on the 'chain gang' -- or to learn to live a different,
Julie Kay Smithson
Julie Kay Smithson, property rights
/ natural resources researcher since 1999. Subscribe to my efforts
today & learn how to protect your property rights!