Today I am 60 years old. The Biblical standard for a lifetime is 120 years, so I am at the midpoint. I truly hope the second half will be as exciting as the first.
I grew up in the 1960s, and went to high school and college in the 70s. The list of big-impact events that took place during that time boggles the mind:
The Vietnam war. The assassination of JFK. (And RFK. And MLK.) The Cold War. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Civil rights. School integration and Bussing. Kent State. Watergate. Moonwalk. The Bicentennial. The Beatles. Earth Day. Woodstock. Hippies, communes, cults, and Eastern religion. The Iran hostage crisis. (Do you remember all these? How many have your kids even heard of?)
One of the best takeaways from that era is the notion of “questioning authority.” It is reported that Timothy Leary said this, but legend attributes it to Benjamin Franklin. Either way, it's more relevant today than it ever was.
If you had tried to sell somebody back then on the idea of government care cradle-to-grave, he would have thought you had taken too many drugs :) He would have set you straight and reminded you that What the Man giveth, the Man can taketh away.
And, the prospect of the government forcing you to buy something like medical insurance would be rejected out of hand. The “Man” can't tell you what to buy and what not to buy. Everybody knows that.
Today, too many people don’t know that. They are too quick to let the government do everything for them. People in their 20s, 30s, 40s - and even my age, sad to say - expect the government to provide everything from childcare to healthcare to eldercare. Of course, they forget that the bill for all these services will be sent to their children and grandchildren.
To me, making the next generation pay for our amenities is a very un-American thing to do. “Land of the free” means, among many things, freedom from the irresponsibility of your ancestors. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Ask your uncle Benny, the former hippie, if he agrees. He's a wise man.
Let’s toast to a future of booming American enterprise and self-sufficiency.
Happy New Year!