Editor's Note: Gen LaGreca appeared on CNN Headlines News on February 11, 2008, in response to interest in this article.
March 2008 -- Too many Americans are losing the ability to take care of themselves and are instead looking to the government to run their lives for them, in the tax-gouging, liberty-killing system called the welfare state.
Too many Americans seem willing to replace the life of proud American eagle, flying alone and free, with that of a hapless chicken penned in a coop, waiting to be fed. The welfare state has all but squashed the essential skill of our survival: the skill of taking responsibility for our own lives.
Although we are besieged by self-help guides of every kind—from how to train a parakeet, to how to cook pasta, to how to combat addictions to alcohol, or obsessive ’Net surfing, or other disorders—there is one guide to personal improvement that is conspicuously absent from today’s cultural scene. It’s a guide that statist politicians and the groups that support them do not want us to discover. It’s a guide to curing the worst dependency of all: the urge to satisfy one’s needs by dipping his hand into the wallet of his taxpaying neighbor.
To combat this affliction and to rediscover the meaning of freedom, we need a “Self-Help Guide to Living in a Free Society.” It might read something like this:
To live in a free society, each person must embrace the responsibility for his own life that comes with freedom. To defeat the creeping tyranny of the welfare state, we must rediscover the founding principle of America: the power, the moral rightness, and the glory of the individual as the master of his fate and the captain of his soul.