This is a post about evil capitalists, swindling America's young, and the looming fiscal cliff. People better at memorizing and crunching numbers than Uncle Cephas have warned us right and left of the dire consequences of going over the Fiscal Cliff, and I have no reason to doubt that such pundits know what they're talaking about. However, Uncle Cephas sees a silver lining in this cloud.
Yes, I will get hurt if we go over the fiscal cliff. Already, slightly less than half of the few thousands I take in from freelance translating get chiseled at by differing levels of national, state, and local government, since with the "self-employed" translator's hat on my head, I'm supposedly an evil, blood-sucking, capitalist parasite leeching off the blood of society's poor unfortunates. As a professional swindler of the young--oops, high school social studies teacher--I'm already in a tax bracket that's too high to be missed.
But, just maybe, this event will give the American people an important lesson: that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Every year that I have taught local, state, and national government, I give a simple mini-lesson that sometimes succeeds in making at least a few teens serious about owning their educations. I ask the class if they've ever been told that they're getting a free education. About half of the hands in the room will go up. I then tell these teens that they've been lied to, for their educations are being paid for by all the property owners in the county, including their own parents (if they're homeowners), landlords (if the kids are renters), the people who own the stores where they like to hang out, etc.
Perhaps the lesson learned will be the wrong one. There's a good likelihood that the Communists and their ilk will get a new lease on life by blaming the rich and calling for that class (everyone in a tax bracket higher than mine) to be "eaten". And we'll probably have riots of those resentful over seeing their entitlements cut.
But I'm praying (and I am a believer) that God will be merciful and Americans will stop and consider that when the government gives, it also takes. I pray that the country will wake up and realize that if society's poor unfortunates are to be supported out of public funds, the rest of society needs to produce in order to be open-handed to those in need. And, perhaps, some will wake up to realize that maybe it would be better for those who actually know individual poor people in question take up responsibility for providing help, rather than expecting a distant bureaucrat to have the answers.
Maybe we're too far gone. Maybe what will happen to the USA after hitting the fiscal cliff will be God recognizing that he now owes an apology to Sodom, Gomorrah, Egypt, Babylon, and the corrupt kings of ancient Israel and Judah. But, just maybe, the USA will realize that it needs to heed the hard lesson it is getting.