by Larry Oxenham, Publisher
Reader Caroline sent this great Jewish story that applies to and explains so much about life today in America and much of the world.
In Israel there’s the Sea of Life and the Sea of Death.
The Galilee is the Sea of Life; it is alive.
The Dead Sea is, of course, Dead.
The Galilee never stops giving water.
The Dead Sea only receives water, but gives nothing in return.
Those who give are alive but those who only get are dead.
The Sea of Life always flows into the Sea of Death, it never stops.
Of course, ‘life’ and ‘death’ are used here metaphorically, but the comparison is so appropriate to the world, and America, today.
The Galilee is the working, productive members of society; the Dead Sea is those depending on the government for their income, lifestyle, expectations and motivation.
The Galilee, through taxes, gives to support those who do not produce.
Some do not produce because they can’t.
Some do not produce because they don’t want to.
Some do not produce because they don’t have to.
ALL WHO DO NOT PRODUCE DEPEND ON SOMEONE WHO DOES PRODUCE TO SUPPORT THEM.
But there is another element even more important:
THOSE WHO DO NOT PRODUCE ARE RARELY GRATEFUL FOR WHAT THEY RECEIVE/TAKE!
In fact, those who get something for free often believe they are entitled to more.
For example, I have several family members who have lived off the government for many years, mainly because they can – free money facilitates being lazy! – and every time I see them they complain they didn’t get a ‘raise’, that the money isn’t enough, and that they have to deal with the ‘stupid government‘ people to pick up their checks.
When schools run into a fiscal problem the ‘solution’ 100% of the time is more money.
When the homeless overrun a city, as they are doing in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the solution 100% of the time is more money.
When a government program, any government program, fails the solution is more money.
Many colleges and universities now include a ‘Foot Stamp Registration’ booth at their open houses to encourage as many students as possible to learn how easy it is to get government money.
Our Federal Government has put up billboards near the border telling immigrants, legal or not, to be sure to apply for food stamps and welfare once in the country.
There are many in America and the world today who believe those who produce have unlimited resources they can tap to ‘fix’ any problem.
And even talking about taking away something free – an entitlement – from those who receive it inspires more than just angst:
- Greece had riots recently when they threatened to lower benefit payments their citizens receive because the government is broke.
- France had strikes when they said they needed union employees to work more than 30 hours a week if France was to be competitive in the world markets.
- And in the US the Bernie Sanders’ followers are certain they are entitled to what others get and have the support of many in the Government and much of the US media.
- Recent protests demanding a $15 minimum wage did not include promises to get more educated or improve productivity.
THERE SEEMS TO BE AN EPIDEMIC OF ‘GIVE IT TO ME FREE’ IN THE WORLD TODAY.
But, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, “The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”
And, as the citizens of Venezuela recently learned, when you run out of money you run out of bread, and milk, and toilet paper! (And, by the way, the Wealthiest person in the country is Hugo Chavez’ daughter. Hmmm ….)
It seems to us there is a strong movement in the workplace, in politics, in academia and in the media today to portray those who produce as owing those who do not.
We have seen a massive growth in government in the past few years, one that seems to be accelerating; at some point in coming years the voters – that’s you and me – will have to decide if we want to control our lives or turn that control and our paychecks over the government.
The people of Britain just ‘staged’ an emphatic protest against centralized government, taxes without corresponding value, and the ability to make their own economic pathway.
No matter what direction the people choose, no matter how much they give, those who receive will remind us ‘it is never enough’.
But the Sea of Galilee is a fixed body of water unable to provide unlimited benefits to the population that is the Dead Sea.
Maybe one day the Kardashian viewing will go down and the collective intelligence will rise … but then again, maybe now.
Your thoughts are welcomed …