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August 14, 2019

A World Without Consequences

Patricia A. Kelly

That’s where we’re headed. Prosecutors in some areas are refusing to prosecute what they call minor crimes, often related to drugs. It’s okay to have three ounces of weed in Seattle, not to mention to shoot up or defecate on the street.  Similarly in San Francisco and Los Angeles.


City responses to their “homeless” crises are to decry housing prices, blaming “greedy” developers and landlords, and suggest that giving people more stuff, such as free – or low-priced – housing is the answer. Do you think the homeless people defecating, or shooting up, on the streets will find their new bathrooms, or turn over a new leaf?


So, setting up camp, defecating and shooting up on the streets is a cry for government assistance rather than a crime, even though it’s a crime. No one seems to get that facilitating crime only encourages it. Sometimes hitting bottom rather than being coddled is what leads people to make change or seek help with their own behaviors. That makes the requirement to follow the law a good thing for them, rather than greedy, selfish or mean.


It's another example, also, of the will of the discomfiting minority taking precedence over the wish of normal working citizens to go about their business, shopping, playing and working without stepping in feces, or on needles, or being harassed when in public. Worse, this teaches children that terrible behavior has no consequences.


I remember well that day in first grade when I “lifted” a beautiful, metallic blue pencil from a classmate’s desk.  I received terrible consequences, the most memorable being my mom taking the pencil away from me because it was too short to use at school. That was because it took me so long to work up the courage to steal it.


I’ve never forgotten the lesson. Stealing is wrong. Other people’s stuff belongs to them. I should not be rewarded with an even better pencil because of the suffering I endured seeing that pencil in someone else’s hands and being deprived of it myself.


Leftist policies, including repayment of all (voluntary) student loans; the right to break laws and infringe upon normal society; the right to be treated as an American citizen after sneaking in; the right to “free” health care as people who earn and pay for it lose theirs, all come down to the same thing, the right to make any choice you want, without facing either consequences or rewards for your actions.


What could be worse, and what could lead more into lives of emptiness for all?


Consequences are one of the world’s best teachers. If you won’t get out of bed to make it, you won’t get breakfast. If you won’t take advantage of your “free” education, you won’t be prepared to create a home for yourself as an adult.


We’re a rich country. We should, as a society, demonstrate compassion and provide care for the helpless. Our other social efforts should be directed toward empowering people to take care of themselves.


That’s America, and that’s why America has worked. People who came here worked to make their way and to be independent. Now it seems, at the highest level, this is considered mean. In fact, it’s more like the “Tough Love” program for raising children wherein being bad doesn’t get you what you want.


If you get into trouble in school and your parents blame the teacher for punishing you, they’re not helping you at all. Having time to cool your heels while on restriction at home will motivate you to do better next time and bring you purpose and happiness as you succeed.


This reminds me of a joke about a teacher who, in order to teach his class about socialism, decided to give everyone the same grade on tests, the average of all test scores. Over time, that average grade decreased from B to F, as the good students stopped studying, not wishing to share their efforts with the lazy ones. Poor students resented the drop in their grades, but didn’t begin studying.


Why should anyone repay their student loan or work their way through the higher education system? If they vote for Andrew Yang for president, they’ll get an income without lifting a finger.


Someone on the side of student loan forgiveness said that paying off those loans would allow former students to buy houses and cars instead of paying their debts. Would that mean borrowing? Who would pay it?


People need both limits and opportunities. Laws provide them, and, of course, laws and their enforcement should be fair for all.


Consequences and rewards: that’s how we roll.


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