Era of respect and personal responsibility needed

By Marion Anderson
Posted 3/9/09

As the days get longer, the anticipation of spring and its promise of rebirth gives wings to the spirit. Joy is found in the simple things, and the mind wonders as it wanders.   What this …

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Era of respect and personal responsibility needed


As the days get longer, the anticipation of spring and its promise of rebirth gives wings to the spirit. Joy is found in the simple things, and the mind wonders as it wanders.  

What this country needs is an era of respect as well as one of personal responsibility rather than expansive and intrusive government intervention. Respect for individuals, for what history teaches, for education and true knowledge, for the strengths and moral underpinnings of our national character or culture, and for the foundations of our economic success, which are rooted in rewards for responsible and meritorious achievement.

To disapprove of someone’s actions is not to disapprove of that person; it is to expect better from them in a given situation. To commit a foolish or stupid act does not make one foolish or stupid unless one does not learn from this mistake. To disagree about how to achieve a stated goal is not necessarily to dispute the goal itself but the means by which to achieve it. Alternative approaches produce differing long-term outcomes.

All opinions are not equal. While everyone is entitled to an opinion, the voice of the more experienced and learned carries more weight in any serious argument. Unfortunately, political power in a free society does not always reside with the most knowledgeable, experienced and honorable.

Is the public right-of-way for temporary emergency parking and truck turnarounds or for private use? One sees more and more private vehicles parked along the I-70 exit ramp areas for long periods of time — sometimes hours, sometimes days. When it is used for personal convenience or private parking alternatives, we involuntarily convert public emergency space to private use.  Why is this abuse not cited by public safety officers for violation of purpose?

If the developer of a ski area invests in the installation of extensive lighting and snow-making equipment, do you believe him when he says he does not plan to use these improvements for night skiing and snow making? If that same developer plans to provide 100 parking spaces but anticipates demand for twice that number, who is responsible for the additional space requirement? Should the public right-of-way be open to parking for private profit? Further, how does increased traffic impact local traffic safety, density and flows in the residential community surrounding it? Is the long-established residential community to be compromised for the benefit of a new start-up? Where is respect and responsibility in this situation?

Much attention is paid to saving our natural environment; good stewardship demands attention to balance and use. If one destroys what is effectively a natural shield and filter against noise and air pollution, a privacy fence and guardrail, a flood control system as well as wildlife cover, what do you have left? Foul air, noise, erosion, blight, barrenness and openness to trespass. Destruction of roadside vegetation appears to be more about politics than public safety.

Freedom is not license. Freedom means opportunity for choice and assuming responsibility for the consequences. The responsible person seeks to make the best possible choices for himself and his community. Freedom does not give anyone license to exploit or abuse others in the exercise thereof.  

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” —Margaret Thatcher

There are three basic economic systems in today’s world. Simply stated, capitalism is when the means of production and distribution are privately owned and there is limited government regulation; markets determine price and availability of production to consumers. Capitalism always provides the greatest return to society in terms of job opportunities and tax revenue because capital and other assets move freely; our democracy is built upon it.

Socialism is when the state controls (but does not always own) the means of producing and distributing goods, setting various production levels, prices and distribution policies. Social democracies like those in Europe exercise economic control through regulation; closing a failing business requires government permission. There are limited opportunities for alternative employment along with stifled economic growth because capital is not free to move at will.

Communism is when the state owns and controls all the means of production and distribution and creates a classless society — i.e., one in which the state takes from each according to his ability to produce and gives to each according to his needs (as perceived by those in power). This economic system is found in totalitarian societies. All consumer choices are limited by government edict, severely restricting economic opportunities and growth.

We have the best economic system in the world for sustaining a free and opportunity-rich way of life. Let us be wise enough to preserve it!

Marion Anderson has lived in Clear Creek County since 1970 on Fall River Road. She is married to Clyde Anderson and has been involved in many volunteer activities for civic and private organizations.


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