William Thien

American Melting Pot or Poisonous Soup?

Posted on: July 9, 2014

Respect for the law and obedience to the law are two different states of being in the larger social context of “community.” Respect for the law comes out of a belief that what the law does for the community is generally good. Obedience to the law arises out of a fear of the consequences of not obeying the law. Though both respect for and obedience to the law may achieve the same result, clearly one, a societal respect for the law, is better.

Respect for the law is better in that members of society will actively participate in maintaining the law and living by the code of the law and the larger effect of that is that perpetuating the law is much less expensive to the public because policing and enforcement of the law are much less costly when the population is actively and willingly involved in those tasks.

Getting a population to adhere to the law when they feel it is not in their best interest, when they feel the law is unfair is always more expensive, substantially more expensive and always results in a substantially larger tax levy to cover the cost of law enforcement.

When you examine what is happening in Chicago with regard to the massive shootings almost every year (two years ago The National Guard was brought in) you must conclude that clearly there is little respect for the law or obedience to it for that matter. At 82 wounded and 15 dead over the 4th of July weekend, those casualty rates are higher than in Afghanistan during the height of the conflict. Only it’s not Afghanistan, it’s Chicago. Stop what you are doing, set whatever you have in your hands down, and think about it. Really. Take a moment and think about it.

Now, I do not reside in Chicago. It’s a remarkable city and I enjoy visiting it every chance I get. The people are wonderful. But the cost of policing the kind of behavior as was witnessed this last July 4th weekend surely must be supplemented with Federal Dollars. All of the funds going to support that beleaguered police department are not arising from local tax dollars, all of our dollars as well from around the country are flowing in for sure. ALL urban police departments receive substantial federal tax subsidy.

Why? Is it merely that urban populations are suffering from economic blight and they are warring for sustenance? Hardly. Is it because there is substantial political discord among the urban masses? Very unlikely because most urban areas tend to vote as a solid block. Is even asking all of these questions in an attempt to determine a reason for such behavior after what is possibly decades of such activity even justified following so many attempts to adjust social norms, fund certain behaviors through entitlement programs, even change numerous times the lexicon with which we speak? Of course not.

Then what is it? It is the law. It is the laws. It is the combination of various socialist/communist laws coupled with a variety of laws governing consensual behavior that has created this poisonous soup once called The American Melting Pot.

It is the legislated cabal of entitlements that fertilize all sorts of what I call “sex for money” programs that reward women for having children out-of-wedlock, for example. It is the laws that govern adult consensual behaviors, the prohibition of certain activities that society finds acceptable behavior behind closed doors but fears what will happen when the laws governing such behavior loosen, because the system is telling them general pandemonium will ensue (look what there is now, is that not general pandemonium?). In that last circumstance, organized criminal activity takes control due to the profitability of the circumstances and you begin to see various forms of “street justice” being meted out and with that a general breakdown in respect for the law. What we are witnessing today is merely an amplification of that disrespect for the law which results from the combination of social programs and laws governing the behavior of adults. In a way, it is not unlike the period of alcohol prohibition, only worse because then, such massive and expensive social programs did not exist. Today, the problem is many times worse than during the prohibition of alcohol as it is exacerbated by heavy and expensive social burdens placed on the ordinary citizen.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what is happening in Chicago today. I’m convinced. Certain. And it is that general breakdown in respect for the law that makes law enforcement so very, very expensive, both in dollars and the lives of those who offer up their lives to enforce the laws.

We must not fear changing the law to prevent bankrupting our society, both economically and socially. Because that’s exactly what is happening now. When there is no peace, when travel is restricted, when taxation for maintaining the general peace and well-being of our society grows so astronomically, as it has, the law must change. It must. There is no other solution.

Failure to adjust the laws to social norms, failure to require those who cannot control their personal interactions or to pay for the result of those interactions, is bankrupting our country. Look at the national debt! It’s no accident it is so huge. If we refuse to address the matter legislatively we can only blame ourselves. The government keeps trying to hide the surmounting debt!

When will the economy reconcile itself with the realities of our country’s debt and socio-economic condition? How far off is the next Black Friday? Who is to say if our government continues spending like it does and enabling behavior like that?

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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3 Responses to "American Melting Pot or Poisonous Soup?"

I agree with just about all of your points, but feel you somewhat ditched the thesis implied by this blogpost’s title, as diverse nations, i.e., ‘melting pots,’ have a inherently harder time maintaining social cohesion; there are blessings and burdens that come with such a country or community, etc.

or to put it more succinctly; the more diverse a given nation’s ethnicity and culture, the harder it is to forge a natural and reflective ‘social contract,’ in the founding American sense.

That’s where the “All men are created equal” part comes in, “Inalienable rights” and the like. Whether or not everyone buys it, which of course everyone clearly does not, like it is written is a different subject altogether.

That “social contract” is the preamble to the Declaration, I believe.

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