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The Government, Our Savior? (An English Essay)

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posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:47 PM
Alright, so I recently finished a grade 12 Essay I was working on for English Literary Arts a few minutes ago, and emailed it to my teacher. The point of the essay was to argue a topic, and lean on one side of the argument, but still (slightly) represent the other side to make the argument rational. The topic I choose was about government, and how in this day and age, government could very well be the only thing that could stop us from getting worse. I know I know, this is a very controversial topic here on ATS, and I know most of you are against large government, but when I wrote the essay, I wanted to write about something that was even controversial with myself. Anyways, you have to read the whole thing if you want to see what I am getting at. I wanted to get your thoughts and opinions on what I wrote.

Also, keep in mind, I do not support all my claims, and when I suggest government taking such power over our lives, I am assuming the best possibly morally right government that could be derived from humans. (Ironic?) So, here it is, and thanks for reading.

English Literary Arts Argument Essay

As a general observation of our everyday lives, summed up in a few words, we are a generally an “us” or “me” orientated people, doing whatever we can to satisfy our own personal needs. The only things restricting us would be the law, setting regulations and rules so that we, the people, will face consequences large enough to prevent us from doing such actions again. All too often, there is a disregard for moral boundaries, in which case, humanity needs something much larger than that small voice inside ourselves to tell us what is wrong and what is right. To keep us from getting out of hand, we must utilize the very principles that keep us in line to our fullest extent; the law. And the government enforces the law. Is the government our savior? Most would argue not, and the majority of the same group would probably assert the idea that it is quite opposite. But is it really? Is government really there to harm us, absorb our hard earned dollars for their own personal pleasure, and only seem to care during the election period, or is it we, the “me” orientated people, that complain about the exact same issues concerning taxes, privacy and overall government involvement in our lives that are the wrong ones? Are we oblivious to how these “negative” issues that seem to be the fault of the governing body really contribute to our overall quality of life? Maybe we must strike a balance between the points where government should and shouldn’t be involved in certain areas of our lives, or maybe complete involvement is required to solve the problem?

Taxes are something we all like to talk about, most often, addressing the amount of negative impact that it has in our own personal lives, and it is probably the most common relation between people and the Government. Because of this common affiliation, we often get a negative view of our own governing bodies, because of the amount of hard earned money they take away from us to pay for things that we pretend do not concern us. Areas such as the state of our roads, our military, education, public recreation are all spots that effect the population, but the population likes to think otherwise, conserving the idea that whatever project is happening does not benefit us but rather caters to only those who take our money and use it.

As the “me” orientated people, I believe that we hate the idea of pooling a portion of our income together with the rest of our population to support the entire community as a whole. Now, the tax payer may be justified in his unwillingness to contribute his share if a certain project or policy does not pertain or benefit him in some way, but if you think of it, such a project or policy must support someone if it is going to go through, and isn’t that what we should be all about? A simple example would be funding for national defense. A lot of the populace, specifically in Canada, would oppose the idea of increasing military spending, seeing that Canada didn’t originate as a military-orientated country, nor does it have any intention on becoming one. The people would assume that such a diversion of funds from the “pool of tax-payer dollars” going to national defense would be best utilized elsewhere, such as tax breaks, national parks, or even the state of our ground transportation network. Yes, it can be said that an extra one percent of Canada’s GDP in funding (an increase of approximately 18.2 Billion dollars) towards our roads would display a dramatic and almost immediate increase in the quality of our network. At the same time, such immediate and pleasing results would stimulate the population, thus it can be said funding would be much more appreciated here than in the military, but what about in the long run? As we are selfish, we care about what directly effects us the quickest. In the case of the highway versus the military funding example, the road improvements would happen much faster, and effect a lot of us more so than military increase, but what about our men and women in the armed forces? Would they not appreciate such a grant, giving them better equipment, training and an overall better chance of succeeding at their job? And who is to put a price on success when your life depends on success? We wouldn’t consider such implications of diverting funds from road to military, yet we would seem to favor the idea of what would directly effect “me” in a positive way, more.

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:48 PM
If we look past our selfish “me” orientated flesh and wants, and getting over what we could of bought with that extra 12 percent of money we just put into the government’s coffers, a tax is essentially no different (other than the fact that it is mandatory) than giving alms to a church, money to a charity or time to a good foundation because like the stated examples, taxes benefit most people involved in some small way. Even if it doesn’t directly affect us, we should find satisfaction in the fact that the amount you pay is going to an overall better cause, at the same time, going against the “me” orientated ideology (although forced) and pushing you to help others whether the choice is yours or not. But this argument is assuming the best possible situation, leaving out the possibility of THE needless squandering of tax payers money, corruption and scandals within the Governing bodies. This, of course, is an unrealistic situation, and one could only hope that such expectations could be met by another human with the same “me” orientated mindset. A current example where the government would suggest giving of your money to help someone else although the positive effects may not be felt by you would be bailout plan for Wall Street by the American Government. The proposed 700 billion dollar plan would cost the average American tax payer a couple thousand dollars of their paid taxes, but in the long run, could keep their country, and each person’s way of life, from falling away and into a financial mess. Without the taxpayers help, the financial situation could get much worse than the depression during World War Two. Many Americans would disagree with such a plan that would use such a large amount of their paid tax dollars to bailout those who have been
greedy because why should they have to pay for someone else’s wrong doings? It seems as if we have lost what it really means to help out your neighbor, and the idea of paying taxes –especially to help out someone else that had got themselves into a bad situation- can only be addressed by the most cynical of talk and scrutiny. Although unrealistic, consider this example: In the United States of America, there is no governing body. However, the same economy exists. To avoid a financial crisis, the financial leaders approach the American population, requesting several thousand dollars from each of them to prevent the impending doom that could soon throw the entire country into chaos. Would it be realistic to say that the majority of the American population would refuse to give to such a cause? This is why Government needs to take on the position of a parent for the population. We will not help others, or do what is right, unless we are forced, and only government (who controls law enforcement) has enough power to ensure that the population stays aligned with what is morally right.

Finances and taxes is an issue that probably effects the majority of the population the most when it comes to issues between the two parties of Government and Population. But what about the more subtle things that effect how we do things, how we respond to situations, and how we think? Every day we are exposed to various forms of media, and whether we like it or not, it effects us in every way, depending on what we watch and what we choose (or don’t choose) to expose ourselves to. Relating back to my above point, that we are an “all about me” minded society, the media has capitalized on this, bombarding us with what we want, telling us it’s what we need, and that they understand so we must listen because they are looking out for us. We are thrown lies that tell us we need to live completely indulged lives full of ourselves and only what we want, doing what you want whenever you want, facing consequences later is the normal and it is okay . It is this idea that makes us unable to take care of ourselves, never mind others. When some of the biggest leaders, icons, and corporations that we “trust” and “love” tell us that it’s okay to do what used to be morally wrong, we tend to do them. Drinking, promiscuous sex, and mindless self indulgence are just a few, mere cliché examples of what we think is right, and what we are told is right.
So, how do we stop it? When the world is based on money, and people are making money from telling people what they want to hear, and supporting our “it’s about me” habits, how can they be told to stop? What will stop them? Although we all enjoy making money to whatever extent, there has to be a limit as to how far you go to get it. Robbing a bank is illegal. So why must we be robbed of our morals and dignity as a populous just so the CEO of Time Warner can retire nicely? The thought of government controlling what the media feeds us would raise a red flag in most people’s mind, thoughts reminiscent that of the Soviet Union and North Korea. Anyone would back away from that thought, calling the government on rejection of “freedom of speech” and several other constitutional, charter and human rights violations. We seem to think that if we want it, we deserve to see it, and the Government has no right to control what and how we absorb what is fed to us. It seems as if the government respects this idea to some extent, as state-controlled media can only be seen within mainstream news sources. Other than that, there are little to no “moral” regulations as to what is shown on the most popular forms of media. However, the Government does act like a “moral” enforcer to some extent, passing laws and bylaws concerning drinking age, age of consent, and other legal laws in relation to at what age we are allowed to do some of these “potentially negatively impacting and potentially morally wrong” activities. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough. In a world where law with a physical (or financial) negative consequence seems to be the only guard against our “me” orientated flesh, we do need a state-controlled media. We need the Government to step in a regulate to the highest possible extent what enters the eyes of today’s viewers because as humans, whether we like it or not, what we see and hear impacts us, small or large and we take what we absorb into account, and it is evident in our speech, actions and thoughts.

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:49 PM
This of course, would not make money, because capitalizing on what people don’t want really doesn’t work. So maybe the real problem is money? Maybe money is the root of all evil, and maybe without it, we would work together better, doing what is right for one another, not expecting anything more or less in return. But a world without money, a place where we support each other for essentially nothing in return for our efforts except security in the fact that you will get the same in a time of need, could sound suspiciously opposite of Capitalism. And the opposite of Capitalism is what we worked so hard to rid the world of between the mid 1940’s to the early 1990’s and still strive to keep suppressed to this day.

Am I suggesting totalitarianism? But of course! But this would only be assuming that the most moral, wise, compassionate and justified of human beings would compromise the cabinet of our leaders and decision makers. However, such a human, never mind several of them, could never possibly exist within our current confines of society and overall state of our global situation. We also must remember that current religious beliefs would otherwise tell us such a being cannot exist, or can never exist again, or does exist, just not amongst us. However you interpret the topic, we could all agree that a supreme Government that would manage every aspect of each individual’s life from security to finances to media could not exist in such a way that would lead society as a whole to a level surpassing that of what is amorally right threshold. So what can we do now? We learn from our mistakes, and try and substitute the perfect leader(s) we are looking for with those that we believe would best morally represent us, although still a flawed human. We let Government do what it needs to, putting faith in their ability to lead us to a better place where our fleshy desires are put out, and addressed with much more morally justified ones. A state-controlled and regulated media would be the key, as the media is our main source of information and essentially influence in our lives, and would be the key to asserting the “proper” beliefs that every human should be have, and if everyone saw and was fed the same thing, we would eventually evolve into a group of peoples accustomed to obey morals, and maybe, if we are fortunate, fine-tune our attitudes so that we can once again clearly hear what that small voice inside of us says, and if it protests against our decision, it would not be so frowned upon to reverse our actions. Society has moved away from the place where doing what was right was the law to where we do the bare minimum effort to ensure we get what we want, with enough regard for others to make our actions feel justified, and appear not to harm anyone in a negative way. But we are too lazy to look past this. We are used to so much freedom that to not have all the liberty each individual deems acceptable is a crime, and each individual is different. We have come to a place where regard for morals that are not enforced by law is seen as different and abnormal. This is to say that we view the law as the threshold of what is right, and surly staying within that would grant us justification concerning our actions. A simple example would be getting drunk if you are above the legal drinking age. If it is legally right, then why not? If the law says it is okay to abuse our body and alter our state of mind as long as we are not hindering anyone else, than it should be okay. In society, if someone prefers not to get drunk (most evident in today’s teen culture), the decision is seen as “weird” and over-cautious. Redemption from this morally wrong society can only be found within the confines of those who hold the power to change the laws and policies to adapt to a more morally right state. The governing bodies need to take a stand and do what is right, but democracy will not allow this. In a totalitarian society, the Government would have every right to invade every aspect in our life, and change it in such it way it would comply with federal policies. We must trust the Government that they will lead the charge towards purity and security because we the people cannot do it ourselves. As long as someone can find justification in doing something wrong, others will follow. However, if the government can prevent that justification from being found, and provide the most severe yet applicable of consequences in judgment of that persons error, we could become a better society. Morals would become normal once again, and so as long Government stays within the confines of “being morally right”, then society could move on past the blunder of human error. It will take the Government to change the life style of the population if we don’t fix it ourselves. However, both options seem to be seen as irrational and unacceptable because all we see is human error within our governing bodies, yet the very same thing infests every facet of our very own society.

Okay, yea so it's kinda long, but thanks for reading (if you got this far). When replying, remember, I wrote this for arguments sake, not saying I endorse all ideas I outline in the essay. Your thoughts?

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