Reflecting On Life After Kennedy

To The Editor:

This is written 50 years to the day after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Doing so I look back with a certain amount of regret and shame at what has happened in this country the last half century.

Kennedy’s mantra of “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” seems to be a philosophy long gone. Today it is, “Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what social or government program you can apply to in order to get something free.”

Fifty years ago, Americans subscribed to the belief that they were accountable for their lives. They took responsibility for their and their family’s support, livelihood, educations and futures. Bring a child into the world, and they were responsible for raising that child. Today the illegitimate birth rate for both white and Black babies is three to four times the rate it was in 1963. But no need to worry, today the government assumes responsibility.

In 2013, the “gimme-gimme-gimme” ethos rules, the belief that someone else is responsible, and the wealthy owe something. In 1963, only a very small percentage of citizens were drawing from the public till. During the 2102 presidential race, it was stated that roughly 47 percent of the population receives some sort of government assistance. From the direction the country is going, that number is surely to rise. As the number of people supporting those on assistance rises, and the number whose taxes rise to support them decreases, eventually the well runs dry. Or to use the words of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the only problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.

Instead of responsibility and self-support being the guides which control one’s destiny, today it is the credos of resentment, envy and greed. The wealthy, also known as the “1 Percent”, who pay 86 percent of taxes and create jobs, are now seen as another source of support. Since their money can’t be taken from them illegally, now it is the principle that “they must pay their fair share of taxes”. Or to put it another way, the Robin Hood practice. Take from them and give to the so-called “poor,” not as a temporary measure, but forever, simply to give to those who have been dumbed down by the socialist society into thinking that it is perfectly alright to expect others to support them.

Edward Riecks,
Howard Beach