The “47%”

November 4th, 2012

I don’t hear this perspective from the media and I believe it should be heard.

Regarding Romney’s now famous “47%” comment, I believe he stated a real truth (although he stated it poorly and in a “politically incorrect” way, given the country club crowd who was his audience). But because it may be “politically incorrect,” does not mean it doesn’t have merit!

I believe he was referring to a very large proportion of our population that has an ATTITUDE OF ENTITLEMENT. Who believe it is government’s job to take care of them. Who believe that if others have more, it is their duty, actually governmentally enforced duty, to take care of them. Who believe it is better to receive welfare than to work. Who believe if they can’t take care of themselves, someone else should step in and pick up the slack. And he was talking about a tax structure that creates a large proportion who pay no taxes, even receive money back in lieu of paying taxes, thus who depend on redistribution of income for their sustenance instead of doing all they can to provide for themselves and their families. People who actually believe they are entitled to this redistribution!  And he was talking about people who prefer to remain on unemployment, even demanding extensions of unemployment, instead of looking for ANY job, even one below their experience and qualifications, in order to provide for themselves and their families.  He was talking about ATTITUDES, not people! An attitude arising since the 1960’s, not out of the depression nor from “the Greatest Generation.” And I think he hit the number pretty close, including the many in and out of the media who have the personal means of sustenance but who look with bleeding hearts on those who don’t, and who, through this so-called “caring” attitude, ENABLE them to stay stuck in their dependency on others.

The belief Romney stated is not limited to the “wealthy,” nor is it evidence that he doesn’t care about those who are not in the “country club crowd.” It IS evidence that he recognizes the enabling nature of current attitudes, policies and resulting programs and that he is concerned about getting the nation and its people back on the road to responsible productivity.

I realize that my perspective is probably viewed as harsh by those who also find harshness in the 47% comment. I teach Developmental Math at a local college, basically REMEDIAL grade school and high school math to “high school graduates” who didn’t learn it when they had the taxpayer funded opportunity, and are now taking remedial math in college instead of college credit math (second time around with taxpayer funding!). Somewhere around 25% of our enrolling college students require remedial classes in basic literacy (reading, writing, and math)! 

While I do my job with enthusiasm and joy, I ask myself regularly why we in an enlightened culture allow these students to graduate from high school in the first place! Why do we ENABLE them to believe that they can get by in life with such a minimal effort? This societal attitude, reinforced as it is by the very things Romney was targeting in his 47% comment, promotes the “dumbing down of America” and an ever increasing mediocrity and dependency among its people. What kind of informed (and informable) citizenry are we developing under these policies and philosophies? It is all part of what Romney was referring to in his 47% comment!

Cam Mosher

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