Government has duty to enforce standards
Re: Column “Unemployment is not Bush’s fault” June 14th 2004.
You mention the so-called “free-enterprise system” and I gather that you argue for a sort of “hands-off” approach to the economy and human welfare in general. But whose role is it to advance the standard of living overall? Should we expect the mega-corporations that seem to grow larger everyday to have the best interests of all in mind?
Since the 1960s, the poor have been getting poorer and the rich have been getting richer. (You can find ample documentation of this with a little searching on the Internet.) Is this because the rich are more resourceful? Does the upper class have more personal responsibility? Is the lower class, many of whom cannot afford health insurance or quality education, itself to blame for its own condition?
As America becomes more economically and socially stratified, do we expect companies and corporations to right the ship? Who looks out for the people?
It is not private corporations, Adam. It is not the upper class, Adam. We must look to our government to ensure an even playing field for all.
I, too, believe in the importance of personal responsibility. I do believe that capitalism sets up a great reward system for people who stick it out in adversity; who are creative and ingenious. Capitalism, however, can be abused, and can also have adverse affects on society as a whole if left unchecked. I believe this is where we stand today. There is an ever-growing gap between the privileged and the underprivileged.
You ask, “Where in the Constitution does it say that citizens have a right to cheap college tuition and health insurance?” I ask you Adam, where does it say that citizens have a right to housing, food, water or for that matter, anything? I’d like to quote a passage from the U.S. Constitution; perhaps you are familiar with it: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
This is the very first sentence of the Constitution. Thus I hardly believe the founders believed that the government should have a limited role in people’s welfare.
Timothy J. LaDuca is a junior majoring in physics.