Depending on the Government

We're all becoming more and more aware of the danger of depending on any government -- and especially the current one -- but this dependence runs deeper than most of us think.

There has been much discussion in recent years about the deep control of government if we let them run our health care.  Although I have yet to meet a person under 30 who fears it, I think all of us over that age know that our life expectancy is going to drop if our fellow man gets to decide exactly how long each of us should spend on costly drugs or life support.  I'm not really looking forward to the possibility of either, but like most of us, I'd like to make the choice myself when the time comes.  Personally, I am at peace with the fact that I might not be able to afford certain levels of care with my own dollars and personal insurance, but I still prefer my freedom over the government option.

What hasn't been discussed widely is the other areas in which we are becoming dependent on the government -- and when you add them up, they're as scary as government health care.

My mother grew up on a farm.  She knew how to kill and cook a chicken, however repulsive to her.  She knew how to can peaches and vegetables for upcoming drier seasons.  My parents had a storage shelf full of delicious, carefully hand-canned foods just waiting to be selected for the dinner table even when my grandmother was well into her eighties.  She worked hard to continue this practice even though there was a store easily within driving distance.  My mother knew about cooking and sewing and all the basic female tasks that are now considered sexist.

My father knew how to repair any car engine and fix the most impossible electronic things, and he was a policeman, not a mechanic.  I still know how to sew, but I've never canned preserves or repaired anything electronic.  I can barely remember how long the eggs are supposed to stay fresh, but luckily the information is right there on the side of the box I buy at the supermarket.

Government owns us now in a way most of us independent people have never considered.  And they can turn off the tap any time they want.  Consider for a minute what would happen in any kind of disaster.  It happens all the time, but luckily not to most of us.  There is no drinkable water, only the food in your house, only the amount of medicine you have available -- and in a financial disaster, only the money you have in your pocket!

What would we all do in this helpless situation?  Wait for the government to send trucks, military personnel, and maybe Red Cross workers to help us?  Supposed this continued for more than a week...say, in the event of an electromagnetic bomb.  No cell phones, no cars, indefinitely...

I never considered any of these things before I had young children.  My husband and I could backpack to a safer area, but not with tiny children, and where would we get water?  These paranoid thoughts have inspired me to keep a kit with water cleansing tablets, water packs, packable meals, medicines, contact lenses, wire cutters, scissors, etc. -- and I am not a paramilitary loon.  Just a typical suburbanite.

We are dependent on government, in scarier ways than Obamacare.  We haven't learned from the generations before us how to garden, and many city ordinances wouldn't let us grow our own food anyway.  We don't know how to build or craft many of our necessities.  It's not pleasant to think about.  I certainly don't want to think about it either, but again, what would most of us do beyond wait for those blessed military vehicles to show up to rescue us?

All I know about food preparation and is printed on packaging.  I'm glad I don't have to slaughter chickens, and yet I ask myself -- how prepared are we, really, to be independent in the way that just one generation before us was?

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