Uncle Sugar

Bill Neinast


One of the pleasures in life is to have a generous uncle.  

Americans are lucky in that regard.  We have Uncle Sugar who is better known to some as Uncle Sam or US for short.

US is always willing to share the riches he collects from the doers among his kinfolk with other nieces and nephews who prefer to take it easy.

The latest group of relatives that he wants to help are college graduates who are being asked to pay for their education.  US proposed that greedy lenders of money be required to back off and take less than the students had agreed to pay for using the lenders’ money.

When US made that proposal, I asked the grandson who bears my name what he thought of the proposal.  This is not a typical grandfather’s boast, but Trey is brilliant.  He has a degree in bio/medical engineering from the University of Texas, has no student loan debt, and is gainfully employed in his chosen field.  He is also a far left liberal.  

Specifically, I asked him if he thought it was the responsibility of the government at any level to help pay college students’ debt.

His response was typically liberal.  First, he would not answer the question with either a yes or a no.  He argued instead that this was a societal problem.

As I understand it, his argument is that society, acting through parents, has convinced youngsters that the only path to success is through a college degree.  When the degree is in hand, society will provide a well paying job in the graduate’s chosen field.

Then, however, society pulls a double cross.  The economy is in such a mess that consumers are not buying baskets like they used to, so there are no jobs for basket weavers. Unfortunately,  Junior and Sissy had chosen basket weaving as a major.  

Getting degrees in engineering, medicine, or some other major would require too much math and cut into party time.  They were conditioned by the same society that sent them to college to believe that college is the last time for a fling before entering the adult world.

So, although there was no specific answer to my question, one was implied.  If US, or society, created the problem, US should fix it.

Blaming society for the problem does have some merit, but for a different reason than the one used by Trey.  

The same society that Trey blames for pushing young adults through college has had a much more serious effect on Americans.  It has eroded the philosophies of self reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility.

Liberals, in trashing those philosophies and arguing that there is nothing to worry about because US will take care of everyone, forget the legacy of one of their icons.

President Harry Truman had a varied career before politics.  He was a banker, farmer, army officer, and business owner.  After his army service in WWI, he established a haberdashery with a business partner.  The business thrived for a while, but then failed in a recession.  His partner filed for bankruptcy, but Truman refused to follow that route. He paid off his share of the firm's debts over a 15 year period.

Unfortunately, liberal society chooses to follow the wrong role model in this scenario.  It favors the easy route of Truman’s partner. 

Liberals say file for bankruptcy instead of honoring your personal commitment and society will help you pay your debts.  Then you can follow your dream of immediately moving into a large house with a garage for both of your cars and a boat, unlimited phoning and texting, etc.

The student debt problem also illustrates another liberal societal failure that is

illustrated in the following questions.  

Did the students with debt problems not know that borrowed money must be repaid?  Did they not know that contracts such as loans are binding?  Did they not know enough basic math to calculate the size of their debts, how long the repayments would be, and how much they would have to earn both to live comfortably and to discharge those debts?

If the answer to each question is yes, liberals like Trey will argue that those failures are society’s fault and, therefore, society or US should pay for them.

Conservatives, on the other hand, argue for a return to the days of Truman when honorable men would not even consider walking away from their obligations and leaving them for US to pick up.

So here’s the perspective.

Society is not responsible for fixing every problem, whether real or imagined. 

Unfortunately, US likes to spend.  In order to feed this desire, he has to create needs and the best way to create needs is to blame every problem on society.  

If society created the problem, society should pay to fix it.  

So says the liberal, and so grows the national or society’s deficit.


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