The other day, I did something I rarely do. I drove past the downtown section of the People’s Republic of Berkeley.
In the center divider island of Adeline Street was a rag-tag protest encampment. Tent City began about four weeks ago to protest California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed cuts to state services, as the state is broke and faces yet another year of budget deficits – an estimated $19 billion deficit for fiscal year 2010-2011.
As of January 2009, California ranked first among the 50 states in total debt — of $114.7 billion. In June 2009, California officials were stunned by Moody’s decision to place the state’s general obligation debt on alert for a possible “multi-notch” downgrade. Already, the state’s A2 credit rating made California the lowest rated of the 50 states. Interest costs on that debt are expected to nearly double to over $10 billion a year by 2020, which is a truly insane way to run a state or one’s life.
Berkeley’s Tent City is protesting Schwarzenegger’s proposed cuts to In-Home Supportive Services, a program that provides caregivers to disabled and elderly people in their homes to help them with tasks ranging from cooking to getting to doctor’s appointments — assistance that traditionally were provided by families, friends, and religious charities.
But the bipartisan Political Ruling Class has systematically chipped away the integrity of the family, transferring its role and functions to the state, making more and more Americans atomized and increasingly dependent on the Nanny-BigBrother State. In this manner, government grows more and more obese and dysfunctional while civil society — the bedrock of a democratic polity — withers away. (See Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone on how Americans have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures.) The kindness and love of families, friends, and religious charities are replaced with checks doled by impersonal bureaucrats of the Nanny-BigBrother state, while the appreciation and gratitude of those receiving help are replaced with self-indulgent narcissism and an arrogant sense of entitlement.
All of which accrues to the benefit only of the power-mad Political Ruling Class and its apparatchik functionaries. That is why, even in the present Great Recession, the number of government employees apparatchiki is increasing even as jobs in the private sector disappear.
Berkeley’s Tent City is made up of 17 tents and their residents, a makeshift outdoor kitchen, a community bulletin board and daily events. Driving past, I saw a big sign that says:
Home Care Is a Civil Right
Hmmm, no, it’s not. It’s not even a right under the Constitution of the now defunct Soviet Union.
In fact, Amerika today is worse than the Soviet Union. The latter’s Constitution specified every citizen had a duty to work, whereas parasitic Americans claim it’s their ”civil right” not to work but to leech off the labor of those who do. Article 59 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution stated that citizens’ exercise of their rights was inseparable from performance of their duties. Articles 60 through 69 defined these duties. Citizens were required to work and to observe labor discipline. The legal code labeled evasion of work as “parasitism” and provided punishment for this crime.
In Amerika, however, ”Home Care Is a Civil Right.” This is my response to that sign:
And we wonder where illegal aliens got their idea: