Kunst: More government versus self-reliance | SummitDaily.com

Kunst: More government versus self-reliance

John M. Kunst Jr., Fairplay

Last week’s election results and contrasting images out of the East Coast after Sandy’s rampage compel observation, especially for those who advocate more government involvement (aid) in our daily lives.

First, the extent of prolonged human suffering and misery that is now two weeks post Sandy touches all of us. Contemplating a winter with no heat, power or decent living quarters is beyond the pale and causes us to wonder how many more will perish before spring arrives. Clean-up and restoration is projected to go well into next year before a majority of residents will have some sense of normalcy in their daily lives. A $10 text to the Red Cross is the least the rest of us can do.

I am struck by the contrasting video news coming out of this disaster. In low-income neighborhoods where government assistance is a way of life, the level of grief is frightening. Residents are gathered together on street corners begging for help. Organization within these neighborhoods appears limited to printing crude signs urging “Obama, Help!” In contrast, the images coming out of middle class neighborhoods find overwhelmed residents pulling carpet, removing contaminated drywall and tossing ruined furniture and possessions from their homes.

I point this out because in a real emergency there is no one better situated to help you than you. On the other hand, those who rely substantially on government assistance appear incapable of helping themselves with even the basic first steps needed to recovery and survive. Sadly, those who have become dependent on government assistance are the first to suffer real tragedy in a true emergency.

John M. Kunst Jr., Fairplay

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