Ownership Society

Last week, I mentioned the DNC video that claimed “government is the only thing we all belong to.” First of all, this is completely antithetical to one of America’s founding principles — that government derives powers from the consent of the governed.

Ironically, George W. Bush first coined “Ownership Society”, although the main tenets had been spoken of by conservatives for years. Cato writes:

An ownership society values responsibility, liberty, and property. Individuals are empowered by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them owners instead, in control of their own lives and destinies. In the ownership society, patients control their own health care, parents control their own children’s education, and workers control their retirement savings.

A year before I went to college, there was a drinking death at my school. As a result, the administration decided to be very proactive in preventing future incidents. The college started such campaigns as “Civility: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” and emphasized looking out for others, but rarely emphasized the need for self-restraint and individual responsibility. What resulted was a diffusion of responsibility, there was no ownership. Students assumed that there was always someone there to clean up the mess or take care of them.

This condition is witnessed in many situations when an individual rents a house or an item instead of owning it. With ownership comes responsibility. Responsibility and ownership has to be restored, but it has to start with the individual. Once in control of their own lives and destinies, individuals will reach to achieve the life that they desire and not wait for government and others to provide for them.

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