Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Makes America Great

There's a marvelous old-fashioned series of books that homeschoolers might want to put on their reading list. The Twins series by Lucy Fitch Perkins is mighty rare in Wisconsin libraries. [You've gotta love interlibrary loan!] If you can get your hands on some, they're just right for kids who have started reading chapter books. They were written about 100 years ago. Each book is set in a different country and contains a simple story about a pair of twins (about age 7). The stories introduce kids to certain aspects of the culture of that country. And the stories are gentle -- none of the mouthiness and immorality and political correctness that fills so many kids' books today.

So now that I've given my commercial, I took notice of one paragraph near the end of The Irish Twins which Maggie and I were reading last week. A neighbor's son had tired of the landlord's games, with the landlord always taking any profit earned. This man had gone to America and become successful. He was back in Ireland to fetch his mom, singing the praises of this wonderful country of America. One of the neighbors suggested that surely not everything was perfect in America. And this is the response:
There do be faults with her, and I'll never be the man to say otherwise. There's plenty of things to be said about America that would leave you thinking tis a long way this side of heaven. But whatever it is that's wrong, tis the people themselves that make it so. And by the same token it is themselves that can cure the trouble when they're so minded. It's not like having your troubles put down on you by the people that's above you, and that you can't reach at all for to be correcting them!"

Fast-forward 100 years.
Progressive tax rates?
Regulation of small businesses?
Quotas on hiring?
Allowing people to sue each other for no reason at all?

Can we cure the troubles if we have a mind to do so? Or are many of America's troubles brought down on us by the people above?

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