I Have Agency

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December 19, 2021- This morning, whilst at breakfast with a large number of fellow veterans at the American Legion Post here, I heard a comment made, that derided a large, and somewhat unwieldy bill before Congress. The commenter essentially said it would be a good thing if the bill doesn’t pass, because we jut don’t need government largesse.

Here’s the thing, though: While each of us is entitled to our own opinions on what programs should offer which benefits to how many people, those are our opinions-and nothing more. What concerns me most is that too many individuals, and families, in the U.S. are being asked to give up their agency, so that others may continue to amass more wealth-and have government support in protecting that wealth-even if none of it is used to help those in the direst of needs. We heard, just prior to that same breakfast, that a wealthy politician is opposed to what he sees as government largesse going to the poor. His comments fooled no one-he is guarding his own nest egg-and the public can go fish for minnows.

I am a person of modest, but stable, means. By the logic expressed yesterday on a major news channel, I should object to ANY reduction in the value of my portfolio, day to day, and should press for a cut-off point in selling of stocks and bonds. I should be out there, with my fellow investors, screaming: “I!, Me!, Mine!”-as in George Harrison’s masterful 1970 song.

My agency, though, does not allow for this. My agency tells me that as I have freedom to choose and the responsibility to accept the consequences of that choice, so, too, does every other person. For a wealthy person of considerable influence to choose obstruction of the public good, for whatever reason, does not absolve that individual of the consequences of his choice.

Others have said it better, but essentially, one person’s right to choose ends three feet from another person’s face.