Anybody who smoked knew somebody who smoked OP’s. There was always one, always. For those that never smoked, OP’s is an acronym or euphemism for “Other Peoples’”. It got so it was a descriptor as in: “Look out, here comes OP”. It was not flattering, it meant they were a leech. It seems to be where we are now with fiscal responsibility in this country. What was once a derogatory term is now synonymous with acceptable behavior.
Free stuff is the same as OP’s, somebody else is paying the bill. Contrary to what Sen. Sanders would have you believe, billionaires can’t afford to pay all of our bills. In addition, they won’t, if taxes are raised high enough, they will simply leave. We have seen it before. Before you say good riddance, please remember, even with our screwed-up tax system, the top earning one percent still bring in substantial tax revenue.
If you are in debt, the first rule is to stop digging, but instead, we rented a backhoe…, from the bank. Neither side of the aisle appears phased by the massive debt we are accumulating. The debt service payment is one of, if not… the largest payments we make and that is with interest payments hoovering near zero for over a decade. This nonsense has been discussed at nauseum in prior posts.
OP’s are addictive, and cheap, or free. Sometimes you have to sell a piece of your soul to get OP’s, but in most cases the bill is never paid. The government continues to sweeten the pot and entice people to feed from the trough. The interesting thing, from a clinical perspective, is it is providing free stuff to people who can afford it. Another issue is they (the government) are providing things people have done without their whole life.
In the movie the Dirty Dozen (great flick), the grunts make a group decision to not bathe. The Sergeant suggests this is crazy and tells the Major he can fix it. Fix it, the Major declares, this is great! The Sergeant is confused as the Major explains this decision shows cohesion and solidarity. The Major makes the point that one of the “dirty” men has been bathing in cold water his whole life, the conditions here are no different for him, but he will stand with his comrades. This simple act of defiance has brought them all together.
Maybe free stuff has done the same. Many have drunk the proverbial Kool-Aide and enjoy the various subsidies it provides. We know in our heart of hearts that at some point in time the piper must be paid, but few, if any, want to ponder the changes necessary to achieve this goal. The free stuff has gone from a hand up to a lifestyle.
This is true for the lower economic spectrum (and expands upward annually) as well as the older demographic. Why should a retiree’s nest egg be used to fund health care expenses when the government will pay? This savings should be passed on to offspring, not pay for things the government provides for free. I appreciate the sentiment and can’t fault the logic, but when policy allows the population to pay before the individual, it is a problem that does not end well. At some point, somebody pays. The fact we are too gutless to make changes to manage these failed polices validates our addiction to OP’s.