Independence Day is a State of Mind
Well, now that Independence Day is over, it’s time to get back to work. It’s true; the smell of sulfur and grilled meat are no longer permeating the air. What are we left with? That’s the problem. We often reduce our feelings of patriotism to a handful of days throughout the year, where our founding fathers lived in a culture where the American Spirit was part of everyday life. The American Spirit… what does that even mean?
It was the idea of American Exceptionalism. Not that we were better than anyone else, but that our liberty allowed us to be anyone, do anything, and accomplish far more than what was possible under any other system of government… and for about 125 years, we were right. Then government began to change its philosophy. It decided that they knew best, and put controls around every aspect of human life over the last 110 years. Slowly, over that stretch, we’ve seen our manufacturing go overseas, the value of our dollar eviscerated, and strict rules around the way we live our lives. Yet, we continue to go down the same road to implement the policies that keep creating the problems these same policies have created.
We’ve got to recapture that American Spirit! We can do it… and we can do it better than anyone, including our own government. That has to start at the local level, because the people who rule over us from lands far away (i.e. St. Paul and D.C.) have no idea what is best for us. We’ve got to start building things ourselves. We’ve got to become self-sufficient and do business locally, where possible, so as to strengthen our local economy, and create jobs. Our City Governments need to make it easier, not more difficult to start and operate businesses, whether at home, in a strip mall, or a warehouse.
While Transit-Oriented Development gives the illusion that they are creating the kind of environment, where this can occur, they still miss the point. Someone far away is coercing people into staying local, without providing the business creating environment that will cause people to want to stay local. Let’s look at where this has worked: New Hope Farmer’s Market. Every week the Farmer’s Market is full of local shoppers that want the wares that these farmers provide. This is a free market approach that is only rising in popularity. Let’s take a look at where it’s not working: the North Star Line. People from Minneapolis to Big Lake were supposed to be clamoring over the use of that train. The reality is that the train is inefficient and undesirable, as evidenced by the recent rate cuts (despite the fact that the train currently does not pay for itself). This is what happens when government tries to force something on the people that they don’t want. “Build it and they will come” is not an appropriate slogan for government strategy.
The power belongs in the hands of the people, because we know best. Being close to the situation, we can quickly adjust and handle problems. We can out-strategize any government administrator. We’ve proved it time and time again. Where is the American Spirit? It is alive and well in the hearts of residents like you and I that get it. We work and live in our communities and realize that government doesn’t have our answers. That’s why Thomas Jefferson thought that farmers would make better politicians than tycoons. He knew where the American Spirit resided, and who could solve our problems with real world answers. That’s why Andrew, myself, and all our other contributors here at Community Solutions MN will continue to work each day to reinvigorate that feeling in all of us, and let you know what you can do about it.
Embrace the American Spirit and celebrate American independence every day!
Can I get an “Amen”?
Entry filed under: Community.