Archived Story

What is your moral imperative?

Published 8:32pm Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Editor,
I keep hearing this phrase, Moral Imperative, thrown around and I do not like it. A moral imperative is the right thing to do. A moral imperative is an evaluation, not a fact. The right thing to me, may not be the right thing to you. What is your moral imperative? Government keeps saying that we have a moral imperative to provide for our citizens welfare.
That sounds wonderful. You should do that.
The problem as I see it, is that you aren’t willing to pay your share. I deserve the best medical care money can provide. I may only make $8.25 per hour, but if I get sick, then the government should spend millions to keep me healthy and alive, because my life is priceless to me. If it requires a Manhattan Project to keep me alive, then so be it, because that is my right, but I am not going to pay for it, because I am broke. If I can not work or do not wish to work, society should take care of me. If I have 5 children, the government should help me care for them or take them off my hands completely. If all of you ponied up a dime, and I am talking about me, not the rest of those folks, then I would be rich and wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Is taking care of me your moral imperative? My personal imperative is to be sitting in front of the computer playing video games. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to have to cook; I would rather eat out. I didn’t want to go to school. So what if I said, “To heck with it?” What if I stopped working and just sat on the couch and played video games and collected a check?
The decision to not use birth control is my decision. Whether I make that choice because of religious or personal reasons is immaterial. It is my choice and I made it. Expecting you to raise my children, pay for my children, put up with my children’s behavior issues, may be immature, unhealthy, and ultimately futile. At some point, you are going to say, no, enough is enough; but we aren’t at that point yet, so I am gonna ride that donkey until the legs fall off.
The decision to work or not to work is my decision. If I walked up to you in a restaurant and said you needed to pay for my lunch, most of you would laugh at me. Some would do me the favor and pay for it. What if I said I didn’t want a hamburger, I wanted steak? Would you pay for it every day? Since I don’t work, I need something to do. Someone send me the money to buy a TV set. And the premium cable package. And a smart phone. And a new car. And insurance on that car. And new shoes. Ad infinitum.
I know a woman, around age 40, who has a Master’s Degree, and made $45,000 a year, with full benefits. One day, she decided to quit. Her parents ended up supporting her until she got on disability. She had some minor emotional issues that were controllable through medication, and a minor heart problem, but her job was a desk job, so it didn’t interfere. She just didn’t like getting up in the morning. She did not want to work. I can relate, work stinks, but I will be darned if I am giving her a red cent. That payout is for me, not her.
By the way, “Where’s my Check!?”
If you looked at me, at what I do, would you think that it was right? Would it fit into your moral imperative? Would you think that it was your obligation to pay for my behavior and my needs? How about my 8 children? How about their children? How much are you willing to pay? Please tell me because I can expand my needs to fit your wallet.
If you are paying for my welfare, shouldn’t I pay for it too? If taking care of myself is so unimportant that I won’t get up off the couch, then why should I expect you to care, and pay?
If it is important to me, then shouldn’t I get a job that allows me to afford my needs? Shouldn’t I get a job that provides that level of health insurance? Shouldn’t I make the sacrifices necessary to put myself in a position where I don’t need the government to impose the costs on others, on you?
The single most important basic tenet of all western law is that we as members of society should not make our neighbors pay for what we do. If I opened up a chemical plant next door to you and sprayed poisonous fumes on you; you would sue to have me shut down or make it conform, so that I don’t impose the plant’s costs on you. I do not have the right to blare music at 3AM. I do not have the right to pour chemicals in the stream behind my house. I do not have the right to race up and down the street shooting guns up in the air. I do not have the right to throw things at you or your property. Each of these imposes a cost on the people around me, and under our law, it is not right.
Another tenet of our society is helping our neighbors. In the past, small communities came together to assist families with raising barns, building structures that one person could not do. The other side of that coin was that people who did not contribute did not receive help when they needed something built.
As I said above, a moral imperative is a value judgment, an evaluation. Providing health care, or benefits of any kind is not an imperative to me. Taking care of people who do not wish to work, who do not wish to educate themselves, who do not wish to get off the couch, is not an imperative to me. Taking care of my family and friends is my imperative, and taking money away from that is whatever term is appropriate for the opposite of imperative.
Up until the great depression, everyone had a job. Everyone took care of themselves and their family. Production is what makes jobs, not government.
What is your moral imperative?
Justin Sellers
Ashland, Ala.