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Will it take a total crash to convince us to balance the budget?

To The Daily Sun,

It is a generally accepted as true that the size of the ruling elite is only a small fraction of the total population. For that reason, it follows that regimes live or die based on public opinion. The logic goes that unless the majority of the people believe the existing rulers are legitimate they will not accept the regime's authority to exercise power. Even when a regime has a great advantage in coercive power it may profit the rulers little if they must kill 90 percent of the populace to maintain power as such an action reduces them to the status of a parasite without a host. But what if that axiom isn't really true?

What changes in the political dynamic as the number of people directly dependent on government benefits increases? Is there a point where the number of dependents changes the calculus of leadership and power? According to The Heritage Foundation, in 1962 21.7 million people depended on government programs. The corresponding number of government dependents in 2009 had grown to 64.3 million people and it is higher still today. Adding more existing programs to the analysis would increase the number of dependent people to over 100 million. http://heritage.org/research/reports/2010/10/the-2010-index-of-dependence-on-government

The dependent group has grown steadily since the end of World War II. As it grows, the need for the ruling group to pay attention to the people diminishes. Caesar used bread and carnivals. Progressives use food stamps, Social Security and Medicare. The tools of control change slightly over time but the goal is always maintenance of power. Given that the number of working-age people under employed or out of work but not eligible for benefits is about 94 million today it does seem likely we are at a point where 100 million dependents appears to be too low.

Not all the dependents, in fact most, are part of the ruling group. It is worth considering that the ruling group uses in its calculus of control, the power of the votes of the dependent. It is important to understand that to the rulers dependents are virtually cyphers. They have no effect on the rulers' decision-making. They exert no weight in opposition to the rulers as their fear of losing government benefits. This effectively neutralizes their willingness to protest. The dependents vote in overwhelming proportion for continuation and budgetary enlargement of the government and its programs. In doing so they produce the appearance of legitimacy for those in the ruling group.

The policies of the ruling groups are out of control because they are not economically sustainable. They are made possible because we have become dependent. Debate whatever political ideology you like but we need an economy that will support the people... ours does not do that. The result for America will be no better than it was for Rome, though the fall may be farther given the heights to which we have risen.

Is it time yet to reconsider progressive rule and big government? Are you ready to return to principled small government? Do we really have to have a complete crash before we wake up and realize the budget has to be balanced... the bills have to be paid... the money has to have intrinsic value?

Marc Abear
Meredith

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Human angels lightened the pain of my mom’s passing

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of my family and our dear loved one, Lee Hart, I am writing to express our deep appreciation to all those who have been involved in my mom's care during the last two years.

The long journey from diagnosis to death was helped by the caring, compassion, and honesty of her primary care physician and medical director of hospice, Dr. Carolyn Crosby; Dr. Charles Catcher and the fabulous staff at LRGHealthcare Oncology Department; the kind and respectful employees at the LRGH Emergency Department and senior services program; the staff at Genesis Laconia Rehab; the wonderful nursing staff at Taylor Community, Ledgeview (second floor), and of course, the professionals and volunteers from hospice.

Everyone with whom we interacted was incredibly kind, open, and concerned about not only mom's comfort, but ours as well. I wish I could thank everyone by name, but so much was a blur and my memory doesn't serve well. Just know that you are human angels, lightening the pain and sadness of all who are suffering. A few who stand out are Robin, Holly, Mary Ellen, Liz, Teresa, Alison, and Gayle.

We also wish to convey our gratitude to the many good people in my parents' lives who offered love, prayers and support, especially dear friends from Taylor Community, from their beloved Sanbornton United Church of Christ, as well as friends from our former church in Connecticut. We especially appreciated the essential spiritual support we experienced from their minister, Ruth Martz, who was away during the last few days of mom's life, the ministers who were on call and covering for her, the Rev. Vickie Wood-Parrish, the Rev. Paula Gile, and the Rev. Wanda Lester, as well as the Rev. John Davies, the spiritual director from Hospice, and my own minister, Maresha Ducharme.

Of course, our greatest thankfulness goes to the One who holds us all in great love. We find much comfort in the knowledge that our mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, and sister is now in a place of great joy, expansiveness and healing. And we give thanks.

With deep gratitude and blessings for all,

Carol Hart

Meredith

For the Hart family: Dave, Bruce and Jill, Ed and Laura, Stephanie and Nate, Megan, Malik Haig, Ron Brown, and our extended family.

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