Sunday, July 1, 2007

LTE by Russell Shurts in Rocky Mountain News

The June 29, 2007 Rocky Mountain News printed the following LTE by Russell Shurts:
'Social responsibility'

In a recent letter to the editor concerning universal health care Will Pirkey said, "Our society does not need more personal responsibility, but rather social responsibility." In fact, this theme is the essential idea behind the current all out effort being conducted by some to provide medical care for everyone through the government. Since this idea is so important to their message let's look at it in the light of reality. How would a society that practices social responsibility over personal responsibility actually work?

In his letter Mr. Pirkey used a single mom with two kids working two minimum wage jobs as an example of someone who was being ill-treated by those who practice personal responsibility over social responsibility. He believes we all should chip in to pay for or provide the medical care such a single mom needs.

When those who believe in social over personal responsibility come to me for my contribution to this poor woman's plight I will simply ask, "Why are you asking me to do anything for her? I thought you believed in social responsibility. Why don't you have society take care of her? Go ask it."

Indeed, anyone who agrees with Mr. Pirkey can't honestly ask anyone to do anything, because asking depends on each person being asked to take personal responsibility for meeting the request.

Mr. Pirkey and his brethren don’t seem to grasp that there is no 'society' per se and therefore no such thing as 'social' responsibility. Certainly there are groups of people who work together, but any such group is ultimately dependent on the actions of each individual person in the group, i.e. each individual taking personal responsibility.

What Mr. Pirkey really wants is not for the single mom and me to work together for a common purpose, but for me to provide for the single mom. He wants those who have succeeded through personal effort to provide for those who have not, and he would not be bashful about pointing the government gun at us to force us to do it.
Please remember; this is the true meaning of 'social responsibility' the next time you hear it.

Russell W. Shurts, Centennial CO