How to Fix Almost Everything Wrong With America in a Single Sentence

How to Fix Almost Everything Wrong With America in a Single Sentence
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Throughout your life, you will find that most non-catastrophic problems you face will have a simple fix. Not necessarily an easy fix, but a simple fix. The same goes for nations. Many of us worry about the future of this country and we wonder how we can possibly fix all the problems we’re up against before this country is ruined. There is an answer to that question, and it is simple enough that it can be stated in a single sentence, even if implementing it would be anything but easy.

The solution for most of the problems America has is small government, federalism, a willingness to let people and corporations fail, along with lots of church.

So, why would this sentence describe the fix to all our problems? Well, let’s take it step-by-step.

If you have small government, you’re going to have balanced budgets, low taxes, and a lot less government in your life. More resources would stay in private hands instead of being wasted by the government, which would benefit the economy. Our government, which seems to become increasingly incompetent as it gets larger, could focus on competently handling the basics of governance for the first time in decades. The threat of debt bankrupting the nation? It would go away. As the federal government grew smaller, there would be less reason for corporations, grandstanding politicians, and outrage-stirring activists to become involved in politics. Instead of having politics shoved into your face 24 hours a day, people could afford to become less political because it simply wouldn’t matter as much who was in charge in DC.

Federalism would tie in with this perfectly. As money and power receded from Washington, the part of it that didn’t go back to the people would go to more local forms of government. Who do you think can better get the potholes filled on your street? AOC and Mitch McConnell or the mayor of your town who you may run into in the grocery store next week? Who do you think has a better handle on what your state’s gun, education, and infrastructure policies should be? Your governor or a bunch of politicians in DC who’ve never been to your state unless they’re flying over it to get somewhere else? Relying more on federalism would lower the temperature in America. Not only because most people aren’t going to be as nasty to their neighbors as they will to some stranger on Twitter when they have policy disagreements, but because we’d no longer have to worry about having policies we disagree with forced on us by hostile politicians in DC. If San Francisco wants to have mandatory drag queen story hours, a $40 minimum wage, and defund the police while Myrtle Beach, SC wants to double their budget for the police, get rid of the minimum wage, and require kids to learn to shoot to graduate from high school, terrific. Those sorts of experiments are exactly how you learn what works and what doesn’t in the real world.

Of course, we can’t forget one of the biggest failings of our modern society. We have started to embrace the idea that it’s the government’s job to step in and keep people and corporations from failing. The government needs to get out of that business entirely. If you don’t try to treat everyone equally under the law and let the chips fall where they may, you will end up with politicians and bureaucrats arbitrarily picking winners and losers based on who they like best, feel the sorriest for, or believe will benefit them the most politically. This is what Critical Race Theory, equity, promoting transsexualism, a $15 minimum wage, rent control, eviction moratoriums, allowing shoplifting, refusing to prosecute criminals for low-level offenses, and any number of other horrible ideas have in common. It also applies to corporations that want naked capitalism when they’re making big profits and socialism when their mistakes come back to haunt them in an economic downturn. If a business, or for that matter, a state, is so financially irresponsible that they go bankrupt, they should be allowed to suffer the consequences. The same goes for people. If you want the freedom to live your life as you choose, then you should be willing to accept the consequences of your bad decisions.

Last but not least, America could use a lot more Jesus and a lot more church. That’s not because Christians are perfect. We are far from it, and I can tell you that from personal experience. But America’s Christian culture was an integral part of our success as a nation. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of free, prosperous countries in the world have a Christian culture. That’s not a coincidence. Even if we do every other thing right, an America that is no longer good will also be an America that is no longer successful. Look at what our politics have become, go read Twitter, listen to some popular songs, watch what happens on the news for a few nights in a row, and ask yourself if we have a culture that’s more likely to produce good people or a culture more likely to produce school shooters, drug addicts, and outrage addicts. There was a time when the entire world would have benefitted from embracing America’s culture. That is no longer the case today and it will never be the case again unless we start making some big changes.

Certainly, people might want to add a little bit to that sentence or point out some problem or another that it wouldn’t solve. That’s fair. However, what we can say with absolute certainty is that an America that lived under these principles would be freer, fairer, better run, better governed, and much more likely to survive and thrive long term than the increasingly dysfunctional system we’re currently living under.

John Hawkins is the author of 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know. You can find him on Parler here and on Twitter here.


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