The human instinct to preserve life — to protect the next generation from harm — is one of mankind’s most redeeming qualities. We have seen instances of it throughout history, where one generation sacrifices so that another can flourish, sometimes in the starkest terms.
In the mid 1990s, during a famine that became known as the Arduous March, North Korean senior citizens reportedly starved themselves to death so that their grandchildren and great grandchildren could live on what little sustenance was available. None of us knows if he or she would have the strength to do that under such circumstances, but I’m sure every man and woman in America would like to think that he or she is capable of demonstrating such love. As much as I like to tease my daughters that they’d be on my dinner plate by noon, you can count me among them.
So it is perplexing to watch the dynamic playing out in America today where one generation is unabashedly stealing from the next. Parents who would never take from a child directly are seemingly content to do so as long as there is a governmental middleman to do the dirty work.
None of us can feign ignorance. Stories on the national debt are ubiquitous. Yet we turn our faces away from the facts while dressing our children for school. We don’t want to know how badly we are hurting them.
Now we learn that the U.S. Postal Service will be defaulting on $5.5 billion in guaranteed pension benefit payments on Aug. 1. It will default on another $5.6 billion on Sept. 30. But postal officials assure us this will not affect our mail delivery. Those Saturday circulars will show up — and be instantly discarded — right on schedule.
The rest of this column is available at Newsday Westchester. Thanks for reading!