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"America's New Path: A March toward Personal Responsibility"
The Star, January 28, 1995

By Terry Paulson, PhD

While liberals wring their hands over the Republican Contract with America, and the return of the "same theory that prevailed in the years leading up to the Depression," others are getting busy making America competitive in the changing world economy.

Time magazine recently reported the results of the Swiss-based World Economic Forum's annual world championship of business. In September 1994, the forum made the announcement: "after eight years of Japanese domination, the United States in 1993 had the world's most competitive economy."

Admittedly, that victory has been costly in downsizing and cost-containment pressures, but wealth is again on the move. No longer can established companies guarantee that they will remain effective in keeping their wealth; competition is coming from every corner.

Some would have us believe that the California Dream is dead and the Gold State has lost its luster. We are the only state that had a dream! You don't hear anything about The "Iowa Dream." We are being tested, and with strong effort by all our citizens, we are positioned for a Renaissance with an emerging economic power to the south and a vibrant Pacific Rim to the West. Over 20 percent of our state's economy is based on small businesses, and that percentage is growing. While large companies downsize, many of those laid off are being forced to make a success of businesses they once only dreamed of starting.

What made our country great - people working hard to achieve success - is having a resurgence. Depending upon entitlements is giving way to having to once again earn success. Those who keep learning and fining ways to add value to a customer from anywhere in the world who is willing to pay will find their place in that future.

One manager at a large corporation eared enough to put it as honestly as anyone can when he said, "If you already are in the 'obsolete' category, surprise your manager by developing your own recovery program before he or she is forced to do it under much less favorable conditions." Booker T. Washington once gave similar advice that's worth listening to: "I would say to a black boy what I would say to a white boy: 'Get all the mental development that your time and pocketbook will allow of."

While the liberals bash and blame the Reagan years, ordinary citizens who loved what he stood for have reasserted their voice. They voted for him in the '80s. They continue to love and respect him today. They believed in him because he believed in us. Ronald Reagan knew what American needed, and he said it again at the 1992 Republican convention: "I appeal to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence, rather than your doubts."

For those who wonder why Democrats lost in November, it's because people are fed up with catering to the phony victims and pampered criminals among us at the expense of those playing by the rules, working every day, giving up their hard-earned wages for stupid entitlement programs that have just created and perpetuated the problem. Individual responsibility that supports character, integrity, thrift, discipline, industry, self-control, hope and fair are the only things that ordinary citizens know work. They want Washington and Sacramento to get out.of the way, and let them succeed.

Yes, life is difficult. Liberal politicians have a way of making everyone's failure someone else's fault, leaving those they represent feeling powerless and hopeless. The fact of the matter is that the very belief that "nothing I do matters" prevents people from voting or taking any constructive action. We must start looking for opportunity in every difficulty instead of being stuck in the pessimistic rhetoric that looks for overpowering difficulties in even positive opportunities.

Hopefully, those in Washington will live up to the promises they made in their Contract with America and stop pampering phony victims and start finding ways to support the survivors who are making it work in spite of what liberals say is impossible to do.

There is a re-emerging ethic that is growing in America. No more excuses. If you want to work hard to achieve, we will help you. If you want to rest in victimhood, we will let you do that with a lot less money from Washington. Liberals don't think that people can overcome the challenges and obstacles of life; they are convinced that politicians must do it for them with our money. In November, Americans who still believed that their vote counts turned out to say they want a change. We are not anxious about the future; we are ready to make it a resounding victory for the values America represents.

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