‘Responsibility’ is Key to World Economic Crisis

Is the present generation willing to accept the simple responsibility of paying its bills?

Or will we refuse to pay? That’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it?

The Roberts decision upholding the Affordable Care Act turned the spotlight on RESPONSIBILITY.  The effect of the High Court decision is to require that people of means take responsibility for buying their own health insurance. Some view that as an unreasonable request.

The decision also leaves a central question open to debate. Will society accept responsibility for the health care costs of the poor? The High Court’s position on Medicaid essentially requires each state to decide whether it will accept responsibility for its poor citizens. (A related question is: Can individuals act responsibly to preserve their own health?)

On the world economic stage, the crisis in Europe also spotlights responsibility.

In Greece and Italy, will individuals take responsibility for paying their taxes? Of course it’s unfair to single out Greece and Italy. Tax evasion and avoidance is endemic in most of the advanced economies.

People hide and hoard their wealth, rather than willingly pay their share of the bills, that is, their taxes. Tax refusal forces governments into debt. And at some point, debt leads to default.

The crisis in Europe also raises the question:  Will the more successful economies take responsibility for saving the less successful? Will people who pay their taxes hold their noses and willingly bail out deadbeats who don’t pay their taxes?

One of many questions of responsibility in America is:  Will the business community act responsibly toward immigrant workers? Or is the American way of business based on simply taking advantage of cheap labor?

Responsibility questions can be found in every part of the economic crisis. But perhaps most tellingly, the Roberts decision turns the spotlight on those in positions of government leadership. That would be “politicians,” for lack of a better term.

John Roberts took personal responsibility for his own individual choice as a jurist, rather than following the easier way of falling back on prepackaged partisan or ideological  positions. Of course, Roberts has the protection of a lifetime appointment.

In America, national government is locked in virtual stalemate. How many elected politicians will have the backbone to imitate the Roberts example?

Can individual political leaders take personal responsibility for doing their jobs? Can they exercise their own intelligence and follow their own consciences?

— John Hayden

Maximum Out-of-Pocket Premium Payments Under PPACA

Maximum Out-of-Pocket Premium Payments Under the Affordable Care Act. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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