Can You Value What You Don’t See?

When asked in a national survey, Americans will tell you that the role of government is pretty far down the list of what is necessary to achieve the American Dream. Yet education, which is third on the list (behind hard work and a strong family) is largely financed and run by local, state and federal government.

During the recent debate over health care, many Americans expressed concern that the new Affordable Care Act would result in government-run health care. Ironically, some of the most concerned were those who were already happily receiving Medicaid or Medicare (i.e., “government-run healthcare”).

These are both examples of what Suzanne Mettler refers to in her book, Submerged State, of what happens when we can’t see the help we’re getting—we don’t value it.

Think about it: Has our government ever helped you? We traditionally think of social services such as food stamps or Medicare when we think of government assistance. But have you ever attended a public school, taken out student loans, applied for unemployment, filed for a mortgage tax credit, used a public road, or checked out a book at the library? When government works, it works—although we can barely see it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a D or an R or an I. If you’re American, chances are your government has done something to help you get to where you are.

So the next time someone is bad mouthing your government, share what it’s done for you. Or better yet, share it on social media right now. Just click one of the icons below to post it on Facebook or tweet it to the world.

Learn more about our mixed views of GOVERNMENT and the American Dream.

Leave a Reply

Sign up here to receive Moving Up Mondays

Receive our weekly email, delivering inspiration and perspective every Monday morning.