What has the government done for you lately? In spite of the many billions of dollars that our government has in its coffers and the outsized influence that it holds over our nation, many of us scratch our heads when this question is posed. In addition to police, fire and other emergency services, we have access to a variety of other government programs. However, if one takes a step back and looks at the broader picture, it would appear that most of these programs were put in place to solve a problem that the government created.

Government thrives when it maintains power and its desire for greater power and enormous wealth motivates politicians to place the populace in situations that force Americans to become almost completely dependent on the government, begging for help when in need.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, we witnessed a myriad of problems created by the government, including some that will have long-lasting effects on the younger generation. Businesses closed during mandated lockdowns, which led to a number of bankruptcies, and some employees were terminated because they refused to obtain vaccinations. Both of these outcomes drove some people into poverty and increased the rate of unemployment, which at one point briefly reached almost 15 percent. Perhaps most importantly, lockdowns forced most students to learn remotely, driving them away from enriching experiences that are necessary for their development into sociable, successful young people who eventually will lead our society. 

Recent studies demonstrate that U.S. students were significantly impacted by the closure of schools during the pandemic. For example, the number of children who attempted suicide rose by 51 percent at the peak of the lockdowns. In addition, the number of children who are classified as obese has nearly doubled. To add insult to injury, the pandemic claimed the lives of at least one parent or primary caregiver for more than 200,000 children

As a result, we are seeing many children who are significantly less sociable, more depressed and overweight. It does not take a genius to understand how the life of a child could be negatively impacted by these catastrophic government mandated changes to normal society.

Should we be thankful to the government if, in the future, it provides us with things such as health care subsidies and tax credits as penance for the harm it caused? No, not in my opinion. When the government is the source of a problem, it should not be praised for finding solutions to the problem. Many problems are the result of hasty decision-making, which results in poor policy. The situation is made worse by the fact that sometimes the only place individuals can turn for assistance is the same government that created the issue.

Problems created by the government have forced people to rely on government assistance, leading to a myriad of issues. Chief among them are the pervasiveness of poverty, the growth of criminal activity, and a lack of employment opportunities for younger people. 

The fact that many of these issues have simple solutions is the most frustrating aspect of this scenario. For example, in the case of children going to school, we knew from the start what the consequences of exposing them to COVID-19 would be, as well as the effects of essentially keeping children in their rooms for two years without providing them with opportunity for in-person social interaction. The minimal risk of COVID to children did not outweigh the benefit of keeping them in schools, in my opinion.

It is true that children can be carriers of the virus even if they are not sick; however, research suggests that the lockdowns and other restrictions to which we were subjected did little, if anything, to impede the virus’s ability to spread. You need only look to Florida to see a state that broke the mold and did the polar opposite of what other states did. Florida made it possible for children to go to school, allowing them to develop socially and intellectually. Despite breaking the mold — which was highly controversial — Florida’s current COVID rates are comparable to those of the general U.S. population. It is clear that the potential dangers are relatively insignificant when weighed against the dangers posed to the growth and development of children. 

Take this issue into careful consideration. How do political candidates court votes? Candidates gain support from voters by giving them hope. Yet, if there is no issue, there cannot be any hope for a future without it. So, after the government has fixed a problem that it created, our elected officials have almost no trouble promoting their accomplishments on television or online — while unabashedly failing to acknowledge that they created the problem. Pain and suffering have become part of many Americans’ daily lives and, as a result, too few people notice how the government wrongs them. 

Corruption is an ongoing issue in government and is one of the biggest factors contributing to the decline of our communities and the nation as a whole. Americans are no longer unified. We are divided by partisan politics, made worse by the efforts of the government to increase its control over us. Unfortunately, as long as there is civilization, there will be those who seek to rule — and the government needs only one idea to guide them: the more issues, the more solutions. 

Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) is the owner and manager of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the Year. He is the author of “Reawakening Virtues.”

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