I’m all for personal accountability. We should all be responsible for our actions as adults, and even to some degree as adolescents. Personally, I maintain that people who choose to abuse our systems should be punished accordingly. However, recently, I’ve heard many conservatives, some friends others politicians or pundits, say that in our current economic situation, the people who are unemployed or under-employed should not blame Wall Street or Corporate America for the economy. They should blame themselves and hold themselves accountable for their conditions. After all, there are successful people, even in this economy, and many of them are self-made. If they can do it, anyone can, or so they say. Nevermind about outsourcing or offshore bank holdings or toxic assets. Those have not contributed one iota to our current economic situation, they maintain. Therefore, following that logic, I’ve decided to apply the laissez-faire model to other areas of society, and here is what I’ve come up with.
Drug dealers should not be punished for selling drugs, even to minors. After all, dealers are only responding to market conditions. The demand exists, so they should have the opportunity to peddle their wares in whatever manner produces a profit. The blame lies squarely with the users. If people were not so lazy and ignorant as to get involved with drugs in the first place, there would not be a need for dealers. As to the act of selling drugs to minors or on school grounds, again the dealers are only responding to market pressures. Competition requires that they expand their markets to maintain profitability. Therefore, the government should keep the meddling to itself and leave dealers alone.
Drunk drivers should not be punished for driving intoxicated, even if they murder a family on its way home from dinner. The sober should be more aware that drunks occupy the highways and should take appropriate action to avoid being struck by someone who is merely trying to get home after a fun night on the town. What right does the government have to tell a person what they can or cannot do behind the wheel of their own car? No, the responsibility clearly falls on the sober to avoid putting themselves in situations where a drunk driver may be occupying the road.
Teachers should not be held accountable for failing to instruct their students properly in the classroom. The fault lies solely on students and their parents for choosing to take a course from an incompetent teacher. If students do not receive a quality education, they should have taken the course from someone else. There are other schools out there. Parents and students should be more proactive in finding out ahead of time if the teachers in their schools are up to standards. The government has no right to encroach on a teacher’s right to conduct class in whatever manner seems fit. They were hired for the job, so there should be no oversight into how well they are performing in those roles.
I could keep going, but clearly, I’ve made my point. Only the victims of improper behavior should be held accountable for their actions. They need to learn to be more aware of their environments and not put themselves in situations where a drug dealer or drunk driver can cause them harm. After all, I made it home safely last night without being killed by an impaired driver, and if you didn’t, it’s all your fault.