I recently heard on a news report about how people in this country are losing confidence in the future of the economy as they watch what’s going on these days.

But when I hear that kind of thing, I can’t help but wonder if we ourselves aren’t to blame for most of the problems we now face and if we shouldn’t be in a position where we wouldn’t have to worry about the effect such matters would have on us.

High gas prices, high food prices, low employment figures – did Americans bring this whole economic mess upon themselves?

Did we let ignorant and rebellious thought processes cause us to roll out the red carpet for things destined to damage the economy?

I really wonder: Are we victims of circumstance or did we do everything we could to stubbornly nurture an environment in which our troubles would multiply?

Did we decide things were important that really weren’t? Did we then willingly listen to the wrong people and embrace a set of misguided viewpoints?

Did we decide that things that make sense were no longer “cool” and go in search of ways to do things differently – regardless of consequence?

Did we develop a zeal to hinder the conservation of our established way of life? Did that cause us to round up a bunch of people who would not act in our own best interest and place them in positions of influence and decision-making? Did we then make sure to provide them all they would need to undermine our very own economic system?

Did they in turn make our country an unattractive place in which to conduct large, privately owned, money-making businesses, and are we subsequently to blame for the fact that most of us have few possessions marked “made in USA?”

Did we allow environmentalists to sabotage our energy situation and steer us away from any potential increase in energy independence?

Since we apparently opted long ago not to focus on alternative energy sources like solar, wind, hydrogen and even water, did we compound our energy problems by relying on countries run by dictators and religious fanatics to provide much of our oil? Could we could effectively addressed our fossil fuel addiction – and perhaps solved most of our energy problems – by simply getting more oil from our own territory?

Did we make the interests of more than 300,000,000 humans take a back seat to environmental concerns that could likely have been dealt with successfully?

Or are high gas prices just an unavoidable fact of life in the new millennium?

Did we allow members of our judicial system to create policy rather than stay within the bounds of simply upholding existing policy?

Did we decide we were “entitled” to services and financial gain and that people who had acquired large sums of money by working hard to making something of themselves had done something bad and wrong?

Did we hold people in contempt for their success?

Have we lost sight of what got us to where we are?

Did we allow many, many other things to take place that set the stage for the current economic climate?

And did we scoff at those who tried to warn us of the dangers that lay ahead on the path we were traveling?

Maybe not. Maybe all the damage our economy and way of life have sustained have been caused by things we had absolutely no control over.

But then again, should we have circled the wagons about 25 or 30 years ago and focused on getting ourselves on the right track? And if we had, would we have been better prepared to move ahead as a nation and better equipped to deal with the present?

Maybe so.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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