OPINION – I’m grateful for little things like dust, spiders, flies, and mice. I don’t actually like any of them, but they remind me how many modern comforts I take for granted.
I realized this when my wife Becky and I took the kids up to Navajo Lake to stay at a friend’s cabin this past weekend. It’s a rustic old cabin that has been in the family for generations. It’s also far off the beaten path with no electricity or running water.
When we first entered the cabin, the spider webs, mouse tracks and dead flies were a bit unsettling. But by the time we were ready to head home, we barely noticed them. It was amazing how quickly we adapted to a more primitive lifestyle, though not everyone could muster the courage to use the outhouse.
As we drove home, we talked about how things like pest control, hot water and electricity are nice, but a meal cooked over coals is pretty decent too. My youngest daughter at one point asked if I wished I could live up in the mountains forever. That got me thinking.
Most of us have never had to adapt to a long-term situation where all the conveniences of modern life are simply no longer available. Our camping trips may have a few drawbacks, but we can always jump in the car and head home when the going gets too tough.
What if that was not an option?
Self-reliance has been a priority of mine for many years, but I’ll never feel as though I have all the bases covered. Other preppers feel the same way. One of the biggest challenges would be keeping our families fed during a prolonged crisis.
Considering how few people actually think far enough ahead to be prepared for the unexpected, this could become a serious problem. It’s not so much a matter of there being a shortage of food as a dependency upon others to feed us.
One place where this mindset of dependence is most clearly seen is in the staggering number of Americans receiving food assistance from the federal government. Not all of this assistance is in the form of food stamps. It also includes school breakfast and lunch as well as the WIC program for women, infants, and children.
The fact that there are needy in our society is not shocking. But government efforts to get more people on food stamps are reminiscent of how a drug dealer operates. It is the promise of something for free right now that will eventually lead to long-term dependence.
Fox News has reported on a deliberate campaign to sign up more people for food stamps at a time when government spending and debt has never been higher. It’s not surprising that some folks would take advantage of these handouts to live on the productivity of the taxpayers.
But there is a Faustian bargain in the works when people choose to accept these state-granted benefits. This is especially true when it relates to our sustenance.
Daisy Luther who blogs as the Organic Prepper warns:
“The government wants to be in control. They want to control what you eat, where you acquire the food, and how you pay for it. And eventually, they want the ability to use that access to food as a tool for manipulation. It’ll be great while it lasts – your family might end up with an extra $200 in groceries – ‘Hey, honey – want lobster for dinner tonight? Uncle Sam’s buying!’
“But when it ends, you will be left poorer than you were before with no means of feeding your family except capitulation to the machine.”
When people have been trained to feed on handouts, their freedom is contingent on obedience to those handing out the favors.
This dependency eventually spreads to encompass not just food stamp recipients, but also the stores where they do their shopping. Stores that accept the electronic benefits cards, known as EBT, make thousands of dollars in sales to food stamp recipients. Their livelihood also depends upon U.S. government goodies.
On the first of the month, when benefits are received, it’s not uncommon for stores to see people shopping at midnight waiting for their government assistance accounts to be replenished.
To avoid the food stamp snare, we can carefully build up a store of foods, grow a garden, cook from scratch, and live within our means.
We must be willing to endure these minor inconveniences in order to retain our personal freedom. In the long run, it’s worth it.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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