Dr. Ben Carson

When government grows too large, dependency replaces achievement.

When I was in high school in Detroit, I had a job as a biology laboratory assistant. I spent a substantial amount of time in the greenhouse preparing botany experiments. I had acquired some seeds of an interesting plant and was anxious to use them to produce my own crop of these plants. I planted the seeds in a special container and kept enriching the soil and providing plenty of moisture and sunlight to enhance and accelerate the growth. I was very disappointed with the results and eventually abandoned the project, leaving the seeds in some soil behind the greenhouse to fend for themselves.

To my surprise, one day when I was behind the greenhouse, I discovered that the seeds not only had germinated, but had produced a substantial crop without my help.

I realize that no analogy is perfect and that many people will try to discredit this one, but in this case, I believe the seed is similar to America when it was a fledgling group of colonies. Many people came to America from other countries because they saw an opportunity to lead the life of their choice without a lot of interference from an overarching governing structure.

Although there has been constant tension between those desiring a strong central government that maintains control and order and those desiring maximum personal freedom as long as the rights of others are preserved, our country managed to thrive for many decades with an unprecedented level of autonomy for its citizens. People largely were left to their own devices and could experience great financial success or profound failure without the government playing a major role, other than ensuring the rights of the citizens to pursue their dreams.

Government plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of a successful society. In our country, it was intended that the central government would provide such services as policing, military protection, roads, sanitation, public safety and similar things. In recent years, well-meaning government officials from both parties have determined that citizens need to be more closely managed because they are not capable of acting responsibly or planning for the future. Unfortunately, many of our citizens have grown accustomed to having others regulate their lives and now take little responsibility for their own well-being and that of their families.

In the meantime, the government continues to grow at a rapid pace in order to meet the needs and expectations of the growing dependent class of citizens.