Monday News: Beginnings and Endings.

Let’s start with the endings.

The Olympics wrapped up yesterday night. The athletes from the United States are bringing home the most gold (and there is even a pawn shop web site to help them finance taxes, training and travel). Train for years, live away from your family, represent your country, win a gold medal, go to the pawn shop. There is something wrong with that.

Way to go, Wisconsin?

Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate, has chosen Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as a running mate. Paul Ryan thinks that the people he hopes to represent (and maybe even lead should something happen to the commander-in-chief) are basically irresponsible, creativity-starved dependents of government handouts who do not make adequate use of their families or faith. I’m a registered Independent, meaning I have and will vote for Republican candidates, but the Paul Ryan statement below does not begin to endear me toward the Romney Ryan ticket. I can only imagine what Democrats are thinking.

Americans have been lured into viewing government – more than themselves, their families, their communities, their faith – as their main source of support; they have been drawn toward depending on the public sector for growing shares of their material and personal well-being.  The trend drains individual initiative and personal responsibility. It creates an aversion to risk, sapping the entrepreneurial spirit necessary for growth, innovation, and prosperity. In turn, it subtly and gradually suffocates the creative potential for prosperity.

Monday News: The Olympics.

I used to be a serious Olympics fan. I would watch the opening ceremony, the nightly telecasts and anything else I could squeeze in in terms of coverage. Now, I’m happy with what I see on the news and read. One day I’d like to view a competition. It’s a nice diversion from the usual craziness that goes on in the world.

Missy Franklin by Doug Mills/The New York Times