Jim Maxson, Minot
A "fair and balanced" editorial in the "fair and balanced" Minot Daily News recently denigrated the president for having said in so many words that few of us in America are "self made." I took a personal inventory. My grade school education was subsidized by the state of Minnesota. The government also provided school bus service from our farm to the nearest school which was seven miles away. The government provided road grading and snow removal, allowing us relatively easy transportation to town. Rural Electric Cooperatives subsidized by the federal government provided electricity and telephone service for our farm.
My parents purchased federally subsidized crop insurance and received a government farm loan to get started again after the war. My father also was a teacher. That was a government job he took after the government helped pay for his college education at NDSU. Both my junior high school and high school educations were also subsidized by the state of Minnesota. Only Iowa had higher test scores than Minnesota. The state of Minnesota next subsidized my college education where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a triple major from Moorhead State. The total tuition expense for my first quarter as a freshman student at Moorhead State was $65. My first year of law school cost more than it cost to get an entire college degree at Moorhead State.
Please don't call me a self-made man with a straight face. Thank God I grew up in an America that saw people like my family and myself as potential assets rather than potential liabilities. Positive thinking and negative thinking can both become self fulfilling prophecies. The America I grew up in didn't just pay lip service to family values, it lived it. Have we stopped believing? If we have, let's start again.