I think most of my complaints about the economy, government, taxes, etc boils down to one thing:
There's just way too much reliance on the government these days. There's long list:
1. The government has failed us by not regulating Wall St.
Really though, you're the idiot that invested and lost your money. It's not the governments job to manage your finances. I could talk about this one all day. My wife and I predicted the housing and stock market collapse 3 years before it happened and I'm not that smart.
2. The government needs to bail us out.
Really? I'm befuddled at the notion that borrowing money from China (who has none) or printing more money only to piss away on pork projects is going to do. Lose your job and your house? Great. Time to live off the land. Can't? Good riddance, stop breathing my air. I can't wait to see where they decide to brdges next. Maybe to Obamas home state of Hawaii?
3. The government needs to expand Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security/[Insert Welfare Program] I think I've heard of or met 3 people in my entire life who deserved public assistance. Seriously. Get off your lazy ass and take care of yourself and your family. Why should the government spend millions taking care of people who earn hundreds? Seriously care to give me one good reason?
4. The FDA has failed us by allowing Foreign Matter into our food.
Guess what, food is grown outside, in the dirt. The "foreign matter" is natural. But most people wouldn't understand that which brings me to my next point.
5. The absolutely no "Rugged Individualism" in 90% of the US. We just go along in our half baked lives blissfully unaware of what's around us. We have no idea what's in our food, how to grow it, how to survive, or how to take care of ourselves and our families even at a most basic level.
And this is where I tie it into cycling. If everyone thought of life as a bike ride, we'd all be better off. If I go for a bike ride and get a flat, I fix it and keep going. If I break my chain, I'm probably in for a long walk. If i crash, I clean myself up, assess the situation, and keep going. Sure, it sucks when stuff happens, but you MAKE IT WORK. It's no one's responsibility but my own.
The government supplies the infrastructure to make my bike ride possible, but from there it's all up to me.
Just like on a bike ride, the government is responsible for providing the basic infrastructure that makes our lives possible. To me this ends at transit infrastructure (roads and bridges), utility infrastructure, and basic security and national defense (I'm talking crime investigation and border protection under a strict constitutional interpretation).
That's it. Everything else, we should be on our own. Just like when you crash or flat, it sucks, but you learn from it. And we'd all be better off for it.