President Obama acknowledged an "astounding" number of job losses in February. In spite of the numerous signs confirming our declining economy, President Barack Obama believes his $787 billion economic recovery plan is saving jobs. President Obama wants us to believe, "I know we did the right thing." These quotations are from Darlene Supeville, an Associate Press Writer. Darlene wrote an article entitled Obama on stimulus, "I know we did the right thing".
We know the intended purpose of the stimulus plan was to save jobs and resurrect our economy. Psychologically, one would hope that the stimulus plan would empower people to become self-confident, self-determined and committed to actualize their psychological and vocational abilities.
If the stimulus plan is creating learned helplessness,
is this the goal of President Obama'stimulus plan? Does President Obama want to build his legacy by destroying our values of self determination and independence? Does the President want to replace traditional American values with the demoralizing and crippling values of learned helplessness?
What is learned helplessness? Steven Kotler defined learned helplessness "a psychological condition in which a human or animal has learned to behave helplessly in a particular situation even when they have the power to change their situation".
In the latter part of August of 2008, Dan Ariely suggested that America's gloomy reactions and loss of consumer confidence may be attributed learned helplessness. Dan wrote "I suspect that one answer lies in a psychological condition caused by prolonged exposure to unpredictable negative events called learned helplessness.”
Dan emphasized that Americans have been "exposed to an alarming sequence of market disasters. First, it was the Internet stock bubble. Then housing prices. And now oil prices and the banking crisis. All these came at us in quick succession and in direct contradiction to the prevalent advice given by financial advisers and the media."
Since August of 2008, the economy has continued to deteriorate causing even more cultural, societal and economic helplessness. Americans have lost confidence in Wall Street in our government. We feel helpless as the government and Wall Street spin out of control and steal our money for their agendas, personal power and gain.
Steven Mark Richardson talked about the history of learned helplessness. He explained "learned helplessness is primarily linked with the work of Martin E. P. Seligman's theory of learned helplessness (LHT). Seligman identified LHT to occur when a person; or animal believes that outcomes are independent of their actions'. In other words, individuals or animals feel that they are powerless in a given situation, and don't have the power to make a difference." Certainly this statement fits the culture in America today!
Also, "Seligman argued that LHT is an important feature of human experience, especially for those who are socially, economically and politically disadvantaged". Many of the individuals who have been socially, economically and politically disadvantaged have already become dependent on the government to support them and hence have already learned helplessness.
Andrew Planter warned us that: "learned helplessness can happen on many levels, from personal to social. Yes, a whole society can feel helpless, especially if those who are supposed to guide and protect it distort the truth and restrict basic freedoms."
Andrew made this startling statement: "but the irony of this situation is that those in control are not in control at all. They are ruled by their own fear, and as a result feel they must control everything and everyone around them, and the result of this is that they will eventually be unable to make clear, rational decisions. In other words they themselves will have learned to be helpless."
William Guilmette wrote about the learned helplessness resulting from patient's dependency experienced during hospitalization, William wrote "looking deeply into this scenario, we are not helping the older person, but rather, engraving a sense of unworthiness, uselessness, and social failure. Every task is done for them and they soon feel like they are failing and can't help themselves.The hospital provides an adequate environment in which the patients are uncontrollably dependent on others due to dis-empowering care. Seligman (as cited in Faulkner, 2001) stated, "a patient's development of dependence following exposure to dis-empowering care may best be explained using the substantive psychological theory of learned helplessness." I
It sure is not a big leap to realize that the massive stimulus package will make citizens dependent upon the government much as elderly patients become dependent on hospital personnel.
Citizens receiving the stimulus package as well as citizens having to pay for the stimulus package will learn helplessness, Also the work ethic and motivation for achievement characteristic of pre-Obama America will be destroyed.
Remember, We Will Live within the Country Created by Our Choices! Our choices will maintain our independence or we will sink into learned helplessness!
Learned Helplessness kills mental fitness. Maintaining our focus, goals and independence are the guts of mental fitness and also create mental fitness.
Life and Mental Fitness Coach