…because it is simply the worst kind of myth – an outright lie. It would be at least a little relevant if America’s “poor” were starving in the streets, slaving away in workhouses or sent to debtor’s prisons…but they aren’t…and the “progressive” interest in “the poor” is only because they can be used as a tool to demean “the rich”. When the “poor” have cars, own homes, have refrigerators, washer/dryers, cell phones and air conditioning, it’s not about providing support – one has to ask – exactly what are “the rich” being coerced into paying for? Is it basic support for survival – or is it an attempt to create progressively increased standards of living?
It is about the latter, and since it is, it is about redistributing wealth.
With the vitriol that successful people are facing today from these Marxists, it is clear it isn’t about helping the less fortunate, it is about the Marxist’s historical desire to destroy anyone whom they envy. Why else would we have a certain class of “the rich” who support Obama and his merry band of Marxist men? Apparently in the jaundiced eyes of a fellow traveler, there are some “rich” people who are better than others. Seems to me that this would indicate that it isn’t about the money at all, it is about power.
Why is it that we aren’t having a discussion about the recipients of this aid that the left wants to punish “the rich” in order to pay for? Why aren’t we having a discussion about the fact that our “poor” have more than 85% of the rest of the world and have TVs, cell phones and own homes with air conditioning?
This letter is going around FaceBook, so there is reason to doubt its authenticity – but it describes my sentiments pretty well:
Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone. While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as “Medicaid”! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.
And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care? I contend that our nation’s “health care crisis” is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a “crisis of culture”, a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.
It is a culture based on the irresponsible credo that “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me”.
Once you fix this “culture crisis” that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you’ll be amazed at how quickly our nation’s health care difficulties will disappear.
STARNER JONES, MD
Or in less complex terms, do the “unable” (or unwilling) have a moral responsibility to the ”able” who foot the bill?
In the context of the question, I’m speaking of those who are physically and mentally able to contribute to society. For example – if one has received 99 weeks of unemployment, should they volunteer (not forced) at a homeless shelter, Habitat for Humanity or a similar non-profit enterprise?
I ask the question because I think that this is one of issues that I struggle with the most. I think that people have become conditioned to take help for granted and see it as something that they are just due.
I’m from a small town in north Mississippi and I can remember our church helping two families who had rough patches. The congregation gave them food, paid their utilities and rent and generally helped them out. In return, the mom and the older kids came to the church twice a week and cleaned the church and cooked in the church kitchen. The dad’s and the older sons provided the labor to paint the church and the parsonage.
Nobody asked them to do anything, they felt compelled to return the kindness shown them in any way they could.
But this was Christian charity, commanded by God, not governmental dole, provided by man – big difference…
“It is the duty of the people of God to give bountifully for the aforesaid purpose. It is commanded once and again in the text, “Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy poor brother.” Merely to give something is not sufficient. It answers not the rule, nor comes up to the holy command of God. But we must open our hand wide. What we give, considering our neighbor’s wants, and our ability, should be such as may be called a liberal gift. What is meant in the text by opening the hand wide, with respect to those that are able, is explained in Deu. 15:8, “Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his want, in that which he needeth.” By lending here, as is evident by the two following verses, and as we have just now shown, is not only meant lending to receive again; [for] the word lend in Scripture is sometimes used for giving; as in Luke 6:35, “Do good and lend, hoping for nothing again.”
But the Bible also commands against idleness and sloth, sloth being one of the 7 deadly sins:
“For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
It is my opinion that people who receive taxpayer aid do, in fact, bear a moral responsibility to perform some sort of value added activity in exchange for the support that they receive, even if it is nothing more than picking up trash alongside the highway. People will say that it is not my place to judge and that menial jobs will damage their self esteem, but my questions to those people would be, 1) do I not have a right to expect that the taxes I pay are used to change a life instead of just more status quo?, 2) isn’t the very point of support to provide a basis from which a person can improve their situations?, and 3) Honest work is honest work, how much worse is it on someone’s self-esteem if they sit around doing nothing and eventually feel hopeless and worthless?
Along with that vaunted conversation about race (that we can’t have over the din of being called racists by the left), we have to have a similar honest conversation about poverty and what it really means. I have stated that “there is no doubt that poor Americans do not live in the lap of luxury. They do clearly struggle to make ends meet, but when the struggle is not for day to say sustenance and shelter – but to pay for cable TV, air conditioning, and a car it illustrates that his lifestyle is far from the images of stark deprivation purveyed equally by advocacy groups and the media.
There is nothing about being poor that is good or noble.
There is nothing permanent about it either.