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Entitlement? Benefits Should Have Strings Attached

The entitlement mentality is killing America. We can solve the problem by restoring self-esteem, independence and self reliance. To do so you must care about the people being helped.

The old Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  There is often a kernel of truth in these old sayings. 

This week the news reported the number of people on food stamps increasing by 32% over the last four years.  Depending on your political belief this can be either a drain on the treasury or a compassionate step any advanced society would require.  During the discussions there was a lot of talk about both sides of this argument, but very little talk about the impact it has on the individual.

In the not too distant past, we were an agriculture society and a lot of families were migrant farm workers.  Being a migrant farm worker is not something you wake up to one day and say, “What a great career opportunity, my family will benefit from this path.”  Being a farm worker is something you became because you lacked an education or your life choices prevented you from moving out of current family circumstances and starting a business or attending a trade school.

Most of us read the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck published in 1939.  In this book Steinbeck wrote knowingly about the migration into California.  Reading the book, one comes to understand migrant farm workers were a hardy breed who toiled daily trying to scratch out a living for their families.  Everybody in the family worked hard from sunup to sundown.  The workers involved every member of the family with youngsters picking up a bucket to help pick produce from a very early age.  What you don’t read in this or other books about the time period is the demand by people for government assistance.  Actually, a good many of these hard working Americans distrusted the government.  Bottom line, these individuals had a strong sense of self, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to family. 

The question we should ask ourselves is: What is the difference between the people in the 1920’s and 1930’s and the people today?  It is worth exploring the idea of expectations.  In the 20’s people did not expect help.  Neighbors, members of the same congregation or local charities were there and would step in to help, but the people receiving help were anxious to avoid getting help for any longer than necessary.  The aid affected these people’s self-image. 

Today, there is a sense of entitlement.  People who are accepting aid assume it comes from the government and they are getting exactly what they deserve.  Somewhere along the line people receiving help forgot that the government has no money.  Any money the government spends to help one family must be taken from another family. Not thinking about where the money comes from while accepting the modern media’s title of victim, the individual’s self-identification, does not require independence or a strong sense of self-worth.

For those jumping out of their chairs and yelling that we are in a recession—relax, I understand.  But if we drop the term victim and start talking about the benefits of independence, we can start getting to the problem.

There are jobs available.  There are more skilled jobs available than there are skilled workers ready to take the jobs.  A major step in that direction was the work requirement which came from entitlement reform during the Bill Clinton
presidency. There is controversy over what President Obama did or didn’t do with this program, but the fact remains real unemployment is around 14% and 32% more people are on food stamps.

I am suggesting any benefits given to a family should come with strings attached.  To get fed, get educated.  Want money for housing?  Attend trade classes developed to fill the type of jobs available today.  Private industry would be willing to set up training classes if they could see a return for their invested dollars.  This would require changing the tax code to allow for training of skilled craftsmen in areas of need. 

Business will not invest on promises; they have to see where the return will come from before investing the money.  If a manufacturer could make the numbers work out, they would train the skilled labor needed to make a profit.  There will be large numbers of exceptions to include those with severe disabilities, the aged and the injured.  Common sense still exists in this country; we can make a program work.

The first step to solving this problem is to really care about those receiving aid.

To solve the problem we must want the best for this generation. The generations to follow need to see their parents getting up and going to work.  Initially there will be problems and issues which need to be worked out. But they need to be worked out with the best long-term interest of the people. 

People are not victims of society; they are victims of their decisions.  People are not entitled to anything but love and help overcoming a temporary situation.  This government has no right to take money from one working family and give it to a family which is unwilling to work.

The government does have the responsibility to facilitate the transition from an entitlement mentality to individual responsibility and well-earned self-esteem.

What do you think?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

cheryl clark October 27, 2012 at 08:18 AM
I guess you figure that you've got yours, so let the poor starve or be your servant. California used to be the envy of the other states--now, because of politicians like you, you'd rather kick the poor to the curb, rather than pay the taxes you should and give others a chance to reach your lofty level.
CDC October 28, 2012 at 06:49 PM
"There are more skilled jobs available than there are skilled workers ready to take the jobs." Really? So tell me again John why my high paying skilled job was outsourced to a guy in China working for a head of cabbage? LET ME CLUE YOU IN JOHN...ANY job going over a wire came and most likely WILL be outsourced if the company is run by greedy low life A$$holes. A French style revolution is coming soon to this country. YOU can see it clear as day. We are getting closer to the tipping point with the end of the middle class. Go down to Mexico and soak in that lovely two class system. Is that what you want John???
John Webb October 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Really? So tell me again John why my high paying skilled job was outsourced to a guy in China working for a head of cabbage? I guess you figure that you've got yours, so let the poor starve or be your servant These two comments outline the problem exactly. Cheryl is thinking the Government has her back when they are exactly the people restricting opportunity. CDC believes he has the right to have a job regardless of who loses money. This is the point. Rules and regulations increase the cost of producing things in this country. The EPA is working to kill the coal industry and restrict any energy source that is not in favor of the elite ruling class. Go back and read your history. Prior to the Progressive movement the USA was the hope of the world. As we move further down the progressive trail (where the smart elite make decisions they figure we are too stupid to make for ourselves) there becomes less opportunity and more government. CDC you do not have a right to have a job, you have an opportunity to choose any job you want or create your own. Chery, business people do not want to keep you down, they want to build you up so you can spend more, increase your life style and help carry the economy. Take a few minutes to research our history and you will see the truth. Be smarter than those wanting you to follow them.
cheryl clark October 30, 2012 at 06:37 AM
Oh please! You and your business friends just want the govt. to leave you aloneso you can screw over your employees and customers as much as you can. Look at these people killed and sickened by contaminated steroid shots. They should have been governmentally restricted, but apparently they just allowed fungus to grow in rooms where they prepared prescription drugs. They should have been MORE strictly monitored by the govt.
John Webb October 30, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Cheryl your remarks remind me of the following quote: "Sometimes people do not want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." Fredrich Nietzsche. .

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