The penalty of “no penalties”

July 6, 2012

With all that’s going on in the current events/political world this week, I thought I’d take a closer look at an important issue that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Right now The Barack and Romney are out on the campaign trail, The Supreme Court is handing down decisions, and don’t forget, mount Joe Biden could erupt in a massive flow of inappropriate statements at any time. With all of that going on, there will be no shortage of commentary on hot topic issues this week. Not that I won’t also have something to say about some of that in the future, it’s just that right now I want to delve into one of the worst, mostly unrecognized, government abuses.
What I want to discuss this week is how government is, and has been, teaching us to coddle ourselves and each other. I know, at first this seems nonsensical. After all, what could possibly be wrong with somebody, government or not, smoothing out the rough spots in life where possible? Don’t we do something similar for our children? On the face of it, it just seems natural to give people a helping hand when they need one. In fact, isn’t it our Christian (and this is, by the way, a Christian nation) duty to help our brother? Of course, for anybody who has spent any time reading the Bible, it plainly says that we are duty bound (actually we’re commanded) to help each other. However; if you read a little closer, the emphasis is not on “gifts”, but concerns actually helping people. Now I’m a long way from being a Bible scholar, and I certainly don’t want to draw anybody’s ire for misquoting or misstating things I’ve read there, so I will just say that my personal belief is that the Bible charges us to help each other in ways which are actually helpful and leave the Bible interpretation at that.
So if part of the Judeo Christian principles our nation is founded on are that we help each other, doesn’t it just make sense to have our national government handle this societal aid for us? Doing it through the federal, or other government entities just seems to make so much sense that for decades the argument hasn’t been should government be helping, but instead how much it should help.
Government aid got off to a slow start in the United States, but as the national government became more liberal, aid, or “a helping hand” as it was often called, from the government really became popular. Since the early part of the last century, we have had a seemingly endless growth of different government programs all designed to deliver help in one form or another to people or groups of people the government has decided need it.
Some of the things that we have tasked the government with, or at least allowed it to handle, have had such a vast scope that we call them by names like “the war on poverty”, or “the great society”. Tightly intertwined with all of these different government policies and programs is also The Civil Rights Movement.
We have reached a point now where we have so many different programs and bureaucracies which are supposedly set up to aid people that I believe no single person or agency even knows how many of them there are. Not only that, but all of these different bureaucracies are subject to abuse from both the recipients of the largesse they dole out, and worse, the bureaucrats who run them and depend on a large “client base” to justify their government job. Doesn’t it strike you as odd that the food stamp program (under whatever name it has changed to this week) actively recruits people? Isn’t the goal of something like that supposed to be helping people through a time of real need, but setting them back on their own feet as soon as possible?
Here’s the problem. All of the “help” the government is giving people in the form of free or reduced rate housing, food stamps, welfare, aid to dependent children and etc. is not teaching or encouraging people to take care of themselves. On the contrary, what people are learning from all of this “aid” is that somebody, somewhere, will take care of them no matter what. Taking away the penalties for failure is not how you teach people to look out for their own welfare. While all of this help may, or may not, be provided with the best of intentions, the actual effect is to produce people who just aren’t capable of making their own way through the world because, simply put, they’ve never had to.
While that may sound harsh, let’s take a look at a group of people the federal government has been intentionally “helping” for years. The poor black family has been the focus of an unknown amount of government programs and all but endless amounts of federal dollars. What, pray tell, has been the result of all of this government largesse? After decades of federal management and help at a cost in dollars so large as to be nearly incalculable, the poor black family, as a recognizable unit, has been all but eradicated. Think all of the black people in prison are there due to conservative policies? I think the high incarceration percentage for blacks has a lot more to do with a liberal (pun intended) amount of government attention than with any other single factor. If the federal government would only stop focusing its attention on this group and instead start concentrating on telephone solicitors, the United States would be a much better place. Additionally, I think it wouldn’t cost nearly as much to destroy the telephone solicitors as it has cost to not help poor people. I know I wouldn’t miss telephone solicitors. In fact now that I think about it, maybe they could be substituted for lab rats (judging by the number of them who call me, there is no shortage).
The fact is, we do need to help people who actually need it and can benefit from being aided. The problem of who to help, how much to help, how to apply that help, and the best way to really be “our brother’s keeper” will never be completely solved. However; at this time, the out-of-control mess our federal government has become is not trying to deal realistically with this issue. They (the federal government) are in fact dragging down (I think intentionally) not just the few people who are trying to escape the trap of “eternal help”, but also groups and individuals who have never before been on the receiving end of government aid.
Could it be, that an electorate made up of self sufficient people, who know the high price of failure, would not feel the need for an intrusive, over controlling nanny state government? Is this the real reason the left is so ready to “help” anybody and everybody?
I have an idea, since we’ve had decades of the nanny state, let’s try it the other way for awhile and see what happens.

Bruce Kreitler is the author of Obamageddon (the Culmination of the Progressive Looting of America) and posts this and other articles at BruceKreitler.com.

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