By Kevin G. O’Leary
Government sponsored welfare in America has been a failure from the beginning. It sucks. We suck. So stop it already.
It is a grossly unfair system. It is unfair to those who do as the are able to and work for a living only to see their paychecks diminished as taxpayers to pay for those who do not work. The taxes out of our paychecks subsidize a legacy of failures and incompetent administration going back to my birth in the 1960s. I felt this intensely when I went back to United States in 2007 to work for Lowe’s and join the ranks of the working poor. I felt the sting and zing and the zapping sound of dollars coming out of my paycheck. My paycheck was smaller than most by my own choice because I was trying to max out on my 401k contribution and favorable employee stock purchase options. I was looking a few years ahead. I cannot think of any group in America that I respect more now than the working poor. After a 12 hour shift, I would stop by Denny’s and chat with some of the regular patrons. As incredible as it sounds, I was often the only working person sitting in a group of almost a half-dozen people. Now, I don’t want to paint everyone with a wide brush and diss my coffee buddies. Afterall, some had earned their keep in our society and legitimately retired after 40 years on the job. But many of them only worked a fraction of that and were dependent on our government social programs to survive. As someone who was raised in a Christian home, I grew up to be compassionate and be concerned about members of our community who were unable to help themselves due to poverty and physical handicaps. In our home, Jesus came first, others came second and yourself came in last spelling the word JOY. How do we reconcile our Christian beliefs of charity with the fact too many people are living off the backs of those who are working? Where did those people who were unable to care for themselves turn prior to my generation? Well, for one they sought help from their local community , their institutions of faith and the most solid institution on earth, the family.
Now, fast forward 50 years from the 1960s to 2012, our institutions of community are being marginalized in favor of big government programs from Washington. Faith based charities still exist, but our big society government has made them to be a less desirable choice in favor of government funding. Today, 52 percent of marriages end in divorce and as many of a third of new babies are born to unwed mothers. In addition to frightening transformation of traditional family as our ancestors knew it, nuclear families are increasingly becoming bitterly estranged from their members over silly nonsense that our forefathers seemed to know how to work out within the walls of their log cabins. But fear not, our nation, the greatest nation on earth, The United States of America has come to the rescue of the downtrodden.
The government and many of our people say opportunities no longer exist. There is no work out there. There is no need for that outdated model of individual responsibility that previous generations had to use. The government is here. I think the “Great Society” programs have been a huge success in one respect. It has cemented the loyalty to the US Democratic Party by those will be dependent on government assistance. Those democrats are pure geniuses, convince the population o be dependent instead of independent and in exchange gather up those voters at election time. I am not anti-Democrat. The GOP is no better. They need to get a piece of the pie too and are taking pages from the democratic manual. In fact, George W. Bush was more fiscally liberal than William Jefferson Clinton. Other than that fact, the GOP has an additional perversion of not being able to keep their hands out of and off people’s genitalia and out of people’s bedrooms, there is barely a dime’s worth of difference between them. I am proud to say I am no longer a member of either of the two major political parties.
In Kevin’s perfect world, welfare programs run by the US government would eventually cease. Neither of two political parties knows how to do anything except to try to out tinker with a broken down vehicle better than the other tinkerer. Not since Bill Clinton was president, did the government look like they were going to address ending welfare as we know it. If our constitution permitted it and Slick Willy was on the ballot again, I would vote for him. He couldn’t keep cigars and other things out of the bodies of a few women, that is true. But our current GOP cannot keep their hands off anybody. I wish Bill Clinton would not have gone on national TV and said, ” I did not have sex with that woman.” He should have told the truth and said, “My fellow Americans, I did not screw you.” I have come to belief that we lack the will, the leadership and the “Yes, we can” to reform our welfare system. We need to stop depending on these lawyers who become politicians to solve this. We need to elect more veterinarians to office. At least they know what to do, put the ornery critter down. Kill it. If it cannot be cured end it.
Kev’s ideas for a starter since we cannot end entitlement programs tomorrow and revisit programs of yesterday.
First eliminate all those stupid acronyms that the government changes every year to confuse those who are funding it. TANF=welfare. WIC=food assistance. EBT=Electronic Booze and Tobacco Purchases. Whoops, I don’t remember what the EBT card stands for.
Retain and promote my favorite program of all commonly known as AJOB.
If you cannot support yourself and your family through the a AJOB program, you must retrain yourself to turn to supportive families for assistance, look to our faith-based institutions that have been around since Jesus Christ anointed St. Peter. Look to your communities and be a part of them.
But, but…… the church sponsored homeless shelter downtown has a curfew, rules for this and rules for that. But…I don’t know what to do. I have never really interacted with my community. How can I ask them for help? You are already getting financial help from you working neighbor next door. Be part of your community and not part of the problem. But…I don’t want to have this conversation with my brother or my parents.
YOU: Hey Dad, can I borrow 100 dollars?
DAD: Oh, what’s up?
YOU: They are having a two for one sale on gin and Jack Daniels down at the Spunky’s Spirits Superstore. Oh, and I need to grab a couple of tickets for the powerball lottery and a carton of Marlboros.
DAD: Oh, I see. Well, I think I’ll just hang on to my own money just the same. You have fun with your search for cash, OK.
I have to run and teach a class of students that I am underpaid for now. I sincerely hope I have given some people something to think about and most importantly successfully pissed some other people off big time. Before I leave, I want to tell you where my radical thinking comes from. Blame my roots I guess. The O’Leary/Chamberlin clan. Everyone in our family in spite of having a nearly 100 percent rate of university graduates among us has worked our lives in jobs that may not seem commensurate with our schooling, training and experience. In spite of having postgraduate degrees, I earn part of my income processing food in a production facility as an entry-level worker. Another sibling manages a GNC store for yuppies with supplemental income to buy those tasty healthy supplements. I have worked in Japan for 20 years in a xenophobic environment where finding a variety of work is a challenge. Neither myself of my siblings have ever been out of work for a long stretch since we were teens. Our family has been raised to help ourselves so we may in turn help others. In order to help ourselves, we have endeavored to take education seriously to prepare for our future. We get this trait from our Grandad I think. He once had several drug stores in towns like Mt. Morris, Rochelle and Oregon. The depression took them all away. Instead of taking handouts he got up and went to work selling drugs over the road and breaking the soil on his family farm. Our father was cut from the public school system before his seniority cost them too much money and worked entry-level at Menards until retirement.
The government does not owe you diddly squat. Opportunity does not mean a guarantee. Explore the AJOB program at your local Employment security office today. You will be glad you did!