I know that there are many who believe that government handouts are a very poor way to solve anything. Although I used to feel that was an ill-informed belief, I have listened, and I agree that it contributes more and more to big government inefficiency, causing government debt and/or higher taxes, often placing the burden on those who can least afford it.
It is also somewhat of a disincentive for those who are the beneficiaries to get back to work or to resolve their financial situations on some person to person basis instead of continuing to rely on the government.
However, I am also a realist and also a student of how systems work and how culture is formed and resistant to change.
Now, I have not only found myself reliant on unemployment insurance until it ran out, but now find myself having to rely on food stamps. I can tell you, not in my wildest dreams!
I hope you will believe me that I am very qualified for at least three fourths of the hundreds of positions I have applied for. There is only one plausible explanation for why I have not even received a first level of interest from more than a few of them. In those few cases, it became apparent that the person who first contacted me was not prejudiced, but the rest of the people involved in the hiring process could not honestly say the same.
Prejudiced against what? My age. I am over the “retirement age.” The way our system is set up, an older person will end up costing the business precious dollars of increased insurance premiums because on the average older persons have many more medical claims, also often much more expensive ones. In my case, they would be correct in their assumption.
Ageism is against the law and immoral, I would say, but the system we have trumps common decency and almost eliminates the share of “pursuit of life, liberty, and justice” that our constitution boldly declares should be inalienable to all.
If you take away a person’s opportunity to do respectable, or even much higher than average quality and productive work on a systemic basis, then squawking about a system that keeps them from living on the streets, or worse is at best very insensitive.
This only one example; there are many books and sources that lay out and depict a great many similar situations embedded in our culture. I knew that already, but I can tell you that I know it a lot better now that I am walking in those shoes.
Back to what I have been taught: It is not possible to change only one subsystem among the many contained in the overall system, without simultaneously changing the overall system to accommodate the changes to the small part(s). Until a large majority of the voters recognize that and demand appropriate change across the board, it is extremely disrespectful to put the onus on the most powerless in the existing system, that is, those who cannot get decent work through no fault of their own (don’t say it! just don’t), or who can’t get a respectable wage to even support their families at the bare bones level.
I have listened, and I am much more aware of the plight of small businesses, for example. Now it is your turn, to whomever this applies, please listen, and put demands where they belong, and forego denigrating others. Including me, because right now I am one of them.
Demand that your Congress representatives do the big job they are paid for, and when they don’t, just kick them out and give others a try. I know it is a bit more complicated than that, but if you can’t bring yourself to the point of seeing the necessity of even just that bit, then I ask you to listen and look more openly, and be honest with yourselves, and ask only for solutions that share high levels of respect for ALL, instead of placing the blame where it does not belong, and avoid henpecking at those who are at the bottom of the ladder; I beg of you.
Jesus could have been saved by the many, if they had only opened their eyes to see what was actually before them. Instead they sealed His fate by crucifixion. The irony of that ought not be lost on us today.
Don Austin, PhD