Tag Archives: welfare

Americans Are Too Reliant on the Government

Government DependencyI came across this list of 21 facts that prove that dependence on the government is out of control in America and while I recognize that it’s a bit of an extremist site, the facts don’t lie.  We have gone way too far over to the liberal side in this country and that’s primarily why we, as a nation and as a people, are struggling.  I might not agree with all of the conclusions provided, therefore I wanted to take a look at these 21 items myself and give my take.

1. According to a Congressional Budget Office study that was just released, approximately 60 percent of all U.S. households get more in transfer payments from the government than they pay in taxes.  Here is more about this stunning report from Mark J. Perry’s Carpe Diem blog

This is just basic bad mathematics by the government, you cannot have a stable economy if you spend more money than you take in.  It doesn’t work for business, it can’t work for government either.  That’s why China owns more than $1.3 trillion dollars of our debt and it’s increasing all the time.  Other countries like Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Russia own significant portions of our debt as well and there’s really no sign that we will ever be able to pay much, if any of it back.  We are not fiscally responsible in this country, neither the people nor the government and it’s not just the Democrats, the Republicans, which are just religiously-zealous liberals today, are just as bad.

2. About 70 percent of all government spending now goes toward dependence-creating programs.

Americans are becoming much more reliant on the government than they have any right to be. The government has an absurd amount of control over people’s lives and a ridiculous amount of input into their ability to make a living. For a majority of Americans, some form of welfare check arrives every month, there aren’t that many of us who eschew all government help because we believe we are personally responsible for taking care of ourselves and our families.  Personally, if I qualified for any government program that I hadn’t paid in for, and I don’t mean paid taxes, I mean paid specifically for, such as Social Security, I would never sign up for that program, no matter how hard things got.  I would be embarrassed.  There isn’t any such thing as shame in this country anymore.

3. From 2009 through 2013, the U.S. government spent a whopping 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs.

That is utterly absurd.  Compared to other programs that are more important, including transportation, NASA and education, the United States government spends almost 5x as much on welfare programs than those others put together.  What’s worse, many of these social programs are so utterly fragmented, food stamps, for instance, are just one of 15 federal programs that feed the poor and this doesn’t include state-based food programs that may overlap federal efforts.  It is impossible, with so many fingers in the pie, to oversee the absurd waste in these programs.  We know we’re throwing away money, the government isn’t interested in cleaning up it’s own mess.

4. The percentage of the U.S. population that gets money from the federal government grew by an astounding 62 percent between 1988 and 2011.

More than 42% of Americans receive some sort of government check each and every month, an increase of 62% over the 24 year period between 1988 and 2011.  In fact, it is suspected that these numbers are actually conservative, that many more people may suck on the government teat.  Some say that the Census Bureau Current Population Survey is “well known to undercount those receiving Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, State Children’s Health Insurance, higher-education support, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.”

5. According to an analysis of U.S. government numbers conducted by Terrence P. Jeffrey, there are 86 million full-time private sector workers in the United States paying taxes to support the government, and nearly 148 million Americans that are receiving benefits from the government each month.

This is just a failure of the system.  It is mathematically impossible for 86 million people to support 148 million people, fully or partially while fully supporting themselves as well.  More than 103 million people work full time in the United States.  Of those, 33,212,000 work for the government in some capacity or another.  That means that nearly 1/3 of all people employed full time in America are effectively being paid out of tax money.  They do not produce any saleable products or provide any saleable services.  They are all leeches on the American taxpayer.  Certainly, we need some of them, but 1/3 of all workers?  Seriously?

6. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  Sadly, that figure does not even include Social Security or Medicare.

It would be bad enough if we counted Social Security or Medicare, but we’re not.  We’re talking about means-tested welfare programs.  That is over 1/3 of all Americans that have their hands out to the government and it’s still climbing.  Since Obama got into office, the numbers have skyrocketed and this has nothing to do with the 2008 financial crisis, Obama and his party simply want to  buy votes by handing out money to those most likely to check “Democrat” on election day.

7. Currently, there are somewhere around 40 million senior citizens in the United States.  By 2050, that number is projected to skyrocket to 89 million.  Supporting all of those senior citizens is going to be extraordinarily expensive.

But there isn’t really anything that can be done about it without resorting to Soylent Green.  The problem here is threefold. First, people are living much longer than they were before and that dramatically increases costs on an already overburdened system.  Certainly, there’s nothing that can be done about this. Secondly, politicians have stolen from Social Security for so many years, leaving the system gutted, even though they knew that the Baby Boomers would be reaching old age and would require much more funding to cover than earlier generations.  This ought to be criminal neglect, but the government cannot and will not ever replace those funds.  Third, however, is the unfortunate fact that so many people have failed to plan for their own retirement, they expect Social Security to cover their costs and that’s not what it was ever intended to do.  Social Security was meant  to be a safety net, not a panacea.

8. Right now, more than 64 million Americans are receiving Social Security benefits.

Now I don’t necessarily have a problem with that because Social Security is, by and large, paid for by the people who receive it. Where this does become an issue are people who have never paid much, if anything into the system, yet are getting out of the system.  That’s an entitlement and I am opposed to entitlements.  Unfortunately, I’ve seen plenty of people who can get doctors to claim that they are permanently disabled so they get a check for the rest of their lives without so much as lifting a finger. A lot of these people are perfectly able-bodied, they work under the table in addition to taking tax money.  Fraud in the social security system is rampant, yet nobody wants to actually do anything about it.

9. Right now, more than 54 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare.

Now I’m not going to say that people ought to be thrown out into the street because they cannot afford insurance, I think that a very basic system where anyone can get low-cost medical treatment for the poorest Americans is fine.  It’s good for public health and safety, it keeps the poor from being breeding vectors for disease.  It’s good for everyone.  However, that money has to come from somewhere and at the moment, there isn’t enough tax money going into the government to cover the amount of money coming out.  Add to that the unmitigated disaster that is Obamacare and you’ve got a massive problem on your hands.

10. Right now, more than 70 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid.

The same goes here.  More than 22% of the American population is enrolled in Medicaid.  While the latest mass increase was in response to the 2008 economic downturn, as the economy recovered, things haven’t slowed.  Financial responsibility anyone?

11. The number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program now exceeds the entire population of the state of Virginia.

The disability program is horribly corrupt.  As people reached their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, they just found doctors who would certify them as disabled so they can get on another kind of government handout.  The sad part is that a lot of people are receiving government disability for being obese, yet there is no requirement by the government that they do anything at all to lose weight.  There are people out there who know exactly how much they have to weigh to keep getting that check and make sure they don’t drop below that threshold.

12. If the number of Americans on Social Security disability were gathered into a separate state, it would be the 8th largest state in the entire country.

I really don’t know how much more there is to say here.  There are people who absolutely deserve disability benefits because they are legitimately disabled.  There are a ton more than absolutely do not.  In 1968, there were 1.2 million Americans on disability.  Today, it’s nearing 5 million.  Are we really supposed to think that 3.8 million more people have become disabled in the past 45 years?  Seriously?

13. In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.  Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.

Explain that one away, liberals!

14. At this point, the federal government runs about 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.

I hate to feel like I’m blaming the liberals because frankly, the neo-cons aren’t any better.  They’re just spending money on corporate welfare, which I oppose too.    It’s all about buying loyalty, not at all about being fiscally responsible.

15. The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 46 million today.

It’s really sad, I remember not more than a couple of years ago, commercials run by the California welfare people on the radio, telling everyone, even if you had money to buy food, to get on the state-run food stamp program.  It actually said that, even if you can afford to buy food, get on the program and get a card.  I’m sure California isn’t alone, they know that the federal government will send them money if they get people to sign up.  This is your government, people.

16. Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

Well sure, liberals don’t really care if women work.  It’s funny that so many of them push for empowered women, then try to sign them up for social welfare programs.

17. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

I’m sure this has increased in the past year or two since these studies were done too.  The majority of these people are not starving, it’s just more money from the government that they don’t have to spend.

18. Today, the number of Americans on food stamps exceeds the entire population of the nation of Spain.

What’s worse, of the 247 countries and dependencies around the world, only 26 of them have a population greater than the number of Americans on food stamps.  How long until it’s only 25?  Or 24? Or 12?

19. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

The costs are absurdly high, in 2011, SNAP cost American taxpayers more than $72 billion, more than twice what SNAP cost in 2007.  That’s more than the majority of states have for their entire annual budget!

20. According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, 43 percent of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare.

In 2010, 36% of immigrant households were on at least one major form of welfare, compared to 23% of non-immigrant households.  They tend to lag behind native households in virtually all metrics.  This isn’t being racist, it’s being realistic. I’m not saying that immigrants are stupid or lazy or anything else, just pointing out that the data supports the proposition that there’s a problem.  Immigrants, an estimated 28% of which are here illegally, are a drain on our welfare system, a welfare system that is already dramatically overtaxed.  Can this be fixed?  I don’t know.  For those who come here legally to find a better life, I certainly hope so. For those who just want free education and government handouts, who are working under the table and sending money back to whatever country they came from, those are people we just don’t need.

21. Most Americans are not earning enough to support themselves and their families without government help anymore.  The following are some statistics about wages in the U.S. from a Social Security Administration report that was recently released

It’s a sad fact that so many people live in poverty but it’s not the fault of the wealthy, it’s the fault of the poor.  Instead of having a bell shape for our economy, it’s a slope going down.  There are more poor people than there are in the middle class.  I don’t know how to solve this one, it has happened largely since the 1960s when liberal society started to run rampant and it shows no sign of stopping.  If you go back to the 1960s, the average median income was rising year after year.  Today, it is falling. I can’t tell you why, I’ll leave that to the economists, but something has to be done because soon, there will be nobody left that isn’t in the federal government’s pocket.

These are statistics that should scare every American out there, particularly those Americans who understand the writing on the wall.  We simply cannot continue to borrow and spend money on people who refuse to be responsible for their own lives. We cannot allow our politicians to continue to buy votes and not be held responsible for their actions.  We may already be at a point of no return, where we will never be able to pay off our debts and never be able to force people to get off their asses and get  back to work.  America was made great by hard work and innovation.  Today, we have welfare and most things are made overseas.  If you can’t see the correlation, something is wrong with you.

The Immigration System Failure Blues

stop-illegal-immigration-sign-apA couple of weeks ago, we had Jim Goebel on the podcast to take us to task about some of the things that we’d said about libertarians.  Jim is host of The Side Project Live podcast and, in episode 125 of that podcast, he talked about being on the show.  He and his co-hosts also talked about his vacation to Arizona and his encounter with the border patrol.

I have to admit, I spent most of the 75 minutes of the show yelling at my computer.

For those who don’t want to go listen, and I encourage you to do so because it was a fun show, Jim went on vacation in Arizona to a national park and while there, he had to go through at least two border checkpoints.  At one, the agent was an asshole.  At the other, it sounds like there were no issues.  It sounded like he was surprised that the checkpoints were that far inland but, living in California, the 25 or so miles that he described is nothing.  The checkpoint that I’ve been through most often is in Temecula and it’s 75-80 miles to the Mexican border.  I’ve probably been through it 20-30 times and I think I’ve only been stopped once or twice, most of the time it’s not even open and the few times it is, you just slow down a little and they wave you through.  I don’t think I’ve even had to roll my window down.  I can’t speak for how it is in Arizona, but that seems to be a state-specific thing, not a border control thing.

And yes, I’ll agree that there are probably a lot of assholes in the border patrol, just like there are in the TSA.  Those kinds of jobs tend to attract shitheads who want power over others.  I absolutely think that the government ought to rethink their hiring policies and qualifications and even have “secret shoppers”, independent people who go through the lines several times a year to see how they’re treating people and write back to the government for correction, but that’s not really here nor there with regard to this story.

They said that illegal immigration would be less of an issue if we didn’t have a welfare state or if drugs were not illegal and while I agree on the former, I entirely disagree on the latter.  But let’s take these one at a time.  Yes, to some degree, I think that if we didn’t have such a big welfare state, where people can come and get “food stamps” and a free education for their kids and all of that, you would diminish the flow to some degree.  I’ll be the first one to say that we ought to do that, not just for the sake of illegal immigration, but to get away from the liberal stupidity that’s overwhelmed our nation.  However, it wouldn’t stop them from coming entirely.  The fact is, the United States, even in a recession, has a stronger economy than Mexico and the Central American states.  Coming here, even if you take a less-than-minimum-wage job, you’re going to make more money than if you stayed in your home country and worked a similar job there, if you could even find a job to do there.  There are many illegals who come here for a season or two and go back to their homeland with enough money to live on for several years, then they come back and do it again.  Western Union does a brisk business sending money from the U.S. to Mexico, primarily from illegals sending their paychecks home.  Then those workers get assistance from the government, such as Section 8 housing and food subsidies, to live here on the American taxpayer dime.  Very little of the money they make is taxed, a lot of them work under the table, so the idea that they are good for the economy is entirely nonsense.  Even if we got rid of the welfare state, they’d still come, they just wouldn’t be able to send as much money home, they’d probably just stay with friends, in overcrowded hovels, than pay for apartments.  So while I agree with the concept for other reasons, I don’t think it would stop the flood of illegals into this country.

The other, and I’ve talked about my opinions on drugs before, I don’t think would change anything.  The drug cartels in Mexico wouldn’t just dry up if we legalized pot, they’d just switch to harder drugs that are still illegal, or they’d smuggle in cheaper drugs that don’t have to go through the U.S. regulatory machine and don’t have taxes paid on them.  I’m honestly more worried about the former than the latter, there is no rational way we would ever legalize every single drug out there, from LSD to heroin to crack cocaine to Ecstasy.  The cartels would just adapt to the new paradigm and start smuggling harder drugs into the country.  Even if we did legalize all drugs, the cartels would branch out into other crimes.  These groups are not Boy Scouts, they are not going to give up their life of crime and get real jobs because the U.S. decides to change drug policy.  They’ll find something else to do and they’ll keep sending their couriers across the border to do it.  I really don’t want to get into my views on drugs, except to say that I find the typical libertarian views on drugs entirely stupid.

So what else?  There is the language issue, and while they talked about Spanish-speaking workers (and this goes for people who speak all foreign languages) being unable to communicate in English, apparently these people haven’t lived in a state where illegals are the norm.  It’s not just a matter of them not speaking English, it’s a matter of the touchy-feely liberals demanding that these non-English speakers be catered to.  There are many places where, at taxpayer expense, it is mandated by law that signs, forms, documents, etc. are printed, both in English, Spanish and a whole shit-ton of other languages, just because some people here don’t speak the language.   There is a reason why, to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, you have to demonstrate a functional understanding and usage of the English language.  I’m not going to argue that we need to enforce that for national cohesion or anything like that, but purely for practical reasons.  I don’t care what you speak in the privacy of your own home or among your friends, but when it comes to communicating with the general public, you must speak English and speak it well enough to be understood.  The idea that we have to make an extra effort and go to an extra expense because some people who shouldn’t even be here at all can’t learn the local dialect is absurd.  And for the podcasters, Illinois does provide required employment posters in English, Spanish and Polish.  That’s 200% more work and more expense than they should have to go to.

No, you’re not. If you were, you’d be making more.

And now the minimum wage.  They were convinced that if we just dropped the minimum wage, that suddenly Americans would start doing all these low-wage jobs that illegals usually get stuck with and therefore, many industries wouldn’t need illegal workers at all.  I find that to be rather absurd, even though I don’t really buy into the concept of jobs Americans won’t do, let’s be honest, there are some that Americans are far less likely to do, jobs that require heavy physical labor for very little money.  The agriculture industry is one that, like it or not, doesn’t pay well and that uses a high percentage of migrant workers in their fields.  Now there are studies that show that if the agriculture industry simply paid American workers minimum wage to work in the fields, the net effect on the cost of vegetables is negligible, but I honestly don’t think you’d get many Americans willing to go work in the fields under the hot sun for minimum wage.  Maybe I’m wrong, that’s just my feeling.  I look at the minimum wage as a safety net, it stops people from being taken advantage of if they are in a desperate situation. While in a perfect world, business transactions ought to be between the employer and the employee, we just don’t live in a perfect world.

My biggest reason we shouldn’t legalize the illegals, shouldn’t open up the borders is pragmatic.  We have a right, as citizens of this nation, to decide who gets to come in and who does not.  A majority of Americans want illegal immigrants deported.  We don’t want to throw open the floodgates and let any Tomas, Ricardo and Geraldo who show up with their hands out.  That’s not racist, it applies to anyone, from any country, of any ethnicity.  I’d be just as adamant about the British showing up on our shores illegally.  Or the Chinese.  Or Nigerian princes.  We just so happen to have a major problem with people coming up from Central and South America.  The reality is that these people are breaking some of our most basic laws and if they can’t be bothered to even attempt to do it the right way, and let’s be honest, the overwhelming majority don’t even make an effort to come legally, how can we think that they’re going to follow the rest of the rules?  This is a nation of laws, that’s how it was founded and that’s how it remains to this day.  So why are we giving anyone a pass who is proving to us that they don’t give a damn about our nation?  If they’re going to break the law to come here illegally in the first place, how can we think they won’t steal or rape or murder if they think they need to?

I’m not going to disagree that our current immigration laws are flawed, any more than I’ll disagree that our current drug policies are flawed.  That doesn’t mean we just throw them out entirely and start over from scratch, it means that we evaluate what we’re doing wrong and make corrections to the current system.  We have a lot of problems in the U.S. and changing course in mid-stream, just because a small group of people don’t respect the law and don’t have any expectations that people follow and respect the law, want things to be different.

Sorry, I just can’t respect this plank in the Libertarian platform, it is one of several that guarantee that I will never, ever, ever be a part of, or even truly respect, the libertarian position.  They might have some good conservative ideas here and there, but so many of their ideas are just absurd and self-destructive.  I can’t give any assent to that.

The “Irresponsible People Are Irresponsible” Argument

irresponsible2A while back I wrote an article wherein I criticized a fallacious kind of thinking that I see most often among accomodationists when speaking about the religious.  However,  there is a variant that tends to occur in liberal political and social thinking that I wanted to point out.  In it’s most general form, it goes, “these people are going to be irresponsible, you can’t make them responsible, so you have to make allowances for their irresponsibility”.

No I don’t.

Like I said in the stupidity article, I think these people need to be punished for being irresponsible.  I want it to hurt.  That’s the only way they’re going to learn that irresponsibility, like ignorance or stupidity, is an unacceptable trait.

See, there was, at one time, a thing in this country called “shame”.  It’s largely been forgotten about these days but it needs a serious resurgence.  People who did stupid things were ashamed of themselves.  They understood what was expected of them and they strove to meet those expectations the best they could.  These could be simple expectations like keeping up  your yard or a bit more difficult like keeping a job and paying your own way.  There was a time when a neighborhood was a social support structure, you needed your neighbors to watch your back and help you out.  You therefore worked to fit in on some level so you knew that when you really needed it, they’d be there for you.

Today though, that’s really not the case, most people have no idea who their neighbors are, never speak to them and really don’t care.  They live in their own little fantasy world, in front of the boob tube and the computer monitor, and they have little interest in what goes on around them, so long as it doesn’t negatively impact their lives.  However , they don’t really care if what they do negatively impacts the lives of those around them because hey, everyone is self-centered and entitlement-happy today, right?  This has seriously ruined most neighborhoods, but it’s also helped to ruin this nation.

We’ve now raised at least two generations of people who were born or grew up after the “liberalization of America” that started in the late 1960s and continues through today.  It taught, and continues to teach, that people are not responsible for themselves, that they shouldn’t have to ask for help, they shouldn’t have to earn their place in the community, that it’s owed to them by the government, just because they bothered to wake up in the morning.  It’s the school of thought that says everyone gets a trophy, everyone deserves to feel equal, even if they’ve never earned it, in short, it’s the liberal idea that everyone inherently deserves the equality of outcome instead of the far more rational equality of opportunity.  It teaches that nobody ever has to earn anything and nobody ever has to feel responsible to the group.  It’s not rugged individualism, where people are totally responsible for themselves, it’s kind of a whiny individualism where the people who complain the loudest get the biggest government check.

And it has ruined this nation like nothing else I can think of.

It’s screwed up education.  No longer are kids pushed to compete for the best grades, are those who work the hardest rewarded by the schools, now everyone gets a prize just for showing up and nobody is penalized for failure, or worse yet, for being disruptive, telling people to work harder or behave themselves just might hurt their feelings and we can’t have that!

It’s screwed up our finances.  The number of people receiving some sort of government welfare check has grown dramatically in just the past decade alone.  Total federal and state welfare spending rose from $431 billion in 2000 to $927 billion in 2011.  In 2013, approximately 1 in 6 Americans receive food stamps and the government actively promotes this program for families whether they actually need it or not.  While the blame for this can be placed on both major parties, the fact remains that since Obama took office, federal spending on welfare programs has increased more than 41%.  In fact, if the current rate of spending remains constant, by 2018, it is estimated that the total welfare spending will be more than $10.3 trillion dollars.  Add in all of the unfunded liabilities, economist Laurence Kotlikoff estimates that the total federal indebtedness at an astonishing $222 trillion and that number will only grow.

But it also screwed up society.  It is clear that this “liberalization of America” has done much to discourage basic, central social mechanisms such as marriage, the work ethic, tight communities, etc.  As much as we have a problem with material irresponsibility, we have an even larger problem with behavioral irresponsibility.  There has been a ridiculous uptick in unwed mothers in just the last couple of decades alone.  Between 1980 and present, it has increased by more than 80%, but just in the last 5 years, those numbers are up 20%.  In 2011, the last year that specific numbers are available, more than 36% of all births in the United States were to unmarried mothers.  This is alarming.  People know I’m not advocating marriage for any religious reason, it’s a basic social mechanism that helps guarantee a healthy, stable 2-parent household in which children do best.  It really doesn’t matter if it’s a straight household or a gay one, children do best, behave better, get better grades and have less incidence of criminal behavior if there are two active, involved parents in the family than if there is only 1.  That’s reality and the existence of this kind of family structure is absolutely essential for the health of our nation.  Look at how our culture has disintegrated as single-parenthood has increased and it will only worsen when the children, born to unwed mothers, who do not have a dual-parent household, grow up to do the same thing.  We see this in minority communities where unwed mothers have children that become unwed mothers and absentee fathers.  It is a deadly cycle that gets repeated over and over again.

But why is this the case?  Because so many liberals, and I’m sorry, this is primarily a liberal issue, place the freedom and happiness of the individual ahead of the responsibility the individual has toward society as a whole.  Of course, it’s no surprise that so much of this comes at the hands of the so-called “me generation”, baby boomers who were more interested in becoming “self-realized” and “self-fulfilled”, turning their attention inward instead of outward.  They raised the first generation of these self-absorbed liberal asshats.  Luckily, there are many, myself included, that did not fall into that trap, we got an education, we learned a work ethic, we applied ourselves and succeeded on our own efforts and have gotten ahead.  Yet we look at the world around us and realize that we’re fighting an uphill battle with millions of welfare-addicted Americans strapped to our backs.  We are paying the way for more than 52 million Americans who are just getting food stamps, imagine how many we’re carrying that are getting welfare too!

Something has to be done.  We’ve raised several generations of people who think they deserve happiness, to think they deserve big screen TVs and new cars every other year and big houses, yet shouldn’t be held accountable for their bad decisions or lack of hard work.  They think responsibility is a bad word and as they continue to suck down the limited resources this nation can provide, as they pump out even more irresponsible children who think they ought to get good grades because they sat in a desk, young people who think they either don’t need to work, or that jobs ought to be presented to them on a silver platter, adults that want all the latest and greatest electronic gizmos without caring if they can afford them or not, this country is going to tip over into a financial death spiral and we’re all going to go under.

I suspect that the self-absorbed liberals won’t care, but when there’s nobody left to give them their checks or pay for their food or clean up their messes, who are they going to cry to?  Who will they scream at, teary-eyed, that the world isn’t fair?  Hopefully nobody because those people just need to go away.  We need to return to basic secular conservative values, things that have worked for decades when they were in place.

Too bad I don’t think that will ever happen.  We’re headed for the cliff fast folks.  When the liberal entitlement losers go over, I hope they don’t take all of us with them.

Sympathy for the Poor?

The downtrodden poor in America.

I’ve made my views clear on the difference between sympathy and empathy in the past, but, as usual, I keep seeing liberals leaning strongly toward the emotional end of the spectrum instead of the rational end.  Unfortunately, they tend to use the wrong terminology, claiming that they sympathize with people when, in reality, they empathize with them.  I guess that’s neither here nor there, although it bothers me from a clarity standpoint, words have meanings for a reason, to provide for clear and concise communications between different individuals.  If that makes me a linguistics nazi, so be it.

I got to thinking about this during a rather long segment on the latest episode of Cognitive Dissonance, where Tom and Cecil talked at length about caring for the poor, as though it was something we owed them.  We ought to give them more money for a wider variety of food because somehow, we’re abusing them by denying them a wide range of sensory treats.  Sorry, I don’t buy it.

We have to return to the most basic question, why should we give things to the poor that they cannot earn on their own?  Why is it our job to take care of people who have largely screwed themselves up?  In reality, we are providing for their most basic needs, we are putting a roof over their heads via Section 8 housing, we are providing them basic medical care, we are giving them enough food so they do not starve and enough clothes to put on their back so they do not freeze.  Why should we provide any more than this?

Now a liberal would empathize, to use the proper term, thinking that if they were in that situation, they’d want people to provide warm clothes, good food and a comfortable existence, therefore we ought to do it for them.  It’s a wholly emotional response, based not on rational evaluation of the situation, but on a very unenlightened sense of potential self-entitlement.  After all, it’s based on what would you want if  you were in that situation, not the recognition that the chances that you would ever be in that situation, assuming you are not now, is fleetingly slim.  Take myself as an example.  I have an education.  I have a career.  I have a family.  I have a house.  I have several cars.  I have money to get me through any potential bad times.  The chances of me ending up on Skid Row on welfare is virtually non-existent, at least unless society takes a hard 180 and the entire economy crashes Mad Max style.  That is unlikely, of course, not really even worth considering seriously.  Some people might say that I was lucky, that I just so happen to have been born into a lower middle-class family who put a roof over my head, food in my belly and my butt in a school desk, but you know something?  Luck only goes so far.  I could have done a lot of stupid things that would have ruined my life, things that people in the ghettos do routinely.  I could have messed around in school.  I could have done drugs.  I could have committed crimes.  I could have gotten my girlfriend pregnant, in fact, a whole string of girlfriends pregnant.  I could have flunked out of or been expelled from high school, thrown out of the house and forced to live on the street.  I could have never gotten a job, never learned any skills and never developed a work ethic.  Yet I didn’t do those things and before you start saying that I had it good, the fact is, where I succeeded, I was the one that put in the work.  I was the one that was dedicated to success.  I put in the time and effort, I sat in those classrooms and did the work.  I was the one that made wise decisions that didn’t have a life-ruining effect on my future.  I was the one who started working when I turned 16 (earlier than that actually) and worked my way up through the ranks with hard work and dedication.  I busted my butt and I made something of myself when people who were in an even better financial position than I was, who drove to school in BMWs and Mercedes, who probably got better grades than they deserved because their parents paid for wings for the school, yet who made all the bad mistakes, got pregnant (and expelled), did drugs, partied all the time and didn’t put in the effort required to succeed.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, lots of people succeed the same way, they’re willing to work hard, they have a goal in mind and they want to be the best they possibly can.  Today, I’m much better off than my parents ever were at this stage in life.  My wife and I are better off than her parents ever were too.  We’re proudly self-sufficient, we wouldn’t take a government  check if Barack Obama himself came and tried to hand it to us.

So I have to ask myself, why is this not the expectation that we all have of everyone around us?  Why should we not expect excellence?  I’m not against some form of basic social welfare, a system that catches you when you fall and puts you back on your feet.  It shouldn’t be comfortable, it should hurt.  It should make you want to do anything to get off of it.  It should be subsistence living with massive requirements to keep getting those checks.  So long as the American taxpayer is funding your survival, they ought to have a huge say over what you can and cannot do, where you will and will not go and you’ll be held accountable for getting your ass to work.  Keep in mind, I’m talking about able-bodied adults, those with serious, demonstrable mental or physical disabilities who cannot hold down a job are excused, but they don’t tend to get welfare, they get SSI disability.

We need to say, this is the last generation that will be allowed to sit on welfare, period.  Effective immediately, parents are going to be expected to act like parents and push their kids to excel in school.  They will be penalized if they do not.  It means forcing parents to raise law-abiding, functional members of society or they face the consequences.  I’m sick and tired of all the excuses liberals come up with.  We need to stop catering to the lowest common denominator and start demanding they come up  to a reasonable level.  It may take a couple of generations and I’m sure it will hurt a lot, but we cannot continue the slide into the cesspool that we’ve been seeing ever since America started to get liberalized.  We, as a nation, do not owe the poor anything.  We can help them and we should help them.  They ought to be thankful, but right now, they’re not.  They have their hand out and if you don’t put a big enough check in it, they get mad.

We need to get back to having some basic conservative values.  The American Dream is not sitting on your ass, collecting welfare and watching Oprah on your government-paid big screen TV, talking on your Obamaphone and waiting for the next check to arrive.  It’s about getting off your ass, getting an education, working hard, making good decisions and being fiscally responsible.  It doesn’t mean buying a house  you can’t afford, a new car every year and all the latest electronics, it means living within your means and that’s something all Americans need to learn how to do.  Liberals point to European countries with absurdly liberal social programs as an example for the United States to aspire to, yet they conveniently fail to mention that most of these countries are on the verge of bankruptcy, they cannot afford the programs and policies that have made them a liberal playground.  Liberal socialism has failed miserably.  The EU is terribly in debt, 217 billion euros, or £182 billion as of the beginning of the year.  England is even worse, similar figures place their debt at 1.387 trillion Sterling.  This is 90% of British GDP.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the UK go into bankruptcy proceedings, like Greece did, in very short measure.  That kind of socialized society just  doesn’t work, yet the U.S. is heading right into the maw of fiscal insolvency if we don’t shift course immediately.

I talk a lot about people being rational and making intelligent decisions, based on evidence and critical evaluation, yet that seems to go straight over the head of a lot of liberals.  They’re all about feeling, not thinking.  They’re all about relating, not holding people accountable.  They are the problem, they are no part whatsoever of the solution.

We need to solve these problems, not pretend that they’ll magically go away on their own.

Solving the Poverty Problem

In a recent discussion on wealth redistribution, I noted that there are a lot of liberals who seem to think taking money from the wealthy, people who have made the money through entirely legal means, and giving it to people who have displayed a marked inability to make good financial and social decisions in their own lives, is a good idea.

It’s not.

Now I have no problem with helping people in need, I just think that throwing good money after bad and expecting a different result is idiotic.  Why are we surprised that most of these people make bad financial decisions with the free money they get?  How do you think they got into the situation they’re in in the first place?  I figure I might as well give my solution to the problem, a solution that actually has the goal of getting these people on their feet and working again, rather than keeping them sucking at the governmental teat for the rest of their lives, like the liberals apparently want.

The problem falls into two distinct categories, those on welfare and the homeless.  While the solutions are somewhat similar, I’ll handle them separately. Continue reading Solving the Poverty Problem