The Entitlement Trap - And Response (4)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lately I have found myself increasingly disinterested in the mindless ignorance on the television and have increasingly dedicated more and more of my time to reading. My latest book is by Dr. Ben Carson called America the Beautiful. If you have not heard of Dr. Carson or read any of his books I suggest you take the time to buy and read his books. 

While reading Dr. Carson’s latest book, in chapter number 5 titled “Capitalism: its pros and cons”  Dr. Carson talks about a person’s drive for success. He says and I paraphrase that if he met a homeless person on the street and told them that if they met him in some far off place within 72 hours he would give them a million dollars that he would bet they would somehow find the resource to get there. It’s the can do or can’t do attitude. Dr. Carson also talks about those who work for what they get and those who expect others to hand them what they get because they are entitled to it.

This idea is what has set me off on this particular rant. 

I see on a day to day basis people who are content to live in government provided housing, collect food stamps, get free health insurance, don’t work, father or mother multiple children who they never take responsibility for nor are involved in their education, somehow get a tax return at the end of the year based on the numbers of children they have and finally collect a check from the government for doing nothing. How and why could this happen? Those same parents who don’t work and “collect a check” are certainly not involved in volunteering their time at their children’s schools either. So what is it that they do with their time?

Now, you and I should be angry at those individuals and rightly so. I know I am tired of working between 40 and 70 hours a week to meet my responsibilities with little or nothing to show for it. But you know what? We should really be angry at the system which has allowed this ignorance to go on and in the process teaching people that they can get by without doing their part in society. 

As citizens of the greatest nation in the world why are we not demanding that our politicians do a better job of overseeing the entitlement programs? Why do we not require people to do something in return for what they in reality receive from the tax paying citizens? If you or I were to go to work and sit in our offices all day long without ever conducting one bit of business for an entire month do you think that we would receive a paycheck at the end of the month? At the very least you could expect to be told to get busy or find another job, right? 

So I guess my question is this; why then are we giving away free money to people who do nothing to contribute to society? Why is it that people can simply birth babies, commit crimes, walk the streets at night causing trouble, do nothing to contribute to their children’s education and in essence reach into your pockets and mine and taking our money to pay for their existence? 

I could go into the politics of it all and blame it on one party or the other but the fact remains that the citizens of this country voted these fools into office no matter which party it is and none of them have done a single thing to change it. The simple fact is that our national politicians are supposed to represent us and the best interest of our nation but they are not doing it. They are more interested in being voted back into office than doing the right thing. If entitlements were taken away who would stand to lose votes? 

It’s time to put the power back into the people’s hands as it was intended by the founding fathers. The only way to do that is to impose term limits on all political offices and to return the average citizen to public office instead of the rich. It’s time to put limits on campaign funding and to stop the influences of big money on politics. It’s time that the tax paying, voting citizens of this country get out and vote for the people who will listen and change the way that things are done instead of looking for their next handout. 

Mike Cox

Chattanooga 

* * * 

Mr Cox wrote a nice rant.  He paraphrases a doctor who wrote a book, and claims a homeless person on the street could arrange travel to some far off place within 72 hours to collect a million dollars. 

Think that through, isn't that a ridiculous claim?  A homeless person can't even arrange a meal 12 hours from now, how would they work out a plane ticket with no permanent address, no money, no credit or credit card? 

The rant seems to suggest that if people just want it bad enough, they can do anything, even produce food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, retirement savings, and a $3 snowball for their kids on a hot day.  Ain't America great?  Greatest nation in the world, the ranter says, while claiming everything is all fouled up. 

Blaming the immediate recipient of an entitlement is a trap in logic. Thinking like this is very easy, but the real culprit escapes the rant by Mr Cox, and it escapes most people I talk to. 

The true recipients of all this evil entitlement money are the corporate businesses that sell to the poor and the retired.  Think it through, where is the money going? 

Brian Wood
Apison 

* * * 

Mr. Cox, 

I can understand your desire to rant given the jumbling of the facts that you seem to believe.  I sincerely believe Dr. Carson is an honest and just man.  However, I do not believe Dr. Carson understands our economic system, simply because he calls it "capitalism."  We do not have "capitalism" in this country, and we haven't had a "capitalistic" economy since the Civil War. 

What we have is what most economists agree is an oligopoly.  An oligopoly is a corporate structured economy where a few corporations control 90 percent of the economy.  I'll leave it up to you to further your reading and understanding on this matter.   

I would also ask you another important question?  If you are working 40-70 hours per week "just to get by,"  don't you think that fact in itself is reason enough to answer the base question you ask?  Do you actually believe the poor and disabled in this country cause you to work 40-70 hours per week "just to get by?"   

You have answered your own question, Mr. Cox.   

Stephen Durham 

* * * 

There are benefits of labor beyond a paycheck.  There is value in the pursuit of excellence and there is especially value in learning from one’s failures.   People were not created to receive handouts.  The sustained practice is cruel and dehumanizing.   It is injurious to the continued survival of a species.  This is why it’s illegal to feed free animals in most public parks. 

Any means of support which does not involve labor serves as a disincentive to labor and usually brings ill consequences.  Whether that alternative support comes in the form of a welfare check or an inheritance, if it results in an idle human who was designed for work and achievement, it is a narcotic more injurious than the ailment it sought to alleviate.  A benevolent chain is still a chain.  

Our neighborhoods with the highest percentage of unemployment statistically also have the lowest level of academic preparedness among kindergarten applicants.  They also have the highest rates of crime and juvenile delinquency.  It would appear that children get a lot more from working parents than three meals and a roof.   

If the “haves” and “have nots” in this country exchanged all assets today, in five years the vast majority in both groups would be restored to their present conditions.   That is because success depends more on what’s in one’s heart and between one’s ears than what is in their pocket.  

Everyday, deeply impoverished people enter this country from all parts of the globe.   Their children frequently run circles around ours, academically.   These first-generation immigrants work incredible hours, often at menial tasks and many become very successful in short order.   Though their skin is dark, though they are poor, though they have difficulty with our language and worship differently than most of us, they find success here.  None of them owe their success to a means-tested welfare program.  

This country is full of victims and one who wishes membership in that sad group will have lots of company.   This country was made great by poor immigrants with rich dreams; people who believed in themselves, and who looked to God and their own sweat for sustenance.     

Jeff Young
Chattanooga 

* * * 

While reading Mr Cox’s rant, it didn’t read to me like he was claiming that the poor and disabled were the people his rant was directed at? Included in his rant, I see where he wrote: 

“I see on a day to day basis people who are content to live in government provided housing, collect food stamps, get free health insurance, don’t work, father or mother multiple children who they never take responsibility for nor are involved in their education, somehow get a tax return at the end of the year based on the numbers of children they have and finally collect a check from the government for doing nothing. How and why could this happen? Those same parents who don’t work and “collect a check” are certainly not involved in volunteering their time at their children’s schools either. So what is it that they do with their time?” 

No poor or disabled mentioned or insinuated there. 

His rant also includes “So I guess my question is this; why then are we giving away free money to people who do nothing to contribute to society? Why is it that people can simply birth babies, commit crimes, walk the streets at night causing trouble, do nothing to contribute to their children’s education and in essence reach into your pockets and mine and taking our money to pay for their existence”? 

No poor or disabled mentioned or insinuated here, either 

He also states he wouldn’t blame it on either party. I can’t imagine you ever making a statement like that. His rant continues with… 

“It’s time to put the power back into the people’s hands as it was intended by the founding fathers. The only way to do that is to impose term limits on all political offices and to return the average citizen to public office instead of the rich. It’s time to put limits on campaign funding and to stop the influences of big money on politics. It’s time that the tax paying, voting citizens of this country get out and vote for the people who will listen and change the way that things are done instead of looking for their next handout.” 

Well, Stephan, again you try to twist what someone says and use that opportunity to suggest that any time someone states we need to look closer at the fraud in some of these programs, you turn it into “Conservatives don’t care about the poor and elderly,” and they want to take money from them. 

There’s nothing in what Mr. Cox wrote that suggests he believes the poor and disabled in this country cause him to work 40-70 hours per week "just to get by,” but there sure is plenty of agenda in what you wrote. 

Stan Conner



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