Thursday, May 24, 2007

Here’s a Challenge

Category: Issue 8, Mind Change Winners

A friend of mine (Brian Gladish) and I were discussing social problems.  “If…” (Ok, he said if, but I don’t think it’s necessary - let’s just assume that…) the reality for a welfare mother is that her expenses are $800, welfare pays her $1000 and a job would pay her the same but cost her $400 in day care.  I suggested that it would be easy to convince her that taxation is bad.  I’ve set myself up to convince someone that getting $200 less than their expenses would be better.  How can I do this?  Here are the arguments I would give her:

Are there some things that are good for you and your kids, but they’re just not worth it?  This job that requires you to pay for daycare is a perfect example.  It isn’t worth it, right? Because with welfare, you don’t have to pay for daycare.  But what about your skills - won’t the job help you improve them?  What kind of a job is this?  You’re smart - Hell, you’re raising kids and retaining most of your sanity.  Of course you’d get better at whatever the job requires of you.  You’d eventually earn more than that $200 you’ll be missing.  But it isn’t worth it as long as you’re getting welfare, is it?

Do you attend a church?  Do you have family or any friends that have offered to help?  Do you feel that accepting their help lowers your dignity?  Don’t ignore that little voice: of course it is less dignified to live on the dole than to accept help from those who love you.  When people you know provide you with really valuable help, does it improve your relationship with them?  Appreciation is an essential component of love.

Maybe your family and freinds don’t offer to help you at all.  Because of welfare support, we expect the government to take care of you.  This has an effect on me, and I bet it also affects others who are interested in helping you.  The fact that there’s a official system out there to take care of you gets us all off the hook.  I think that might be why it was created in the first place.  We don’t have to care for each other any more because we made this system through which we can deal with you as impersonally as we want.  I think that makes it easier for us all, but is the ease worth it?  Is ease the thing makes us healthy and fit, able to accomplish our personal goals and help our kids grow up to be happy?

And what about your kids?  They look up to you, and they’re going to try to be just like you.  Do you want them to follow in these footsteps laid down for you by the welfare system?  Consider the lessons of life that they’re learning.  If you show them how to face the struggle and overcome your poverty, they’ll be there for you in your old age, and, moreover, they’ll have the resources and the desire to care for you.

Posted by Dave Scotese on 05/24 at 12:16 PM | Permalink
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