October 24, 2011

“Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”

*Ronald Reagan*

There are so many programs, both private and public, that give stuff to people who are able bodied, that it has a net result of creating the sort of dependence that effectively amputates the working limbs from those able bodies.

A colleague of mine who works as a Health Assistant in the public school system told me the story of a mother who actually came to her requesting tampons and sanitary pads for her daughter. “We can’t afford that stuff,” the mother explained, “can’t the school help us out with this?”

United States Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) is putting forth a bill that would provide free diapers to low income households.  I wonder if the bill is also geared to provide free diapers to men such as Stanley Thornton of Redding, CA who claims to have an infantile fetish which causes an overwhelming need to lie in a crib, get pablum spooned to him from a nanny-figure, and–yep, you guessed it–wear diapers.  Stanley actually gets $800 per month in Social Security disability funds, so why not give him diapers? Heck, just throw in the formula, binkies, onesies, and creamed squash to ensure the big baby doesn’t get fussy.

I watched an interview with a local “occupier” the other day. She was a 17 year old girl, who would have been naturally very cute had her looks not been marred by a large lip ring, bright pink and white hair, and about 50 extra pounds.  The interviewer asked her what she wanted to accomplish through her occupation of the soft, green grass in front of the local courthouse. “Well, I’m 17,” she said, “I’m going to need a house of my own soon.” The interviewer asked, “What do you mean?” She answered “I’m just going to need a house. I deserve my own house. I’m seventeen years old.”  You got it, the implication is that because she is a certain age that somehow, someone must provide a house for her.

What has happened to the portion of humanity that expects every comfort, every little need, is to be provided for by another? The welfare state has burgeoned in recent years. As of August 2011 roughly 46 million people in the United States were using government issued food stamps. That figure has nearly doubled since 2008. Oregon recently received special recognition for enrolling 92% of its food stamp applicants into their state program. None of this is good. When government  provides for a person’s every want, it’s like having that person step into a cage. The door may still be open and he may think he can escape, but when he realizes his mistake, he will have lost the ingenuity, the impetus, and the spiritual will to flee. Providence from government is little more than bait for a cruel trap of dependence and inertia.

Remember the classic scene from “Trading Places” in which Eddie Murphy feigns amputated legs in order to win sympathy, and handouts, from unsuspecting passersby? This reminds me of the contrived victim status that so many, like the big baby in California, Stanley Thornton, take upon themselves in order to garner nanny-state largess. The effect of a big welfare state, combined with a failing economy, amounts to a loss of national mobility, and the destruction of the American ethos of self-reliance.  As government assumes the mantle of caretaker, it will also take over as warden, in a institution full of the limbless and economically disabled.

By Marjorie Haun 10/24/2011


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