Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another Signpost.....

....marking the further depletion of the "can do" attitude? The end of the tradition of self-reliance among the citizens of America and my native state of Vermont?  Or is it simply that we're finally, inexorably being drawn down the "Path of Good Intentions"?

The impetus of this week's post was a Letter to the Editor submitted by a young woman to my local paper.  I have included her letter at the end of this post, but I am withholding her name.  Although she is ignorant of the fact, she's embarrassed herself enough already without me adding to it.

The woman in question is a participant in one of our local welfare/public assistance programs and a member of  Put People First, a proudly communist/socialist organization affiliated with the Vermont Workers' Center.  Their mission is to promote "social and economic justice" by demanding that the State and municipal budgets put the "people's needs" in a position of priority over all other considerations.  Their demands include: 

Vermont's budget must put people first.....spending and revenue policies must meet every Vermonter's fundamental needs, including healthcare, housing, food, education, good jobs and a healthy environment. These are our basic human rights and public goods that our government must guarantee for all Vermonters.

Vermont's budget must make providing public services for those who need them its highest priority.

Vermont should raise revenue from those who can afford it, to meet the needs of our communities.

In short, they demand that everyone have the same as everyone else, independent of effort extended or contribution to society.  Their list of demands, if enacted, would inevitably lead to the de facto slavery of the productive to the parasite.  Take the "basic human rights" that "government must guarantee to all":  healthcare, housing, food, education, "good jobs" & "healthy environment".

Healthcare:  No matter what you do, you have a "right" to unlimited use of all healthcare resources, regardless of cost.  You can be grossly obese, smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, be an alcoholic/drug addict on dialysis and refuse to follow doctors' orders or take any responsibility for improving your condition, and any talk of even considering asking you to pay for a small percentage of your care is deemed to be cold-hearted and even discriminatory.  If you are so "fortunate" as to enjoy good health because of your healthy habits of moderation of caloric intake, regular exercise, abstaining from drugs and overindulgence in alcohol and regular doctors' visits/checkups,  it is your sacred duty to allow your insurance and healthcare costs to rise in order to subsidize the former.

Housing:  You have a "right" to "adequate" housing, provided by the taxpayer.  This is going to hurt some feelings but, have you ever taken the time to look at the conditions in so-called "public housing"?  These places are almost uniformly easy to identify:  trash and (often broken) toys litter the yard, along with vehicles in various states of disrepair.  The interiors are usually not kept up.  The people who occupy these places don't do much to keep up any maintenance.  "It's not my place" and "I (the state) pay my rent, it's the landlord's job (to pick up after me and my kids)", along with the common "The SOB that owns this building makes enough money.  Why should I do anything for him/her?"  Being poor is no excuse for living in such conditions.  It takes little or no money to have a little pride in your home and to pick up after yourself, but it does take a modicum of self-respect and respect for your neighbors.  The housing provided would be far more than "adequate" if the people living in State-subsidized housing simply stopped tearing shit up.

Food & Education:  They already have these, but as always seems to be the case, it's never enough.  Apparently, these advocate groups won't be happy until every welfare recipient is issued a State-sponsored credit card with an unlimited line of credit and are allowed to use it for anything they wish.  Oh, wait....  There I go again, being unreasonable and attempting to bring some commonsense limitation to the taxpayer-funded largess given out.  As for education, we already spend more, on a per-student basis, than nearly any other country in the world, yet the results are not in proportion to the money spent.  Perhaps, if we spent more time teaching and less time indoctrinating in progressive theology......nah, that's crazy talk.

Finally, "Good Jobs & Healthy Environment":  These people are also advocates of the so-called "living wage" as a replacement for the current minimum wage law.  The latest number they've come up with is $17-20/hr.  They say this is the minimum amount needed to provide an adequate standard of living for a family.  Forgetting, for a moment, the fact that the minimum wage was never intended to be able to support a family and the fact that if you raise the cost of labor, all you are going to do is raise the costs of goods and services proportionally, resulting in the "poor" being even worse off, where are the resources supposed to come from to fund this?  Private business is not going to be able to afford these rates and will either 1)reduce staff and add to their existing duties or 2)go out of business altogether, resulting in an increase in unemployment and even greater strains on publicly funded services (the "safety net").  Is this group going to demand that the State provide subsidies to businesses to enable the payment of this "living wage"?  Again, we get back to the producers being forced to subsidize the parasites.  (If you are one of the recipients of public assistance I'm sure you're offended by that term.  Tough.  If the benefits you are receiving exceed whatever small amount you contribute to society through the incidental taxes you pay, you are a net drain on society. i.e., parasite)  And the "Healthy Environment" angle.  If the environmentalists had their way, there would be no industry in Vermont.  To hear them talk about it, all businesses are raping the earth for monetary gain and should be fined out of existence (see: Vermont Yankee).  Obama's "Green Jobs" have proven to be a chimera, but the true believers will never let go of the agenda.  Again, if the environmentalists are successful in driving out industry, where will all the "good jobs" come from?  Will the government guarantee these goals by the institution of another State-funded jobs program?  Seriously, do these people never stop to realize that enough parasites can/will kill any host, no matter how strong?

If you go by the letter submitted to my local paper (and this person is by no means unique in her opinion), apparently not:

"I am a single mother of two boys, and have twins on the way. My children and I live in [withheld]. I am currently a Reach Up participant and a member of Put People First. I would like to help make a better world for my children! We are the people, and what we need to do is Put People First.
The budget that the governor has proposed does not put people first at all. The proposed Reach Up cuts would break my family and tear us apart. My twins are due June 15th. That means that if these cuts go through, I would lose my Reach Up grant when they are less than six months old. How will I buy diapers? How will I pay my light bill or phone bill?
Right now, Reach Up is absolutely necessary for me to support my family. Even if I find a job- which is not easy, I don't have a car to be able to get there. My being on Reach Up is not an individual problem- it is part of a system that keeps people in poverty.
As a member of Put People First, I have helped push for the law that we got passed last year that says that the purpose of the budget is to "address the needs of the people of Vermont in a way that advances human dignity and equity." With these cuts, the well-being of my children is at stake. Cutting Reach Up goes against the idea of advancing dignity and equity and doesn't recognize our human rights.
I am asking you to Put People First-- to me that means reversing any proposed cuts to Reach Up immediately. But it also means changing the budget process-- We are the people, and we need to be heard. We need to pass a People's Budget law."

The arrogant ignorance contained in this short post is staggering to me.  Let's break it down:  "Single mother of two boys and twins on the way"?  Sorry sweetheart, but what made you decide that it was a  good idea to have more children when you aren't able to provide for the two you already have?  I am under no obligation to bear the consequences for your poor choices.  Neither is anyone else. The responsibility belongs to you and the babes' father.  For you to demand the right to do as you wish and when things go wrong to demand that someone be held responsible, shows the arrogant selfishness of a spoiled child.  I don't cater to spoiled children.

"How will I buy diapers?  How will I pay my light or phone bill?"  Again, where is it written that your bills are my responsibility?  I guess you will have to make the same hard decisions that the rest of us make.  Maybe you'll have to give up the smartphone and downgrade to a basic phone and minimal minutes?  If you can't afford diapers (and the kids come first, your wants don't even make the list) then you have to sacrifice something else.  Just the same as I do.  Just the same as your neighbor does.

"Even if I find a job, I don't have a car."  So now you're saying the government (taxpayers) are responsible for getting you a car?  We have public transportation, take the van.  The government provides for daycare and the van runs to enough places that that is no excuse.

The author states that she is a victim of "....a system that keeps people in poverty."  There is no "system" that keeps you in poverty.  If you are a victim, it's of your own poor choices.  Choices like having kids you can't provide for, and getting pregnant when you are unmarried and having even more children you can't provide for.

Grow up, little girl.  If you can't provide for your new children, perhaps you should do the moral thing and consider putting the well being of your children ahead of your own selfish desires.  Consider putting your twins up for adoption to a loving, stable two-parent home where they will be given the opportunities to succeed that you can never provide.  You already have two boys you can't provide for.  Bringing two additional children into a life of poverty, with only the example of a "mother" with a rotating stream of boyfriends; boyfriends who, statistics show, potentially pose a threat of abuse; a "mother" who would rather beg for handouts and demand that the State intervene to confiscate even more from the people who earn their way in order to provide greater handouts for her and those like her, is little short of child abuse.

I agree with Don Watkins and Yaron Brook in "Free Market Revolution".  We can't get there in one step, too many people have structured their lives based on the expectation that certain assurances of government will be followed through on, but if we don't start now to at least stem the tide and work through the re-instilling of traditional values in our children and the re-teaching of the skill of critical thinking in our schools and universities to bring back the ideals this country was founded on, America as founded is lost.  And the Great American Experiment of free market capitalism will be deemed (unfairly) a failure never to rise again.


No comments:

Post a Comment