This whole fiasco of the Government shutdown, borrowing $4.00 of every $5.00 the Government spends is just so ridiculous. I remember having a talk with my Dad when I was in my early 20′s about welfare. I was out of work, had a child, needed to get away from my husband and was considering applying for welfare to help me.
My Dad, whom I respected so much talked to me about getting something for nothing. His words are still so clear today and I see them manifested in how our citizens are acting.
He quoted me “Give a man a fish, feed for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed for a lifetime.” and then began to give me his philosophy of this.
He believed that we as a nation should take care of each other, but not by providing handouts. He believed that handouts were just giving people a fish, chaining him to a system of handouts, thus taking away all his freedoms. He believed that we should provide a way for those in hardship to pull themselves up and to have some pride and dignity that they could support themselves and their families.
He believed that we should provide work to people, any kind of work. He did not believe that anyone was totally unable to work unless they were seriously injured or sick. Work could be anything from reading a book to kids, the ill. It could be taking care of someone’s loved one or children while they worked, but he believed that each and every person had something they could do.
That belief spawned an interesting concept when it came to handing out the welfare benefits. This is not the typical workfare program, but a well monitored and administered program that would work in any city, regardless of size. It works like this.
Anyone can get benefits. All they need to do is apply. Here is how they earn their benefits. Each morning Monday – Friday, they must check into the benefits office. The benefits office is just a plain office, no TV, only a water fountain, with a restroom and chairs, ok, you can add a clock on the wall. Each person entering must punch in by 8am and they cannot leave before 5pm. They can take a 15 min break in the morning, have an hour to eat lunch and another 15 minute break in the afternoon. There is no talking, no fighting, no falling asleep, no kids, no eating, no reading. This is the “job” they must do to earn their benefits.
If someone wants to work, they have the opportunity to work in the child care facility that is on-site, or they can go clean streets, wash windows, rehab old houses, etc. There is plenty of community projects that can be done. People can read to older adults in the hospital, put food baskets together, etc., the amount of jobs is just endless that someone could do. And even if someone was disabled, they would still have to show up and if they wanted they could work.
If someone does not choose to work or show up at the benefits office, they do not qualify for benefits and will not be paid. If they miss a day, they don’t get paid. Just like anyone else who works.
If the US instituted something like this, I guarantee that there would not be such a big push for benefits. It’s not that we should not help people, but it’s all about HOW we help them.
Does it benefit anyone that someone sits on their couch watching TV, doing nothing while others work away to pay for that. There is no self-respect for the person receiving benefits and the people that are working to pay those to sit at home find resentment building.
This is exactly what is happening here in the US. Needless to say, after talking with my Dad, I didn’t go on welfare, I sucked it up, and found a way to make things better for me & my son. Yes, it took me a few years to get out of a bad marriage, but I never once lost my self-respect and I was and still am a productive member of society.