I’ve always considered myself a supporter of government social programs, in general anyway — not necessarily every program out there.
But with the behavior of those who use them, I’m afraid it’s becoming a tougher and tougher sale to those who either are against them or at least dubious about them.
This came to my mind yesterday evening as I was cruising along the interstate with my load of tomatoes.
An unemployed woman was being interviewed by NPR and she was asked how being unemployed for the extended period she has been without a job changed her lifestyle. Her answer was that her family does not go out to dinner at restaurants anymore; they go to Taco Bell.
Maybe I’m taking it somewhat out of context or misinterpreting, but it seems to me she is saying that because she does not have enough money she cannot go out to eat, but she has to go somewhere to get food, so she goes to Taco Bell (some would call that going out to eat).
In my simple mind I was wondering if it occurred to her that you can buy food at a grocery store and prepare more economical and more nutritious meals at home.
In my 1950s/60s childhood the only time we went out to dinner, to include to what we used to call drive-in restaurants, with few exceptions, was when we were on the road (vacations, primarily).
Something else I caught in the interview, the woman referred to a daughter and her kids living in the home, and she was thankful that they did get some support from a government program. No mention of a man anywhere.
Now I don’t know the rest of their story — it could be that the father of her daughter’s kids is deceased. But I suspect it’s the same old story. A single mother — with the help of grandma — is raiding the kids.
Single mothers raising kids is often seen as a problem in the black communities, but it is really the norm now among black and white.
What we have here is a near complete break down of society. Families are created with no thought as to how they will be supported. There is a saying that “the Lord will provide”. But the truth is the government or the taxpayers will provide.
Now I know a woman whose husband died many long years ago. Fortunately she received private life insurance and just as fortunately she was able to take advantage of student aid made possible by government programs put into place by one of the king of social programs President Lyndon Johnson. She was able to get a college education and get into a field that provided her with excellent employment and she is now retired. So, thanks to private life insurance and government education benefits she was able to be a productive and self-sufficient member of society. And that’s a good thing.
But sadly for a large portion of society, government benefits have become an accepted way of life.
I used to live near a government food stamp center. Once a month the parking lot would be filled with gas-guzzling boat cars and people standing around smoking cigarettes.
Government aid recipients ensure the continuation of their poverty with their life habits and at the same time sour the atmosphere for those who could really use government help to get on their feet and do something positive.
Socialism is becoming a harder and harder sale.