Money for nothing: Without accountability, cycle of handouts never ends
Remember when you were a child and you had your first encounter with an allowance?
Up until that point, you depended on your mom and dad for your needs — and had to deal with their decision if they decided what you wanted was not what you needed.
When you earned your own money, you had choices — the possibility of earning more if you did extra chores and the inalienable right to be stupid with the money if you wanted to spend it rather than save it.
But in most cases, when you spent your allowance, there wasn’t a rescue program. If the money was gone; it was gone. That’s how your parents taught you the value of a dollar.
The example is a bit simplistic perhaps, but it is a critical memory as we head to months of talk about social programs, health care, “caring for the poor” and more government interference in the day-to-day lives of most Americans. More taxes, where the money goes and who will be in charge of spending it are going to be issues to consider in the near future — and key determinants in the choice of the next president of the United States.
So here it is — bottom line.
There is nothing wrong with giving someone an allowance they earn if they have the capability of earning it. It breeds pride, self-sufficiency and the realization that it is possible to pull yourself up if you fall.
Handing people money without conditions offers nothing except self-loathing, laziness and the realization that if you can earn money the easy way, why put in the hard work necessary to make it on your own?
By showing people that hard work and determination to succeed — combined with an education and a rejection of drugs and crime — can pay off, we will see fewer people on the welfare rolls who should not be there.
Give them the money they need for an education or training — and demand that they use it. No school — no check.
Demand that mothers who do not care for their children pay for their care through community service — in a classroom, not in their living rooms.
That is how you teach someone that there is a better way and stop the vicious cycle of handouts.
And the best part will be, we will be able to help those who really need it — and to support those who are trying, but struggling.
That is a good investment.
So as you hear the calls from the Democrats and others about how much more money we need to hand out and how much more you need to contribute from your paycheck, demand accountability from those who will receive it and realistic solutions from those who are asking for it.
America does not need to increase allowances, it needs to start demanding more “work” from those who receive them.
It worked for your parents — and it just might work for the welfare and social services system as well.
Published in Editorials on June 21, 2008 8:02 PM