12/18/10 — Weeding in 2011: If we set the standards, we can help those who deserve it

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Weeding in 2011: If we set the standards, we can help those who deserve it

During this time of giving, kind people's hearts turn to providing for others -- those who must struggle to have necessities, those whose hard work is still not enough to make ends meet and those who face harsh circumstances beyond their control.

We are a nation of people who want to share with those who are less fortunate -- those who do not have the same good fortune we do.

That spirit is particularly evident in Wayne County, where calls for help for others are met with generosity and caring, even in the worst of times.

But over the last few decades, the world has changed -- and so, too, have many people's attitudes toward giving.

The reason is simple -- there are too many cheats in the world -- and even more people who refuse to help themselves and see charity as their due, and who are teaching their children the same philosophy.

And that is hard for anyone to see -- and understand, let alone easy to forget long enough to write a check.

It used to be that those who asked for help were extremely reluctant to do so. They considered it shameful not to be able to make it on their own. And when they were able to get back on their feet, they made sure to pay back those acts of kindness -- either with a donation themselves or reimbursement for what they had been given.

Not so today.

There are still people who are appreciative, humbled and struggling, but trying to make it on their own. They are not eager to take charity and try to get by as best they can, but sometimes have no choice but to ask for help.

It is not those people we are talking about.

The others are leeches -- people who have figured out how to milk the system and are determined to get as much out of it as they can.

They work organizations and the government like it is their full-time job and make sure they bring home as much of the pie as they possibly can.

They are the ones who do not manage their money, do not further their education and do not even bother trying to find a job. Why should they? We offer them every opportunity we can to take care of them and their children.

As we look ahead to a new year, and a new round of leadership changes, perhaps it is time to think about how we want to take care of those in need.

Maybe we need a new model.

As we waste money on those who are cheating, lying and just plain lazy, we are missing the opportunity to help those who, with a little assistance, would be able to own their own homes, to take care of their families, to make sure their children have a better life. We could help those who want to help themselves.

And those who are using the system, not caring for their children and otherwise sponging off the rest of us, they should face strict new rules and checkpoints designed to weed out those who are misusing the benefits provided. There is nothing wrong with holding people accountable and making them work for the benefits they receive.

In this new economic world, we simply cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the cheats anymore.

And it is time to do something about it.

Published in Editorials on December 18, 2010 8:57 PM