Monday, June 24, 2013

Modern Day Slavery

When I consider the plight of our government spending, it is clear we have grown the expense side of the budget far more than our founding fathers intended. We now work nearly five months out of every year to pay our tax bill and that is just the federal government. 

As a teenager I dreamed of making my mark in the world by alleviating some of the suffering that so many experience. I now work in financial education helping families have greater control of their futures by taking responsibility for their choices today. 

What should be the role if charity has now been assumed by government.  Financial supports, food support, child care, health and housing have now all fallen to government funding. I will talk in another blogpost about the power that has been stolen from the taxpayer, but let me explore for a moment what has been done to the recipient. 

By relying on a system of government supports they have opened their personal lives to scrutiny. They must provide tax documents, pay stubs, etc to prove their need. They have been discouraged from making too much money for fear of disqualifying themselves from the flow they receive. They are provided with such meager provisions that they are forced to look for the next handout like a dog on a hunt. 

These families are often single mothers with young children dependent on this provision for their very livelihood and often not receiving adequate anything. In the City, I have visited housing projects that reek of sewage and overrun with filth. The medical care provided is often minimal - not designed for "health" but merely sustaining basic life. The financial and food supports are insufficient to provide healthy meals or basic necessities. 

These people have been relegated to reliving the life of slavery many once fought to overcome. This slavery is generational in that children and grandchildren grow up in dependence and that is what they know so it continues.  In order to continue to receive benefits they must abide by the rules. They must remain impoverished and they must endure intrusions that no free person should have to endure. 

The difference between then and now is that the dependence is not forced; it is learned and accepted voluntarily. Poor choices may have lead to the single parenthood or perhaps even thrust upon them by some fathers' irresponsibility, but there are opportunities to succeed in this country for those that will be willing to choose freedom over dependence and who will extend the great efforts needed to overcome the machine that robs them of their soul. 

America is a great country and there is still opportunity and for someone willing to take the challenge the rewards are great. Unfortunately so many living in these conditions don't believe this. 

I recently spoke with a grandmother who was bemoaning the cuts to Head Start programs claiming that the government was robbing her grandchild of the supports, socialization and instruction he needs to succeed. This grandmother sees that she needs to work only part time because he needs someone to care for him. Her schedule is organized around the mother's so that he has full time care. This grandmother didn't see her role to provide the success skills needed and didn't see any other option for childcare other than government provision. Her mindset has been so altered that she can't see the trap she is in. 

In our region, more than 1/2 of all children are born to single parents. It is a sad commentary that so many of these children are brought into unstable homes from the beginning but that is another blog. These children are more likely to have a mom who has meager education often not completing high school and relegated to entry level jobs if she works at all. While poor mate choices may have led to the condition there are those who have made their way out and have taken control of their lives. And what a model they have been for their children. 

Dependence is not merely relegated to the young. There are many seniors who find themselves trapped by government subsidies as well. They are trying to live on Social Security and Medicare and finding that they cannot sustain even basics with such provision. They live out their golden years in poverty because they depended on the government to prepare for their later years and had insufficient savings and investments or had an event that stole their security. 

I believe that there are too many that have given up their fight for freedom and have accepted the path of lesser resistance and in doing so have enslaved themselves to merely exist completely dependent on a government ill equipped to offer anything of real value. 

I believe that charity and personal responsibility can overcome this trap and that we can create for ourselves a better life than the government can design. I believe I can personally help another person to break themselves free and if all of us will encourage our neighbors to live free we can take back America and make her great again.