Thursday, April 19, 2012

Welfare Myopia at the New York Times

This is a very interesting piece from City Journal, and if you don't have City Journal bookmarked, you should.

Some great nuggets point to the difference between left and right on the issue of poverty:

"The Left’s essential strategy when it comes to poverty is to assess need and desert only in the present moment. If someone shows up at a welfare office saying: “I have no means of support for myself and my children,” the proper role of the government bureaucrat is to ask: “How big a check do you require?” rather than: “What did you do to put yourself into this situation?”

Heather McDonald further asks us to consider the following:

"Conservatives should respond to the Left’s present-oriented framework for analyzing welfare and poverty by reintroducing the connection between past behavior and present need. Underclass poverty doesn’t just happen to people, as the Left implies. It is almost always the consequence of poor decision-making—above all, having children out of wedlock. "

I was having this discussion with Kathy yesterday and we agreed that sometimes the simplest answers are too complicated for people to understand:

Why? Because they had no self-control.

Why? Because he wanted her and felt entitled.

Why? Because she continually makes bad decisions.

Sometimes really terrible things happen throughout a lifetime, for no apparent reason. People die, get sick. There are murders and natural disasters and crises of faith. However, it should not be verboten to question how much responsibility one has for one's own misery, especially if external bodies and parties are expected to foot the bill.