Letter: Fixing the entitlement problem
Much is made in the news about the high cost of entitlements and how to fix them, but can we or, better yet, should we?
Millions of Americans have adopted the social safety net as a career choice, when it was intended to be short-term, not a lifestyle. The humane effort to feed, clothe and house the needy has ballooned to the point we working adults put in many days a year to feed others. A noble endeavor indeed, but not a fix for the real problem. The problem has always been the same. Let’s take three issues:
1. In a country one third of a billion strong and growing, what can we do with so many idle hands? This is thought by most futurists to be problem number one for mankind, period. Whether unemployment is by choice or circumstance, everyone should put in a day’s work for a day’s pay. It defines us; makes us productive and worthy. We, as a nation, must figure this out for it is the major issue. Just because we can automate processes so they require little or no human input does not mean we should. To employ those who receive benefits in low-tech jobs may be a wiser choice. Think CCC or WPA.
2. One of the biggest problems with poverty is the numbers are growing. Many impoverished families continue to have children, even though they have no means to support them. Moral arguments have been made for and against mandatory birth control while on welfare. It makes sense. Temporary sterilization is not a violation of rights, just a condition for benefits.
3. Welfare children stand a strong chance of being welfare recipients as adults, and the chance is even higher if not educated. How children are taught and, more importantly, the roles and responsibilities of the parent/parents, need to be rethought.
There are more reasons and issues I know, but without a reason to work and the sense of achievement it brings, controlling the size of the problem, and preparing the young and old for success, how can we solve this problem?