Sometimes Facebook statuses make me just want to scream with rage.
There has been a run lately of statuses from various friends saying things like, "I'm so glad certain states require drug testing for welfare recipients," or "I don't want those lazy, unemployed people living off my taxes." Yeah, the world is filled with filthy parasites living the good life off your tax dollars. "Even though I probably don't know any of these people I'm accusing of sponging off of me, I know they don't deserve anything!"
Should a child go hungry due to the sins of its parents? Is it the fault of an innocent child that its parents have a drug problem*, or have questionable immigration status (and remember a child born in this country is a citizen and has full rights to access to government services)? Children can't work. They can't really manage money. All they can do is depend on their parents. Yet these parents are being punished and children pay the price. Americans cared so much about the death of a cute little white girl in the suburbs, but in our own communities children may be going hungry, and we're going to turn our backs on them because we disapprove of their parents.
Did all disabled people deliberately drive their cars off cliffs in order to receive government funds? If they were in an accident that wasn't their fault, can they receive funds? What if they were injured on the job - a job they worked hard at? How about veterans injured in battle? Would you deny them benefits as well?
Are all unemployed Americans simply unwilling to work? Do they deserve nothing if they were laid off? Do you think they're not looking for jobs? Do you know how hard it can be in this economy?
Who are any of us to tell others that they don't deserve help? What makes you so much better than anyone else. Just because you're currently able-bodied and employed doesn't mean you will always be that way. Your life situation could change with a single illness, a single accident, a single layoff.
This humorous article does an excellent job of showing how one of our most rabidly anti-government-program politcians has used many government programs throughout her life, including ones she rails against. She is not the only one, on the right or the left, who has said, "These programs are bad," while taking advantage of their availabilty.
Availability is the key here. Are you aware that government programs are available to everyone? If you live in the US, there is a good chance you're entitled to quite a few benefits. All of us are paying into the system in one way or another. All of us can benefit from it. That's the benefit of a working society . We all have each other's backs. Maybe that person in need will one day indirectly come to my aid. That's how it works. I'm facing unemployment in the future. Who knows what the state of my paycheck or my healthcare will be this time next year? I do know that I can partake of a system I paid into if I need it. I hope I don't need it, but I'll never know until it happens.
That's the whole problem though. Everyone who receives a government benefit feels that he or she deserves it. We all want to believe we are unique, special snowflakes that are somehow above those other people who don't deserve help the way we do. The attitude is, "I can have benefits, but the rest of you are lazy slobs shouldn't have a thing. By the way, your children don't deserve anything either."
Yep, I got mine. Now screw you. That's the attitude in this country. It's all pervasive and it's growing larger by the day.
Kind of scary when you think about it. I suppose Margaret Thatcher is right. There is no such thing as society.
*For those of you who ask why drug testing is unconstitutional, I refer you to the 5th amendment that prohibits unlawful government search and seizure. That's government search and seizure just to remind you. If you ever had the embarassment of a drug test at work, I'm sorry you had to go through that, but private organizations are entitled to do as they please. You can refuse a drug test without assumption of guilt by the authorities (although you probably won't get the job).