I have written this column before. I will write it again. Some observations must be repeated. Of course refining the vision, making the point more obvious, is part of the process.
I believe we need to take out the trash.
I am also inviting Conservatives, and those more right of center, to visit and comment… not that they weren’t welcome before. I extend the invitation only because these days we each seem to live in our own; all too individual, information Valhallas, and rarely leave to visit the intellectual universe that sometimes lives right across the road, or in our own families. The few times we do is like a family of morons at a zoo: point, laugh, mock and move on. The animals being observed are often more intelligent.
Social services and welfare is the topic.
Let’s build a common foundation here. I’m sure the right and the left disagree as to how many abuse occurs when such services are used. I semi-equally assume we disagree who qualifies and who shouldn’t for such help. But let’s get beyond this and arrive at the core of the debate.
Should there be any social services at all?
Now I think we can all agree that there are those who abuse such services and benefits: whatever you want to call them. “How many” and “who” is really another debate. There are those, and how many is also another debate, who will never work… though they can and should. There will always be those who will find any loop hole they can, who will abuse any system. As Jesus said, the poor will always be with us, though I hardly recall him ever saying to anyone who came to him for help, “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,” or “sandal straps…” considering the dress of the time. Yes: disregarding for now how interdependent we actually are, there will always be those who simply wish to do squat while living off of us.
What to do.
What to do.
Do you want those folks on our streets? Living and dying in our gutters? Committing crimes against you? Spreading diseases? Think of it like sewage or trash. If society had no services for plumbing we’d still be dumping waste in our gutters and out windows on top of those who pass by. That’s one of the reasons society developed one rule for “proper” social behavior: “gentlemen” walk beside women… and used to wear hats: only they used to walk on the inside in the distant past. That way when bedpans were dumped out windows a gentleman could take the unintended insult. While it may seem funny, these overall unsanitary conditions also caused many, many deaths and a lot of disease.
Heard of the Black Plague? Why were there so many rats carrying disease? Well, in large part because we knew little about sanitation. We didn’t “take out the trash.”
I suppose one solution to the type of “trash” my metaphor refers to is to lock them away for the crime of being poor and/or being homeless: intentional or not. But of course you’d have to be willing to pay taxes far beyond what you pay now to have that kind of “social service,” which is exactly what it would be. You do know that’s not probably going to happen if those who are against paying for any social services, or any more taxes, have anything to say about it, right?
We need to take out the trash; do something with the sewage.
Churches can’t solve it all and, if you believe in intellectual freedom, then insisting anyone converts to get help is only “fair” if you would also agree with them converting to radical Islam, the Chapel of Channeling Jim Jones, or The Church of Satan. Choose the one you wish to convert the least, or would convert the least amount of people, if you wish to understand my point. Would you be OK with al-Qaeda offering social services to families of those willing to do… whatever? I suspect most would answer “no,” if they understand where I’m going. But… consider the opposite… do we really want the State involved in some theological war regarding who might be the most theologically, and politically, correct denominations to offer said services? Putting the official State stamp of approval on some, and not on others?
Think twice before you answer. Times change. Unless you want whatever faith, or lack thereof, you “follow” to be banned, considered inappropriate by the State, or if things really go south: hunted down and exterminated person by person… then reconsider approving or allowing any of this.
Of course getting all faiths involved in such an effort, even if possible: still not enough. Even if it were, to be enough, you would be spending the money anyway.
So here’s my suggested compromise: anyone who doesn’t want to work, or can’t, gets a place to live and enough food to survive and perhaps multiple passes for a bus… if they get enough gumption to make their lives better by finding, then getting to, friggin work! This ain’t no no roach motel situation. No TV provided. Heat and lights only. Maybe a phone so they can reach out, locally, for work. That’s negotiable. And most of all: little to no money: all of this done in goods and services.
Or… we can do nothing and get filth in the street, public urination, or the necessity of heavy taxation to pay for the return of prisons for the poor… where “rehabilitation” would be a no no too.
But if you don’t want that then something must be done and, either way, you’re going to pay for it in dollars… or in heath and being offended by the truly offensive.
Or we can agree to do something.
How much and for who we can discuss later.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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