Monday, March 01, 2004

Some reflections on the state of our country:

For all the whining and moaning that goes on about how bad off people are, we tend to neglect looking at how good the vast majority of the population has it. And I don't just mean the middle classes; for instance, consider your average homeless person. He can sleep in a library, panhandle on the streets, and buy a cheap meal at a McDonald's. Granted, it isn't a life of luxury, but how many homeless people on the streets of Nairobi or Mogadishu do you think aspire to such dreams? Let's face it--we live in a country where poor people are fat. Food and clothing are cheap, we have organizations like the Salvation Army and various other "shelters" where people can get lodging, a hot meal, and other so-called "routine" things that people like North Koreans and Cubans only dare to dream about.
Personally, I think that expanding the welfare state would actually increase the number of poor people that liberals like to bitch about. I'm not saying that all poor people are lazy and hate to work, but if you're on welfare and the consequences of getting a job are to lose all your benefits--then what path are you going to chose? You've got yourself and your kids to feed, a house to finance, etc., etc.--and there's really no point in working when those things would go down the drain merely by taking on a minimum-wage job.
I don't have any answers--hell, I got a C in Econ. There don't seem to be any simple ways to reform the welfare system as it stands today. And, unfortunately, Bart Simpson wasn't entirely correct when he said, "My opponent says there are no easy answers. I say he's not looking hard enough!"


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