Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's free money...

In New York, the government shelled out a couple hundred million dollars for people on welfare or food stamps in order to assist with back to school costs - $200 a kid. This is what someone said about it:
"It's free money!" said Alecia Rumph, 26, who waited in a Morris Park, Bronx, line 300 people deep for the cash to buy uniforms and book bags for her two kids. "Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us."
There are nearly as many things wrong in this sentence as there are words. Free money doesn’t exist – someone has to foot the bill. It’s great when the footing is done by people who chose to give of their resources to help a person, but money given by the government is taken by compulsory means. The tax-paying citizens footed the bill, Alecia, it didn’t come from a magic money tree growing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And God has nothing to do with government setting up programs to give you someone else’s money.
I’m not going to talk about food stamps, Medicaid, etc…if anyone isn’t familiar with my thoughts on that, go through the archives in May 2008 and you can catch up. Rather I would just speak from my life experience concerning self-reliance and encourage people to embrace this philosophy over the freeloading mantra that has grown so prevalent.
I grew up in a large family on a small income. Much of our school shopping was from the JC Penney’s reject department – the left foot was a size 8, the right a size 7; one pant leg longer than the other; missing buttons and zippers; faded patches on t-shirts. We had grown a garden to feed ourselves and cold cereal was a stocking stuffer because it was too expensive the rest of the year. My mother had to hot glue her 1980’s classes through the early 90’s because new ones couldn’t be afforded.
This isn’t a pity party, and I won’t lie and say I enjoyed it – I’d of preferred cold cereal to hot.
I started working 40+ hour weeks the summer between my 7th and 8th grade year in killing noxious weeds in the oil fields of Wyoming and had a manual labor job every summer until I graduated from high school to earn money for my school clothes, for college and for missionary service.
This isn’t bragging, and I won’t lie and say I enjoyed it – I’d of preferred to not work.
What I will say is I learned self-reliance.
I learned though all people are born with certain rights, one of them is not getting what you want and sometimes it’s not even getting what you need. I’ve learned it isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to help me buy things or have children or pay for my medicine. I’ve learned that when times get tough and help is needed (we all will need it, in one way or another) parents and family will welcome with open arms if there’s enough humility to ask.
And I’ve learned that God should be thanked for giving us the ability to work, to sacrifice and be self-reliant, not for helping ourselves to other people’s money.


Averi said...
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Averi said...

AMEN. I don't even have words for that. I don't have kids to support, but I do support myself and will have a family of my own one day. I was unemployed for almost 5 months. Did anyone help me?? Yea right. It was a good thing I had a savings (which I worked 5 long years for post college), and a degree (which I earned and paid for myself - I have the student loans to prove it) to find me another job, or I would have been back home living with my parents trying to find work there. I've always had to work for what I have. And growing up, we had a lot of kids too. I wore my older siblings clothes for years. All that money is doing is enabling people to NOT ever be self-sufficient.