En Route

Welfare – A hand up, or a handout…?

G’morning all!

I wandered over to Matt Walsh’s blog a little while ago – it’s the second time I’ve been there – and for the second time I felt compelled to post something on the subject under discussion.  Matt believes in charity but not in Social Assistance (AKA – welfare), which he believes is ‘Stealing’ on the part of the recipients.  He thinks that all giving ought to be voluntary – all giving, period.  Well, that’s a fine idea, of course, but as history has taught us, goodness cannot be mandated.  If the wealthy of the world had cared enough when it mattered most, not a soul on Earth would be starving.

Orphan Boys in a Sandbox

We would have no need for famine relief, NGOs, and all of the other aid agencies that work tirelessly to mitigate the sufferings of millions, when there is enough of everything for all – if we would only share – which we would if we cared enough, but most people don’t, sadly.

Here’s my post:


While I’m a strong believer in multigenerational families, and always thought that I’d be a senior member of one someday, the reality is that kids nowadays are so far into the ‘me’ generation, the ‘self,’ the ‘I,’ and the ‘You owe me a living’ mentality, that not too many stick around to help their parents, and grandparents, and further extended family. Sad, but true nevertheless. My husband and I raised a passel of kids, and we taught them all about hospitality, morality, solid family values, and to follow the example of Christ as well as they could. Only one of them bothers, and even she can’t fathom how not seeing us for… I think it’s ten years now, is *not* all right! She telephones from time to time and tells us all her woes, but I don’t believe it crosses her mind to wonder how we’re coping with being diabetic, and I’m wheelchair bound, legally blind, have a chronic CNS disorder (present since birth), and multiple injuries from a car crash almost eleven years ago. In the not-too-distant past, we lost our house because there was absolutely no work in our area. We moved, of course, over a thousand miles to work, but we couldn’t keep up the payments on both the house we were obliged to rent (so my husband could stay employed), as well as the mortgage on the one we used to own. We even had a buyer for it, but the bank wouldn’t let us sell it, saying that we were a few days past the deadline for ‘Independent action,’ so… they took our house and auctioned it for a quarter of what it was worth. We still owe them the rest, so they say. Now, I think *that’s* stealing, don’t you?

So, we have insurance companies canceling policies and negating mortgages left and right.

We have banks that will come and take your house the moment you’re late with a payment.

We have ungrateful and self-centered children abounding everywhere.

And easily *half* of most people’s take-home pay is *stolen* by the government, via the various forms of taxation, making it extremely difficult to make a living.

We have sick people and old people who *cannot* work any longer, and who cannot afford even the most basic medical care.

We have an unemployment rate that is just shy of what was reported during The Great Depression, and we’re barreling headlong into a meltdown that will make the 1930′s look like a holiday. The United States is bankrupt and has an $18 trillion debt, which it can *never* repay, of course, as the only equity it has is the geographical land itself – and ‘We the people,’ and our taxes. When (yes, I did say *when*) the dollar tanks, tens of millions of people in other countries will suffer too, and many are in a desperate state already.

So, given the above-mentioned problems, why is it surprising that so many people need financial assistance of late?

The welfare office used to be filled with homeless people, and drug addicts, and alcoholics, and high-school dropouts – as well as single mothers. Now, if you visit a welfare office (we don’t even have them in Canada anymore – everything’s done on-line), you’ll see men in suits and ties, many of them with degrees in one field or another, who simply can’t find work anywhere. The latter are people who, for the most part, have paid in to social programs for years, and now that they need a hand up, they shouldn’t get one? Why not? Do these people have a choice? No, they don’t, and neither do those with disabilities, and they need to be assisted.

We don’t need to spend tax dollars on the garbage that we do – we ought to be taking care of the needy – who for whatever reason, and through no fault of their own, simply can’t make ends meet.

The Nanny or Welfare State isn’t something we ‘Buy into,’ Matt; poverty is forced upon most by excessive taxation. Those who abuse the system *are* stealing, if indirectly, but certainly no more so than the government – and it doesn’t matter which government we’re talking about – British, American, or Canadian. In the Western world it all works on the same premise, but it doesn’t work well at all, does it? Banks, Insurance companies (that never pay out), greedy corporations, obscenely high unemployment levels, excessive taxation, ungrateful kids, deadbeat dads, and the general disintegration of the family unit, hyperinflation, lack of medical coverage…, I could go on. No, it isn’t ideal for us to have a Nanny or Welfare state, but unless we solve the other problems we’ve allowed to remain in place (and we won’t), we will always need some version of it.

You’re passionate, Matt, and I know that you want to set the world aright (that job’s already taken, by the way), and God bless you for it, but you’re still young and relatively inexperienced. Wait a couple of decades until you, your wife, or your kids become chronically sick, disabled, or you’re unemployed, or you meet with a horrible accident. Perhaps then you’ll see the situation through the other side of the looking-glass.

We *all* need help from time to time, and when we have more than we need we (hopefully) give, but when we have less than we need, there is no shame in *accepting* help; it teaches us humility, and those who would give, compassion.

May God bless you and yours, Matt, and may He help us all.


Well, what do you think?  Should we do away with Welfare?  Are most of us taxed too much to make it?

Ideally, families and communities *would* take care of each other, and work together for the betterment of all, but we don’t live in a Utopian society, we live in a disintegrating one.

Do you think we’re too far gone to recover, or could we, collectively, regain our ground and *really* learn to ‘Love Thy Neighbor’?

I’d love to hear your comments on this one.