The generosity of Americans is evident year-around and really is visible at Christmastime. It’s alive and well nationwide, and certainly in this area. There is help available for those in need.
It’s natural that people question the welfare that is given to some people. We all know there are freeloaders looking for any kind of handout. They play the system and bend the rules.
One comment we’ve heard for years is that some of the people at charity outlets can be observed loading the freebies into late model cars. Not only that, they are well dressed and don’t look like they have missed a meal. Looks can be deceiving and the freeloaders are not the majority who seek handouts.
Many people at the charity outlets with their hands out are regulars. Jobless, many of them are not prepared for today’s positions with companies. Others are victims of downsizing by companies, or their workplace has moved to another city or out of the country, or because of economic conditions, including competition, they closed. Unemployment aid has been extended and some do well with that income and with the free handouts.
The charity outlets do the best they can in checking out the people who come in their doors. They can’t afford a sophisticated checking system to determine the status of individuals. They do question the habitual “clients” who seek handouts. They do advise them to look for a job.
We have jobs that need to be filled in this area. Part of the problem is there is a lack of skilled labor. Some of the jobless people are not trainable, mainly due to their lack of an education. There’s no question that some of the people seeking handouts are school dropouts.
If you look at the list of agencies funded by the United Way it is apparent that most needs of people are being met by these groups. The United Way officials and volunteers do check out all agencies that seek funding.
We read and hear about poverty in this country. We advise you to check out the column on this page by columnist Pat Buchanan. He explodes the myth that we don’t take care of our needy. He notes that a family of four with $23,550 in cash income in 2013 qualified as living in poverty in this country. That’s hardly the complete story. Buchanan points out that public education is free, there are countless college scholarships available, medical needs are paid through Medicaid, they are given food stamps, schools provide meals, housing is subsidized, regular welfare checks are received and there are tax credits.
Buchanan’s research revealed that among the American “poor,” 1 in 4 have a freezer; half have dishwashers; almost 60 percent have a home computer; about 2 out of 3 “poor” families have a clothes washer and dryer; 80 percent have cellphones; 93 percent have a microwave; 96 percent have a color TV; and 97 percent have a gas or electric stove.
Our generosity has produced a structure of people who live well even though they don’t have a steady job. Call it the welfare structure!
No country takes care of its “poor” as America does. Yes, we know our overall standard of living is at the top or next to the top when compared to other nations and we can afford to help the “poor.”
The worry is the growth of welfare and the people who ride the system to the fullest. They are among the “poor” people who won’t do some work. It’s below them. Others make little or no effort to find a job. Then we have the opposite. People who are too proud to ride the welfare train and work at two or three jobs to make ends meet. Do we have fewer of those type of people today?
We have legal and illegal immigrants who will work at jobs Americans don’t want to do. They are hard workers, trying to improve their economic status.
The point of all of this begs the question of whether all this welfare is healthy for the future of the country. We need to weed out the freeloaders who make a career out of milking the welfare available when they could qualify for some jobs.