LAND OF THE FREE, PART DEUX

A recent patient of mine brought back to the forefront the issues raised when the question of extending unemployment benefits rode the headlines. The evil Republicans balked, to the delight of the enlightened social justice liberals, who always have the easier path. After all, in a tough economy, who wants to see newly laid-off citizens with small mouths to feed and mortgages to pay adrift in a stormy economy? Of course, the compassionate reason, if the jobs were there, the people would work.

So it was a surprise for me to hear this entrepreneur with a small business in our relatively small town rail against the unavailability of workers, limiting his expansion. Granted, it was not a high paying job, but time and time again he found candidates opting to stay on unemployment rather than take a position they felt was beneath their estimated worth.

As seems to always be the case, government largess grows beyond its intended limits and becomes welfare for the needy, the greedy, and the lazy. In the land of the free, the needy, greedy and lazy have votes, and are more inclined to vote for those that will give them more free stuff. So there is an incentive on the part of the givers to perpetuate the system that allows the needy/greedy/lazy to remain needy/greedy/lazy.

Rather than nurture the N/G/L, we should nurture a system of tough love that helps the needy while discouraging the greedy and the lazy. This, necessarily, means pushing them out of the nest so they can learn to fly again. They may not soar as high or as far as they did before the storm, but at least they’ll be in a position to catch the next updraft. Hanging on to the others’ wings only drags them down as well.

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