Another Feel-Good, Useless Chant from the Right

woman writing letter“Welfare should not be a career option.” Another feel-good, but useless chant from the Right.

How does chanting “personal responsibility” actually help solve anything?

There is no doubt that nationally, we have a an unacceptably high percentage of our population dependent upon help.

Why do some people think a good lecture is all we need to fix this?

That a lack of any help will motivate enough people to correct their situations on their own?

It doesn’t work that way. A tiny percentage of welfare use can be blamed on genuine laziness or gaming the system, but the vast majority of people receiving our various types of assistance have gotten to that point with help from circumstances beyond their control.

From people born with physical or mental disabilities, to those who develop them later in life, what kind of civilized societies abandon them to a life of poverty, or demands that the rest of their families bankrupt themselves to provide decent care?

What is harder for many people to comprehend, is that parenting actually does matter. No matter what your home life is like as a child, good or bad, that life to each individual child is seen as normal. Patterns learned in childhood tend to be repeated, and many people never get far enough away from their view of normal to gain perspectives that can help them choose a different normal.

While exceptional people can break out of destructive family patterns, most of us are not exceptional. Most of us are average, and need help from people outside the family to unlearn destructive patterns. Without offering this help, we risk increasing the percentage of people needing help each successive generation. The Right’s feel-good chants are actually less than useless, they are digging the holes deeper.

If you want less people on the dole, we need a larger percentage of our population productively engaged in our economy. How do we do this? Not with Republican type economics. Those policies reward only exceptional people, and depend upon maintaining a large pool of uneducated and desperate workers to take advantage of.

Our world is changing and growing (as always). It is time to consider new attitudes toward family definitions, expectations and community values.

Families are frequently glorified as the building blocks of our (and any) society. However, they are also our most destructive wrecking balls.

Parenting matters. It is time to stop pretending that everyone will be good enough at it. It is time to acknowledge that some people can contribute better gifts to the community than another child. Time to say that all children deserve prepared and committed parents. Time to acknowledge that communities are only as good as the building blocks they are built with. Time to accept that people can be valuable parts of their communities without having the title of mother or father.

Economic policies based on ever increasing populations, rather than increasing the percentages of our population actively involved in stable economies are foolish. The pro-business, profit-oriented right wing policies of Republicans combined with short-sighted and vindictively oriented social attitudes are cutting the throat on our future.

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