Does the government owe me?
Colorado Springs, CO
Are you sure you want to delete this post?
I wouldn't be too judgmental about people taking forms of government welfare. Psychologists are writing papers on the long term effects of being unemployed...the words anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and despair commonly appear in their writings. Professor Arthur Goldsmith's research at Washington and Lee University touches on these points in this short article from October 2008, Professor's Research Warns of Psychological Effects on Unemployment.
"In addition to a diminished sense of self, those exposed to a few months of unemployment begin to exhibit higher levels of anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep. If people face prolonged unemployed, six to nine months or longer, the psychological effects often become chronic and have a long lasting effect.
“What’s really interesting is that this compromised sense of self becomes hardens and is better described as a permanent scar rather than a blemish. Even when people become employed again, the adverse impact of unemployment on psychological well-being lingers.”
Much like PTSD is being studied and recognized in returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, the long term emotional impact of being unemployed is the topic of new reseach that will be discussed and debated in the next decade. Particularly for those "99ers" that just simply cannot find a job for whatever reason, the emotional impact must be especially severe. I really feel for them. And for many, government welfare is their last hope...
Are you sure you want to delete this post?
LLBarry Wrote: I am surprised to find that [government human services are] so openly talked about and accepted. This new feeling of the government owes me doesn't stop with just food stamps but seems to encompass unemployment as well.
My question is, does the government owe us? Is anyone else seeing this trend of openess toward discussing unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other government welfare programs?
Your comment and question expresses the Reaganite view and attitude toward human services, and it is that view and attitude that frames the issue to make it seem as if people who are helped by those services think the government "owes them."
Of course, there may be some leeches who do think that, but research has shown that most people who benefit from government human services need it and use it for only as long as it is needed.
Furthermore, that Reaganite view and attitude is very misleading, but many people do not realize that. It is a prevalent attitude because Ronald Reagan said everyone should be "self-reliant" and "not depend on government."
That, however, was just a cunning way to justify cutting human services and cutting taxes for the wealthiest few who simply don't want to pay their fair share of taxes. And Bush, who expanded Reaganism and made it worse, did the same thing.
Granted, it is good to be self-reliant, and we all should try to be. But, as the Founding Fathers knew and intended, good government should promote the general welfare and ensure fairness and justice for all the people.
In hard times, many people need help, and even though non-profit charity organizations and soup lines and food banks try to provide help, it is usually not nearly enough. That's why there are now 15.5 Million children in America living in poverty even though 79 percent of them live in households were at least one adult is working full time.
During the Great Depression Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs saved a lot of people from suffering from poverty, hunger and homelessness. He established a safety net, put millions of people to work, and provided jobs training.
Unfortunately, for the last 30 years the Reaganites have steadily been striving to destroy Roosevelt's New Deal programs, claiming they are "socialist." (And in fact, that's what Republicans in Roosevelt's day said too, but the vast majority of Americans loved Roosevelt.)
Because the Reaganite view and attitude was sold as being patriotic and religious, many Americans believed and still believe in the Reaganite "Gospel of Prosperity."
That Reaganite "Gospel of Prosperity" claims that wealth is a reward from God and that the poor deserve to be poor because their "just lazy." But, while many of the Reaganites are on the "religious right," that partisan political ideology does not serve God or Country. It serves Mammon and the wealthiest few, at the expense of everyone else -- especially the working poor, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the least of our brethren.
We, the people, need to take care of each other -- especially those who need help. And we can best do that as taxpayers so that our government can do what it should do, which is promote the general welfare and use the common wealth for the common good.
Read Poverty: America's Greatest Shame. And listen to this song called We Can Change Our World.