Monday, August 3, 2015

A Nation of Takers


Here in Arizona, and in my old home state of California, it's "book bag week."  Corporates like Walmart and Target, and kind hearted individuals donate both money and time to stuff book bags with school supplies, then hand them out by the hundreds.

God help me but I have become so cynical about all these public give aways.  It seems always to be the same people lining up for something free, whether it's free book bags, or the food bank, or free Obamaphones, free school breakfast and lunch tickets, or lining up at the welfare office for a green check and a food stamp card.  

Half of America has become a nation of "takers", feeling no shame in gaming the system whether the need is merited or not.  I can remember when people were ashamed to be on there is no shame and so many believe they are entitled to the freebies, and if they don't get them they're more than willing to riot and raise hell until they do!

A few years ago PBS aired a series about the dustbowl.  Farm families who had lost everything were starving.  Along came President Roosevelt with a subsistence program, and damned if those old farmers were too embarrassed to take a government check!  They felt that taking something they hadn't earned was a shameful thing!

How far we have come from that time of rugged individualism.  Far too many of us have become whining twits who revel in identifying ourselves as a "victim"....even when our circumstances were due to our own personal failings.

So, again, God help me, but I find it very, very hard to be sympathetic to anyone getting charity in any form.  In fact it is damned hard to find anyone who truly deserves my charity.  So I donate to the care of animals and to St. Jude's Children's Cancer Research hospital, and that's pretty much it.  

I no longer pick a star from a store Christmas tree and buy a gift for a needy child...because I've seen to many of those stars belonging to parents who are working for cash under the table, drawing welfare, scoring free school lunches and Section 8 housing vouchers, raiding the food banks, lining up for free giveaways, and living far better than I live myself!  I see people driving up to food banks in late model SUV's, sporting a smart phone on their belt, and augmenting their food stamp allowances with free food at the food bank.  Sometimes I see those same people attending professional sports that I can't afford but they can because they are gaming the system of giveaways so magnificently.

So no book bag donations for me.  Is there a small group of kids that really need a book bag?  Yes, most probably.  But I know for a fact that far too many of those kids belong to families who have learned to game the system for all that it's worth.

Several years ago I looked into joining a group of volunteers who delivered free turkey dinners at Thanksgiving.  At the first meeting to discuss the project I heard story after story of folks who had delivered free Turkey dinner boxes to folks who signed up for them.  They said when they entered the homes people were watching football on big screen televisions, their kids playing games on expensive gaming systems, chatting with family on their smart phones, with a late model car parked out front.  I chose not to participate.

I hear constantly about childhood hunger and all I see are morbidly obese school kids hopping a bus to take them four blocks to their home.  Everywhere I go I see folks lining up for free give aways.  I read about college kids getting free Pell Grants and minority scholarships and eating out at fast food joints on their food stamp card.  

I've just seen too much of the gamers and not nearly enough of the truly needed.  So don't ask me to donate to your book bag drive.  Sad.  Damned Sad.


Frank K said...

The 47%. And until we get a President who isn't part of the "food ol boy" network, it will do nothing but get worse. We should change the name from USA to WSA. Welfare States of America.

A Modest Scribler said...

Getting harder and harder to find someone Not in that good old boy network, Frank. God help us all.

TheRandyGuy said...

Interesting piece. I'm a distance runner - live in San Jose, CA. When I run, I look at the billboards. One says "1 out of 3 children in San Jose are at risk of hunger". The next one says "Half of all children are at risk of childhood obesity". So, the way I figure it, 50% + 33% = 88%. Therefore, 12% of kids are doing OK.... Point is, the system has been abused to the extent that you can't trust anyone with their hand out. The entitlement mentality is firmly entrenched, aided by a government that promotes the parasite lifestyle - is this an overstatement? Perhaps, but with pols basing their entire campaigns on the premise that "Government can help you", it's not by much. Expanding taxpayer-funded giveaways, coupled with the class warfare from The Anointed One, the divide is growing. Last anecdotal piece: My wife is a surgeon and volunteers many hours to help children in need. You'd not be surprised at how many of these children show up at medical events with full braces on their teeth, designer clothing (not old, either), and $120 Nikes.... Like you, the concept of "poverty" in America has been elevated to the point of irrelevance. Is there real poverty? Sure, but fewer people are suffering than ever before..... And THAT is not the story the MSM and feds want told.

A Modest Scribler said...

Excellent comments, Randy. And you're right, I would not be surprised at the bling those so called poor kids are sporting around while waiting in line for a handout.

A Modest Scribler said...

And, Randy, how the hell can you live in liberal land? I'd go stark raving crazy among the insanity that springs from that area.

Brian Kalifornia said...

When I began working for a local Sacramento Law Enforcement job I volunteered at our "Toy Project". We were about 45 minutes late to one of the recipient’s home. She came out bitching about how late we were and how she needed to be somewhere. We apologized and told her we had already been to 7 homes and we were sorry for being late. She stated she didn't care about those people blah blah.... I was looking at this lady, like are you crazy! So we unloaded wrapped gifts for her 3 children and took them into her house.

And to my surprise there was a 60" DLP TV sitting there on a stand with her kids watching it, (this was about 12 years ago). I shook my head and looked at my Partner and he looked at me. We were both disgusted about the whole situation, I never volunteered again. Oh, as we walked back to our van I noticed her Escalade in her driveway.

My son and I go to the Childrens home here and pick 3 or 4 kids and by them the gifts they requested. This way I know there going to someone who could use it. It's ad that so many "game" the system and ruin it for others.

A Modest Scribler said...

Brian, all of you are proving my point with your stories. Lesson here is target your charity to the truly needy and truly helpless and don't trust any organization to do it for you.