I write often in this column about the dependent population in this country. And when people comment on this column, more often than not they voice agreement that some members of society take advantage of the vast array of government programs available to help those in need.
And yet just yesterday, I read a lengthy interview with a distinguished member of the liberal community who yelled and screamed about the lack of concern and compassion and care given to that very same dependent population.
In short my friends, we have a wide gap of agreement on the role that government should play in the lives of people. Now granted, that should come as no surprise. Yet I am amazed at just how divided this nation has become on so many issues, leading among them the issue of providing the needs for those who do not provide for themselves.
It is this singular issue that will someday lead to a form of class warfare. As long as hard-working taxpayers are increasingly asked (or told) that they must provide even more of their paycheck to help those in need, the bitter division will continue to grow.
I am asked one question more than any other. I am asked why able-bodied members of society can receive taxpayer assistance without a requirement to work. I am asked why so many members of society receive some form of "disability" assistance when, in fact, their disability is nothing more than a reluctance to work. And I admit, I cannot answer the question.
I know in my heart there are those among us who cannot provide for themselves. And I willingly pay my taxes in order to help them in some small way. Yet I also know in my heart that thousands in this region alone have learned to live on that government handout because they find it more appealing than working for a living. If you think you can dispute that last statement, I will meet you in the middle of Main and Malone and we'll debate the issue for all the world to hear. But I'll have no takers on that proposal because I'm right.
What we need is what has been discussed and rejected by liberals for years. We need a government-backed work program for every single able-bodied American unable to find work in any other fashion. We need to instill a work ethic that is obviously missing from the home environment. We need to mandate that anyone physically able to work must perform some service before they are eligible for a monthly check.
But the politically-correct idiots will scream their heads off. How dare you force someone to work simply because they lack the basic essentials to find and hold a job? Well, scream all you want. It just makes sense.
Just driving around, I see thousands of small projects that could be accomplished with just a little work. And I see able-bodied young males standing on street corners waiting for their girlfriends to pick up their "check." Put those young men to work, teach them a basic skill and help them to help themselves.
Maybe in some corners it's just human nature that you won't fend for yourself if someone else will provide for you. We can't wait for that attitude to change because it never will. We must begin a discussion on putting this large population to work in some government-mandated program and teach the next generation the benefits of work.