At what point did hard work and being self sufficient become a bad thing?
The reason I ask is because of statements coming from members of the left over these last few weeks.
First we have Nancy Pelosi praising the death of the 40 hour work week because it will allow Americans to pursue their happiness. This implies that there is nothing wrong with "being happy" at the expense of others. What about the fact that it takes away my happiness because I'm left working twice as hard in order to afford those things that make me happy?
That brings us to a debate that I witnessed on the Patch website. The article was an opinion piece that basically boils down to Republicans are wrong about everything from gun control to the federal budget and that everyone in the country really wants ObamaCare and Republicans are afraid that people will like it when it's applied in full. You can read it in full HERE.
The very first comment to the article goes further on the attack, the commenter Ben writes:
don't forget that the House Republicans also just voted for a 39 BILLION dollar cut to the SNAP program that helps those in need of food. This means that millions of Americans living below the poverty level will be without help. As the gulf between the rich and the poor continues to widen, the Republicans continue to create more Democrat voters. They've gone so far down the crazy-hole that this country may actually elect Joe Biden as it's next President.
For starters that poster leaves off the fact that the cut is over a ten year period and that this cut equals about a 5% cut in total to the program.
This also ignores that the amount being spent right now on SNAP doubled from 2011 to 2012.
The "cut" actually comes from savings realized by closing loopholes that allowed people who should have no longer been eligible to continue receiving payouts from the government and by eliminating duplicate training programs. The cuts were designed to prevent people from continuing to receive food stamps even after winning $2 million from lotto.
A couple more posts begin going back and forth, then the following is posted by "Meg Jones"
I was a single mom in 1981 with 2 children after my husband abandoned us. I was raised to only take "charity" if I could not afford to support myself. It used to be embarrassing to accept WIC back in the day. I did not make a fair wage but I worked 3 jobs to support my family while I was attending school part time-which I paid for class by class. I worked as a dental assistant where I received benefits but only got 30 hours a week. So I supplemented by working weekends at a whole foods type of grocery store, I benefited by a discount on healthy foods for my family. And 3 nights a week, Fri, Sat and Sun I cleaned a bar prior to them opening. This was in NY so the bar was open from 10PM-4AM and I cleaned this gross bar from 6-8PM and prepped it for opening. I brought my children with me to the cleaning job and they did their homework or coloring or reading. I made more money cleaning that bar 3 nights a week than I made working my other 2 jobs all week. But I retained the other jobs for their benefits. I had private day care at a family home and I shared babysitting for my weekend job with another woman who worked 2 nights a week as a nurse and we would swap child care. My point is that cutting SNAP will only cause people to become more innovative rather than accepting of that situation created where they feel helpless and dependent. I did complete my education, paid for by ME with no loans at a state school. Today I am a small business owner and have been for the past 25 years. I started my business by selling my engagement ring and purchased a potters wheel and kiln, the rest is history. To this day I have NEVER taken out a business loan. I expand my business when I can afford to do so. In a down economy my business has grown. I know from experience that necessity is the mother of invention and by harboring this sense of dependency we are cheating people out of their right to be successful.
Before going on, take a minute and really think about what Meg had said here. She picked herself up, working three jobs and was able to get back on her feet to become self sufficient.
Carl Petersen III, author of the original article takes exception with the above and posts back this:
Meg Jones September 23, 2013 at 11:33 PM "I cleaned this gross bar from 6-8PM and prepped it for opening. I brought my children with me to the cleaning job and they did their homework or coloring or reading."
And this was better for them than you accepting WIC?
So being self reliant and teaching children about the value of hard work is somehow a bad thing in Carl's mind.
The exchange continues...
Yes, having my children WITH ME and teaching them the lesson of WORK and not putting my hand out and live in poverty was WELL WORTH bringing them with me. It is attitudes like yours supposing that YOU understand what is right that is wrong with the system. My children, all 4 of them now ages 32-20 are successful, hard working, college educated young adults who would shoot your argument down about SNAP. Two of my children are teachers and work in inner city schools and see the damage first hand.
Meg Jones September 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM "Yes, having my children WITH ME and teaching them the lesson"
that your pride was worth more than their welfare.
And here's where Carl begins to lose me. How exactly is working hard and teaching children the value of hard work endangering their welfare?
Haha, their welfare was in tact as there was no better care giver than mom. And yes, pride and work were valuable lessons that they continue to carry through their adulthood. Rather than attacking me and my success perhaps try to find some strong points to support your argument for government assistance. "If they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left." -Margaret Thatcher
Meg Jones September 24, 2013 at 01:24 AM "Rather than attacking me and my success"
I am not attacking you because of your success, I am attacking you because you attacked anyone who has ever had to be on government assistance as unworthy, not responsible, and lacking respect for themselves.
So somehow along with showing your children what hard work looks like is considered endangerment, by pointing out the fact that being on welfare used to carry some level of embarrassment (which is the only statement she made that I can conclude he is referring to) is the equivalent of saying someone who needs a hand up is "unworthy, not responsible, and lacking respect for themselves". Interesting.
It's at this point another left leaning poster going by the name activenolonger joins in posting the following two posts:
Meg Jones is of the mindset where "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" makes sense.
Apparently asking someone to work instead of sitting back doing nothing while collecting checks of money taken from others is asking to destroy the village.
But he goes on in this second post, which I split up so to make a couple comments to his or her different points...
Meg Jones = You know what really pisses me off about people like you. The seeming inability or even desire to take common sense and tangible steps towards tackling an issue.
Ok let's go back to Meg's starting posts. She clearly points out the problem, that welfare makes people dependent and takes away their right to be successful.
Skipping in a bit further into activenolonger's comments he states the following:
From your rather extended and detailed life story (12-step program?) it appears that you are holier than thou and by the grace of G-d made better life choices than the rest of us. Oh that you could sprinkle your magic faerie dust across the land so that everyone could have the same boot-strapping moxie as you!
And here are the insults.
This writer accuses Meg of making "better life choices then the rest of us" but if you read her story she doesn't say anything about making good choices. Her life sucked for a while because of bad choices. What she discussed was picking herself up because of necessity and getting herself back on her own feet.
People who mooch off others and refuse to pick themselves up, instead choosing to take everything they can without any effort to become self reliant are the ones who are making bad choices and we have a society that continues to encourage that behavior by giving them more and more.