Go to any National Park and signs are everywhere. They beg, plead and demand that we don’t feed the animals, but we do to the consternation of park officials everywhere. It is relatively simple reasoning. If you feed the animals, they become dependent upon humans for their food and will over time lose the ability to forage for themselves. The animals need to be able to fend for themselves staying away from humans and potential harm to themselves and the people feeding them whether intentional or unintentional. We need to respect the animals and their habitats.
Is it wishful thinking to wish we could have the same respect for people as we do animals? Our public welfare system established in a time, the 1930’s, when need was dire in our nation due to the Great Depression. Joblessness was rampant throughout the country and families could only eke out the barest amount of life’s necessities. Every family member except the very young had to be productive for their very survival. What has progressed from a measure to assist Americans in need has in itself become the means through which families now collect welfare with no intention of doing anything else. We let it happen. We fed, housed, and supported them without asking for anything in return.
In the 1930’s families had space to grow a garden and provide their own food through working in the garden or take milk and make cottage cheese, butter, and other necessities. In 2012, there is neither the room nor the ability to provide food for oneself. We have all in one way or another become dependent upon others to provide our foodstuff. Unfortunately, unemployment while not the 25% rate it was in the 1930’s is bad enough running around 8% today. We had jobs, plenty of jobs, until companies decided they could do it cheaper in other countries escaping all the union rules of our country.
Americans know how to work and work hard. Despite the overwhelming predominance of major retail outlets, mom-and-pop stores are still thriving and providing jobs for those who aren’t prepared to be a financier or CEO which is the majority of us. Unfortunately, we are walking away from the trade schools and only preparing future employees for white-collar work. Not everyone is cut out to sit at a desk pushing paperwork. We need to enable people to feed themselves and to work a job, any job, with pride and honor. We need to require more of those who are dependent.