I grew up “In the Land of Sky Blue Waters.” I know those people, my people. I know how they feel about government, how they feel about compassion and how they feel about responsibility.
I know what it’s like to have a neighbor lose a barn to fire. I know what it’s like to have the community come together to rebuild that barn, to donate seed and feed, horses and cattle. I know what it’s like to have a barn raising.
I know what those people in the New York Times article are getting at, hinting at and struggling with.
The Times recently published an article chronicling the contradiction of folks who simultaneously take from the government and oppose government handouts. Truly an interesting intersection.
In short, the reporter goes to Minnesota to investigate why a population of people who are increasingly dependent on government handouts are such critics of that policy. The stories are remarkable. The people interviewed know that government intervention is wrong, yet they can’t resolve the inner conflict that people need help. Even folks who are taking from the system, folks who admit that they would adapt if that assistance were taken away, advocate for less government intervention.
Indeed, one gentleman, when asked why he takes assistance if he could do without, “Because it’s offered.”
People respond to incentives. And when the incentive is to take free money, people are gonna take it; plain and simple.
Look, the fact is, America has grown to depend on the government more and more:
Since the 40’s we’ve seen the entitlement state grow, and grow rapidly.
This isn’t what we wanna see. We don’t want to create a society dependent on the government for sustenance. But when faced with evidence it’s hard to say that we aren’t moving to that place. We are building generations that are becoming more and more dependent on government.
And that is not a place we wanna go.