Thunderpig’s Mirror

Americans are Poorly Served at the Welfare Table by Carl Mumpower

Posted by Thunder Pig on December 28, 2007

Guest Commentary

Americans are Poorly Served at the Welfare Table

Dr. Carl Mumpower

As a country that works far more often than it does not, our future rests on the same American Success Equation of liberty, opportunity, and responsibility that has uplifted generations past. In today’s America, there is a struggle to determine whether this equation, or one deceptively labeled as social welfare, will determine our future.

As a vision, the concept of welfare has much to offer. The desire to help our fellow man beats strongly in the hearts of most Americans, but sadly, when man plays God, it is difficult to match the vision to the reality. What results from the stumbling rescue attempts of government, bureaucracies, and even the well-intended is rarely and truly helpful.

Today in America, we embrace four approaches to social welfare, beginning with the most visible – individual welfare. It is hard to argue with the mission of uplifting those needing a helping hand. Unfortunately, as most often practiced, individual welfare has more to do with help to get by versus help to get ahead. The result is an assured relationship of hostile dependency that robs participants of their dignity and autonomy in an expensive exchange for subsistence and hollow hopes.

Community welfare is an overlooked phenomenon that has you and me sending our taxes to Washington to be skimmed and returned to us through a rigged lottery of earmarks and handouts devoted to political special interests. In today’s America, those defined as the best politicians are those most able to bring home the bacon – the fact that this bacon was ours to begin with gets lost in the spin.

Corporate welfare has our legislators passing laws granting special privilege to business interests that should be sinking or swimming in our free market economy strictly on their own merits. The subprime loan bailout, relocation incentives, cronyism with Halliburton, and a gerrymandered tax system are all examples of corporate welfare that feeds business special interests at the expense of our collective interests.

The fourth leg of the social welfare table stands on one-sided trade welfare relationships that we have allowed to flourish for decades. The closed markets of Japan, currency manipulations by China, and trademark and patent indifferences practiced by just about everyone else are forms of trade welfare that we tolerate through indifference, habit, or possibly even intentional policy. The results are a “fly now – pay later” philosophy that ignores realty and mortgages our grandchildren’s futures.

Grounded in the policies of Roosevelt’s hope generating “New Deal”, many Democrats have a long-standing marriage to most forms of welfare as a means to cementing loyalties. Republican behavior of the past decade has more than demonstrated that party’s vulnerability to similar thinking applied to their own list of preferred customers. In both cases, politicians carry heavy responsibility for manipulating the public into believing that handouts are more about uplifting the downtrodden than upholding the powerful.

It remains that in God’s world there is no way around personal responsibility and that the only real love is that which helps people step up versus find a way to sit down. Whether it is an individual, community, business, or country, there is no escaping that living from the labors of others sidesteps the potentials of liberty, opportunity, and responsibility beating in the heart of the American Dream.

America is fighting for its future and yet many of us do not even know there is a struggle. Our politicians and many media outlets continue to seduce us with hollow assurances and distractions that mock the seriousness of our situation.

Yet history tells us, when faced with adversity, Americans can always find a right way forward. The beginning of that process is the realization that we are in real danger of losing the way we have now – and that the outcome will certainly not be in support of our welfare.

Carl Mumpower

11th District Republican Congressional Candidate

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