August 10th, 2006


Reposted without permission from elfwreck

If she asks me to remove it I'll make it private, but for now .... it started on another journal. Someone mentioned a kindness done to her when she had small children and was poor and grocery shopping. Someone else expressed ire about tax money from unwilling givers going to programs such as WIC (women, infant, and children food supplement program). Elf responded and her post is copied here. I've read Elf on this subject before and she expresses clearly why I feel the programs in place are necessary. Some will disagree (looks at xterminal), but I agree completely with the "why" we should all be participating in some manner of helping those less fortunate even if the only way is through our taxes collected.


We are all connected.

It is incredibly short-sighted to think that other people's children are not part of your life, your future--that their well-being and health has no impact on your life and therefore you have no obligation to support them with a few pennies per paycheck.

Do you begrudge public school as well? After all, that's just a subsidy for those who had children they can't afford to send to private schools.

Welfare--food stamps, WIC, MediCare, section 8 housing--isn't just a "humanitarian" effort. It's an acknowledgement that our society is interconnected in ways not always apparent on the individual level, and therefore we need support systems with a broader base than any individual person or charitable organization can provide. It's based on the theory that when poor children eat, we are *all* healthier; that when single mothers are abandoned by their spouses, we are *all* hurt by the fallout.

Of course, we could just abandon them, tell them "you should've thought ahead." That seems to be the new plan... New Orleans is not being rebuilt, because no matter how much damage to the rest of the country the lack of a major port will cause in the long run, the people who don't live there don't think it's their problem.

If it's not *your* kids collecting welfare, why should you be taxed for it? Well, because your kids may be attending school with those kids. Because we abolished child labor; because a 10-year-old is not permitted to find work to support his family. Because you will be safer and happier if poor families aren't poking through garbage cans in your neighborhood to feed themselves. Because your office will work more efficiently if the janitors don't miss one week a month to tend a sick child. Because hungry people are desperate people, and no nation thrives on desperation.

Because it is a sign of great sickness, that the story told here stands out as amazing kindness instead of common decency, and the welfare programs are one of the tiny ways we fight that sickness.

Your "right" to the money you've earned is guaranteed only by the laws of this country... and those "rights" include giving a certain portion--a very tiny portion--to those who contribute to society in ways other than producing money at the moment.