When someone speaks out against Welfare, some listeners become indignant and suspect an appalling lack of caring, a lack of charity and humanity. But shallow sentimentality is no substitute for intelligent policies and genuine compassion, and the fact is that our current welfare system treats its recipients – who are mostly black — as if they were children, as if they were unable to understand the basic facts of a market economy, and as if they were unable to rise above a system of fantastic expectations, indulgences, and entitlements. This is the worst kind of racism in America — the kind that demeans black women and unmans black men, the kind that belittles them with pity and charity.
Problems inevitably arise when the value of welfare payments is more than the value of earnings. When that happens, regardless of reforms and regulations, welfare becomes a government instrument that promotes failure, poverty, broken homes, illegitimacy, and violence. In our system, mothers are particularly eligible for these generous benefits, which means that the need for husbands is more than simply eliminated: having a working husband, who could not possibly earn as much as the government provides, becomes an outright liability. Thus the family structure is dismantled, more and more fatherless children are encouraged, men are emasculated, boys grow up without strong male role models to teach them how to become worthy men, little girls are motivated to have babies as soon as possible (the relentless vulgarity of television, movies, and music videos, increases this motivation a thousand-fold), and the spiral of urban problems becomes more and more unsolvable.
Today, we have reaped the harvest of all this ignorance and condescension. Black teenage boys, wishing to be acknowledged as men, but completely unneeded in the traditional male roles of husband, father, and provider, find other ways to be acknowledged — they act out violently, join together in predatory gangs, rape and degrade their women. The prisons fill to overflowing and the inner city moves toward a police state. Babies are neglected by mothers who are still children themselves. Only a few manage to escape this vortex.
All of this is blamed superficially on racism and poverty, and the government pours money into educational programs to promote tolerance as well as more benefits for the poor. But this will never work. Welfare will never make sense so long as it actively discourages people from working and taking care of their families.
Dr. Andrew Cort, D.C., J.D., is a Teacher, an Attorney, and a Doctor of Chiropractic. His books, including “Return to Meaning: The American Psyche in Search of its Soul”, “From Joshua to Jesus”, and “The Song of Songs: A Lover’s Poetic Dialogue”, can be browsed and ordered at http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2XMNRI4GIYFES. Dr. Cort lives in the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts.
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