My recent article Government Assistance Sucks was meant to make people think. I honestly believe a nation that values self-reliance is a nation where everyone prospers. The article’s thesis – though true – offended some. It struck home to others.
I love encouraging entrepreneurialism, so I make it a habit to never pass up a lemonade stand.
Government assistance drains them of their dignity, robs them of their self-worth, and traps them in dependency.
In other words, the conviction to get off it is shared by millions who are on it. Here’s a disturbing question that is largely unanswered: how do they get off?
It isn’t pride. I believe there is an insatiable hunger in every human being to be self-reliant, and by all means I want to encourage that. It isn’t cruel, either, to try to figure out a way to be free. Honestly, my heart goes out to families who struggle in this rotten economy. What is cruel is thinking it compassionate to cushion the dependency. Many of those caught up in the system know full well what a dead end it is. If they attempt to wean themselves off the flow of government funds, the government takes what is needed from them. I properly call it a trap, and either you cut yourself off cold-turkey or regrettably stay on the system.
There are over 100 million stories about this, and I bet (perhaps I hope?) that most want to get off it. It isn’t simple, but it is far from impossible.
So last week, I offered my help. I believe I have the track record and the experience. I’ve been self-employed since 2004 with a wavering income, so there have been countless times when I could have applied for aid. Add 16 children to the application, and I’d have funds rolling in like a bootlegger. I’ve refused the help because (I truly believe this) the help is really no help at all. My insistance to remain self-reliant has helped me, my children, and my businesses in the long run.
Someone took me up on my offer to help. She and her husband have been on food stamps for 16 years. We’ve exchanged a few emails, and I’ll share her story tomorrow. I’m pumped that she is taking her first steps toward self-reliance.
Question: What is your opinion about government assistance?