It's interesting that the bank bailout went so smoothly. It may have helped that the banks were involved in drafting the terms. On the other hand, the government's program to aid homeowners in danger of losing their homes has largely failed. Could it be because the banking industry was also instrumental in drafting the terms for the distressed homeowner bailout?
Who was there at that time to impress on our representatives the needs of these homeowners? No one except those who had an interest in the program not working. Remember who owns congress.
Now something different. I was listening to the bitter men on Fox news talk about entitlements. Think about how they are using the word. When I listen, I imagine those wanting assistance lining up and shouting at the government with their hands out, "Give us what we're entitled to!" That's ugly enough. Then, picture those people as lazy able bodied individuals who don't want to work. That's how Fox, and lock step Republicans, use the word "entitlement."
But consider. It's the powerful (corporation, individuals, and governments) setting up the programs providing assistance. The powerful establish the program's requirements and evaluate who complies. If they comply, they're entitled to receive assistance. It's the powerful telling the weak and vulnerable whether they're entitled to assistance or not.
Fox as much tells us the founding fathers disapprove of social programs and we should too - end of debate or else your a socialist. I won't get into what our founding fathers wanted or how broad and muddy the word "socialism" is the way Fox uses the term. I won't get into whether Roosevelt and Eisenhower were wrong or whether we should even have public libraries, public schools, or grants to pay for students' college education.
We need to think on this topic ourselves and decide for ourselves who the experts are on the subject of public assistance (to use a term other than "entitlements"). We need to ask, "Who is in the best position to understand the circumstances that people endure and determine need? Who is in the best position to determine whether the program's social benefit outweighs it's cost? Who is in the best position to determine whether there is a national moral obligation?" Investment bankers? Political talk show hosts? Economists? The US Government Accountability Office? Psychologists? Ministers and Priests? Counselors? Social Workers Sociologists? Those in the justice system?
We should carefully think about this. We don't have to defer to knee jerk bullies. We might want to ask ourselves, "Who are we? Who is our neighbor? What should we do? What can we afford" Do we simply shut our eyes and do nothing out of principle? It's funny how the far right doesn't want separation of Church and State. They want the church cozy in bed with government but not cozy enough to influence the government where it might express Christian values. Is eliminating abortion really the only Christian cause? I think we should leave Church dogma out of government but express the values of the Church. What sacrifice is God more pleased with? Symbolism or thoughtful compassion? How did we get so backward?
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