Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Issue of Shaming, and KFI's Bill Handel

by Douglas Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

While driving to the Tuesday Morning Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party Patriots meeting in Banning, as a result of a combination of a lousy antenna on my car, and the radio dead-zone between Murrieta and Lamb's Canyon, I decided to listen to KFI, the talk station in California with the strongest range.  A long time ago I was willing to listen to Bill Handel's program because I was a truck driver, so radio was a daily friend, and because Rush Limbaugh came on after him.  Since then, I no longer drive a big rig, and Rush has moved to other stations that cannot be picked up in the Temecula Valley (and I am usually busy while he's on, anyway).

So, during Bill Handel's program this morning on KFI, the topic was shaming. In the little bit that I listen to Handel was talking about free lunches for those children who don't have the monetary means to purchase a lunch. The free lunch program is designed to help children who could not normally have a lunch, and it is believed that if the government did not provide a free lunch program, these children would not eat at all.

While I recognize that in some cases the need to help folks out exists, the reality is that with benefit programs you also find that corruption and fraud finds its way into these programs, as well.  To be honest, it is better when help comes from private charities, not government.  That said, when it comes to the public school free lunch program, or any welfare-style program, in many cases it becomes a way of enabling the parents to not living up to their parental duties of doing things like making their child a lunch in the morning. I grew up in a very poor family, and I brown-bagged it every day when I was a kid.  Heck, when it came to lunch meats, it was bologna, or nothing.  That's what we could afford.  My wife jokes, "You grew up poorer than I did, and I grew up in the barrio."

We never received free lunches.  Mom and dad never received food stamps.

In the Bill Handel conversation he was talking about how at one school there was a lunch truck offering free lunches for kids. He didn't like the idea of a lunch truck showing up specifically to give free lunches, and it was a kind of shaming.  If the truck was there specifically and only for kids in poverty to give them free lunches, then it was obvious to all the students that the kids getting food off of the truck lived in poverty.  Therefore, Handel argued, it was just another way to shame them for being poor. Then he brought up the example of food stamps, and how having food stamps used to shame people. But, now you can't tell the difference between food stamps (ebt card) and a debit card. What that means is that if people can't tell a difference between a card for welfare and a regular debit card, then there is less shame suffered by the people using the ebt card.

Shame on you, Bill Handel, you should know better.  A stigma attached to government dependency is a good thing, because it encourages people to want to get out of it and be self-reliant.  If you take away the shame, then you take away the desire to improve themselves. There should be a stigma attached to things that promote government dependence. A family, individual, and society as a whole does better when the members of a society are self-reliant, personally responsible, and pulling themselves out of whatever situation they were in. The real shame is the fact that we have created a society of takers, and thanks to the removal of the stigma attached to that, that number is increasing. Do I want anybody to go hungry, of course not. But let's also remember this. The poorest people in America live better than 90% of the people in the world. So, relatively speaking, while compared to the middle-class and upper-class in the United States (in terms of economics), the "poverty-stricken" in America may not live as well, but they are heads and tails over the rest of the world.  They are rich on when it comes to global standards.

In our current system, when we tamper with the free market, and redistribute wealth through welfare and taxation in a Marxist fashion, we create a larger and larger class of government dependents.  There are only so many people who can afford to continue to be the producers, and at this rate that number is being reduced daily.  It hurts a society when the people taking gifts from the Treasury increases to the numbers we are beginning to see, and we will collapse if that number exceeds the number of people producing.

In short, if we don't shame poverty, so as to encourage people to work to lift themselves out of it through free market economics, we will ultimately collapse America, and become nothing more than a struggling third-world country.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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