I am the poster boy for the Democrat’s economic model

When I was growing up there were months I would have went hungry had we not had food stamps. There were years our bills wouldn’t have been paid from month to month if it wasn’t for my Mother’s disability check. There were school years supplies were virtually out of the question and new clothes was something I didn’t even ask for. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to school if it weren’t for public education and college was an option for me because the Government helped me pay for it via the Pell Grant.

Today I have a well paying job, no debt, I am an active member in the community, and I am among the most taxed – paying right back into the system of which I received so much. That, I believe, is exactly what the democrat’s economic model is built upon. I can’t deny it – I directly benefited and thrived from it.

On the other hand
On the other hand, some of my earliest memories of drug addicts trading food stamps for cash to buy a crack rock. The truth is for every guy like me there are 10 people abusing the system and never doing a thing with the opportunities presented to them. It is tax dollars gone to waste – a return on investment never realized.

For example, two of my cousins used their Pell Grant money in an elaborate combination of beer, drugs, clothes, nice cell phones, car payments, etc. and NEVER graduated college. Now they are unemployed/underemployed and getting even more tax breaks and payments from the Government. Even my Father has been living off of the benefits of the welfare system for 20 years and has never paid a dime in taxes. I am not proud of any of this.

When I was a kid I saw drug dealers, alcoholics, addicts, and criminals all benefit from the free programs provided by the Government. Free and reduced rent, free healthcare benefits which provided them with prescription drugs they would later sell for a profit, an the list goes on – all this which gives a person further incentive to continue their lifestyle. Why change when you are rewarded for bad behavior?

So what we have is a conundrum. On the one side we have innocent kids like me who are begging for a chance at success. On the other side we have people who are abusing the system and given incentive by the Government to keep abusing said system. What do we do?

I think what the democrat’s model fails to take into account is the folly of man. We are broken, people take advantage, people are generally self concerned, and thrive on incentive. Does this mean we give up on kids like me? Do we stop social programs because some people choose to abuse them?

The Solution
I really wish I had one. Will I advocate to take away all social programs and to refuse help to other children who were born into the same situation as I was? Will I advocate to further make it impossible for a poor kid to have a level playing field? Should those born into wealthy and good families be the only ones who have an opportunity to succeed? Hell no!

What we need is a better system. A better vetting process. Less waste and a change of culture where neighbors and family hold each other accountable for their actions. We need a system where people realize what a great gift has been given to them by being born into America or any society in which being poor is not necessarily a life sentence of struggle. We need to encourage a culture that correctly uses the system in place and doesn’t break or abuse it.

Update: This article is especially interesting and relevant.

9 thoughts on “I am the poster boy for the Democrat’s economic model

  1. Jon

    Atticus, this post is so powerful – because you have personal up-close experience with BOTH sides of the equation – much more than most people do. I think you should send this piece as a ‘letter to the editor’ to the New York Times, or a big paper like that. Seriously.

  2. Kristin

    I enjoyed reading your thoughtful breakdown of this complex issue. Your perspective is a unique one and the answers are never easy.

    – K.

  3. hermitsdoor

    Both parties will be pointing to success stories in this election cycle. As you noted, you represent the Democratic party’s ideal, but have also seen many others abuse the resources offered to them. The Republicans will also highlight those who have “made themselves” in their perspective, but not show those who remain trapped in failure because they do not have access to human and financial resources. Regardless of how someone became successful, I think that what we can control is our own behavior. Take your lessons of success and help to bring up others. Use sound judgment when you suspect that someone is misusing your assistance. Keep the assistance personal and direct. The more anonymous and bureaucratic assistance becomes (whether a government program or charity/faith based organization), the more prone to abuse it will be.

  4. Rattlesnake

    I am sort of conflicted on this. I went to public school and I have student loans (run by the government here) because I otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend university, but I’m not sure why the government should be running those. Come to think of it, I don’t think the government should be running universities or schools at all. One alternative is education vouchers which would allow children whose families can’t afford it to attend private school.

    One problem with government entitlements is that they are funded by taxes, so many people don’t feel as if they need to donate to private charities because they’ve already done their “part” by paying taxes. I can’t be certain of this obviously, but I believe the private sector would provide a sufficient safety net. If it doesn’t, smaller levels of government should be the ones to provide the necessary safety net.

    At the very least, entitlement programs should be a lot stricter to prevent misuse and smaller to increase efficiency.

  5. Pingback: Step Back, Be Reasonable « BlogTruth

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  7. Pingback: Guest Post: I am the poster-child for the Democrat’s economic model – Sifting Reality

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