A friend sent me a link today from slate.com which was critical of the difficulty to obtain Welfare (that is cash benefits only – healthcare and food stamps are much easier to obtain) in Georgia. The principal problem the article argues: It’s too hard for Georgians to get cash benefits from the Government.
“What [Georgia’s stance on Welfare] has created is a land that welfare forgot, where a collection of private charities struggle to fill the resulting holes. For the Atlanta Community Food Bank, that means sending out more than 3 million pounds of canned goods, bread, and other groceries each month to churches in and around Atlanta to help feed the state’s growing number of poor and near-poor. The food bank’s staff also helps arrange for free tax prep services, and helps the city’s poor apply for food stamps and Medicaid.”
Poverty is terrible. I think everyone can agree with that, but the principal question I keep asking myself is: What is the author complaining about? He’s not complaining about poverty. He doesn’t seem to be complaining about the fact the poor are being helped. Does he not like the way they are being helped? I don’t get it.
Other than being a simple attack on a conservative State’s methodology on distributing aid to it’s residents I find no value to this very popular article. If the author’s job was to bring traffic to Slate.com he succeeded. If his ultimate goal was to be a journalist, a communicator of valuable information, an advocate for the poor against injustice – he failed miserably.
Personally, I find no fault in Georgia’s Welfare practices. Georgia is essentially doing exactly what their conservative base wants: asking people to voluntarily take care of their community with donations and through charities rather than via Government and tax dollars. Georgia complied to the voters and best of all – it seems to be WORKING! How can this be turned into a negative thing accept for the fact that it does not meet the supposedly “liberal” code?
One commenter points this out:
This *could* have been an article about how ordinary Georgians are looking after their own through private means. Where does the Atlanta Community Food Bank get the resources to distribute 3 million pounds of food per month?
I am personally tired of Liberal (and Conservative) posters on popular websites twisting information to fit an agenda. If anything Georgia proves that it is possible to support the poor without demanding the Government do it for you.
In general, I think giving free cash via welfare to anyone should be tightly controlled – especially when you consider the potential for abuse in such a system. So if people are being fed, cared for, and looked after – by their neighbors no less – then why is this article so popular? Why do some people find Georgia’s methodology so immoral? Isn’t the ultimate goal to help people?
I suppose in the end it’s all about your idea as to the roll of Government. For me, I think putting more power and responsibility in the hands of the people is always a good thing. Asking the Government to centrally plan and disperse aid almost always fails and is a poor replacement for privately ran charities.