Entitlements, Work, Family & Faith

Other than “Entitlements” the above title could be a short listing of what is missing in America these days?  Think about it, you would think that Work, Family and Faith would be at the forefront of what we need to focus on to get our country back on track.

Unfortunately all that seems to be in the news these days is debates about entitlements.  Every day there is some topic about entitlements discussed on a news program or written in a paper or online blog.   The topics range from what programs should be cut to how horrible someone must be to even think of cutting any of the programs.

Let’s talk about each of these items for a moment. Entitlements. Unemployment. National Debt.  These three issues are unfortunately and painfully linked and must be addressed before our nation falls into another recession that may prove difficult to dig out of. The citizens of our nation have become so expectant to the availability of some form of entitlement that we are borrowing from our unborn citizens to pay for our current problems.

Now, you may assume that because I feel there is a need to reduce the amount of funding deployed on entitlement programs, I am a cold-hearted member of the “one percent”.  Well, I would have to say, quite the contrary.  I fully support public assistance programs.  What I have issue with is the idea that we ALL are entitled to something.  I think the term entitlement is actually a problem in itself. The reason I put the word ALL in capital letters, is to illustrate that at some point, some of us do earn an entitlement.  I stress the word “earn”.  Someone that has worked his or her whole life contributing to our society and is no longer able to do so has earned an “entitlement” and should be assisted if need be.   The problem with our current system of public assistance or “entitlement” programs, is that for some, the assistance can be perpetual, simply because they have asked for help.

What I am getting at is this; Work.  I know, crazy idea right?  Let’s have folks work or contribute towards earning their assistance.  It is obvious that the contributions that we make by paying federal and state taxes is simply not enough to cover the cost for the amount of assistance that is needed. So where am I going with this idea?  I am suggesting that those folks that are taking advantage of the system or even those that are not and are legitimately in need of assistance, can indeed offer their time to help get our country back on its feet.  I feel that these able body citizens can contribute towards earning their assistance by offering their time and efforts to work in programs that are needed but have been cut or eliminated.

Why is it that we as a nation do not ask for anything in return for the assistance we give?

You can’t make the argument that the assistance programs are paid for by the citizens, so they are “entitled” to the benefits in return.  The only way that this argument holds water is if all of us actually paid equally into the same pool of capital.  Good or bad, I think we all can agree that this is not the case in America.

There are a lot of unemployed individuals in our country.  Times are tough.  Non-the-less, there is still a need to execute on the many basic services that are now going unattended.  There are endless jobs in all areas of our society that have been reduced or eliminated because of the current setback in our economy.  Folks that are receiving public assistance can help fill these roles.  Let’s at least make our assistance programs an efficient tool that can be used for further public good.

Let me be clear, I certainly understand that we are going through a very difficult time here in America, but not withstanding our current economic condition, we need to remember that we live in a country with tremendous opportunities for those that are willing to put their best efforts forward.

The benefits that come from taking pride in your work not only will have an excellent economic impact on your paycheck, but also provide countless additional benefits to your family, your community and the future of our country.

As I have written before, we have a pride issue in America.  Some of us are simply not willing to do the work.  We would rather apply for some type of assistance from the government than change our lifestyle, give back a little or develop the skills necessary to find work.  Even worse, when some of us actually find a job, we seem to treat it with distain.

This makes you wonder what we are teaching our young people about expectations.  Are we teaching them that because they are Americans, anything that they want should simply be handed over to them?  I don’t think that this is the case, but it sure seems that way when you watch some people working in what they might consider a sub-optimal job.

This leads us to the third topic.  Family.  There has been a clear deterioration of “family values” in America for quite some time.  For proof, all you need to do is take a look at the divorce rate in America.  It is amazing that this has become a topic of contention and some folks get all up in arms about this subject. The hard truth is that our “anything goes” attitude toward most everything in this country has devalued one of the most important institutions there is, the family.  We need to find a way to educate our young people of the long-term value that comes along with a solid family foundation.  We need to find ways to bring honor, humility and personal responsibility back to the forefront of our daily family life.  We need to educate our children about the differences between families of the “greatest generation” to the families of today.  We need to illustrate the evolution of how culture and faith has changed in America.

Ah, Faith, the final topic of this article.  Faith, depending on your religion, is a belief in a god or in the doctrines or teachings of your religion. Informal usage of faith can be pretty broad and is often used as a substitute for “hope”, “trust” or “belief”. Faith is further exemplified by various attitudes about the future, which by definition, has not yet occurred.  This being said, our “faith” in ourselves, our “faith” in our family and furthermore, our “faith” in our country is the cornerstone of the resurgences of our economic woes.  We all need to dig deep and find our “faith”.  For the faith we have in ourselves and in our country is what will motivate all of us to put forth the efforts that will bring about a better future for our families and our nation.

One of my favorite quotes that I think all of us should consider is, “Success is always one step beyond where you were about to stop.  Never give up.  There is always a way.”

This statement relies completely upon faith.

I have Faith that the citizens of the United States of America, can Work hard to better our own lives and the lives of our Family members, without the demand of Entitlements.