Just Admit It

So there is this Chrome extension you can  get that will turn all the political based posts on your Facebook news feed, in to pictures of cats. I’m considering getting it. This says a lot, because I really hate cats.

I’m just so sick and tired of the complaining that the President wants to tax everything and everyone, and redistribute it to people who are “lazy.”

Don’t get me wrong, if this bothers you, and you want to vote against something like that happening. More power to you. This is the USA, vote your desire. What I’m sick of, is the fact these are the same people that give the bullshit reasoning of “I don’t mind helping those that need it, but I just don’t think welfare helps anyone.”

This is not a political opinion. This is a cop out. This is a lie people tell themselves to clear their conscience. This is what helps them sleep at night so they don’t have to admit they are selfish to the point they are more worried about the non-deserving, than the deserving.

It’s O.K. to be selfish, but I do not find it O.K. to kid yourself like this.

You may have the opinion the Government doesn’t know what they are doing and screw things up all the time. I have this same opinion. I have this opinion because I don’t know what I am doing, and I screw things up all the time. But you know what? Occasionally, just occasionally, I get things right. Every once in a blue moon, the stars align, and I do something properly. So it seems to me the US Government would too.

This means that even if you think 99% of the welfare that is distributed goes to the lazy, uninitiated, and all-around worthless, 1% of the time, it goes to someone who really needs it. And you know what? That person is someone’s grandmother, grandfather, son, mother, daughter, father, best friend, only friend. That person gets to eat at least one more meal, gets to sleep under a roof one more night. They can go to the doctor and live one more day. Can you really put a value on that? If the answer is “yes.” Fine. You are probably better at economics than I am, and can work all these wonderful equations and variables.  But I bet you are also very selfish. “How so?” you may ask. Alright, all you need to do is tell me, is that value that you calculate, how much each of your children are worth? Is that the price you put on your parents? That how much your grandmother or grandfather are worth?

Now I know you can argue the exact amount of money that it takes to buy a meal. The cost of rent for at least one more day. The price of medication and a doctor’s visit. You can easily make the point that you don’t need to pay for 99 other meals just for the 1 person who needs it. But all this is referring to is the price of what is needed. I asked, “is that what they are worth?”

 You mean to tell me if the one person in the world you care most about, who might die without the care they need, isn’t worth spending the money on 99 other people, if it means giving the one you love what is required?

If you still say, no, that is fine too. But now you need to admit that you do mind if the money actually goes to someone who needs it. You need to admit that it means more to you to keep the leeches from getting a suckle of the Government teet, than it does someone who is loved by another, more than anything else, someone who did work every capable day in their life and now had a streak of bad luck, that mother, that father, that child, that sister, that brother, from eating one more meal, sleeping safely one more night, living one more day. You need to admit how selfish you really are.

What bothers me about this, is I think most people who think like this, already know in the back of their head how selfish they are, and they bottle it up. It then begins grow, and gnaw away at them. This in turn creates resentment on themselves, but they refuse to admit it. So then they take it out on the people they think are causing this resentment, the people on welfare. ALL of them. It doesn’t matter who they are, if they see someone in line at the grocery store using food stamps, they must be horrible, lazy people. Even if the person obviously looks like they need help, they probably come up with rationalizations to look down on those people. “Well they just dress that way to get sympathy.” When in reality, if these people would just admit to themselves how selfish they are, why they are selfish, and that being selfish in certain regard is not a bad thing. They would probably be much better people.

And if you really believe, that because of any wasteful spending, it means this government is going under, and that it is in reality just as bad, because then millions of people will be starving, homeless, dying. Then I need to ask, can you see the future?

The utilitarian philosophy of “the good of the many, outweighs the good of the few,” is far to flawed. Yes, you may get a larger quantity of people cared for, but can you really say a larger quantity is better for all of mankind, versus a better quality?

Consider this scenario, we change the welfare system so that more money only goes to those who are deemed qualified. For the sake of this situation, you agree that everyone that is getting the welfare absolutely needs it 100%. Good. This is the way we want things, right? O.K., so this means there are tighter restrictions on those who can get welfare. This means that the mooch who has been cheating the government so they don’t have to work, has all the video game systems anyone could want, drives a car nicer than yours, and lives in a home bigger than you can afford, now no longer gets any welfare. Excellent! Right?

Now consider this mooch has children. Children that got the majority of their food from the welfare system. Children that got the majority of their healthcare from the welfare system. Now one of the children gets sick. Very sick. Sick to the point that the only way to cover any part of their expenses, they have to sell almost everything they own, but it is still not enough. Alright, this is what the welfare system is really for. So they reapply. Denied. Why? Because of those tougher restrictions we put in place, remember? O.K. so then surely there is an appeal process. Good. The appeal process takes over a year, and the child needs treatment in the next 6 months. That’s fine, the hospital can probably still care for the child, and most likely will, as well, defer much of the payment. But now the other children are struggling to stay fed.

The oldest turns 18. She already had a part time job, but now that goes to full time because she decides not to go to college. She can’t afford to go to college, and most scholarships and grants turn her down because, despite how smart she is, her grades faltered because she spent more time helping the family stay afloat then doing her homework. Sure, after a couple of years, her sister is healed, the family is starting to get back on their feet a bit, and she goes on to college. Even works her way up to going to medical school and becoming a doctor. Good for her. But she wasn’t in medical school two years prior because of the setback of her family’s financial situation. Because she wasn’t in that one class with the doctor that she would have started working with after class. Who together, would eventually become part of a research program that found the one thing in the world that could have cured a disease that kills millions of people every year. You see, that doctor that would have added the second piece of the puzzle to the daughter’s theories, died in a car wreck, because she wasn’t around 2 years earlier to keep him after class where they could ignite the discussions that would have saved millions upon millions of people.

Now, how likely is this scenario? Not very. But how plausible is it? Extremely. Everything described here could happen, and could happen in that order of events. Can I actually predict this happening? Of course not. And that answers my question of whether or not you can tell the future, as well. You can’t tell if this will ever actually happen or not. But can you say that if it did happen, it could likely be something that helps the majority of people? Yes. All those people saved by their cure. It would be exactly what a utilitarian would want to see happen. But with tighter welfare regulation, it won’t happen. And remember we wanted tighter welfare regulation to help the most people at the least cost. So does it really help the most people? You just can’t answer that. You don’t know. What we do know, is that despite how many people take advantage of the system, someone will still get helped by it that really needs it. And one day that person may be yours or my son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin. So how much are they worth?

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