Give and Take
written by Laramie:
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It's an old story. Bill and Bob go to the same school. Bill comes from a family where he is encouraged to succeed in everything he does. Bob's family struggles to maintain decent living standards, let alone worry about getting an education for Bob or moving up their social position. Bob was admitted to school on an entitlement program for low income or low achieving students, whereas Bill made a very high score on the school entrance exam. Bill works hard all year on his studies and does well on his exams. Bob stays out late week nights and seldom studies. Come grade time, Bill averages an "A" and Bob faces a "Fail" mark. But the teacher, wanting to be "fair", asks Bill to share his mark with Bob. He asks Bill to average it out and take a "B" and give his "A" grade that he earned to Bob so a "D" can be handed out to Bob. That way they both pass the course and Bob doesn't have to drop out of school. Bill is asked to give part of what he has earned to Bob, who has earned only a failing grade.
Many questions arise out of this kind of situation. Does this scenario adequately describe one of the kinds of different attitudes in the two major political parties? It does have a familiar ring to it. Did many of those who are asked to give of their gains really "earn" it, or did many just inherit it? Some surely did get their "success" handed to them on a silver platter. Most worked hard for their success I'm sure. Is the idea of sharing, and how it is fairly accomplished, a constant stumbling block to lawmakers arriving at bi-partisan support for some major social welfare problems? Probably so. Are the lawmakers who favor this kind of "sharing the wealth" just seeking support at election time from the benefactors of such a program? There doesn't seem to be much doubt about that. Would this "socialistic" approach to helping the needy encourage more and more people to depend on government handouts to maintain a better standard of living, rather than making an all out effort to "earn" the benefits of such an effort by making good decisions? That is quite possible. Would it be better to provide government assistance in getting an education than to ignore those who exhibit an interest in learning but can't quite afford it? That might be workable, within reason. Does "The poor will always be with us" justify ignoring the downtrodden in society, since it is absolutely impossible to fulfill the needs of everyone? No, and yes. Does it make sense to "rob Peter to pay Paul?" Where do you draw the line for who gets and who doesn't, since some are going to be left out of these kind of welfare programs? At some arbitrary point, at best, but every person who needs help will not get their share. Some will fall through the cracks. How do you explain to one needy group that gets no aid, that some other group who may or may not need it, gets it? There is no way. That's called government bureaucracy.
The dilemma of who gets what, how and why, from the government, is a fundamental issue dividing and stalemating the two parties in Washington. And no one in either major political party seems to be able to come up with a solution satisfactory to even their own side of the aisle. And let's hope this floundering disturbs the conscience of some of those involved in finding agreement. Hopefully no legislators truly want certain segments of the population to go without. And do any of them really want to give handouts to people who choose not to try to better their station in life, and who often spend any aid they receive frivolously? Finding a compromise between these views should be one of the highest items on the list of non-partisan issues our elected servants need to deal with. Does anyone think that will happen any time soon? How could anyone possibly believe that Bill should give up his hard earned "A" for Bob, who hasn't made an honest effort to earn it?