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Author: mrsloane Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1950711  
Subject: Re: How should we help the needy? Date: 4/13/2001 7:22 PM
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<Should the government intervene, and if so, how?>

I just got back to the thread. Took the afternoon off and took the kids for lunch and the Yoko Ono exhibit at the Walker. Great time.

Anyway, zman49 asked if I thought the government should intervene. Well, the government rarely *intervenes*. You ask for help and then it takes over your life. If you are in dire straits or have a very dependent personality it might be years before you escape the system. That is one of my concerns about government programs. I also believe that most people are more generous than given credit for. I know I would give more if it wasn't taxed out of me. I am not convinced that the government welfare system was started because other methods weren't sufficient. However, after 60 years of a welfare state I will agree that the alternate methods that exist can't handle all the problem cases that exist.

For the baby Eliza, definitely the government needs to help until she can be properly placed. (never occurred to me she might be kidnapped). I can't imagine too many circumstances though why it would be necessary to contact the birth mother. She left the kid. Why ask her if she wants her back? Or are we looking to deal out punishment? I'm not.

The other people have many options with the their problems. I can propose several viable solutions to each of those peoples problems which do not involve government intervention. At the present time, they certainly are free to ask to government for help. If I was one of these people I wouldn't. I would never expose myself to the "help" of a goverment agency. But that's just me.


My original answers were addressed to the title of the thread. "How can we help these people." Unfortunately people that are in trouble today may have to turn to the government because we have spent the last 60 years slowly eliminating the alternatives for them. Unfortunately, for these people (or at least some of them) the quickest remedy may be going for govermental help. That doesn't mean that the people of this country cannot or should not work harder to provide better, less institutional, governmental aide to people with problems.

I would say, as a society we need to encourage and reward the acceptance of responsibility in our children. We need to teach problem solving and long range planning. We need to discuss with our children the importance of placing value on their personal lives, health, safety. We need to teach our children that they have personal value (as opposed to the value that they bring to society) and that others also have value and the responsibility of respecting that value. And that they have an incredible responsibiity to build a society that allows people to fluorish to be best of their abilities and not be stingy with their time, compassion, and sometimes money when others hit bottom due to the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" Because the other posters of this thread are correct, also. You can't plan for everything. But you sure as heck don't have to put your neck in the noose.

Michele
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