Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Toxic Dependency of Our Existing Welfare Culture

The IRONY....ABOVE Detroit and Hiroshima circa 1945 and BELOW: Detroit and Hiroshima circa 2012

In the wake of the recent rioting in Baltimore, Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the NY Times found someone it identified as “Robert Wilson, a college student who went to high school in Baltimore, and her” article ( concludes with Mr. Wilson’s explanation of why Baltimore’s urban residents rioted.

He said nothing about Freddie Gray or police brutality, instead, he simply said: “We’re just angry at the surroundings – like this is all that is given to us? – and we’re tired of this, like nobody wants to wake up and see broken-down buildings. They take away the community centers, they take away our fathers, and now we have traffic lights that don’t work, we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.”

That one quote almost perfectly defines the essence of the pernicious and debilitating welfare-state mentality that leads to such rioting. The dependent poor (overwhelmingly black, in urban areas) live in neighborhoods that they, themselves, have destroyed, and then fume, “This is all that is given to us?”

Generations of hard-working Americans built all those “broken-down” buildings that Mr. Wilson complains about. Many of those buildings originally had opulent entrances, parquet floors, 10’ ceilings, French doors and ornate moldings rarely found today and they were ruined by subsequent generations of welfare dependents to whom food and clothing allowances, housing etc. were all simply “given to them,” without anything expected of them in return.

Is it realistic to expect such people to even understand the idea that we each earn what we get?

And why should they? Those who set up and managed those programs don’t seem to understand it.

After the extensive rioting in Baltimore during the late 1960s, productive people (black, white and other) fled that city and sold their property at rock-bottom prices. Today, all of that housing has been transformed into one massive and horrific slum, with many of the buildings abandoned and others seriously in need of rebuilding, all because the subsequent generations (most of them tethered to various dependency programs) didn’t maintain that housing stock.

This pattern of working-class flight and devastated housing stock, abandoned buildings, etc. has also been seen throughout America, in places like Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, St. Louis, and many other major American cities. Some of the best city housing stock in the country was transferred to the generational, urban poor, who then promptly destroyed it.

Robert Wilson complains that “we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.” The remedy for crumbling houses is for the people who live in them to fix them, but instead, all Mr. Wilson can seem to do is to whine, “Is this all that is given to us?”

Like so many Americans today, Robert Wilson doesn’t seem to realize how disgustingly perverse it is even to think in terms of fine houses and beautifully maintained neighborhoods being “given” to anyone.

But in today’s world of welfare, food stamps, government housing, etc., Mr. Wilson just doesn’t know any better than to ask for more “free stuff.”

How could he be expected to see it any other way? After all, his own community’s “leaders,” like Jesse Jackson, are equally self-absorbed. At the funeral for Freddie Gray, Mr. Jackson wanted to know, “Why can’t the [poor] West Side get the same things downtown gets?” In other words, Jesse Jackson is asks the very same question that Robert Wilson asked, “Is this all that is given to us?”

If this toxic attitude can’t be turned around then America cannot be saved.

It starts with expecting something from those on welfare – mandated job training and birth control, so that they are forced to focus on bettering their own condition before recklessly and irresponsibly bringing another life into this world. Without such a basic quid pro quo, there can be no way OUT of the dependency trap that public assistance/welfare becomes.

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