A Conservatives Struggle with Conservatism: Cold Cut Truths about My Politics: Imminent Domain

Many fellow conservatives, of which I was one for a long time, want no welfare system to exist and for all the needs to fall on the backs of charities and private organizations. I worked three jobs, went to night school for a bachelor’s degree, raised a child, paid child support due to lack of funds for a good attorney, and held down all the debt from a divorce I didn’t want; and still ended up needing assistance for food, diapers, and basic necessities.

For the sake of full-disclosure, help did not come from the government because I made “too much money”; but that misses the point. The point is that not all conservatives want people denied help from the government. There is a place for a welfare system. The debate is to what end is welfare more of a safety net and less of a crutch. Of course, there will be people with disabilities who will never get off welfare, and need permanent care. While considering individual cases, a good measure should be to look at the effort made to get off welfare versus the natural ability to do so. When an applicant is fully capable of working, the applicant needs to be given a set time line to become employed or loose all current and future benefits. The type of work may not always be appealing. Personally, I have mucked out horse stables, cleaned public toilets, and delivered newspapers. There may be a need to be educated. Again, I went into debt, borrowed money from student loans, differed payment and now owe thousands. When I say that a person’s efforts should be examined, I mean precisely that. Is the applicant able to work, but not willing to take a “menial” job? Is the applicant able to learn, but not willing to sacrifice to get the education needed? Does the applicant need to relocate, and yet will not for purely preferential reasons? Maybe its time to return to a time when work was good when you were being paid instead of when everything is just what you want. Have you stood in a day-labor line waiting on a truck to pick you up even though you had no training, and no tools, but hoped they would take you for something anyway? I have. The line between mercy and enabling is not always clearly visible. The Welfare State has its place in our country, just maybe not exactly as it is today.

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