I have always considered myself an independent because I am a socially liberal person but also economically conservative (the quizzes classified me as Libertarian). However, my dad is a staunch republican and we sometimes discuss politics. We argue about topics such as immigration, gay marriage, and healthcare. A while back, he sent me one of those forward-chain emails with a short quip about a father and his college-age daughter discussing politics (sorry- I do not have the original source where he found it).
A Classic conversation:
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.
The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn’t even have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, How is your friend Audrey doing? She replied, Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She’s always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn’t even show up for classes because she’s too hung over.
Her wise father asked his daughter, Why don’t you go to the Dean’s office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father’s suggestion, angrily fired back, That’s a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I’ve worked really hard for my grades! I’ve invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, Welcome to the conservative side of the fence.
I think a lot of us can relate to this story in some way. I think that Welfare in this country enables many people to live a lifestyle that they did not work for or deserve. People on welfare are not only receiving necessities of life, like food, but also television and cable. I think that people on welfare need to feel pressured to do better and succeed and not rely on other tax-payers money to help them out. Welfare is even paying for some people’s luxury items, like cable TV and cell phones. There are also statistics that show that 97.7% of “poor” people on welfare own a TV (65% own more than 1), and 78.3% have air conditioning (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/272081/modern-poverty-includes-ac-and-xbox-ken-mcintyre). Therefore, if they can afford these luxuries, then why is government giving them more money? It is disappointing to me that our society enables people who can afford to live this lifestyle because there are some people that genuinely do need welfare to live from day-to-day. If the definition of “poor” were changed to exclude the less-needy American families, more resources could be allocated to those who truly need help to get a job and on their feet.
This article about a woman named Sharon Jasper, from New Orleans, perfectly exemplifies this issue of inappropriate welfare in America (http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/jasper.asp). Jasper claims that “I might be poor, but I don’t have to live poor,” as welfare has funded her with a nice, hardwood floor apartment as well as a flat screen TV (which she complains is not a plasma). Although this short article is a piece of satire according to the author, the thoughts and feelings of Jasper are real and most likely exemplify the demeanor of other Americans on welfare.