Surely we all want to be compassionate cooperators. Yet also pragmatic, system-evaluating thermodynamicists. Is it possible to reconcile?
Observation #1: Giving money to people who don't have enough money seems like a nice thing to do. Assuming that the only problem is the intake of money and once they have it they'll manage it wisely. Perhaps the problem is more extensive (intake and spending) or even the opposite (just spending). In these last two options, giving them money almost seems like a sick joke on them.
Observation #2: Americans don't seem to have a clear vision of what poverty actually is. In other places on the globe people starve to death. That is actual tragedy. It seems Americans have come to define any sort of threat to self-esteem as tragedy. I have heard people with cell phones cooler than mine, in jeans more expensive than my Levis, bitching about the cost of insurance on their cars that are newer than mine. Perhaps they are not aware of the geek option? Perhaps there should be reality TV shows called Real Lives of the Solvent?
Observation #3: We have had this national identity of self-reliance, rugged individualism, and free will. But we gotta be realistic. If someone throws themselves on the mercy of the collective, the collective has the right to set some boundaries. I seem to have some hazy recollection of a proposal to require welfare recipients use birth control; there was backlash that this was infringing on their free will. OH COME ON!! If you someone tells the collective "I can not manage my life right now" then they're lucky if the collective offers to step in and manage it for them. Lucky, I say!! If your decisions thus far have gotten you into this situation, maybe you need a break from making decisions. So yeah, pee in this cup.
Hmmm. I'm not sure if I'm becoming a Libertarian or a Communist....
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