Saturday, August 13, 2011

Political Will

Last week's Wall Street Journal ran an editorial about the riots in England and much of what was written about cause and effect applies to situations in the USA. The stand-out paragraph answered the question, "What did we get for our liberal welfare programs?"  Essentially we received groups that view work as a 'lifestyle option' that they are not interested in pursuing. In other words, people no longer view government polices that take money from workers to give to those in real need. They view this process as a right to choose work or living forever off hand-outs.

It makes sense. When the value of welfare checks, food stamps, medical coverage, subsidized housing, free meals at school, free or reduced membership at the YMCA and other organizations, and other programs are totaled they exceed minimum wage.

The answer is not to raise minimum wage. The answer is to only offer work programs in exchange for food stamps, etc. The answer is to eliminate 'unemployment benefits' and to offer work for payments. Its called a job. (Why should anyone benefit from unemployment? Don't we want people to work? Unemployment insurance should be used to provide temporary work where people can earn money. Many people interviewed on TV and Radio programs say that they will look for work when the benefits run out).

The lack of political will and the focus on getting re-elected almost guarantees that things will not change. Some are questioning if a democratic republic is possible because of this very situation. It certainly provokes intelligent thought.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Who Has the Special Need?

The National Down Syndrome Congress was a life-changing event. Surrounded by hundreds of dancing and laughing children, sharing meals and engaging the children and parents in conversation refocused everything in life.
At some point during the weekend, I began wondering what these children see. So many of them have eyes that drift upward and even some parents told me that they wonder how the children seem things. The closest way to describe the look on their faces is to imagine the look of people that are deep in prayer. I am not talking about endless repetitions of the Lord’s Prayer, but the type of prayer where one feels to be in communion with God. That is the look of these children.
We refer to these children as ‘special needs’ children, but I wonder. . .
Perhaps they can see the angels and see God in ways that we cannot imagine. Perhaps everyone else is really the ‘special needs’ person.
Certainly, these children are instantly trusting of everyone. They seem to just exist to love and to be loved. How odd that we others think that these children have ‘special needs’ when it may be that we have the real special needs. Suppose, as fanciful and Pollyannaish as it sounds, everyone trusted everyone and all we needed to be happy were to love and be loved. Perhaps a more accurate way of stating it would be to say, suppose every person recognized that all we needed to be happy were to love and be loved.