If we reward non-production, we get freeloaders

Families which reward children for bad behavior or nonproduction raise young adults who are not trained to support themselves. Governments which reward non-production end up with freeloaders clogging ever-increasing welfare rolls.

We have all gone through tough times, some of us more than once, but we are encouraged to bring ourselves through our travails when we are rewarded for our efforts. If we are rewarded for not trying, then there is little reason ever to improve ourselves. We are encouraged to become freeloaders

What if we lost our job or house in a catastrophe? We would hope that friends and neighbors and the government would give us a helping hand until we got back on our feet financially.

We see that time and time again in rural communities where neighbors and the local churches pitch in and everyone comes together until the crisis is over. People find room in their homes for those who have lost theirs and life goes on.

Most people want to earn their way in the world and they take every opportunity to keep their exchange in with those who are supporting them. Those who choose to be freeloaders are actually criminals who want something for nothing.

But people can actually be coaxed into becoming criminal. If a situation is created where  rent money and food is provided for those who do nothing to help themselves, there is no reason for them to work for a living.

Here are three situations which illustrate how this can happen:

It has been three years since Hurricane Katrina hit and there are
people who are still living in hotels and receiving 3 free meals a day
courtesy of FEMA
while hard working people all across the country are
scraping by with food stamps.   These professional "Katrina victims" have
enjoyed a free ride on your tax dollars for three years and it appears that they have little incentive
to look for work as long as the money keeps on rolling in. It looks like this cozy state of affairs will not end until March 2009.

That is a lot of tax money spent on freeloaders.

It is not only major disasters that can create a population of "something for nothing" freeloaders. When I lived in Redondo Beach, California, a well-meaning sect which
had a temple located in a residential area set up daily meals for the
homeless in the area. The food was tasty and news spread far and wide.
After a very short period of time, these free meals had drawn homeless
people from Los Angeles and beyond. Neighbors of the temple were going
frantic with the crowds of new homeless people who settled in the area.

Something for nothing is a powerful incentive to kick back and enjoy
the handout. It encourages freeloaders and does nothing to improve life
overall.

We may have a president soon who has already promised to spread the
money around from those who are earning it and giving it to those who
are earning less. One of his most enthusiastic followers sees this as a
solution to her problems and her joy has been captured on YouTube.

"I never thought this day would ever happen. I won’t have to worry
about putting gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my
mortgage… If I help [Obama], he’s gonna help me."

As far as I know Obama has not promised what she thinks he has. If this
is part of his economic package, it will create some interesting
problems for the economy.

Spreading the wealth around can be done by increasing the standard of living through increased efficiency and production. A rising tide floats all boats. Spreading the wealth around by taking from those who are producing wealth and giving it to those who are not producing penalizes those who are  keeping society going. Historically, this has never been a successful long term activity.

Far better is the practice of supporting entrepreneurs. They have generated most of the new wealth in the last decade and they have been resisted by Democrats and Republicans alike.

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0 Responses to If we reward non-production, we get freeloaders

  1. rio semione says:

    well, it’s 4 in the morning and I couldn’t sleep just now so I’m reading local blogs. Your headline caught my eye so I have just read your blog. I have heard this idea before…my mother for one, feels that anyone getting a “hand out” is a free loader. Yes, there are truly free loaders…those that could get up off there butts and do something, those that are plain lazy.

    I believe that those that ‘have’ find it much easier to have more, than for those who are desperately struggling for a leg up…and never seem to get one. There are many types of people in the world. Some simply are not geared for entrepeneurship…some find it very hard to even function in this system and society. That does not mean they are lazy or come from faulty parents.

    As for Obama. Yes…his promises seem unrealistic. But at least he has seen what the bottom looks like. At least he is thinking about how to help those that truly need it. And it appears that he is giving hope where there has been none for a long time.

    I’m for hope. And I’m for spreading the wealth. And I am for health care for all…not just the entrepreneurs who were lucky enough to “make it”. And I’m for compassion and caring for those that don’t know how to stand up anymore.

  2. Rick Parrish says:

    Shucks, David. When I saw the title, I thought this was an article about CEO’s. Katrian/FEMA victims are freeloaders? If people had done their jobs and money had gone to where it ought to go, those folks would be back in their homes (or different ones) by now. I think you need to take a closer look at what’s going on inside the Bush administration. Thank goodness that nightmare will be over soon and we can start rebuilding the shambles of our nation, our goverment and our reputation in the world! Listening to all the rhetoric and taking it all with a large grain of salt, I decided to choose Unite! Unite! Unite! over Fight! Fight! Fight!. Somehow I like the sound of it a little better.

    Peace to you and yours and I hope Gretchen’s recovery is going well.

  3. Rio,

    You make some good points and I do not claim that Obama promises to spread the wealth as the young lady expects he will.

    The point of this article is that a group gets what it rewards. If it rewards violence, it gets violence. If it rewards drug abuse, it will get drug abuse. If it rewards those who do not produce, then it will get more people who will not produce.

    Helping people who are down is not rewarding them for not producing. It is helping them to rebuild their lives. Providing assistance to those who have no intention to become employed is a welfare matter and FEMA was not set up as a welfare agency.

    Rick,

    Ya gotta read the article before you comment on things that were not mentioned.

    Most of the Katrina victims who received assistance have gone back to work. Those who were tempted by the offer of continuing free housing and food to become freeloaders are choosing not to look for work. Read this link: tinyurl.com/6apcgo

    After a disaster, if you were given free lodging and free meals in a Quality Inn, I am sure you would use the help to establish yourself and start over, as would most people with any degree of integrity. Almost anyone appreciates a hand up when it is needed, but most do not abuse the privilege.

    You actually reinforce the main point of my article when you brought up freeloading CEOs. One doesn’t have to be poor to be a freeloader. It is a state of mind that demands or accepts something for nothing.

    When a group provides unending assistance to those who do nothing to earn it or repay it, that is rewarding non-production and it is as addictive as any drug. There are those who cannot resist this and cannot wean themselves away from it.

    We all need help at times, especially in this increasingly unstable job market. Unemployment compensation has helped many of us weather the bumps between jobs.

    What do you think would happen if unemployment compensation was permanent? Is that fair or is it welfare?

  4. Rick Parrish says:

    I did read the article and I do have a few problems with it. Mainly, I don’t like the attitude in which the “reporting” was done. With that said, I do realize that we’re not talking about big time journalism, we’re talking about a local NBC affiliate and reporters who typically are looking for their big break who tend to sensationalize their reports for maximum effect. It’s not always the best thing for our society.

    Reading your comments, it does seem that you agree with me that FEMA is the primary culprit here in creating a situation that doesn’t encourage people to be the best citizens they can be.

    I do sense some kind of prejudice against “welfare” in general. I know from first hand experience as a volunteer with the Montgomery County Welfare Reform Effort (a citizens group formed to help the county with its efforts to improve the welfare system) that the vast majority of people on assistance are not there by choice but by a combination of circumstance and a screwed-up system that doesn’t truly help them find work and makes them ashamed of being on assistance. You and I cannot imagine the totality of all the forces (both physical and psychological) that conspire to hold people down once they’ve been categorized as “losers”, “freeloaders” or “welfare queens”.

    What I learned from my volunteer work in implementing “welfare to work” programs is that severe abuse of the assistance system is actually quite rare. What happens is that journalists looking for a fast track to network news and politicians pandering to the fears of conservative voters take the handful of cases that do occur and paint the whole system with a broad brush for their own professional/political gain, convincing the public that abuse is rampant. All of the people we worked with were delighted to get help with job hunting skills, wardrobe and hygiene not to mention the encouragement of people who believed that they were not “losers”. These people actually preferred the respect that comes with earning a living to a life of having to jump through hoops like a trained dog to get a goverment check only to have people who know nothing about their situations look down their noses at them. Many of these people had educational disadvantages, health challenges or other problems but some had advanced degrees and privileded backgrounds.

    The most sobering impression that I took away from this experience and from the sincere, decent people that I came in contact with is that you and I and many of the people we know are just one job loss, one major illness or injury, one spousal death, one divorce or one lawsuit away from the line at Social Services. I’ve been volunteering for non-profits and service organizations ever since. Like our friend Senator Obama, I believe that I AM my brother’s (or sister’s) keeper and that every human being is my brother or sister. I can live no other way.

  5. Jim says:

    As I head to vote this week I think of who advocates policies that do exactly what you mention, which is incent people to either not work, or hardly work, and to punish the free flow of capital from its most productive citizens to its most productive uses? Clearly, it’s Obama. I can’t think of a better reason to vote for McCain.

    If we were allowed to keep what was ours, then there would be less need to be kept by our (big) brother.

  6. Lack of access to health care is a substantial obstacle for many, many would be entrepreneurs – not to mention the people who would staff their companies.

  7. GBGames says:

    Jim, McCain doesn’t campaign on a flat tax and so is essentially advocating the same policy as Obama, so it sounds like you’ll be voting third party, then?

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