Thursday, July 01, 2004

More Sandefur Stuff: As for the second part of Sandefur's reply, I am reminded of a Chevy Chase bit. It wasn't on SNL--it was around the time he was doing his talk show, but as I recall it wasn't on his talk show.

He was reciting the preamble to the constitution, and he was reciting it wrong. He said, "Promote the common defense, provide the general welfare . . ."

It cracked me up, because that was exactly what so many people advocated--a small, limited defense system that could sort of imply a defensive strategy more than actually be one, and provide every penny necessary to anybody that didn't have a job.

As important as the difference in those two words, is the specificity of the word "General." This clearly is the opposite word from individual. So to answer the question, yes, I would be 100% in favor of abolishing federal welfare.

What this means is, this is a States Rights issue. Individual states still have the power to do this as they please. And if a state votes to give away a bunch of free stuff to a bunch of people, and they want to deal with the sudden influx of people ready for a handout, and exodus of people with income, that is that state's right. They should not be stopped.

And if a state, or even better, a county, or, even better, a city, or, best of all, a neighborhood wants to get together and help somebody out who's having hard times--maybe one of them knows how to fix that bad plumbing, and the other can tar up that hole in the roof--that's where real help and support can come from. Volunteers, people who live in your city and know you and love you. Not some bureaucrat in Washington, to whom you are nothing but a set of numbers at an address.

And, if we stop pretending like there's an all-knowing, all-caring "Big Brother" watching over us, maybe one or two of us down here in the trenches will open up our eyes and see that there is no such thing as "society" or "people in general" or all the other boogeymen we like to blame for our problems. Those are just masks, and when you take them off, all that's left is you and me, brother.

So let's stop picking on the successful people who've got the game figured out and start learning how to play it ourselves. We can all work together as much as we want to, or keep our distance as much as we want to--that's our perogative.

But this idea that the ghosts can swoop into Scrooge's room and swipe his money to give to the poor, while leaving his soul to the chains, that this would make all be well in the world . . .

What's up with that?

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