A Culture of Dependency

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In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson initiated the War on Poverty. Thus began the ever-expanding Welfare State. Today, 46 years later, we are no closer to winning that war. Instead, the “war” created a vast and ever-growing constituency that perpetuates the Welfare State — a permanent underclass, a network of government bureaucracies and bureaucrats to administer the welfare state, and, most toxic of all, a culture of dependency.
I’m reminded of what President Ronald Reagan said in his State of the Union address in 1964: 

My friends, some years ago, the Federal Government declared war on poverty, and poverty won. Today the Federal Government has 59 major welfare programs and spends more than $100 billion a year on them. What has all this money done? Well, too often it has only made poverty harder to escape. Federal welfare programs have created a massive social problem. With the best of intentions, government created a poverty trap that wreaks havoc on the very support system the poor need most to lift themselves out of poverty: the family. Dependency has become the one enduring heirloom, passed from one generation to the next, of too many fragmented families.

The following letter to the editor was published by a Jackson, Mississippi newspaper, Clarion Ledger, on August 23, 2009. The writer is Dr. Roger Starner Jones, a physician who specializes in emergency medicine at the U. of Mississippi Medical Center. This is genuine, verified by snopes.com.
~Eowyn (h/t my friend Bob W.!)

“Why Pay For the Care of the Careless?”

Dear  Sirs:

During my last night’s shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with an expensive shiny gold tooth, multiple elaborate expensive tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ringtone.
Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid. 
She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer.  
And our president expects me to pay for this woman’s health care? 
Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses.  It is a crisis of culture — a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.  A culture that thinks “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me.”
Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow.   
                                                                                         
Starner Jones,  MD
Jackson    
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3 responses to “A Culture of Dependency

  1. I have read and written about this doctor before. We are Mississippians who finished college, and my spouse med school there. Because of family pressures, we tried to start out in the Ms Delta. What a shock!!! Malpractice then (mid-eighties) ran around $30,000.00) if you did OB. Medicaid paid around $300.00 start to finish for 9mos care. Medicaid people were the rudest, most obnoxious people I have EVER seen! They would throw their required dollar @ you, and only come in for their appt. when their soap operas were over. We left ASAP!!!

     
    • Wow, that’s powerful personal testimony, DW! It’s bad enough that Big Govt has bred a culture of dependency, but the “dependents” are arrogant and rude. What a topsy turvy society we’re living in….

       
  2. Is there a 2010 budget comparison that shows the culture of dependency?
    Charts that compares 1962 entitlements with 2010 entitlements.
    Please email to ywishnick@swivl.org

     

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