I agree. But my point has always been that America does a lousy job of helping the poor that want to work.
This is because some of you are so pre-occupied with looking after yourselves, what you like to call "personal responsibility", that you have become a little tight in the purse strings.
The requirements are simple.
A good, free education. Means-tested. Even university education. No poor, bright kid left behind. Schools should be free for kids from poor families, even the meals. All schools should be open to kids from all areas. Rich area schools should have quotas for enrolling kids from poor backgrounds. The Feds should be queueing up to pay for bright poor kids. But I don't see 'em.
Good, free access to healthcare, drugs and dental. Means-tested. No questions asked. One form (your W2). No co-pays. If you are poor, you get it. Kids shouldn't even need a form. If you're a kid you should get free healthcare. Period.
An allowance to cover job search costs. How else can a poor person afford to find a job?
Generous benefits for the unemployable through disability; injury on the job etc.
If you do these things the country will get more back in taxes that it would ever spend in providing them.
A parable: There was once an esteeemd professor of economics at a major university who had a reputation for being a very harsh grader. One semester he had a student, who we will call Ian. Ian was a very good student, worked very hard, and was very bright. All semester he received the best grades in the class, indeed the best the professor had ever awarded in his 40 years of teaching. Other students struggled, most earning C's and with a few earning D's and even F's. The last exam covered alternatives to capitalism, but unfortunately, Ian did not correctly answer two questions on socialism. Receiving his test score, Ian went to the professor to discuss the same and told the professor that he did not understand socialism as well as he did the rest of the class materials. The professor said, "Ian, you still did the best in the class by far. I am impressed by your hard work, and you should not be concerned." The course soon ended and final grades were posted. Ian looked at the final grades and was shocked to note that everyone received a C, including himself and the students who had been failing. He immediately went back to the professor and complained. "It's not fair," he said, "I worked hard, they did not. I earned an A as I was by far the best student." The professor responded by explaining that what he had done was to average everyone's score so that no one would fail. "But that's not fair to me!" said Ian. "Perhaps not, said the professor, but now you understand socialism."
Thanks for the lesson.
But I am not arguing for equality in outcomes.
I am arguing for equality in opportunity.
Let me be blunt.
Does it not bother a single one of you that a person born to a poor family in this country has fewer opportunities than one born to a rich family?
A bright kid with poor parents will not have access to the same level of education or healthcare than an equally-bright kid born to rich parents purely due to their ability to pay. Nothing to do with the kid's hard work. Simply that he was unfortunate enough to be born to poor parents.
And all because the taxpayer refuses to pick up the slack.
That doesn't fit very well with your dream does it?
Ian, I don't know who in your family you may take after, but in mine, I am just like my dad. My dad always tried to save the world, he would give away his last dollar in his wallet and do anything to help anyone. Then at his funeral a man came up to me saying, " your dad was nothing but a drunk." Well, I had him physically taken out of there. But, my dad did drink especially, after my mom died. I always wondered what this man might had been like if he never served and saw the horrors of ww2. He suffered with PTSS. I grew up fast Ian. I would hold my dad at night when he woke up screaming in terror. This man had a huge heart and couldn't stand to see anyone suffer or go hungry. That day Ian, when my dad and I were alone for the last time, I tucked a dollar up my dad's sleeve so no one could ever say my dad died without a dollar to his name. Greedy heartless people didn't want to see why my dad didn't have a dollar to his name or why he drank. But, I knew. He had a heart of gold. And, wanted to fix the world. Sometimes, I read what you write and I know your heart is a big one, and made of gold, too. The only difference really between my dad and I is in, I know, I can't fix the world, but I can make the difference maybe, if lucky, in a person at a time or one reason at a time.
That was a very moving thing you wrote Cookie.
So I will stop there.
Probably a good place to stop, as it was likely dad was helping save the UK from the bosch.
As to averaging scores, as long as his leader is not Stalin, the bright guy gets ahead even without a test. Judge a man by his works.
As to the poor parents, unless they are disabled, there is a reason for them being poor, usually low ambition and intelligence.
We are a small, rural, poor county and yet there are 5 private preschools and 3 "headstart" type schools for kids that have monsters as parents. Free. The problem, is that without Stalin as the boss hog, you cannot make the parents take the kids to class. And their cars dont start, and now we have no jobs either.
Job search costs? Here is a good joke on us from the Feds: We have a program called "Mother lode job training", where a gaggle of admistrators and "teachers" sit around doing nothing because no one enrolls in the course - free. They teach them how to job shop and dress nice, and then if I hire them, I get 1/2 off their pay for several months as I train them. Its been 5 years since they had a soul to offer me. They get paid to do nothing.
Go figure. I trained several kids years ago, and they really did need that subsidy to be employable. Maybe they get enough now on foodstamps and welfare to not need to bother enrolling. Programs are in place, ambitions are not.
My best education was 20,000 miles on a jeep and motorcycle around the entire USA when I was 18. Slept on the dirt. Got my masters in that trip. Didnt cost the taxpayers a shilling.
ha ha ha ha ha, my first job was to teach in a headstart. Infact~~ it was there, that I started a paper on music therapy for autism. Just as a fluke, I noticed that when I played an old beat up record player, 45's, that those kids stopped rocking back & forth and, later noticing that I was able to make eye contact a heck of alot easier, too. Those papers are proudly still being used to teach others.
Ah, my friend, in each profession we will find good and bad who will or won't do the job as desired, but how unfair to judge the entire profession.
I know many great teachers in the public school system. I had the misfortune to be acquainted with a couple really bad plumbers but, I wouldn't judge the entire plumbing industry due to them.
Thank you Ian, he was a great man.