Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker has just announced his plan to live on food stamps for a week, Dec. 4 through Dec. 11.
Yahoo’s Katie Zezima reports “Politicians and community leaders around the country have taken on similar challenges in recent years to highlight the difficulty of relying solely on government aid for nutrition.”
Yet, initiatives like Michelle Obama’s aggressive “Let’s Move” campaign aside, the populace isn’t supposed to be dependent on the government for nutrition. And if they are dependent it’s not supposed to be a luxurious existence. It should be just enough to meet one’s basic needs until they can become self-sufficient, which is so much more gratifying than dependence. This safety net has become a hammock for all too many able to work but find it easier to use the police power of the government to redistribute someone else’s earned resources. In this realm, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute says, “The food stamp program has always had one of the highest rates of waste, fraud and abuse.” This isn’t helped by President Obama’s significantly relaxing the work requirements for welfare.
In the first two years of his presidency alone, “the number of … able-bodied adults on food stamps doubled—from 1.9 million to 3.9 million, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS.)” It’s a shrewd design; the more people dependent on the government the more Democrat voters.
It’s also noteworthy to look at the government dependency epidemic and see a principle demographic it comprises: children born out of wedlock and being raised without a father’s provision. Ninety percent of welfare recipients are single mothers. The greatest determination on whether a person will wind up in poverty is their coming from such a single mother household. It’s unconscionable for so many men to walk away from their responsibilities. How about addressing that driving factor, as well as an increasing sense of entitlement some think they have to a portion of someone else’s life? Yes sometimes bad things happen to good people; and some, like the elderly and disabled, really can’t provide for themselves. That’s what the safety net is for. But by and large in America, the sum quality of a person’s life is driven by their choices. Let’s encourage good ones; and support those truly in need.
At the end of the Yahoo article an anonymous woman who follows Booker via Twitter was quoted as saying, “Everybody should do this,” regarding Booker’s food stamps challenge.
Perhaps a better idea…
PJTV’s Bill Whittle details congregants of a Mormon outreach. It included a wholesale warehouse sized facility full of delicious, homemade food. “The best food money can’t buy,” Whittle describes. Those in need come, are loaded up and receive job training. It’s a hand up, not a hand out. The funding for this is entirely voluntary. Each family in the congregation fasts for two consecutive meals once a month. The money they would have spent on those meals they donate to this endeavor. As Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Cheerful giving is a lot more conducive in this scenario than one in which the government forces it.
Essentially these independent disciples sign up to help their fellow man, and are reminded of how it feels to be hungry and humbled.