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Carlton Fletcher

“Teach your children well.”

— Crosby, Stills & Nash

Nobody has a right to tell anyone else how to raise their children (except Dr. Spock, but that’s different).

Still, there are some things that are universal. And bringing children up to be decent, respectful individuals is one of them.

Politicians and social reformers wring their hands and say what are we going to do about our kids, how can we make the future better for them?

That one’s pretty simple.

Make parents take care of their kids. If they can’t, put the kids in circumstances that give them an opportunity to thrive.

It’s too hard, you say?

Maybe it’s tough, but when papa and mama government pays for everything so that mom and dad offer no kind of work ethic for kids to emulate, there’s not a whole lot of incentive for parents to actively seek gainful employment and teach their offspring about pride of accomplishment.

But what about single parents who have to work two and three jobs to pay the bills? Those unsung heroes deserve some kind of help.

Perhaps so. I know as a taxpayer that I would much rather pay to help these hard-working individuals with child care than I would pay for some able-bodied individual to sit on their ass and get paid to do so.

They call it “gaming the system,” these worthless individuals who refuse to work for the things they have, relying on the kindness — read that stupidity — of a government bureaucracy that appears to care more about quotas and paperwork than actually helping people who deserve it.

It’s no wonder our country is so divided. In a time of plenty, we take billions of dollars from the few remaining people who actually still work for a living — none from the millionaires who inherit their money, we give them tax breaks — and give it to freeloaders who are fully able to work but have found the right government agency from which to get free everything and laugh all the way to the liquor store at the working fools.

How bad is it in America? Billions and billions of dollars — taxes on the middle class and donations from rich people looking for another write-off — are spent every year to “feed the hungry” in one of the richest nations in the history of the world, yet there’s always an appeal for more, more, more. With all the government agencies providing freebies, and big companies boasting that they give millions of dollars a year to help the poor (and, lo and behold, some people actually still pay for their own food), why do we still have poor?

If all the money that has been earmarked and donated to combat the issues of poverty in our country had been distributed to the people that money was intended to help — the truly needy — how in the name of the Lord do we still have abject poverty? Perhaps those able-bodied non-workers who collect fat monthly checks — for phony disabilities, for falsely reported incomes, for falsely made claims of injury or damage — are the root of the problem. (Of course, we can’t leave out the “administrators” who are paid millions to head up the “nonprofits” that collect the food to feed others.)

If government agencies were more interested in helping those who had real needs — the “widows and orphans” who were the initial subjects of government giveaway programs — and not in helping the liars and cheaters get on the gravy train, perhaps there would be no trillions of dollars in deficits and there would be plenty for the deserving. And perhaps some of these thousands of government agencies that do little could spend their time training the jobless for the thousands of jobs available.

It starts in the homes, though. You people who had these children should not just be required to nurture them, you should bring them up in a way that encourages them to be useful citizens. Hint: Giving them a few sugar treats and propping them in front of a TV while you do whatever it is not the way to do that.

Email Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

(1) comment


I can't believe I did not write this column. But it's from the Writing Collective that's also known as "Carlton Fletcher". Like a Box of Chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.

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