by watching a 1940 Henry Fonda movie. I watched ‘The Grapes of Wrath’. It’s a damned good movie bases on a John Steinbeck novel. It won a number of awards, which means nothing; fact is I liked it.
It’s a story about a family of Okies leaving the Oklahoma dust bowl for California after they lost the family farm. They were dirt poor and still a proud family.
Towards the end they take refuge in a Government camp for a while.
It was an interesting place, and I understand there were a number of them set up as a stopgap to provide the very basics for families that were completely down and out.
The dead basic camp had small cabins, water and sanitation facilities available so the families could stay together and take care of themselves. They also had a deal going with the honest farmers of the area who would provide work to the able.
It wasn’t much by today’s standards, but it sufficed and kept the family together, fed and sheltered.
Of course, many of the people of the time, generally those who were working, complained that it was socialism.
Right now we have a welfare system that has gotten totally out of control. It gives a person a hell of a lot more than they need. Section 8 housing is an insult to everyone that has ever sweated out a mortgage.
Years ago, welfare recipients got a lot of actual food from the government. They passed on a lot of good, edible surplus food to those on welfare. There was nothing wrong with it, other than the drab government stenciled packaging.
I have no problem returning to a lot of these programs.
The problem with today’s welfare is that there is no incentive to get off of it. On the contrary, there is a strong desire to stay on it because we have made it into a pretty good life where one does not have to get off of their dead ass and onto their dying feet and go to work.
It’s a whole lot easier to stay on the government handout.
Looking at the movie, the main characters, the Joad family, were a down and out family of Okies looking for nothing but a simple job of work to feed themselves and their families.
They truly resented having to take anything that remotely resembled a handout of any sort, yet circumstances forced them to so they did as a last resort.
There were countless families like the Joads during those terrible years. It was a sad and terrible time.
The government pitched in to keep their bellys full. I have no problem with that whatsoever. To say otherwise would be cruel and cowardly.
On the other hand, the Joads got no extras, either. There was no Section 8 housing available nor was there anything else but the dead basics given to them.
These days, the powers that be have decided that a person now needs internet and cell phone service, which is a total crock.
I propose returning to the system they had back in the 30s that kept the families together and fed, yet had no frills.
Ben Franklin once said that the cure for poverty was to make it so bad that they would find a way to climb out of it.
We have come up with a system that makes poverty so comfortable that there is no reason whatsoever to climb out of it.
Some people might think I’m cruel by having this point of view, but the truth is, I am not. I simply want to restore human dignity by getting people to start taking care of them selves and getting a little pride back in their lives. I’m just advocating a little ‘tough love’.
Another thing to think of is that society would probably benefit by showing a little tough love and making people take care of them selves. As they get used to it, some of them are surely going to climb the ladder of success and provide valuable contributions to our society.
Who knows? Maybe the next Sam Wall or Bill Gates could be a former welfare recipient.
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