Let's hear it for Indiana's amazing legislature! What begins as an argument about "saving taxpayer money" turns into a way to force drug addicts into a treatment program (and to spend quite a bit on drug tests in the process). If you read the article (linked above) closely, you notice that welfare recipients can still get money either way, they just have to commit to treatment or cheat the drug test. And we all know that you can't force an addict into treatment and expect real results. So what is this really about? Who actually benefits?
If you don't believe in welfare for the poor, that's fine, as long as you realize you're a supreme asshole. Poor people and people on welfare are denied their human dignity every single day in a variety of ways. Treating them all like criminals will only continue cycles of poverty and shame. Meanwhile, there's "outrage" in some circles that the government would require background checks in order to purchase a gun, but let's not go down that tunnel to hell today.
When was the last time somebody forced you to pee in a cup so that your children could eat? When was the last time you worked two jobs to pay your rent but still couldn't afford to get by? I'm glad I've never been in those situations, but that doesn't mean I look down on those whose lives have been harder than mine. And I certainly don't blame them for problems with the state budget. In fact, poor people are rarely the ones guiding policies these days. That seems to be the territory of well-paid politicians who have never had to take a drug test to receive their taxpayer-funded salaries. Something wrong with this picture?
This isn't going to save anyone any money. It's just going to continue to ensure that non-Hoosiers think Indiana is dead set on living in the stone age (and maybe, sadly, we are).
|Ah yes, the urine of the poor. The answer to all of our problems!|
Our "lawmakers" ought to be fired, and the people who voted for them ought to be ashamed. We can do so much better than this. I realize that this "debate" is happening in lots of other places around the country, alongside some other issues that make me embarrassed to be a human being (debating the definition of rape, arming teachers, cutting funding for public transportation). But the fact remains that everyone is capable of making good decisions, even Indiana. Sadly, a lot of people in our state just don't seem interested in anything but self-protection and blaming others.
I'm not proposing a welfare state. Nobody wants that. But helping people who need help - why wouldn't you want to do that? Why would you prefer to alienate and embarrass them?
I'm reminded of a story that Jesus told, about people being cast into "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" - can you guess why? It wasn't because they were on drugs or because they accepted government assistance. It was because they refused to feed the hungry, dress the naked, or be kind to strangers. I recall something along the lines of, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of one of my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
I'm not much of a God guy at this point in my life, but I definitely think people who believe in God (and that seems to be most of Indiana, if I've got my facts straight) should want to help God's people, without judging them or questioning their situation and motivation. The things you have that make your life great could disappear at any time. Many of us realize capitalism tends to force people into the roles of "winners" and "losers," and most of us can accept that as one of the conditions of our great society (as long as we're "winning"). But what would be wrong with being glad to help the less fortunate instead of blaming them for our current financial situation?