Welfare Dependence

So I did a program at a school in rural Texas today. They are seeing some new money come into their town due to oil and gas wells found in the area. I am told that the economy has been pretty depressed between oil and gas discoveries, just ranching, hunting, some citrus and pecan orchards.

Some of these people are quite used to not having work, and living off welfare. The gas company is trying to do some good in the community, and they report they are encountering many folks who are quite receptive to the influx of money and excited to be a positive part of community improvement. I am told, “If you want a job, it’s there for you. And the skilled workers are moving around for higher pay. Inflation is rampant in land values, rent and housing.”And some of them have no expectation of getting a job – though they happen to be plentiful here among the mesquite and cacti. They suggest they want to receive electronic toys instead of services that might inspire them to new possibilities, like better education. Some  of the kinds simply put up a wall about their own education, nat doing the school work.  The attitude shows in school, where student attendance can be irregular.

This is a sad situation. At first one wonders, does it really exist? Are there really people who prefer government assistance over the rewards of work? It’s for real, so I see!

What can be done about this cycle of dependence? These people are ruining the purpose of government assistance for the people who really do need it. Should the occupiers move to this part of Texas?

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About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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One Response to Welfare Dependence

  1. JP says:

    Jim, thanks for your thoughts on this. I think you are right on and this is a problem, certainly in some segments of the population. If it becomes a habit that people get used to–living off welfare–that is a problem. I do think that most Americans would prefer to work. It is ingrained into our self-worth. I would ask what wages those jobs that are there pay, and if they pay more than welfare? We know that most of the jobs created by Perry’s ‘economic miracle’ have been minimum wage jobs with no benefits. Seasonal jobs are also a problem. We need workers to work those jobs, and what do we do when there is no work? We’ll need them again when the work returns. Much of this is tied into the immigration problem and illegal workers. It has been demonstrated to great effect (by Steven Colbert among others) that American workers simply won’t do many of the jobs illegals do, no matter how much they need a job (mainly because they pay nowhere near a living wage in America). If we really eliminated all the illegal workers, we’d be paying a lot more for food, among other things. America has benefited from their work for a long time, and now we may finally be forced to really face the issue and do something about it.

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