Scabby hands vs. handouts
Years ago, when my company and my children were in their infancy, I was in line at the local grocery buying some beans and rice. The woman in front of me had steaks, chops and cheese — luxuries for us at that time. She promptly whipped out $80 in food stamps and then purchased two cartons of cigarettes with the $40 in cash from another pocket.
As I drove away in my rusty $200 truck, noting the scars and scabs on my hands, I made the decision that this was not fair.
Sixteen years later, as I write this, there are two scabs on my hands from working last week. The only difference is that I now drive a new truck and live a fairly comfortable life.
I wonder if after the election I will need to have bleeding fingers daily to maintain my standard of living for both myself and that woman.
Helping weak strengthens all
Recent letter writers on the topic of socialism obviously have not listened to a single thing Barack Obama has preached about.
Obama’s main message has always been about personal responsibility. He thinks the best way for the poorest of Americans to improve their lives starts with the parents. He wants parents to take responsibility for raising their kids properly. He preaches for parents to take a role in their kids’ educations.
Denying these people health care and other basic privileges the rest of us enjoy to survive is inhumane. Yes, Obama wants to take a small bit from the super wealthy to help make sure the poor can get their feet on the ground and help turn bad communities into good ones. I don’t see a problem with that.
Obama preaches that we should rebuild this country from the bottom up. A chain is as strong as its weakest link. If America can improve its weakest link, the poor and disenfranchised, then the whole country gets stronger.
Socialism: Another definition
I’m always amazed and amused by the way the word “socialism” gets slung around in a political campaign. Jim Lullie (10/27, Letters) correctly notes that when Republicans shout it, they are in trouble.
I’m reminded of a tongue-in-cheek definition I heard years ago: “When the government does something for me, that’s social progress. When it does something for you, that’s socialism.”
Giving shouldn’t be mandated
I’m perplexed by a phrase in the Obama campaign, “spread the wealth,” as if it were new. Seems to me we’ve been doing that since the beginning of time, when the first caveman divided his fish with another, and nobody had to tell him to do it.
In our town, sharing the wealth would include those who provide food, clothing and shelter to those in need, out of their own pockets, and the many churches and civic programs that do the same. Many prosperous, well-known families in Kansas City generously share their wealth. On the world stage, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey are among those who share their tremendous wealth.
We call this benevolent service to our human family charity, which is also love, and on a grander scale, philanthropy. The giants in the field are called philanthropists, and God bless them. If we start mandating such activity by the government, one way or the other, do we not kill the human spirit of giving?
In this country, we have always operated on the saying that “to whom much is given, much is expected.” May it always be so without government intrusion.
Government already intrudes
I keep reading how people are so afraid of our country becoming socialist. Many fear our government will not only be planning and controlling the economy, but also taking over our lives and freedoms.
Three years ago, there was the Terri Schiavo case where a husband, with approval from medical professionals, wanted to allow his wife to die. She had been in a vegetative state for 15 years. President Bush flew back to Washington from Crawford, Texas, to sign a document prohibiting the doctors from following through on the husband’s request.
This act is an example of government intrusion far more serious than any socialist government would be. It appears to me that socialism could be closer to Democracy than what we have now.