I was floating around on Facebook this morning, that ultimate spy tool. Just checking out people I know and a few I used to know but don't speak to anymore. I landed on the wall of one young lady who was once a distant part of my life and who, for the purposes of this post, I'll call Gimmie. Gimmie is around 30 years old.
Gimmie was reporting in happy tones that she's planning to vote for her Republican governor in spite of her being a hard-core Democrat. She's decided to vote for the (R) because she called his office and discovered the folks in that conservative group are going to help her get Medicaid. Gimmie claims to have some non-physical medical issues -- emotional, mental, whatever -- that can be managed with medication (in fact, I'm familiar with her particular health issue and know management is quite possible). She is a relatively bright, able-bodied human being, perfectly capable of working and making money in order to pay for her own life and medical care. Furthermore, she lives with her parents, other intelligent, able-bodied people who do in fact have jobs and do quite well. Gimmie doesn't work. She is being supported by her parents and evidently spends time chattering on Facebook instead of picking her shiftless butt off the chair to get a job.
As if it isn't bad enough that Gimmie is going to go on Medicaid (read welfare), her youthful FB buddies are offering virtual high fives. "Good for you!" say the commenters. "I told you so!" "That's great!!" The rumbling underground sound you may be hearing is my parents rolling over in their graves.
Back in the late 1940s, my mother's sister Gladys died of leukemia at age 36. She left behind eight children and a husband who, crushed, was unable to care for them. Word came that my uncle might have to go on welfare, and in fact might be farming his kids out to foster care. My mother rallied the family troops -- none of whom were taking trips to Europe or buying diamond rings -- and the children instead were taken in by aunts and uncles and cousins. Nobody went on welfare to care for those kids; in fact, my mother's brother and his wife had six children of their own and managed to take on one more. Being on welfare then was an embarrassment, and it was a matter of pride not to have to go on assistance. Welfare, at least in my family dynamic back then, was for the very poor who had no other choice.
Fox and its talking heads love to shout at the rain about the Democrats, and how the Obama administration wants a country full of people reaching for handouts. Aside of the sheer absurdity of such election-year statements, it seems to me the problem doesn't lie with a political party. This young lady Gimmie (and I use the term "lady" loosely) was raised by parents and has friends raised by parents who taught them they are entitled to money without working. Gimmie's rearing occurred long before President Obama took office. So here's the question: if there are more of them than us, "them" being a hoard of young people taught to believe they deserve to sit home while others pay for their lifestyle, and "us" being the people who work to support a lazy, high-fiving Facebook generation, what's to be done?
When and if times get truly hard -- and well they might -- I suppose we can look to the ant and the grasshopper fable to get an idea of how things might pan out. The ant worked all summer and was cozy and warm when winter came. As for the grasshopper who played all summer...well, he froze death. Take note parents who think you're making your children strong by funding their velvet cushion: your little grasshopper is going to hit the wall someday, and may not always be able to call on you, or a Republican governor, to pick up the pieces.
I'm only sorry this (R) isn't the governor of my state. At least then I could cancel out Gimmie's vote.