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John C. Dorhauer’s “An Open Letter to White Men in America” begins:
Dear White Men,
You are persons of privilege.
You didn’t earn it.
This distresses me far less today than it did when I first read it. Maybe I’ve become more comfortable with having things I don’t deserve. More likely, I’ve lost all interest in whether people have things they don’t deserve or deserve things they don’t have.
I encourage you to lose all interest in it, too.
“In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone represented 44 percent of spending; all entitlement programs were 63 percent. But it’s hard to control entitlement programs because their constituencies are so large.”
It makes sense to me that, as Samuelson proposes, we should discard the term “entitlements” as naming portions of the federal budget that are untouchable. No program should be sacrosanct.
Continue reading Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy
I respond to the first paragraph only. Nothing else. The first paragraph.
Beans and rice are nothing to despise.
I first applied for food stamps in 2004. I had had a professional career for 25 years, and for three generations not one member of my family had ever been subject to any form of “welfare.” Now I sat in a 40-by-40 lobby full of people, filling out the forms. Assets: –0–. Bank balance: –0–. Income: –0–. And I wept. I cried like a baby.
A sister-in-law, an #immigrant, responded to this news by waging a campaign for the family to disown me. She would later tell her husband she did not want to be married to a man whose brother receives food stamps. To my family’s credit, her campaign failed. I’ve been through tons of difficulty, and to their credit, my blood kin have never left me.
Beans and rice are nothing to despise.
In my current world as a homeless man, I deal with many, many people who persevere in need BECAUSE they despise every single blessing God provides. My only hope, currently an active hope, to improve my own lot, rests in being GRATEFUL for every blessing God provides.
Beans and rice, for example.
So, here we go: Poor people, listen up! Just in case you DON’T despise every single blessing God provides, it’s OK.
#Liberals like @Arthur Delaney stand ever-ready to despise it FOR you.
Efforts to dialogue with Dan Rodricks’ position (that is, take it seriously) led to a lot of confusion and self-doubt in my prayer time Friday morning 10/25/13.
The past week’s instability in my support system had forced me to ask for and accept significant (by my standards) amounts of money from acquaintances who had never donated to me before. It was as if the Cosmos was retaliating for things I said in “Chaos overwhelms the poor.” Am I a panhandler already myself? Is there any shame in that? Am I in any way a better investment than the drunks who panhandle on the street?
Continue reading (3) Baby steps
I meant to discuss how privileged you are if you can choose your food.
An event Thursday night changed that. Sometimes you’re privileged even when you can’t.
That same guy happened to be right behind me in the dinner line. As we approached the serving window, he got all put out because they’d run out of the chicken and French fries. What we had to accept instead:
Four thick slices of hot, tender, juicy, turkey breast with gravy, and this fantastic stuffing.
And mixed vegetables.
My patience ran out when a display ad for Feeding America appeared on my e-mail inbox page.
I am seeing their ads and their public service announcements (PSAs) everywhere. Like certain other charities, notably Autism Speaks and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I wind up wondering if they engage in any activity beside fundraising. In recent years, Breast Cancer Awareness Month had such media saturation it seemed impossible to be aware of anything else.